Episode 130 | August 21, 2018

The Alchemy of Marketing with Dov Gordon

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

 

In this day and age, becoming a successful coach takes more than knowing how to talk with your client; it is also about learning your know-hows as a marketer. Coaching and marketing needs to go hand in hand now for your business to thrive and for you to continue inspiring people. That is the alchemy of marketing. Let’s face it, getting in to all of this can be overwhelming. Dov Gordon lays down the basics to marketing. Known as the Alchemist Entrepreneur, he goes down to the core without all the fillers and offers a more systematic approach to getting your true message connect to your clients and even ideal clients. Dov shares some much needed insight to understand why one method or path didn’t work out and how to overcome them.

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When I signed up to being a coach, the only thing on my mind was, “How can I be the best coach ever?” I studied with the best in the world. I studied about relationships, inner work, NLP, sexuality, and sensuality. I traveled far away and I studied with monks in India and in Fiji. I did a lot and I invested a lot so I can become the best coach ever. Then I learned the bitter truth. You can be the best coach in the world. You can change people’s mindset in five minutes and changed their lives forever and still be the best kept secret. What I did not know is that when I signed up to being a coach, I also signed up to being a marketer.

There is so much that is going behind the scenes. There are funnels, CRM systems, email marketing systems, refining your message and branding. I just want to be on stage and speak. Just be one-on-one with somebody and coach them, but that’s not enough. To have a successful business, you need to have a whole freaking machine of people and helpers and also some certain depth of knowledge when it comes to marketing. My husband is a very famous search engine optimization expert and an author. His name is Stephan Spencer. He wrote The Art of SEO. I go with him often to many marketing conferences and what happens is that I get exposed to so much knowledge and I know more than I should.

It gets overwhelming and then you want to try so many things. It’s almost like throwing the spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks and it can be overwhelming. It can cost a lot of money and lots of time and sometimes you don’t get the ROI that you want. That’s why I brought this incredible guest because marketing is something that you do when you’re an entrepreneur and when you have a business but also when you are working for someone. When you’re working for someone, you can always show them that you are a powerhouse. You can show them that you are capable for more things. You can come up with brilliant ideas for the company that will result in increasing your value within the company and increasing your salary and all that. Marketing is something that in this modern-day world is really important.

My guest is Dov Gordon. He helps consultants, coaches and entrepreneurs develop a consistent flow of their ideal client. What I love about his system is that he really goes into the basics. He just creates this marketing plan or marketing strategy for you that is simple and effective. It cuts through the noise and it really helps his clients get their true message and really connect with their ideal clients. Dov is called the alchemist entrepreneur. The idea of alchemy is that you must work with the underlying structure of the metal in order to turn something common into something priceless. He gets rid of all the flashy tricks and tactics and instead he works on core concepts of your marketing message and systematic implementation. The idea of alchemy spoke to him and his clients agree the results are truly gold.

Dov, welcome to Stellar Life podcast. It’s good to have you here.

Thanks for having me, Orion. It’s good to be here.

We’re going to talk about many things that are helpful for entrepreneurs and also for people that are employees and working in companies. We’re going to talk about how to get more clients, how to have the mindset of being a top producer and a leader and all that good stuff. I want you to share a little bit about yourself.

I never had a real job which means that from about age of thirteen, when I discovered the self-help section in the business section in the library, I’ve just been reading and studying about all different aspects of business. I found that interesting and fascinating. It seemed like there were a lot of things that I could learn and thereby improve myself and improve my situation and that interested me a lot. I’ve gotten married in my early twenties. I was looking for something to do. I read somewhere about this thing called business coaching or executive coaching. I enrolled in a course which gave me what I needed at the time to get started. I had no idea what I was doing because I’ve never worked anywhere. I was putting myself out there as somebody who can help business owners. I knew I could but I was ignorant of a lot of the day-to-day reality or just how certain things work.

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

We don’t buy the products and services that are best for us. We buy the products and services that are best marketed and sold to us.

I had this sense and this inner knowing that I was on a path that was right for me. I just had to keep moving and sooner or later things would start to fall into place. It’s true. Sooner or later things did fall into place. It’s just that in between the sooner and the later, there were lots of ups and downs. It was quite difficult. I remember getting to a point where we had three kids at the time, a wife and three kids, and we’re down to our last thousand dollars. I did not know where the next one was going to come from because I was struggling. It’s a common struggle I’ve certainly come to understand. A lot of people are good at what they do. They are smart, talented and capable. They have a really good heart and they care. The fact is that we human beings, we don’t buy the products and services that are best for us. We buy the products and services that are best marketed and sold to us. If you happen to be really good at what you do, but you’re not really into the marketing thing or you’re not looking to become the next celebrity or guru, then it’s often quite unclear of what you need to do in order to create a consistent flow of ideal clients. I definitely wasn’t a natural, so I had to learn. I do seem to be quite good at pushing my way through some major challenges and figuring things out until I get to where I could strike at the roots where most are hacking at the leaves.

I did get a deeper understanding of why things work when they work, why things don’t work when they don’t, than many famous marketing guru types. That’s fine because that enables me to share that with other people like me. I’ll share one more idea to tie this together. I came to see over time that there are two paths to thrive and succeed as a consultant, coach, expert, agency, owner, professional services firm owner, and so on. One is what I call the path of the charismatic guru. Take the path of a celebrity. That’s the one that we all see. That’s most visible online. These are the ones where everything looks perfect. Every hair is perfect. Everything, the cars, the travel and so on and it’s all public. We see the beautiful parts and they’ve got great personalities and that’s totally legitimate. There is nothing wrong with that. If they’re honest and straightforward and they’re not fooling anybody, then fine. If you’re leaving people better off than when you found them, that’s totally legitimate.

