Strong for Performance Podcast
024: 7 Marketing Principles to Build Your Business and Your Brand
Are you tired of trying a bunch of different marketing tactics that don’t result in more business? My guest Kyle Wilson focuses on principles that help you identify the tactics that are right for you. Kyle was the mastermind behind Jim Rohn becoming the premier name in personal development, and he’s helped market and promote many other legends like Brian Tracy, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Brown. What Kyle shares in this interview is pure gold!
- The importance of identifying your “secret sauce” in order to stand out
- The difference between tactics and principles, and why a good tactic should never override a principle
- The 4 principles to follow if you want to create a successful business
- Questions to ask yourself to identify whether the actions you’re taking are the right ones to grow YOUR business
- How to work smarter, not harder: identify the one strategy that can help you knock down the right dominoes
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Welcome to another episode of the Strong for Performance Podcast. I’m your host, Meredith Bell and I am just delighted today to be able to introduce you to someone I admire so much, Kyle Wilson. Kyle, welcome to the show.
Meredith, my honor and pleasure, thanks for having me.
Well, Kyle is a very unique individual and he actually started his business 30 years ago if I’m not mistaken promoting seminars and booking speakers like Jim Rohn and Bryant Tracy and Og Mandino. And a few years after that, he actually started the company Jim Rohn International and you were business partners and really close friends with Jim Rohn for 18 years, right?
And so, there are so many speakers since then, and authors that have worked with Kyle. People like the Chicken Soup for the Soul authors, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, Darren Hardy, John Maxwell, Robin Sharma, the list goes on. The point is, that Kyle is really good at what he does, and I’m just delighted to have him come on this program to share so many of the marketing principles that he has learned, used and practiced over the years.
Kyle, before we get into specifics, though, tell us a little bit more about how did you get here?
Yes, it’s not your typical story. I grew up in a small town in Texas, and never went to college. I actually got into a lot of trouble. I remember when someone, I was on a podcast and they said, “Wow, to be partners with Jim Rohn you must’ve been like the class president, you must’ve been highly successful,” and I’m like, “No, far from it”. But at age 19, I had a significant emotional experience, changed my life, started my personal business which was a detail shop and then a service station. Again, this is small town America and at age 26, made the decision to move to Dallas to expand what I was doing. I was looking for a job and through a series of serendipitous things that happened, I got in the seminar business.
I went to work for Jerry Hanes and became a seminar promoter which meant that you made 100 phone calls a day, cold calling to book two to five speaking engagements to go in and speak for 30 minutes sometimes in front of a really great audience, sometimes in front of a bunch of realtors that aren’t even really looking at you while they’re working, right? But at the end of it, 30 minutes trying to get value, but then I would offer the opportunity to go buy tickets to a seminar. And, after doing that for a while, I became Jerry’s number one guy and one day he called, and this was in Dallas and he said, “Hey Kyle, Jim Rohn,” and I’d never heard of Jim Rohn, and he gave me a cassette of Jim, this is how long ago that was, cassette. And he said, “I got Jim to come back out of retirement.” And you know, Tony Robbins was just starting to take off and he said, “Tony Robbins, myself, a bunch of us all worked back in the day for Jim, and he’s the best in the world. I’m moving to Los Angeles tomorrow, you’ve got Texas. Run with it.”
I went and listened to that cassette and I was blown away, so that was age 27 and a half, 28. I became Jerry’s top guy but actually the business model was really broke and I wasn’t making money. I’m the number one guy but not making money and I said listen I got to go out on my own, I got to figure this out and I was getting a couple hundred people in a room and my vision is how do I get 2000 people in a room? And I would go to the 2,000 people events, a guy named Jerry Pat was put on a Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy big event with 2,000 people and I was studying that, studying all these different models and sure enough, went out on my own and I couldn’t book Jim anymore so that first big event I did was Bryant Tracy and Og Mandino.
