This week -- Wednesday thru Friday -- was our first quarterly TOP ONE Mastermind™ Experience.
Mark Ford, the legendary direct marketing ad man, joined us for a bit.
I'm honored to call Mark a friend and mentor.
He first exposed me to the Big Marketing Idea many moons ago, a concept which changed the entire trajectory of my entrepreneurial journey.
Of course, Mark shared gems about scaling a big business, creating compelling marketing messages, running a team, and more.
But... of what he shared, what seemed to resonate most with lots of TOP ONE Members, was how he's been able to achieve such significant business success while enjoying so many other facets of life.
Mark's written over 20 books since 2000... is an avid art collector... competes in jiu jitsu... has his own botanical garden... runs a monthly book club... maintains a successful real estate investment portfolio... operates a non-profit clinic in Nicaragua... writes new essays several times a week... is a father and grandfather... and... has lots and lots of successful businesses.
Whew... that is one long list... and one long paragraph.
But, all kidding aside...
It illustrates a valuable point -- you absolutely can be a successful entrepreneur while enjoying a life well-lived.
You don't have to sacrifice one for the other.
I'm not saying it's easy. But, it certainly can be done.
Maybe that's something you want.
It's certainly something I do.
And, with Mark's example, you should see... you can have it.
You just have to be intentional about architecting it into your life, thru your calendar, and thru how you allocate your time and attention.
With that, let's get to this week's goodies...
MY FAVS THIS WEEK
- 50 Trigger Words and Phrases for Powerful Multimedia Content
Words matter. They have impact. Obviously.
This is one of those list articles you'll want to save and reference back to when writing copy or working on a marketing message.
Nothing ground-breaking. But well worth reviewing and saving.
- Want to Stop Procrastinating in 2021? New Research Says Just Ask Yourself the Same 4 Questions
I'll admit... sometimes I battle with procrastination. Often, I don't even understand why.
So I started using these 4 questions, and it's helped. I can't say they've completely eradicated procrastination from my life. I wish.
But every little step forward helps. 🥸
- 7 daily productivity hacks to help you work smarter in 2021
Years ago, my buddy Rich Schefren opened my eyes to the productivity impact of using the right computer mouse and having a good, solid office chair.
As absurd as it sounds, those two items can make a world of difference when it comes to your productivity.
There are other little hacks as well; some good ones you should consider in this little article.
ODDITY FROM MY LIBRARY
This week, on our TOP ONE Mastermind™ Experience, we had Casey Cavell join us for a fireside chat.
Casey is the right-hand (i.e. Integrator) for Mark Winters, co-author of Rocket Fuel.
Rocket Fuel lays-out a model for how leadership in an entrepreneurial company should operate -- Visionary (Founder) and Integrator (COO).
It's the model we use here at MFA. I'm (Todd) the Visionary, Damian is the Integrator.
This is a great book... and a simple read... for anyone looking to grow a business without getting sucked deeper and deeper into the day-to-day operations.
I highly recommend it.
So much so, I've had the team send copies to all of our TOP ONE Clients.
WHAT I'M TELLIN' MY TEAM
This week on our internal Team Marketing Training...
I showed the team a common mistake made by entrepreneurs and marketers when pointing out the prospect's problem in their marketing.
I call this error Assuming The Known Cause (ATKC).
This occurs when a marketing message is inappropriately based around the root cause of a prospect's problem, instead of the symptoms.
Most prospects don't know the root cause or real reason for their problem.
When they describe their problem they're describing the symptoms of the problem. In other words, what they consider the problem is really just one or more symptoms of a deeper, underlying problem.
When talking about... and agitating... the prospect's problem in marketing, we needs to stick with what they know and are aware of -- the symptoms.
Starting with the root cause, if they don't know the root cause, is a mistake. It causes a disconnect.
When talking about the prospect's problem up front in our marketing, we need to start with what the prospect thinks is their problem -- the symptoms, not the root cause.
We'll get to the root cause. Just further in the campaign.
TEAM TAKEAWAYS IN THREE BULLETS:
- Beware of the curse of knowledge. Don’t assume your target market knows the underlying cause/condition. Biggest mistake when covering the problem is assuming the market knows what the underlying issue is.
- Identify all the symptoms and side effects of the underlying problem. Then, show how those can only be resolved when you address the core issue... which is resolved with our offer.
- If you can show the prospect the root cause of their problem is something only your product or service can fix, you don't need a Unique Mechanism. You become the only one offering to fix... what they now see as... the real cause of their problem.
This question was posted inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group...
Below is my response:
What I agree with is... it's much easier to convert a prospect with a significant, apparent problem into a buyer, than is a prospect unaware of any problem.
What I disagree with is the idea you need to always target people aware of their problem(s).
Yes, the more urgent and pressing a problem is for the prospect, the easier it is to show them value in your solution. Hence, drive them to buy.
But, the trade-off when only targeting these folks is the size of your audience. Meaning: People fully-aware of an urgent problem make up a significantly smaller universe than people unaware of the problem.
Here's an example:
Let's say I have a solution to help people save $1000 a year on their electric bill.
Of course, there's a segment of people desperately looking to reduce their electric bill right now. Maybe they need to for debt reasons or to be able to pay their bills on time or whatever.
But, there's also a whole other group of folks not in any of those situations who would also be interested in saving on their electric bill. It's just not a major problem or issue for them right now.
The prior group is a much smaller universe than is the latter.
While it may be easier to sell the group desperate to reduce their electric bill right now, you have a much bigger opportunity for scale marketing to the other group. Because of sheer size of the audience.
The key difference between these two:
You need a different type of marketing message (i.e. Direct vs. Indirect) when marketing and selling to each.
First one -- the pressing problem group -- Direct.
Second one -- no pressing problem group -- Indirect.
For more on this, watch this video.
NOTE: If you're not in the MFA Nation Facebook Group with us yet, you're missing out.
Alltop has been around a long time.
It's a news aggregation site. So it has lists of top stories and articles by category.
It's a neat little tool for seeing what stories people are interested in and reading. And for seeing hooks and ideas you can leverage for subject lines, social posts, etc.
This way... you're not starting with the dreaded blank page.
PIC OF THE WEEK
Last week Kellie and I enjoyed a little day date.
We spent the day strolling through Whitehall (Flagler Museum) -- "the 1902 Gilded Age mansion; a wedding present from Henry Flagler to his new bride."
Henry Flagler was co-founder of Standard Oil; John D. Rockefeller's business partner. When Rockefeller needed to raise capital for a new venture, he went to Flagler.
This place is absolutely breathtaking. The larger pic above is the main foyer inside Whitehall.
When it was first built, the New York Herald proclaimed the estate was "grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world."
I now know why.
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