However, the problem is that I believe that there are tens of millions of people who belong on the other path. The other path is the path of mastery and it’s those of us who really don’t have much of a desire at all to become mini celebrities or major celebrities. We’re trying to be doing great work with great clients consistently and earning a great income. When we get up in the morning and we say, “I’m really good at this, how do I get clients?” We look around online and in our inbox and on our social media and everybody’s got advice for us. Everybody’s telling us something else. Do this, do that, and so on. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed. What I came to notice is that so many of us, I say us, meaning people more of my type, we find ourselves following these people onto the path of mastery and then we get stuck. We don’t realize that there’s another path and we don’t realize that we don’t belong on that path.

I came to understand why do things work when they work? Why do they fail when they fail? Every tactic could work and every tactic could fail. Facebook ads, LinkedIn, podcasting, webinars, everything could work and everything could fail. When I can more deeply understand why, then we can create a simple repeatable process that’s a good fit for me or for you or for whomever on what we think of as the path of mastery. On the path to mastery, when you understand the timeless principles that guide everything and determine whether they work or whether they fail, you can then create your own approach. You can create your own simple repeatable marketing and selling system, marketing funnel if you like, that builds on your strength, targets your market and helps you get to the business goals that you want. There are many ways to succeed.

There are millions of right ways to do things but there's only one way to fail. Click To Tweet

When you’re in a domain that you don’t feel you have as much confidence, you say, “Is this the right way to do it?” When it comes to marketing and getting clients, that’s something we hear a lot. Am I doing it right? That’s a question you definitely want to ask sometimes. What we have to understand that it’s not like there’s one right way to succeed and it’s not like there’s one right way to get clients. There are millions of right ways to do it. It’s just the opposite. There are millions of right ways to do it and there’s only one way to fail. It’s the opposite of how most people approach it. As long as what you’re doing aligns with timeless principles, the underlying psychology that leads people to connect with you and trust you and want to follow your lead, you’ll succeed. There are millions of ways to do that, but if you violate timeless principles, you’ll fail. That’s why I say there are millions of ways to succeed and only one way to fail. That’s what I mean by the path of mastery versus the path of the charismatic guru.

You separated the charismatic guru with mastery where charismatic gurus, many of them have mastery. I also want to ask you, what is mastery and how do you get to mastery?

First of all, both paths are legitimate and somebody who belongs on the path of the charismatic guru, I don’t in any way mean to say anything negative. It’s just that I think there are far more people who do not belong on that path who are stuck on it because it doesn’t feel right. It’s not who they want to be. They’re not going after their dream. They are unwittingly going after somebody else’s dream because they don’t see an alternative. They just don’t see another way and I’m sharing an alternative. Another important part of that is that often the charismatic guru types, they have great mastery at what they’re doing. What they don’t appreciate enough is how much of their success is attributed to their strong personality and that’s something that they cannot teach.

First of all, everybody can learn something from everybody. We’ve all learned and I’ve learned a lot from various charismatic gurus. There’s no question about it. My struggle was how do I bring all these things that I know together and turn it into a simple repeatable process that brings me clients consistently? I can’t just copy a checklist or a recipe. I can’t just copy his or her recipe because I can’t. It doesn’t work for me. There are other people who belong on the path of charismatic guru. They belong there and they’ll be fine with it because they could take the skills and then they could just incorporate their own unique personality and build on that. I hope I clarified that.

It’s just that they often don’t fully appreciate how much that means. Those of us who think it’s not the right path for us, we’re still missing something that helps us tie it all together. That’s where it leads you to path of masteries. What does mastery mean? Here’s what I think about it. There’s this wonderful quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. that goes like this. He says that “I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I’d give my right hand for simplicity on the far side of complexity.” I heard that number of years ago and it was just one of those where you just sit up and like, “That’s insightful.” What it means to me is I like to think of it as a continuum.

On the left side, we have oversimplified and then in the middle is over complicated and on the right side is simplicity, on the far side of complexity. Over simplified, complexity or over complicated, and then simplicity on the far side and you move from left to right, draw an arrow from left to right. Most of us, whenever we set out to do something in life, most of us expect it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot simpler than it actually will turn out to be. If we expect it’s going to be easy and it’s worth doing, it’s probably going to be harder than we expect. Pretty quickly we find ourselves in the complexity stage and then we’re lost in the woods. We’re lost in the weeds and we can’t necessarily find the right direction. We don’t know where to face or we’re overwhelmed by all the different things we need to do. We feel pulled in many different directions and we don’t have a path.

If we expect something is going to be easy and it's worth doing, it's probably going to be harder than we expect. Click To Tweet

On the left side, we have oversimplified and then in the middle is over complicated and on the right side is simplicity, on the far side of complexity. Over simplified, complexity or over complicated, and then simplicity on the far side and you move from left to right, draw an arrow from left to right. Most of us, whenever we set out to do something in life, we expect it’s going to be a lot easier and a lot simpler than it actually will turn out to be. If we expect it’s going to be easy and it’s worth doing, it’s probably going to be harder than we expect. Pretty quickly we find ourselves in the complexity stage and then we’re lost in the woods. We’re lost in the weeds and we can’t necessarily find the right direction. We don’t know where to face or we’re overwhelmed by all the different things we need to do. We feel pulled in many different directions and we don’t have a path.