I moved to Atlanta and I got 1,300 people, now that I’ve validated I could do that I called Jerry, I said can I hire Jim. And I was paying double what they were charging to get Jim because I thought Jim was the best and the next event we had 1,800 and 2,100 and 2,500 and eventually the model was broken. And Jim and Jerry they split up, I think over 400,000 in the hole in debt and at that point, I said, “Hey Jim, I don’t want to get in the way of what you guys are doing.” He said, “No, we have a broken model, it’s not going to work.” So, I said, “Listen, I would love the opportunity to have an exclusive to go market you,” and that first year I doubled his fee and I took him from 20 speaking dates to 110 dates. Doubled his fee and I created a little market tool that went on to move 6 million of, that helped–
I talk about the wheel, and we’re going to talk about the wheel, but it was part of that. And we started creating products and pretty soon, people didn’t know who Jim was, but if they heard him they loved him. And they would buy everything we had and then what? Jim wasn’t the kind of guy that was going to create a lot of content. He had his talk, he was a philosopher he wasn’t in the tape selling business. He wasn’t going to go just start creating content and so I started another company called Your Success Story. And that allowed me to then have Bryant Tracy, and Les Brown and Mark Victor Hansen and many of those speakers come in behind Jim when I book him for companies and I started selling their stuff and booking them too. And we built a phenomenal company between those two. Then the internet came in 1999 and we were one of the first to adapt and one of the first to build a million plus list.
And then in last 2007 I ended up selling my companies for some personal reasons and became a Mr. Mom and unfortunately Jim passed away in 2009. But we had just this phenomenal run and as you know, I’ve been back at it the past four or five years after six or seven years of retiring and life’s great.
That is just terrific. And now, you’re involved with coaching and consulting and you’ve got a really special inner circle of people that you meet with regularly to help them with personal development. To me, you’re keeping the vision of Jim Rohn going in the way you connect and interact with people. And one of the things I admire so much about you, Kyle, is the emphasis that you put on relationship building that it’s not superficial for you. The first time I met you I could sense that. It’s where you and I had a strong connection because we’re big believers in that and anyone who speaks about you emphasizes that. In fact, I just recently watched a testimonial from Mark Victor Hansen about what it was like to work with you and he just gave you his highest endorsement and recommendation for anyone who is interested in looking for help. Especially in the area of marketing and that’s why I’m so tickled today that we’re going to explore some of the key marketing principles that you have developed and lived by over the past decades that have served you extremely well.
So let’s jump into those because I think our listeners will find them really valuable for their own businesses and let me just add real quick, the audience, we have a broad audience but more folks are consultants, coaches, speakers and trainers who love what they do in terms of delivering their services often reluctant about the marketing and sales side. One of the things that I think they will value about what you have to share is there’s nothing sleazy or gray about what you advocate. It’s all up and up and all ethical and aligned with the values and principles that most people want to live by.
Thank you, that’s true, true, true. Yeah, that’s the perfect audience for what I do because it’s just like Jim Rohn. He was the talent but the marketing was something he didn’t want to do, he wasn’t good at. Now, times have changed, people come to me all the time, “Can you do for me what you did for Jim Rohn?” And I’m like no, the game’s changed. There are no middle men. Publishers are out of business, record labels are out of business, book stores are out of business. So now what it is, it’s incumbent upon each of us to know how to market our self. But I call it Principle Based Marketing and it’s being authentic, you mentioned my inner circle. A big part of that is we have a community that the people are so authentic and a lot of that’s been born out of challenges and hardships and things we go through. At one time I was a very type A, driven guy. And hanging around Jim Rohn for 18 years really helps you get philosophically strong about what’s important and what’s not important.
Here’s the wonderful thing. When you’re authentic, when you’re yourself, that’s your number one marketing piece anyway. In fact, I’ll just get started. I’ll just jump in. I do have a lot to cover and the first marketing principle is that marketing’s simply connecting the dots. And as you said, it’s not about being manipulative or being clever it’s just simply what’s the most effective and efficient way to connect my product and service with a customer or with a prospect. And that’s part of your secret sauce, what makes you special. It really drives me a little bit crazy when I see people have websites with generic memes that anyone can do, right? Anyone, there’s 10s of millions of people that’s the fallacy of so much of an online marketing world is they make it sound like it’s easy. No, 10s of millions of people are doing it and it’s really something I’m against hearing some of these marketers talk about, “Oh you spend $1 you make $3 on Facebook ads.” No, 95% of the people are not doing that. They’re losing money and so the key is really understanding what works and what doesn’t work and building from your secret sauce.
So anytime there’s a website, in fact I’m going to get to the four things about a website, so I’ll put that on hold, I’ll come back to that.
