My father is every pushy salesperson’s nightmare…I’ve experienced it firsthand, cringing from the next aisle as my dad verbally slays anyone trying to sell him something he doesn’t want.
Growing up I learned to be suspicious of gimmicks, brightly coloured labels, and promises. As well as a love for George Jones, my father gave me a resilience to unwanted marketing, it’s like I have been varnished with a thin film of Ronseal’s Bullshit Protector.
So I had to stop for a moment as I found myself buying the Freelance X-Factor course and tuning in to the first of 3 online seminars produced by Sonia Simone and Brian Clark from Copyblogger. I have never to date been tempted by an online sales pitch for a course, ebook or online seminar, so I had to think:
These guys are good.
Not “good” as in I’ve been hoodwinked by a man promising me the finest haircut in the land and then giving me a mullet for £3.50…(still bitter) but good as in I was happy with the purchase. I kept waiting for the gimmick but as they answered the question I had submitted online, and really took some time over it I realised a few things:
- These guys really know how to market their product
- They know how to market their product to people who want it.
That’s the difference between the cold callers who interrupt you of an evening to sell you whatever’s on their script, or the salesperson trying to convince my dad; who irons creases in his jeans, that he needs the latest “trend”.
Not only was the Freelance X-Factor Course something I wanted, but I was also certain that I wanted to buy it because it was produced by Brian and Sonia, which brings me to think about two powerful marketing tools they advocate:
Trust and Authority
I’ve been following Sonia and Brian online for months, casually dipping in and out, and then subscribing to their RSS feeds, and then as I thought more about expanding my own business and found their information more relevant, finally purchasing their product.
I realised that they had been converting me into a customer from day one, and I didn’t even know.
And it felt kind of nice.
I’d experienced firsthand the two powerful marketing influences of trust and authority.
I’ve been reading their work and seeing where else they’ve been popping up, I know in the past their advice has been illuminating and valuable, so I trust their opinion. I’m not saying I’d be happy to go and get myself a mullet if Brian told me it looked good…especially not at 15… on a side note parents, I definitely advocate you getting your daughters a mullet at that age. It’s pretty much like a chastity belt…only more repellent.
So I wouldn’t trust Brian on hairstyles, but that’s where the second part comes in:
Over the months I’ve seen Brian and Sonia endorsed left right and centre, and by other people I respect. They own their niches and dominate them. When you enter the world of online marketing, it’s like listening to a non-stop compilation of hundreds of songs you don’t know. At first, it’s noise, and after a couple of plays you might recognise the jangly accessible tunes, the poppy sounds that are bigger and brighter than the rest. You think they’re good, only you listen a few more times, and you see the songs with substance, the ones that grow on you. Long after you’re trying to forget you ever heard Las Ketchup Song, you’re left with Good Vibrations…
That’s these guys. They stand out not because they’re jangly, bright, brash and loud, but because they have substance, and even though you don’t know it, they’re working on you from the word go…only not in a creepy way.
As Sonia said on the call this evening (afternoon for you guys over the ocean), being an authority on a subject is not about being stiff and didactic, it’s like chatting to a friend over a cup of coffee and advising them on a subject that you know more about. I didn’t know it, but Sonia and Brian have been taking me on virtual coffee dates for months… I don’t quite know how to break it to the boyfriend.
I heartily recommend the course if you are a freelance copywriter looking to build your business, expand or just redefine your goals if you’re lagging a little. It’s given me a ton of ideas and inspirations.
And I have a feeling even my dad would like them.