That’s where most people are in their job, as an entrepreneur or as a business owner. Most people are stuck in the complexity of whatever it is they’re trying to accomplish. A small number of people, you’ve got to be persistent. You’ve got to push your way through and you’ve got to find some kind of coach or mentor or somebody who has already mastered what you’re trying to master. They can lead you to a place where you get to simplicity on the far side of complexity. That’s where you start to notice patterns. That’s where you can more easily notice patterns. They say that the difference between an amateur chess player and a chess master is amateurs look at the chessboard and they see 32 pieces and they could be spread across the board. The chess master sees patterns and most of us, our brains can’t hold on to more than six or seven or eight different items at any given time.

That’s why you bring a coach in so they can see the patterns that you cannot see and they can see the simplicity that you cannot see. As a business owner myself, I feel like I’m in complexity. I feel like I’m pulled in so many directions of, “Do this for your business and this for your business.” It’s almost like just throwing a bunch of spaghetti on the wall and waiting for something to stick. I don’t think this is the right way to do it because I feel like when the business owner has a complexity in their mind, it’s harder for the client to recognize their genius and touch upon it and relate to that.

If you have any employees or team members, then they’re frustrated because we are the tightest bottlenecks in our businesses. Others can have great intentions and they could be really good. I sometimes feel bad for my team because I’m the tightest bottleneck just like you are in your business. I appreciate how they put up with me growing.

I appreciate my team as well. I have them in my gratitude practice.

In many ways, that’s what makes it, “Do people want to work for you or not?” Are you constantly working on improving yourself so that you’re expanding your capacity and not serving such a bottleneck for everybody else’s growth? That’s just one way of looking at it. If you ask me what mastery is, in many ways it’s being able to see patterns where other people see details. That helps you organize larger and more complex things. Now, our focus is on getting clients. It’s on helping consultants, coaches, experts, service firms, agency owners, boutique, and consulting firms to create a consistent flow of ideal clients. What we’re able to do is we really helped them strike at the root where the masses are hacking at the leaves and we do that. We help them see simple underlying patterns and master what I think of as the critical 10% of skills that give them 90% of what they want and then turn that into a simple repeatable process. If it’s simple, repeatable and then they’re implementing it on an ongoing basis, they will get results on an ongoing basis.

I'm the critical 10% that makes you look brilliant 90% of the time. Click To Tweet

Give me a visual. How do I convey simplicity on the other side of complexity on a website or on their website’s homepage, for example?

We’ve all heard the idea that you have to pick a niche and yet how many of us struggle? We hesitate. We are afraid to pick because if I say this, then I talk only to these people, then those people won’t think that that I can help them and I’ll lose out on those opportunities.

Also for some of us like me that love variety and are good in many things, if I niche down to just this one thing, what about those many other things that I can teach and help people with?

That is an area where we overcomplicate things because we’re getting stuck on something that’s false. Let me prove it to you. There are really only three questions that your ideal client needs to answer yes to in order to go from total stranger to happy to pay you well for your help, whatever it is that you do. If we’re looking at this idea of a marketing system or marketing funnel and you ask most people, “What’s the purpose of a marketing funnel? What’s the purpose of your marketing system?” What do you think most people would answer in your experience?

To get the best clients and weed out the people that are not a match for what I have to offer.

I get answers such as, “It’s to fill my pipeline, it’s to get leads, it’s to close deals. That’s what I need a marketing funnel for. What do you do next? I don’t know.” They’re just so overwhelming. When your understanding of what you’re trying to achieve is somewhat superficial, it’s to get clients. It’s just so disconnected from the root. It sounds good, you hear it, you nod your head of course, and then you still don’t know what to do next. Why? You’re understanding is superficial. It’s not deep.

It becomes more about putting a bunch of pieces in one place without really understanding what goes where and why does it go there. You could see, I need a landing page and this and that, but that’s skidding across the surface instead of understanding why. That’s what I was alluding to at the beginning when I say you need to understand why things work when they work and why they fail when they fail. If you understand that, then you can create something that works for you. You don’t have to follow what someone else says, “This works,” because the fact is, “No one could do it alone but no one can do it for you.” You’re going to need help, but nobody can do it for you.

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

You need to understand why things work when they work and why they fail when they fail.

It becomes more about putting a bunch of pieces in one place without really understanding what goes where and why does it go there. You could see, I need a landing page and this and that, but that’s skidding across the surface instead of understanding why. That’s what I was alluding to at the beginning when I say you need to understand why things work when they work and why they fail when they fail. If you understand that, then you can create something that works for you. You don’t have to follow what someone else says, “This works,” because the fact is, “No one could do it alone but no one can do it for you.” You’re going to need help, but nobody can do it for you.

We all need help and I’ll do it for you. It’s the same thing over here. There is no paint by number method to get clients. Are there exceptions to that? Sure, you can give a lot of money to outsource agencies or this and that. If you pick a good one and you’re paying well for it, then it will produce for you until it doesn’t. Now, you had one of the most important functions of your business outsourced and you didn’t know how and now you’re stuck. Everything has its pros and cons. Of course, there are things that make sense to outsource. In my opinion, the basic marketing sales is something you want to keep inside the business. You want to learn and master the skills and that’s what we do.

We don’t just do it for our clients. We work with people who want to understand how it works and build a simple, repeatable marketing and selling system for themselves. Once they’ve mastered some of the basics, then they’ll be in a much better position to hire others, whether it’s employees or an outside firm. They could judge whether the person that they’re about to hand over all this cash to actually knows what they’re talking about. I’ve heard so many stories where they hire some online marketing agency. It was supposed to generate leads and they paid them all this money and got nothing to show for it.