Here’s my point: be yourself. The biggest thing you lead with is your secret sauce. What makes you special and also what are your goals? I was talking to a guy Friday who has this whole thing, he’s building everything based on an opt-in that’s getting people to say yes. I’m like, my friend you’re doing it the opposite. What you need to decide is what you want to be doing five years from now. And work your way backwards and then create that opt-in. The opt-in you have is creating entirely the wrong customer to take you down the wrong road. What if it all succeeds? Man, you’ve ended up in a place you don’t want to be. So, I always say, take your three and five year goals, look at the competition, look at the marketplace. Decide what your secret sauce is and start connecting the dots.
What works and what doesn’t work? I’m a big believer in testing. Test small, if it doesn’t work small, it’s not going to work big. So a lot of people jump in on big ideas and they did not test them, so there are simple ways to test things. If we have time at the end I’ll give you a formula for testing. But that’s number one. Marketing is simply connecting the dots.
So, let’s think about an example of someone that you know of or have worked with who has a really special secret sauce. Tell us what that looks like, what’s an example of someone who’s taken that and used it well either in their marketing or on their website or whatever messaging they’ve done.
I’m thinking of a guy who is a John Maxwell Coach and he doesn’t look the part. He’s from Canada, he’s more of an engineer by trade and he’s out competing and talking and sharing the same as 5,000 other John Maxwell Coaches. And I had him take a thing called Discovering Your Secret Sauce and it’s a six part thing you do, and it’s pretty simple, I’m happy to share that if we have time. But from that, we found out, okay his three core things, he loves to teach, he’s a teacher. Number two, he’s a wine connoisseur like that turns him on, is wine and then number three he’s really into philanthropic ventures. Almost to a fault, he just runs to the cause.
And so from that, we rebranded him to living the life you truly want to live and so his book cover would be him holding a glass of wine. And he really then started doing wine tastings to raise money for charities, but he started building the list. I’m going to talk about building the list, and talking to the list and from that, attracting people to eventually selling them coaching. But he’s also monetizing his wine business and again, holding a glass of wine. I’m not going to say who he is, but if you saw who he was, you’d be like, “Okay, that’s cool.” But if you see him trying to be a slick coach, which is what he was trying to be, it was failing miserably, right? He didn’t fit the box.
But if he’s being himself, he massively fits the box. Again, it’s finding that uniqueness. And I’ve got to submit to you, nothing changed with Jim Rohn in 1993 when he and I partnered. What changed was me magnifying what made him special, and that’s when I came up with those 365 quotes by Jim, turned it into a gift booklet that moved 6 million. I can name 50 stories of taking someone, and it’s more to do with the bigger picture of the wheel that we’re going to get to than just their secret sauce.
In fact, when I get to the website, I’ll dig deeper into your question.
Okay, great. Thank you.
You bet. The second thing on marketing is it’s a combination of tactics and principles. And tactics are anything from social media, having an email list, your website, direct mail. Any kind of marketing, right? Technology impacts are tactics, the same tactics that worked 20 years ago might be different today. I sold my company, sold the million plus list. When I came out, after retirement, I was focused on social media because I knew social media was one of the quickest ways to build the list. I’m still into email lists, I’m a big believer in email lists, even though it doesn’t work as well as it used to. But that’s a whole rabbit trail we can go down, but I think the key is social media you don’t own your list, if you have a podcast you don’t own the list so it’s imperative you get people that are on your social media, on your podcast to opt-in to something, right? Because you do own the email list.
So I started focusing on social media, and I always ask people, how many have a hard time putting themselves out there and almost everybody raises their hand. You mention your audience, I would say it’s 100% true for my audience. My audience is a lot of professionals, real estate investors, entrepreneurs but no one wants to go on social media and brag. You mention seeing a testimonial I posted about Mark Victor Hansen, I only do that because I hope to get results. I don’t do it so people can say, “Hey, look at Kyle,” right? We have to put our self out there to get the result, not because we’re wanting to brag.
So here’s my core question: how much influence do you want to have? And that’s what I ask everyone. It depends how much influence you want to have and depending on how much influence you want to have in the marketplace will determine how much you put yourself out there. And so that’s the tactic side.
Now here’s the other part of the marketing of that, is the principle side. And to me, there’s four key principles that are more important than any tactic. Number one, having a great product. If you don’t have a great product, it’s not going to multiply. Everything you do, if you can make it great, it’s going to compound. And unfortunately I see in my world, the marketing world, so much crap, so they’re just churning through people. So, it’s just this constant churning. Which takes me to number two, principle based marketing is about relationships. Being relation able. Number three it’s about being consistent just like with your podcast you’re going to be consistent, with social media be consistent. Number four is having great customer service. How many companies spend 10s of millions of dollars to have crappy customer service, right?
