by Alyson Dutch
Have you ever heard that the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again… yet expecting a different result?
Last night, I was introduced to a fascinating doctor. He was a “neurological chiropractor.” Over dinner (and a killer bottle of Italian 2004 Cabernet Franc called La Regola!) he explained the physical and neurological reasons why humans have a propensity to do the same things over and over again.
This information is pivotal to entrepreneurs who, like you, are motivated and struggling to get over humps and breakthrough to the success you’ve been dreaming of.
Dr. Gerry’s insights will not only change how you think about your business, but well – just about anything in life that you wish for, but still eludes you.
So without geeking out here… Did you know that the whole body is filled with nerves that are split up into little segments that fire end to end to each other? It’s like a telephone, cup and wire system that is charged with chemical electricity that jumps from one segment to the next and so on down the line.
He explained that repetitive thoughts and actions create nerves to fire in the exact same patterns that over time begin to “plasticize” and attach to one another.
In other words, the danger (or beauty) of entertaining the same thoughts and taking the same actions over and over again, causes the nerves to lose the flexibility of their youth and become hardened and attached to one another.
It’s kinda like nerve rigor mortis.
Uh, yeah, exactly (pardon the pun).
So – you might be wondering what Dr. Gerry’s neurological insights have to do with your own sanity or insanity –
As an entrepreneur with a product to sell, you’ve probably tried a whole bunch of marketing schemes, from buying very expensive magazine ads to getting your business cards attached to gas pumps.
Maybe you wasted your money buying those silly coupons that everyone throws in the trashcan before they even open the mail? Did you get your photo put up in a slide in the local movie theatre?
How did it all work out for you?
Yeah, I feel your pain. It hurts to even think about it.
Here’s the deal:
If you don’t try something different, things will remain the same.
Pretty simple, but profound stuff.
Even Led Zeppelin said it, for Chrissakes: “The Song Remains the Same”! How could you dispute Robert Plant? Just kidding… but not really.
Here is something you can do that is radically different and is the most cost-effective marketing method in the world:
It’s called “PR” and it could massively move sales of your product by getting it seen by more millions of people at once.
In other words, if you were reported about in TIME magazine, which is read by 2.5 million people, that would be some pretty serious exposure for you, wouldn’t it?
Does Walmart even HAVE that many shoppers in one day?
I’m not sure, but if you have your product in Walmart already you’re probably not reading this right now.
So you could keep listening to every advertising sales person that calls you with some cockamamie idea. And, you’d be doing the same thing over and over again, plasticizing your brain nerves and worse yet, not affecting your sales or the growth of your company.
Are you crazy?
Yeah, I’d say so.
If you want to cut to the chase and learn how to re-pattern your marketing into something that actually helps your business (and keeps your brain nerves freely clicking along), then click here.
For those of you who didn’t click above and still want to understand why you’re slightly insane… just know this:
If you keep going down this road, not only are you going to spend a whole lot of cash for nothing, but you will NEVER get a call from TIME magazine (or for that matter, the New York Times, Oprah, or any magazine, newspaper, TV, or radio show that is seen/heard by your customer).
Here’s the good news: your customer is out there.
They are waiting to hear what your product does that solves their problem.
There are many of them and they have their credit cards in their hands right now.
There are enough customers for you to actually create a full time income, and maybe hire a staff, grow a company, buy your dream home, and retire with lots of dollars to keep you living pretty for many years.
Marketing is the art of getting your product into the hands of your customer. There are MANY ways to do that:
The “marketing umbrella” includes:
And much, much more.
Most new businesses need to find the most direct, cost-effective, and least risky way to market their products.
Of all the things listed above, the most cost-effective and the most effective is PR.
Why is that?
Well, it’s a long story, but one worth learning.
People buy things because they either WANT or NEED them.
As a seller, you have the best chance of selling to them when they NEED it.
Getting a customer emotionally connected to why they need it helps.