We spend thousands of dollars on outside contractors that just didn’t deliver much for us. It’s really painful to do so.

None of us can prevent all of these lessons. It’s part of it and it is part of the idea that it started saying, “Nobody could do it for you. You’re going to have to learn from your own experience.” The deeper your understanding of what it is you’re trying to achieve, the easier it is to learn and the more quickly you’ll learn. Just to go back, you asked me like what’s the simplicity. If we go back to the simple model, the continuum over simplified, complex or over complicated and then simplicity on the far side of complexity. What we see over there is if you want to tell me that the purpose of your marketing funnel is to fill your pipeline, to get leads, and to close deals, that would be all the way on the left, that’s oversimplified.

It’s true, it’s valid but it’s practically useless because it doesn’t help me understand anything. I’m going to take you through the complexity to simplicity on the far side of complexity. I’m going to tell you that the purpose of your marketing funnel, the purpose of your marketing and selling system, is to lead your ideal client to answer yes to the number one question on their mind at just the right time. I’m going to have to explain that in a little more depth because now we’re on the far side of complexity. Just like you could learn to see patterns on a chess board, you could learn to see what I’m about to share with you and far more quickly. What I mean is that for your ideal client go from total stranger to happy to pay you money, all they need is to answer yes to three questions in order.

What are those three questions? The first question that pops into their mind, consciously or subconsciously, when they come across you, your message, your podcast, your joint venture webinar, your Facebook ad. It doesn’t matter how they come across you. The first question that comes across their mind is, “Should I pay attention?” Is it interesting? If your marketing leads them to conclude, “Yes, I should pay attention. That is interesting.” Then instantly they have a new question and that second question is, “You got me interested, but can I trust you? Are you for real? Do you really know your stuff or are you just pretending? Do you actually care about me or you just want to make a sale?” The second question is, “Can I trust you? Are you for real?” If your marketing and selling leads them to conclude, “Yes, I can trust you,” then instantly they have a third question and that’s the final question which is, “Is what you recommend, right for me?”

At that point, you’re selling system needs the lead to go, “Yes. What you recommend is right for me and congratulations, you have a new client.” We generally help people put in place two main steps or two main pieces for each of the three questions, a total of six main areas in a simple marketing and selling system but let’s leave that for now. Let’s take a step back. Let’s look at, what’s the purpose of your marketing and selling system to lead your ideal clients to answer yes, yes, yes to, “Should I pay attention? Is it interesting?” “Yes.” “Can I trust you?” “Yes.” “Is what you recommend right for me?” “Yes.” What do you need to do? The first thing I need to do is I need to put something in place that leads my ideal clients to say, “Yes, that is interesting.” How do I get my ideal clients to answer yes to that first question right away? We’re no longer skidding across the surface, now we’re digging a foundation. We know what to do. If we’re not getting their attention and interest, at least I know which direction to focus on and I need to look at my messaging. What do I need to do so I can start getting attention and interest here rather than people not even noticing me because I sound like everybody else?

That’s the idea of mastery is being able to understand. How did I come up with this? I was really struggling for a long time and I see every tactic could work and every tactic could fail. It’s not the tactic, it’s not the Facebook ads, it’s not the LinkedIn ads, it’s not whatever it is. Why do they work when they work, why do they fail when they fail? I realized the things that I just shared. That there are these three questions and when it works it’s leading them to answer three questions, when it fails, it’s not.

Let’s go to the homepage. I guess most people get their traffic through websites or through something visual, online, video, an ad. What are some ways to grab someone’s attention and interest?

There’s a difference between attention and interest and this is what it is. A lot of things will get your attention. If I send you a YouTube video of two dogs eating with a fork and a knife, if you haven’t seen that one yet, you’ll probably watch it. Did you see that one?

Yeah.

That won’t get your attention anymore. I saw that one. If there’s some tragic news, it’ll get your attention, and then you go back to what you were doing. Interest is when it gets your attention and then you change your plans.

I like to use the analogy of what we call the eavesdrop effect. Imagine you’re sitting at a coffee shop and minding your own business, having a cup of coffee, reading a book, and suddenly you overhear something from the next table. You are not trying to listen to them, but they said something jumped out at you. Your reticular activating system suddenly perked. You’re suddenly hearing what’s going on next table. You’re still looking at your book because you don’t want them to realize that you’re eavesdropping. You can’t even see the words anymore. You’re straining to hear what they are saying because you’re interested. If it’s interesting enough, you’ll get up and walk over to that table of complete strangers against your mother’s advice and say, “I couldn’t help but overhearing.”

Interest is where you change your plan, we call it the eavesdrop effect. You’ve got to create the eavesdrop effect so that when people come across your message, they change their plan. If you’re sponsoring some kind of event, like when we’ve been to events and outside, there are all these sponsors and their booths and so on and they want you to walk by. They want your attention first to notice their message, and then they want your interests. They don’t want you to keep walking, nodding heads, “That’s interesting.” They want you to turn and head in their direction. Instead of going straight turn right and come talk to us. That’s interest. You’ve got to create the eavesdrop effect.

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

The only two things that anyone’s interested in is if you talk about a problem they have and don’t want and/or if you talk about a result they want and don’t have.

How do you do that? It sounds very difficult. It’s not that difficult because at the end of the day, you, your ideal clients, me, all of us, there are only two things that we’re interested in. A lot of things will get our attention, a loud noise, a funny joke, a tragic story, but only two things get our interest. If you talk about one of these two things in your marketing, in your messaging, then you will get the attention and interest of your ideal client. What are those two things? This has been like a light bulb moment for tens of thousands of people who I shared this with already. The only two things that anyone’s interested in is if you talk about a problem they have and don’t want and or if you talk about a result they want and don’t have, and that’s it. The problem is that it’s art and science. I’ll give you a couple of examples so that you can understand what I actually mean by that.