They spend all this money to get a customer, now here’s the opposite of bad customer service is when people refer you. You’ve referred someone to my project, right? Almost everything I do, my inner circle, my books. Almost everything I do is referral based, that’s where most of it comes from, is some sort of referral. Now that’s smart, I call that smart marketing. Dumb marketing is having a bad product, bad customer service that you’re starting over every day. I call it hunting versus fishing. It’s principle based.
And then I’ll sum this point up by saying, here’s my rule. Because I’m a tactic guy, you don’t build a million plus list or fill up rooms without tactics. So I believe in tactics, but never let a good tactic override a principle. So, if I don’t know someone on Instagram or on Facebook and they instant message me a solicitation, I unfriend them. Because why would I want, I don’t know them. Now if I know you, sure. But if I don’t know you and you’re just friending me so you could go sell me, now that’s a tactic and it probably works if you put business cards on windshields it’ll probably work eventually, right? But that’s also going to violate a principle. And if I’m going to build a long term relationship with you, where you’ll spend money with me and you’re going to refer me, I have to figure out a different way, and I’ll get to that.
And actually it’s not part of my seven marketing principle but it’s a preliminary thing I always talk about. It’s something Jim Rohn taught me. He said, “To be successful, Kyle. You have to learn to bring value to the marketplace.” He said, “To be wealthy, learn to be valuable to valuable people.” And so that’s what I tell people. Learn to bring value to the marketplace, right? But being clever and being manipulative never works, right? But learning to bring value is how you attract people. So number two is yes, tactics work, they’re important, I’m a tactic guy but never let them violate a principle and focus on having great stuff, and being consistent and great customer service.
You know, Jim Rohn, I’m going to talk about at the end of this, this thing called 52 Lessons I Learned from Jim Rohn and Other Lessons, and one of the lessons is Jim said, “The twin killers of success are greed and impatience.”
Right? And so we, we’re in a hurry and it’s like having a vineyard. I had a vineyard at one of my houses and they take about five years and this happens out in the marketing world. People teach you how to have a vineyard in a month, be leery of those people, all right? It’s not possible. It’s going to take you about five years. But all the time, we want something quick and that hardly ever works.
The third thing principle is being strategic. I’m always thinking about what is that one thing that’s going to make the biggest difference. I’m a big believer in do less. There’s a lot of playbooks that I have, there’s a lot of things I can do, I’ve had over 25 years you end up doing a lot of different things, whether it’s books, seminars, online courses, whatever, events. But now I’m very picky about what I do. I have it down to only three things. And it’s all got to be strategic, all has to be synergistic. And so, on number three on being strategic is what is the one thing if someone is thinking right now, what is that one thing that if you did that’s going to knock down all the dominoes. You know, just because you can do an event that doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can write a book that doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can create a product that doesn’t mean you should. I always think, what is the one thing that if I did it it’s going to knock down my dominoes.
And then that takes me to number four, and I call it the wheel, I’m from Texas. So, a wheel, the spoke and then different spokes on the wheel. In 1993 when Jim and I partnered, I drew on a sheet of paper a big wheel and each spoke was a product of service. So if someone is drawing out their wheel, each spoke is your product or service. And here’s the big question, how do you get people on the wheel and then how do you take them around. Now, a funnel says, I’m going to get you into my funnel and I have an agenda. The wheel’s not that. The wheel is, how do you get on my wheel and then I’m just going to bring value and then you pick the spoke you want, right?
I have different spokes than some people. Like I just did a two day memory and marketing event with my good friend Ron White. Some people come to that that don’t come to do anything else I do, right. We have a common friend that came to that and it’s amazing, that cost a lot of money and that was one thing he decided to do. And so I have different spokes and I’ll let people pick what they want to do. But here’s the big question is how do you get more people on the wheel. So, in 1993 that was my big question, here’s your questions to ask when you’re trying to think of the right spoke. Number one, is it part of your core business. Again, there are people trying, they’re struggling in their business and they run it by me and it has nothing to do with their core business, it has to do with someone else’s core business and they’re going to go become an affiliate or whatever. And I’m like, you know yeah you might could make that work, but it’s not going to knock down the dominoes, and it’s not part of your core business. It’s not going to be synergistic with everything else you do.