However, when your product is credible to your customer, that is the tipping point. It’s the difference between a customer stopping in the aisle for a moment, and a customer actually picking up the product and heading straight for the check-out counter (or shopping cart, if you’re an online product).
Why is credibility important?
Well, here’s where the story comes in…
The #1 marketing method in the history of mankind is called “word of mouth.”
This means that if someone you respect recommends a certain sushi bar or a brand of running shoes, when you are next looking for sushi or runners you will most likely take their recommendation.
The more respect you have for them in the area of sushi expertise and running shoes will heighten their recommendation in your mind.
So, anything you can do to create “word of mouth” recommendations from credible sources is the secret marketing weapon.
The #2 most valuable marketing method is called “3rd party endorsement.”
This is a reporter’s opinion about a product.
Though the reporter is not as credible as your sushi nut friend or running expert, the restaurant critic or the sports reporter’s opinion about the same sushi bar or runners will have an important effect on a shopping decision.
Are you wondering how this differs from advertising?
Consumers these days know that an advertiser pays for space and can say whatever they want. Consumers are savvy and sense that an ad is 100% subjective.
By the way, this wasn’t always the case. As early as the 1950’s, ads were highly influential, especially on TV and radio, which were relatively new. We lived in a less jaded world and the relationship between seller and buyer was friendly (there were also only 2 brands of toothpaste vying for a customer’s attention as opposed to 50 today).
No one likes to “be sold.”
Buyers want to buy because it’s THEIR decision, not the result of being brow-beaten or cajoled into something.
Today, the competition to sell anything is STIFF and the relationship between seller and buyer is has turned downright nasty.
This means that getting your customer’s attention is no easy task.
It means that if a door-to-door salesman rang your doorbell, you’d have a gun cocked before you’d ever think about opening the door and inviting them in for a cup o’ joe to show you their stuff.
Right? Come on, admit it.
This seller-customer relationship is extremely important to consider if you expect to sell anything.
The beauty of PR is that it provides that “3rd party endorsement” every time you are reported about. You could spend as little as $39.99 on the PR Handbook for Entrepreneurs that will result in hundreds, if not thousands, of reports on your product. If you bought just ONE page in Vogue magazine, for only one month, you’d be spending approximately $290,000.
You do the math.
Go to here and get started.
But if you are STILL curious about why you are slightly crazy, keep reading –
When a magazine, newspaper, TV station, or radio outlet reports about something, it’s the next best thing to “word of mouth” – it’s a reporter’s personal or professional opinion.
Consumers trust this and it provides automatic credibility in a way that advertising CANNOT DO.
Advertising puts consumers on the defensive. They are suspicious of “being sold.”
Publicity is non-partisan. It’s purely informational, and provides a reporter’s balanced opinion about a product. That way a consumer feels free to make their own decision. They learn about the inspiration for a product, how it works, and why it benefits them in an objective way.
Laura and Chuck Ries wrote a great book called The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. In it, there is a quote that sums it all up:
“PR is an island of objectivity in a sea of advertising prejudice.”
Maybe you’re an entrepreneur who has heard of PR and were having a fantasy that your product was so incredibly cool that one day the phone would just ring and someone would say, “Hi this is Rebecca Keegan from TIME magazine; I’d like to do a story on you.”
You could die first.
And worse yet, your nerves will all be stuck together thinking the same thing over and over again, which is probably something like:
“Should I spend the $10,000 on the TV spot and will anyone be watching it at 2 a.m.?”
“I wonder if it’s worth taking out a loan to pay for the $260,000 one-month, one-page ad in Vogue magazine? “
“When will the $5,000 investment in the regional couponing pay for itself?”
Not pretty thoughts.
And of course, there’s nothing worse than dying with all your demons taunting you on the way out.
Not my idea of a good exit.
So, in short, heed Dr. Gerry’s advice: don’t let your brain nerves stick together.
Do something different.
Do something smart, cost effective, and what other entrepreneurs who are making money do: go to the PR Handbook for Entrepreneurs and get started!
To your success,
Alyson, your non-plasticized-brain-nerve friend