One example is a client of mine. She had been a head of marketing for a billion-dollar construction firm in the United States. She was leading a 50-person marketing department and at some point, she had enough of the corporate world. She decided “I want to go out and do my own thing. I want to be a leadership consultant.” She retired, left the corporate world and all the politics and the limitations.” She’s like, “I was good at marketing and I’m going to get clients as a leadership consultant and help fix the messes that a lot of these companies have.” A year plus later, she’s still struggling to get clients as a leadership consultant. The fact is, this is actually a very unpleasant realization that many people have, is they come to realize that, “The skills that served me so well in the corporate world are not the same skills that I need to thrive as an independent consultant, coach, expert, professional service firm.”

This is big because people don’t get it. When they go into the entrepreneurial world, it is not as easy. It’s almost like you talked about the celebrities and the leaders and how they shine online and everything looks so perfect online. As you well know, the struggles of entrepreneurs are real. Like you said, you came with a lot of mindset but then you had to handle their everyday reality and things that you did not expect they would experience.

I’ve had people tell me, “Until I left the company, I did not realize and I did not appreciate how much the backend team was doing to support me.” They just didn’t realize. They take it for granted. After a year, she found herself doing low-end websites for local businesses. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want to do, but that was not what she wanted to be doing. Somehow, she found me. We started doing some work together in our Plenty of Clients 100 Day Sprint Program. The first thing that I have everybody do is make a list of the problems that you can help solve and the results that you could enable. Specifically, because those are the only two questions that get the attention and interest of ideal clients.

She made a list and I looked at her list and I went down. I said, “There it is. You can build a business on that.” What had she written down? She wrote down “I can help companies solve the problems they have from that employee who is too valuable to fire.” That was the evolved version. I helped her evolve it into what I call a simple, compelling, head-turning message. Now, when she talks about what she does, “What do you do?” “I help companies solve the problems they have from that employee who’s too valuable to fire.” What do you do with this? First of all, you could put that on your homepage to answer your question. This is simplicity on the far side of complexity. When you realize what you’re trying to achieve, when you realize that the underlying structure of success in marketing, “What am I trying to achieve?”

First, I need to lead them to answer yes to the first question, “Should I pay attention? Is it interesting?” Let’s imagine my client, let’s call her Laura. She’s at some event and she was introduced to Joe CEO who runs a billion-dollar firm and he definitely has need for leadership consulting and Laura is there together with Tim who was also a leadership consultant, colleagues, competitors, and Joe CEO is being polite and he says, “What do you do, Tim?” Tim says, “I’m a leadership consultant,” and Joe CEO thinks to himself, “We’ve cycled through a number of you. Some were okay, some were not.” He turns to Laura and says, “Laura, what do you do?” She says, “I help companies solve the problems they have from that employee who’s too valuable to fire.”

Not only could we could hear the difference, but we could feel the difference. That’s the eavesdrop effect. That’s what happens. That’s what you can create when you understand what you’re trying to achieve. When you listen deeply to your ideal clients and you’re not afraid. We talked about niching. This is how it connects back to that as well. We’re all afraid to pick a niche, but if we say, “I’m a leadership consultant, I help companies empower their people,” all that corporate babble, “I maximize their human potential,” or all that stuff, you sound like everybody else. You can thrive on that type of very general message if you’re the celebrity type, if you’re the charismatic guru type, and that’s fine. The problem is, most of us are not that type and we don’t belong on that path.

We have to master this framework, this way of thinking, the underlying structure of things and then use that to guide what we do in our business. It has to guide our thinking, our planning and our implementation. Then when we build out a simple repeatable marketing and selling system that enables us to step by step, build that lead somebody from question one, two, three. Each time, leaving them to answer yes, yes, yes and it’s simple and it’s repeatable. You can improve it over time because there’s no such thing as a perfect system, then you get to a place where you don’t feel like you have to be doing everything anymore. To quote Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I heard him say, “In order to say no to all the distractions on the outside, you have to have a deeper yes burning on the inside.”

We have this inner knowing that we're here on this planet to do more, to become more, to contribute more. Click To Tweet

The only reason that we’re all pulled in so many different directions, overwhelmed by all the different shiny objects and the marketing tools and so on, and all the big promises and everything is because we don’t have a deeper yes on the inside. We don’t have a simple repeatable marketing plan that we actually believe will work for us consistently. As soon as you have that, you don’t mind ignoring everything else. It’s only fear that pulls us after all those distractions because I don’t have one. I also don’t know how to judge what will actually work. For the last whatever number of years, I’ve been trying this, I’ve been trying that and I never had the feeling that this is actually going to work for me. Why did I not have the feeling that this was actually going to work for me? I was following somebody’s recipe. They told me do this and you too can have my hair and my cars, my vacations, and my whatever.

Something always felt like it was missing and that’s because people like us, we need to be on the path of mastery. We need to actually understand why things work when they work and that’s how we mastered our craft. I’m working with people who had mastered their craft. They’re good at what they do. They’ve got really good approaches and processes and methodologies for serving their clients at a really high level. We’ve sensed that when it comes to marketing our expertise, we’re missing that. When they come across this simple framework, the ideas that I just shared with you, it clicks. Suddenly, the light bulbs go off and they feel, “Now, I understand.” Most people who have been studying marketing themselves for several months up to many years, they know a lot. What they’re missing is not more information. They’re not missing knowledge at that point. They’re missing a deeper understanding of what they already know. I’m hoping that people have just gotten that.