Number two is it part of your secret sauce, right? Is it something that accentuates what you’re really good at. Number three, is it focused on the right avatar and that’s critical. And again, I was talking to a guy and he’s got this thing that he thinks is working amazing. And I’m like, it’s drawing in all the wrong people. In fact, I was talking, I’m not going to mention some names, but I was talking to a guy you would know who he is, recently and he had a great idea for me. And it was a great idea except it’s not going to attract the right avatar for me, so to me it was short lived. I could make a few bucks on the front end but now I’m working with a quality of person I don’t want to work with. Like I built everything I’m doing to work with a specific avatar that makes me happy. I didn’t retire and start all over to do stuff I don’t want to do and so you’re avatar is important.
And then number four, is it strategic and so, for me, I’m always thinking, is it part of my secret sauce, is it the avatar I want and is this strategic. Is it going to knock down the dominoes, and I’ll give you an example. I got a lot of these, but here’s a really good one more recently. The Real Estate Guys, they’re the number one podcast and they’re good friends of mine. Five or six years ago they had this amazing podcast but they didn’t have any products and one of the guys is Robert Helms. He has one of the biggest developments, he’s a developer in Belize. And he’s also an ex-real estate agent, brilliant real estate agent and they said okay, we need to monetize our podcast and they weren’t really getting them from their podcast onto an email list. I said, first of all you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to start putting places in your podcasts for people to jump on your email lists, and so you got to give them some cool stuff. And second of all, you got to give them a reason to raise their hand. Occasionally. So, is it a product, is it an event.
And so Robert, so massively skilled said, yeah, I can do a real estate program. And I’m like, true you and 10,000 other people are doing real estate programs. How if it massively succeeds, then what? Do you want to travel around the country doing real estate events? I mean you’re a developer. He goes, no I don’t want to do that.
I said, how about your development, are you selling lots on your development? He goes, Oh yeah. And I go, well who would buy those lots? And he goes, well typically syndicators. I’m like, you know much about syndication. He goes, yeah 100%. I said, can you create a syndication event, he goes, I can do that. I said, well here’s the cool thing create a syndication event and since you guys are world class at this, you’ve been syndicating for 20 years, then have a high end program, a $25,000 program for those who are really serious and want to get mentored. So, have $1,000 two-day event, but then have a high end program and now, you’re actually going to be training people to be syndicators that might invest with you. In other words, that knocks down all the dominoes.
Fast forward two or three years later, they’re filling up their syndication events, they have filled up their 25K program, given massive value. And his development is 80% full through the syndicators that came through their program. It was actually a filtering system. But that, I have a dozen of those models happening. Now here’s the thing, could he have done a real estate program? 100%. But that wasn’t going to knock down the right dominoes. So it’s always trying to think, how can, again, and we focused on his true secret sauce, we focused on where he wants to be five years from now. We focused on the avatar and we focused on being strategic.
So the wheel is really important.
Yes, and I love that particular strategy that you just described because too often we get so busy implementing tactic one, tactic two, tactic three and we don’t step back and really ask these questions that you are asking. I hope our listeners are taking lots of notes because what you’re really talking about here is something I was reading in another book. Is about taking a quantum leap. You can’t make little incremental small decisions and expect to knock over all the dominoes. You’ve got to really zoom out and think about what’s the one big thing that if I did that, would take care of the others. And you mentioned this earlier, I see it applying here too, which is with less effort. Because it’s so strategic and it’s such an important piece of connecting all these other elements that it, by itself, can take care of so many things, so I, listening to you for myself, reminds me that this is the big thing that we all need to do, of not getting caught up in activities but thinking through which are going to have the biggest impact for me.
And quantum leap in the right direction.
That’s one, again, I do have some challenges with a lot of these online programs that I see being sold. Even book publishers and all kinds of different things. It’s not always the money people spend, sometimes it’s also outrageous what they spend, but the biggest challenge is it takes them in the wrong direction and I’ve seen it too many times. Someone goes and spends a fortune and three years later they’re worse off than they were before, right. And it’s just because someone’s trying to sell a course instead of really having the experience or knowledge to help them.
So, it is about, yeah, I think less is more. And again for me, I’ve been fortunate to let things unfold, the right things unfold and you have to become really good at saying no. I say no all the time. But in the beginning, I get it. You have to try out a lot of things and I get it and it’s just throwing stuff up. But eventually, as people start having success they can whittle down, if they’re smart enough to do it, and I’ll give you another example. I have a guy, it’s not the same example of the real estate guys but it’s an example of what we’re talking about.
