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.
Thank you for the comment, I agree that marketing methods are changing to a more two way communication system, rather than a “selling” process, and it’s a technique that has longevity as it’s about giving value to both parties involved.
It’s an exciting time for those interested in marketing their business without feeling they have to be pushy or insincere.
It is an old post, but I’m working on a lot more fresh content for the site and hope to see you around here again!
Chris Peterson says
No need to anything actually after a post like that. But I think its an irresistible post. It can be easily appreciated for content, flow & concepts. But I want to say something else that is more important than just saying that I admire your for blah blah blah reason.
When anyone wonders why these guys are making such insane amount of money, I just would want to say that they are not selling…..
Selling is push your nose & dig business. But giving is a highest form of art in human communication.
No selling trick is limitless. It will be known & useless then onwards. So just see the kinda authority & trust I see in your article because of your passion, personal devotion & amazing depth for understanding human minds.
I know its old post. You may never read it. But if you do read it, i want to tell you that your post has a quality of changing lives in it. Some unwritten aura of compassion for readers is truly significant & visibly deep.
Definitely, a cliche, but I truly want to thank you for the post and want to tell you that I mean it.
Thanks Sonia, really enjoyed the FXF course, and I couldn’t agree more, this method of marketing is something that is sustainable and not all about “selling the sizzle and not the steak”! Great Stuff 🙂
Sonia Simone says
This is so neat to read! So many people seem to think that marketing is about tricking someone or “selling ice to Eskimos.” To me, it’s much more about creating something genuinely valuable and then learning to talk about it in an interesting way.
Thanks for all your great FXF questions, too.
You’re welcome Brian and thanks for popping by :-), am really enjoying the course, giving me lots of inspiration. 🙂
Brian Clark says
Hey, I just found this in your twitter stream… thank you so much for the wonderful words!
Glad you like the course, and even happier to learn that we haven’t been creepy while “working on you.” 😉