I want to repeat your three questions and I want to see if I got them. Number one is, “Should I pay attention? Is this interesting to me?” Those are the questions that our audience will ask. Number two is, “Can I trust you?” which can be conveyed by testimonials or some kind of a social proof or even a personal story. Number three is, “Is what you recommend right for me?” In that case, we will need to get into the mind of our clients and know exactly what they’re thinking or what they are experiencing so we can all relate to them and show them that what we have is good for them.

I would say that we have to do that from the very beginning, from the foundation. The differences are at the beginning, we need to understand the many. I’m putting a message out there and there are going to be individuals out there for whom it’s going to be a perfect connection. My ideal clients are out there, I don’t know who they are. If I knew who they are, then I could just pick up the phone and call them. Many people are able to do that and then it’s a little bit different, but not very different. I need to understand enough about them, the problem/result so that we get their attention and interest. Then I need to give them some kind of experience, some kind of hand raising offer usually that’s free for them. Free for me usually are low-cost and it gives them an experience.

It helps them to begin to solve their problem and begin to get the result. Some of those will then want to reach out and say, “You really helped me begin to solve my problem, begin to get the result. Can you help me further? If I was to work with you, what would that look like?” Then that’s the third question, where they conclude, “Yes, what you recommend is right for me.” Very often that’s actually a sales conversation. You need to lead them to feel that you brought them this far, that you understand their particular situation and your recommendation is perfect for where they are at this point. You need to understand them from the beginning all the way through to the end, otherwise you’ll lose them.

I think also these three questions are good for somebody who is an employee in the company and they want to grab the attention of their boss or somebody who’s looking for a job and wants to stand out because this can help them advance within the ranks of the company they work for.

When I say this is timeless psychology, this is the underlying structure. If we were training to be cardiologists to do heart surgery, we need to understand the rules of the game, the underlying structure. The underlying structure is human biology. We don’t just lie someone down on the operating table and cut them open and hope for the best. We need to understand. It takes years of study to understand human biology. That is what determines and then they have to work within the framework of human biology. In order to influence people, in order to lead them, in order to earn their trust, in order to get their attention and their interest and then their trust, and then they want to follow you and invest with you, the underlying structure is human psychology.

Fortunately, we don’t have to master all of human psychology. We have to understand that there are really these three basic questions that capture 90% of it. It’s the critical 10% that gives you 90% of what you want. The critical 10% that makes it looks brilliant 90% of the time. If you see this as an underlying framework, it shortcuts a lot of your time. It helps you understand so much of what you already know and that gives you a chance to now dive in and build your own thing with confidence and clarity rather than hope and feeling of pit in your stomach that, “I hope this is better than the last thing I did with all that money into. It will be, because now you understand it.

I want to go back to what you were talking about when you said the desire versus the marketing system. What comes first, the desire to succeed and then the marketing system or first the marketing system and because it’s so good, it will create the confidence in the desire to move on? How does it work?

I’m trying to recall what I said that you’re referring to.

You said something like people will have more desire to keep moving because they have a good marketing system.

I think we all have some kind of inner knowing. We have this inner knowing that we’re here on this planet to do more, to become more, to contribute more. We often can’t see clearly, far enough ahead. We’re often not clear in what we actually want. If we are clear in what we want, we think we are, we can’t necessarily see the path from here to there. Usually, we can’t see more than the next step or the next two steps. One of the important lessons we have to come to understand is that’s the way the world is. The people whose accomplishments we admire also couldn’t see beyond the next step or two or three. Nevertheless, what they had was a commitment to what they wanted to achieve and they had an understanding of the rules of the game.

Whatever game they’re playing, they understood the forces that influence the way the wind blows. That’s the way it is with marketing and sales and influence and so on. It’s dispiriting for many people to be told, “Just do what I did and you’ll also have what I have.” “What do you mean? What about this? What about that?” They have questions. These are nuanced skills. You never train a heart surgeon by saying, “Watch me do this heart surgery and then you do the next one at [3:00] in the afternoon. Just watch what I do and you do it too.” You’ll have some questions, that’s okay. It’s not that simple. There’s nuance, there’s subtlety, there is mastery and again, marketing and sales is obviously not as consequential to somebody’s life at least not in that way, but the skill set is also deep and wide and nuanced.

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

You need to have intellectual understanding so that you don’t feel like just mindlessly following somebody’s steps.

This is why most people not master this from a book alone, from a course alone, from information product, and so on. They really need interaction with a mentor, with a coach, somebody who’s mastered what they’re trying to master. However, the first step is you need to have intellectual understanding so that you don’t feel like I’m just mindlessly following somebody steps. There do seem to be lots of people who have no problem just mindlessly following and I do think they’re the kind who tend to rely more on a strong personality.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just trying to provide an alternative for people like me who have been struggling with that and come to realize like, “I’m just not the type of person who could just copy somebody else. I need to understand that. I need to feel like it works for me.” When you have that greater depth of understanding, it just makes it so much easier to dive in and do the work. When you hit a wall, it gives you more confidence to keep hitting instead of bouncing off.

How do you craft your marketing message?

There’s a process that we teach and take our clients through. There’s a number of what we call filters, a number of questions that we ask. It’s art and science, like most things. For example, the first thing that we want to start with is, “What’s the problem that you help to solve? What’s the result that you enable?” That’s the first filter question. The second one is, “Looking at your answer to the first one, is it observable? Can we see it?” Going back to the example of leadership consulting, that would not pass through filter number one. Filter number one is, “Is it a problem they have into one or a result that one don’t have? Or is it just some methodology or some tool set?” If you say leadership consultant, it’s not a problem, it’s not a result. It’s just describing a title and position and profession. That wouldn’t even make it past the first filter. We’d say all, “Don’t tell me your title. Tell me what problems you help solve and what results you have enabled.” Then you say, “I help companies get the most from their human resources.”