This guy is a really world class coach, makes 7 figures as a coach. Works for some really big people and he’s also one of the personal development driven people I’ve ever met. He is a ninja at personal development, and back during the Jim Rohn days I was doing almost 8 figures just in commodity products, 6-CD sets, 12-CD sets, I mean we were the masters. And he wanted to make a personal development CD and I’m like, okay that can sell for $60 and here you’re making 7 figures, he’s charging like $15,000 a day for these CEOs to come spend the day with him. And I’m like, listen, just be great at personal development. Don’t feel you’ve got to make that into a product. Because now you’re commoditizing yourself, so just because you can, just because you’re great at it doesn’t mean you should. And that’s hard for people and just like this advice I got from someone last week, I could go do something and I’d make $5,000 or $10,000 but the amount of effort and the direction it takes me, and it’s not going to knock down any dominoes and I’m dealing with a lower quality of avatar or prospect than what I want to deal with.
Here’s how I, and again back to funnels, people think a funnel is free and then $39, and $200 and $500 and $1000. Not mine, mine is free and I have a lot of free, tons of free. And then, but to engage with me, something that’s going to be part of my life it’s in the thousands. But I’m content to give it all away, everything else away and if they’re the right person then, you know, whether it’s my inner circle or my books or coaching, right, I don’t, for me, I don’t want a $500 product. I’ve had them, a lot, and I just don’t want that right now. But I make up for it by giving a ton away free and the free doesn’t have agendas. It’s not like free and then you’re onto emails, not that I’m against that, I do have some of those that I’ve done in the past. But again, it’s just working through what works for you. You don’t always, and that’s how I always try to put myself in the customers shoes. What made me buy, why am I interested and try to walk through that direction.
But yeah, I was talking to a guy who doesn’t have, he’s not doing email list he’s not doing any of that. And he’s like, I don’t want to have to deal with all that. And I said, Tim, I have more time than you do, all mine is systematized. I send out an email, if they want to do this they go through an application if they want all this free stuff it’s here. But I don’t get sucked into having a breakfast or a lunch or jumping on a phone call with someone. I’m like here, I answer all those questions, it’s in my blog. Everything you need to know is there for free or you can be part of something I’m doing. I don’t get sucked into all the other stuff. Like he probably spent more time trying to go through things because he didn’t have, he wouldn’t actually have the systems in place.
Well, let’s get on with, I think this is another one of your principles, this whole idea of once you get them on the wheel, communicating with their relationship.
Right. I always say, after the wheel, it’s build the list. And one of the big challenges is that people have a box of business cards that they’ve collected and they’ve never actually put them on a list. And I’m a big fan of AWeber. There’s Constant Contact, there’s a lot of those. But just keep it simple. Find a way to put them on a list and then just start talking to them, once a week, every two weeks, once a month is better than never. And here’s the other challenge, some people think they have to be so on point. They don’t. Listen, I have a guy who’s a syndication attorney. His audience is very narrow. And a lot of people on his list they were hot today but they’re not tomorrow. He doesn’t have to always talk syndication. He can talk about all kinds of stuff. He can say, “Hey I just saw Robert Kiyosaki, here were three great ideas he gave.” You know, “It’s April 15th, is your company paying your kids $6500 a year that the company can deduct on your kids and put it in a ROTH IRA?” So that’s valuable to everyone.
Now how do I know this? Because I interviewed him once at my Inner dircle and everyone’s falling asleep until we talked about that and then they go, Oh my God. Because everyone’s a parent, or grandparent or an uncle or an aunt. And so again, same thing with your list. It doesn’t always have to be your brilliance or your idea to a specific avatar. Sometimes, it’s just putting good stuff out. Tim Ferris, who is one of my favorites, he said, listen I have 10 different types of people on my list, so every podcast I’m focused on one of them. So after 10 podcasts I’ve talked to them all. And I’ve got to tell you when I had my million plus list I was the same way. I didn’t try and talk to everyone all the time, I would just put out stuff and the key is that they don’t unsubscribe, which they will if you’re always trying to sell or it’s manipulative you’re wasting your time. So yeah, build the list and talk to the list are critical.