They say, “We help companies get the most out of their people, their human resources.” That could pass through filter number one, but filter number two, we’re going to ask, “Is it observable? Can we see them getting the most? What would we actually see that we’re not seeing now? What would we actually stop seeing that we are seeing now?” Then you make a list of some of the very specific things that you would be seeing that you’re not seeing now and that you’d want to be seeing that you want to stop seeing. Then we pick one or two of those and take those to filter number three which is, “What’s causing the problem? What we believe will enable the result?”

Meaning, what is the client from their point of view, not from me, the doctor, the expert, the consultant, what do they believe is causing their problem? What do they believe will enable their result? Then there’s a few more that we follow on after that. Those are the foundational ones at least for now and you begin and you take it step-by-step and you start to peel the onion. What you can do with this is really amazing because I’ve worked with many people who are marketing consultants. We have a client right now who is the CEO-owner, third generation of a prominent ad agency in Detroit, $5 million a year, some well-known big-name clients with a great team. Everybody comes up with something else. The reason everybody can come up with a different, simple, compelling message is precisely because of this process. Everybody’s going to have slightly or very different answers to each of these filters based on a number of factors.

Can I give you my statement and you tell me if it hits all the points?

Okay.

I help Alpha-type women awaken the inner goddess so they can stop looking for love in all the wrong places and attract their soulmate.

What do you think?

I say Alpha so this is like I talk to the women who are very Alpha-type, very driven. Then an inner goddess does paint a picture and then the problem that I perceive and they perceive is looking for love in all the wrong places and then the solution is finding their soulmate.

One of the things that we’re looking for in a message is trying to keep it down to a single idea as much as possible. That’s not an absolute rule but let’s take it through the filters and see where it leads us. Filter number one, is it a solution masquerading as a problem or as a result? What I’m noticing is you pointed out, “Stop looking for love in all the wrong places, and attract your soul mate.” That does seem to me that you’re talking about a problem and you’re talking about a result. That passes filter number one. Number two, is it observable? How would I know when I see it? What would they be observing? What would actually have happened? What would be a common observable experience for your ideal clients that would lead them to conclude I look for love in all the wrong places?

The simple answer is they can’t find love and they go everywhere and they date the wrong people. Another problem is they’re alpha, they’re tough, they’re successful, and they are sometimes so much in their masculine that they forget how to embrace and integrate their feminine goddess side. That leads to a lack of polarity even in the first interaction with men and then all the men are too weak or too this or too that and it’s never the right match.

What you’re describing is a little bit high level, but let’s work this through together. I don’t come at this as with off the shelf answers. We have to work it through the principles, can’t find love, dating the wrong people, tough and successful, forget the feminine goddess side, the men are too weak and I think you said something else.

We are the one causing the results that we have now. Click To Tweet

The men are too something every time and there is lack of abundance. There are not enough good men and all those conclusions people come into. What I basically work with them is to work on their internal being so they become a magnet for love rather than being a hunter and going after the men. Then through who they are being in the world and heightening their vibration, they attract love.

The second filter is, is it observable? How would you know it when you see it? The parts where I’m starting to see answers to that is having to do with “The men I date are always too something, too weak,” that’s observable. Filter number seven is we run the cup of coffee test. The idea is that, can you see your ideal client saying this over a cup of coffee or a beer after a long day with their best friend? Would they talk about it in these types of words?

For example, I had another client in our Plenty of Clients 100 Day Sprint. She had also been a corporate refugee as I recall. She was a life coach but the problem is nobody wants life coaching. Even life coaches don’t hire a life coach. People are looking for help in some specific area. She made a list of what are the problems she helps solve and results that she’s enabled. I looked at her list and I said, “There it is.” I helped her craft it into what I’m going to tell you. I don’t remember every step of the process as we went through it, but the result that I helped her come up with was, “What do I do? I work with women or help women who wake up each morning wondering if I am so successful, why am I so unhappy?” That captures it. Where do we get that?

We could say, “What’s the problem?” “We’ve got a problem.” “Is it observable?” “Yes, I wake up each morning thinking if I’m so successful, why am I unhappy?” Maybe those aren’t the precise words, but that’s certainly the precise feeling. When her ideal clients hear that, it’s like, “You just said it better than I could have,” and that’s what we’re looking for. That would pass the cup of coffee tests. We can certainly see her ideal clients. We can be confident that if they’re sitting down with a best friend for a drink, they could like “I wake up each morning, if I’m so successful, I’m doing well with my career, why am I so unhappy?” That’s just another example of what we’re looking for. We could go further on this, but usually more than just a few minutes. I don’t know how we’re doing time.

It’s was really cool to see you break it down and just to see how you work with clients and how you break down that mission statement. That was super cool for me to see. I’m sure for the audience too. We are at the top of the hour already and you are full of amazing knowledge and I would love to talk to you again sometime. Before we end, I have two questions. One, what are your three top tips to living a stellar life and two, where can people find you?

SL 130 | The Alchemy of Marketing

You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish or your end goal.