You know, all these years I’ve known authors who’ve built lists and authors who didn’t. I’ve known speakers who’ve built lists and speakers who didn’t. I know doctors who’ve built lists and doctors who didn’t. And if you’re going to build the list, you’re going to win. Because now you’re fishing, anyone I meet they get my 52 lessons and then I just talk to them and sure enough every time I send one out, and it goes out automatically every Friday. But sure enough, one’s going to hit a person at the right time, the right place with the right message and that’s when they send the email. I let it do the work and so you build the list, and you talk to it. You let the list do the work. Instead of hunting and chasing, you just put good stuff out. It’s incredible how that all works itself out. If you’re consistently talking to it.
So, it sounds like what you’ve done with the 52 weeks is it’s a weekly email that you’ve got set up to go out automatically once a week, so for a whole year someone’s going to hear from you on that particular list. But then do you also have other messages that you sometimes create and also send to those people in addition to the weekly messages?
Yes. So I intentionally send out my 52 lessons on Fridays because if you are going to market, Tuesdays are one of the better days. So I have it, and I don’t do it very often where I do like if I was going to really be on a campaign I might do Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. So I don’t want someone getting two emails in the same day. That’s when your unsubscribes go up. So mine go out every Friday. And then I talk to my list on Tuesdays, and how I did the 52 lessons at the time, I again am thinking some people are Jim Rohn fans.
Like when I spoke at your group, one person came up to me and he was a Phil Collins and Def Leppard fan, I had just filmed with Phil Collins. And another person was a Darren Hardy fan, and another person was a Jim Rohn fan. So, I created these different hooks. Some people are John Maxwell fans, Les Brown fans, so I created this every week was a different lesson and it was from collaborations with a marketing default and I wrote them every week. So I started offering the 52 lessons before I ever wrote my first lesson, so that’s one of the hacks on that, is that if you’re going to offer a 12 week something for free you can have a weekly deadline and create it. So it took me a year to write the book, at the end of the year I had a book written. And now, I want to replace about 20 of those, like I’ve had such amazing stuff happen the past couple of years, like Hal Elrod recently and just different opportunities where it’s like okay, I think I’d rather use that lesson maybe rather than a week I struggled to come up with a lesson.
But honestly, I’m debating whether I like the 52 lesson format because it’s a lot for people to digest. I think if I had to do it again, I might do more like 12 or something like that. So it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Well, let’s wrap up now, I just noticed the time. We could talk for hours on this, Kyle, because you’re such a wealth of knowledge but let’s zoom in on the other principles you wanted to cover for those seven.
Yeah, so one more, and we’ll wrap up on this one: social proof and testimonials. And the place I like to really focus on is your website. So, Jeffrey Gitomer I don’t know if you know Jeffrey. He’s in Charlotte North Carolina, I was on his podcast he spoke at my Philly Inner Circle and he said, “Kyle, where do you live?” I said, “Jeffrey, you know I live in Texas.” He goes, “No, what’s your address? Why don’t you go announce on Facebook your address and people come by and see you?” And I’m like, “Okay, that’s not going to happen.” He goes, “Of course not. Here’s where you live, let me straighten you out. You live on your website, you live on Facebook, you live on Instagram, you live there 24/7.” I’m like, “Wow, that’s so well put.” You know, people can find me 24/7 on social media, 24/7 on my website so I want to make it great.
So I have four key things you want at the top of the fold for your website. This was true in 1999, it’s true today. Nothing’s changed in my opinion. Number one you want a brand with mystique. So what Jim Rohn always though, what’s the mystique. So before anyone scrolls down, I want an image of you and I want it with mystique. I want it to be something that brands you correctly.
Number two. I want three or four bullets that sum up your secret sauce. They’re talking to your avatar, they sum up your social proof. Now, most of us have more than three or four. Because of my avatar I don’t put I’m the co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I keep it focused on Jim Rohn. Jim Rohn is my number one avatar, I keep it focused on I created product or did events. And then the third thing you want is social proof and so for mine, one of my secret sauces is that I do have a lot of great testimonials from big names that are recognizable so my website are a little over the top gaudy but it is my secret sauce so I have a bunch of photos of Jim Rohn, Bryant Tracy, Darren Hardy, et cetera. Phil Collin, athletes, Todd Sodomayor and you hover over it and it’s got a quote, a testimonial about me.