Three top tips for living a stellar life. I realized a number of years back that there are really only three things you ever need to know and we’ll call these three tips. Number one, you need to know where you’re headed, what you’re trying to accomplish, your destination. That sounds pretty simple, but most of us don’t know the answer to that. You need to know what you’re trying to accomplish or your end goal. Where do you want to end up? Not now. That could be in five years. It can be in one year. It could be a certain value that you want to be known for or stand for. You need to know more or less what you’re trying to accomplish. Number two, you need to have a clear picture in your mind of how you need to be as a person in order to fit in that future picture of you.

You are the one who is naturally causing the results that you have. If you start to picture yourself in this future vision, this future movie of yourself accomplishing at a much higher level, you’re not going to be seeing the same version of you as you are now. You’re going to be seeing a higher version of you, more evolved, more powerful, stronger, more confident, higher standards in this or that area. Get a clear picture of that version of you being that way and that’s number two. Number three is take the next small step in front of you, the way that future version of you would take it. That’s because most of us say, “When I have this more money, when I have this, when I have that, that’s when I’ll be like that.” “No.”

You have to be that way starting now because then you are being the one who naturally causes what you want, the results that you want most. We are always being the one who caused the results that we have now. If we want different results, we have to start being the one with the very next small step. The three things that you need to keep in mind all the time, what am I trying to accomplish? Where do I want to end up? Number two, how do I need to be as a person to naturally fit into that movie? Number three, what is the next small step? Now, I’m going to take that step as that future version of me would take it. We don’t have to know what the step after that is going to be. So many people stopped just because I don’t know what the next step will be after that so I’m not going to take the step right in front of me.

It sounds silly when you frame it that way and it is, but I think we’re all guilty of that. Awareness is the first step and what I just described is by no means easy. It’s something I work on all the time and some days I’m better at it than others. These three steps, if you think about it, it really can guide your life in so many ways. It distills it down nicely, but realize it’s work. Don’t stop just because it requires work. There’s such a tendency to go off looking for, “That’s not working, what else?” Hit the wall and take a chip out of it. Don’t bounce off the wall like the Roomba vacuum cleaner because then you just bounce around the room. If you hit the wall, take a chip out of the, hit the wall and take a chip out of it, then one day the wall will crumble. That’s when you have the a-ha experience. That’s when you finally understand all the things that you’ve been told, that you’ve read, that you’ve learned.

The way that we come to a real understanding of things is through experience. Click To Tweet

The way that we come to a real understanding of things is through experience. That’s also why the way we work with people is experience. It’s not just about giving them more knowledge, more information. Although we do focus on what I think of as a critical 10% of information that gives you 90% of what you want. It makes them brilliant 90% of the time. I think I’ve shared a lot of that, the ways of thinking, but then it’s living it. That’s what people need a lot of help with is like, “How do I actually do this?” Then we hit a wall and they start to wonder. They fall into the clutches of the three doubts, “Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing it right? Why is it working for them, but not for me? Will it ever work for me?” That’s the third. The ways to get through that is with some coaching, some mentoring, somebody who’s accomplished what you’re trying to achieve in some manner and can guide you through it. That’s answer to question number one.

Question number two, I’d like to suggest that I’m happy to give away a free copy of what we call The Manual and it’s called How to Systematically and Consistently Attract First Rate Clients. I will say that we sold this for $97 for five years. This was not written to be a giveaway. It’s about 90 pages, a solid material, zero fluff, and you can get a free copy at DovGordon.net/ManualFree. I’ll just say that very open, why I start giving it away for free because we were selling them, the reason is because I was getting emails from people who had bought the manual and they’re talking about what kind of great changes it helped them make in their lives and their businesses.

Some of them wanted to work with us in one of our programs to actually get help to follow it through. Just like a heart surgeon, it’s not enough to know these things. You need some guidance, you need some hand holding, some coaching. You need someone who’s going to lead you through an architected series of experiences so that you can master the skills, build out the systems, and get the results that you want. I realized that if we can get this to more people, then it’d be win-win. We’ve had so many people send emails, they’ve never spent a dime with us, but they went through the manual and they found that to be really helpful. They printed it out, marked it up, and they’re doing the work. I enjoy hearing that and I also enjoy those who reach out to me and say, “I’ve gone through your manual. It’s really good. How can I work with you?” That’s how we have a business. That’s how I can afford to be sitting here and talking to you because electricity is still working. I have to be grateful for that.

I’m really grateful for you. Thank you for this interview. It was wonderful. I really appreciate you.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. It’s a good conversation.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Don’t be a best-kept secret. Build a strong brand and market your expertise so that you can be a resource to many.

✓ Create a simple and compelling message that is easily understood by those in need of your expertise. The easier they understand your message, the faster they’re convinced.

✓ Have an active website and social media presence to be more visible to your online audience.

✓ Become an authority in your niche by getting yourself on popular media such as radio, TV and podcasts.

✓ Build a team who can handle all of your  marketing tasks. This will allow you to focus on your craft and to be of better service to your clients.

✓ Create a repeatable working system to automate your operating procedures. Try different marketing tactics until you know what’s best for your business.

✓ Find ways to keep your audience’s interest. Use attention-grabbing strategies that will help you stand above the competition.

✓ Build trust with your potential clients by making them aware of your credentials and your work portfolio.

✓ Provide the answers to your customers’ problems. Find their pain and let them know that you’re there to help them get rid of it.

 

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About Dov Gordon

SL 130 | The Alchemy of MarketingDov Gordon is a brilliant strategist. He’s easily able to synthesize and simplify ideas and using any number of frameworks he’s developed from years of research and client work. As a result, the most complex concepts become simple, the hidden insights are illuminated, and the steps to overcome hugely challenging problems are made clear. I highly recommend you listen to Dov–before your competition does.

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