But I recommend everyone has a different testimonial of some kind. So you want social proof. And number four you want an opt-in. Some way for someone to opt-in. And we’re going to tell people how they can get my 52 lessons at the end, but when you go to my website, check out my opt-in. It doesn’t look like most opt-ins. It’s kind of cool looking, it was my own design and I’ve got to tell you guys I’m not a tech person but I am the architect of my website and I’ve always been that way back in the day, I was that. So are you going to go build a house and not have any opinions about the house, just say, “Hey I’m just going to pay you to build it and you just build it and I’ll come show up and look at it.” No, but people do that with their website. They don’t do the work of saying, “Here’s what I want”. Because most web people are not marketers. They pretend to be, they charge like they are. What I want is a web person who’ll do what I ask, even though I have no idea how they’re going to do it.
Like I don’t have to understand the sausage making, I just say I want it to look like this. So when you go to mine, whether you like it or hate it, it is my design. And it’s built on my secret sauce it’s built on my social proof, it’s got testimonials because that’s important because again some people don’t know who Jim Rohn is but they know who Tom Ziglar is, or Les Brown. And so that’s what you want, you want different hooks of social proof or testimonials. And so again, it’s not, if I say it it’s bragging. If you say it, it’s proof. So having these testimonials of other people saying great things about you–
Yeah, it’s so critical. It really does do the heavy lifting for you. To have somebody else, because it actually warms them up and you don’t feel like a stranger to them because if it’s someone whose opinion or whose work they already know and respect and they see that they have said positive things about you, it just shoots your credibility right up.
Right, and again, taking this home. I was reading a story today by someone in a future book and she mentions Jack Canfield and she mentions Billy Zane from the movie Titanic and I go to the website where she’s sending people and there’s no picture of either one of them. It could’ve been anyone’s website. She could’ve been one of 100 million people. So find out, we all have it, whatever it is. Maybe someone was in the military, whatever it is. Get pictures. I’m not as big a fan as some personally of video, like I don’t watch videos so if someone has a video, that’s fine, but make sure you have a picture. Like a picture tells a thousand words. If someone doesn’t know you, it’s hard to ask them to indulge and watch a video. So, I want a picture, I want Todd our 15-year major league baseball player, 3-time world series. I have Seth Moseley and no one would recognize Seth but the guy’s won two Grammy’s and written 800 songs and 16 number ones. That’s what I put on there, it’s a picture with a tagline.
And so everyone’s got social proof if they connect the dots. And think who your avatar is, who are you trying to reach.
That’s great. Kyle, these have been so valuable. I haven’t tried to take notes, I’m glad I’m recording this. I’ll go back and review this and I encourage our listeners to do so because you’ve shared some very important insights and practical, useful ideas that they can actually implement including what you just said about websites. So, let’s keep the openness going and have you share your actual website and how they can get the 52 lessons.
Sure, it’s kylewilson.com and if they go to my blog, just hit blog when they’re there, I tell how to find your secret sauce. I talk about the websites. A lot of it I go into depth. There’s over 100 blog posts, but if you go to kylewilson.com you’ll see 52 Lessons I Learned from Jim Rohn and Other Legends, you just put in your name and email, you’ll get your first lesson and every Friday you’ll get another lesson.
That’s great. Well, I know you’ll probably have a big increase in your opt-ins as people listen to this because you’ve just shared such a wealth of information and I want to thank you again for being my guest today. It’s been so much fun.
Hey, it’s been my honor, Meredith. I really appreciate you. I am so glad I met you, I’m so glad we’re a part of the book together. Purpose, Passion, Profit. I love your story I think you were the second or third story in the book and really hit it off in the relationship mindset you have and being a giver. So thanks so much for having me on, it’s an honor.
Oh, thank you. Yes, and before we close out, I just want to mention that’s another thing that Kyle has to his credit. He has helped over 200 authors, including me achieve number one best seller status, and so I’m very grateful for that. So that’s another whole area of marketing that Kyle is so smart, experienced about in terms of getting a book out and promoting it and having it work for you. So, thank you for making that contribution to the world and to me too, Kyle. That is Purpose, Passion, Profit is the book I participated in with Kyle.
No, thank you and we tried to find out again how do you bring value and so, like 15 different boxes we give people to check off including celebrity authorities and things like that. So again, it’s back to how do you bring value and then attract the people that it’s a good fit for.
Yes, well thank you again Kyle.
And I’ll be listening to this again soon, but I hope to get to have another conversation with you again soon.
Okay. Thanks Meredith. Talk soon.