As part of my journey into blogging and writing I’m fast beginning to learn that marketing your work is just as important as your work itself.
You may have heard about the 50-50 split that many of the top bloggers recommend.
That is, spend 50% of your time writing but importantly the other 50% equally on marketing, promoting and spreading the word.
It sounds strange at first. After all if you’re a writer shouldn’t you naturally spend most of your time writing? Like duh?
But actually it doesn’t work that way. Because you will find even if you spent 7 hours writing a brilliant 3000 word article, if nobody sees it you’ve kind of impacted no one.
That’s why I’ve been delving into lots of marketing books and blogs lately and in my searching I came across this principle that I found very powerful so I thought I’d share it.
But first we should remember that:
Marketing is simply persuasion at scale…
I first saw this in Russell Brunson’s book Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Finding Your Message, Building a Tribe, and Changing the World (link to free copy offer):
People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.
– Adapted from Blair Warren’s One Sentence Persuasion Course
How powerful is that?
In one sentence it captures the essence of what makes us as humans tick.
What I found interesting is how it’s all feelings-based.
I’m sure, like me, you’ve heard people say that persuasion is based equally on logic and feeling/emotion.
But this shows humans are fundamentally irrational, emotional creatures.
What’s this got to do with marketing I hear you asking?
Well what is marketing but mass persuasion?
In other words marketing is persuasion at scale.
And like with anything, before you can effectively scale it up it never hurts to first understand the simplest case possible.
The ability to persuade ONE person.
That’s where it starts at.
Let’s go through each of the five points:
#1 Justify Failures
Because we are emotional creatures by nature, us humans tend to lie to ourselves. But we do it in a way that we actually believe the lie so that the lie becomes the truth.
Nobody wants to feel like they’ve failed even if they actually have. This is a form of Escapism.
There’s entire industries and businesses built upon Escapism.
As Brunson puts it in his book, there’s millions of people in the world:
…looking for someone to take the responsibility OFF their shoulders. To tell them that they are not responsible for their lot in life. And while accepting responsibility is essential for gaining control of one’s own life, assuring others they are NOT RESPONSIBLE is essential for gaining influence over theirs. One need look no further than politics to see this powerful game played at its best.
#2 Allay Fears
It goes without saying, if you help people face their fears they will forever be indebted to you..
When we are afraid, it is almost impossible to concentrate on anything else. And while everyone knows this, what do we do when someone else is afraid and we need to get their attention? That’s right. We tell them not to be afraid and expect that to do the trick. Does it work? Hardly. And yet we don’t seem to notice. We go on as if we’d solved the problem and the person before us fades further away. But there are those who do realize this and pay special attention to our fears. They do not tell us not to be afraid. They work with us until our fear subsides. They present evidence. They offer support. They tell us stories. But they do not tell us how to feel and expect us to feel that way. When you are afraid, which type of person do you prefer to be with?
#3 Throw Rocks at Enemies
This reminds me of the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Nothing bonds like having a common enemy. I realize how ugly this sounds and yet it is true just the same. Those who understand this can utilize this. Those who don’t understand it, or worse, understand but refuse to address it, are throwing away one of the most effective ways of connecting with others. No matter what you may think of this, rest assured that people have enemies. All people. It has been said that everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle. The thing they are struggling with is their enemy. Whether it is another individual, a group, an illness, a setback, a rival philosophy or religion, or what have you, when one is engaged in a struggle, one is looking for others to join him. Those who do become more than friends. They become partners.
#4 Confirm Suspicions
People like to have their suspicions confirm.
It makes them feel good. It makes them feel smart.
That’s why we love saying “I told you so.”
With that in mind, if you can be the person who confirms someone’s suspicions, that positive feeling associated with being correct and right will also be associated with you.
Looking through history, Adolf Hitler and other cults have used this to devastating effect.
Hitler “confirmed” the suspicions of many Germans about the cause of their troubles and drew them further into his power by doing so. Cults often confirm the suspicions of prospective members by telling them that their families are out to sabotage them. It is a simple thing to confirm the suspicions of those who are desperate to believe them.
#5 Encourage Dreams
The world we live in today can already be a harsh and unfair world.
You see this happening every day.
How many cases have there been of kids when young having dreams and daring to dream? Only to grow up into adulthood and watch all their dreams fade away crushed by the harsh realities of life.
In such an unforgiving environment if you can be the rare light that stokes the flames of the dreams of others, you will become a beacon of light and hope for them.
People will follow you for it.
How you use this is up to YOU…
When I first read all this I thought to myself a lot of this can be pretty manipulative.
It’s human psychology and you’re playing with other people’s feelings.
And that’s true.
But I guess it comes down to how you use it.
A tool in and of itself is neither good nor evil.
Take the internet for example. It can be used for immense good (learning, connecting people around the world and supporting good causes) or it can be used for nefarious bad (organized crime, Dark Web and trading illicit items).
So it depends on how you use it.
In the case of the above, if you noticed, the key is to be GENUINE about all this.
If you look at the 5 points, each of it when done genuinely and not for manipulative purposes actually impacts a real person and makes someone’s life better or richer. That is to say, you’re adding value to their lives.
And that should be the chief aim of (ethical) marketing: to add value to other people’s lives.
Then you will be rewarded by the economic machine based on the number of lives you’ve touched.
Action points/notes to self
- As a blogger I should spend my time not only just writing, but at least 50% spent on marketing, promotions and spreading the word (hustling). Whether I like it or not this is the way it works.
- Persuasion can be boiled down to one sentence. Stick this on my wall and remember it.
- Remember marketing starts with persuading ONE person. Never underestimate the impact I can have just by touching the life of ONE person.
Do you agree that we humans are fundamentally logical or emotional beings?
Do you agree with the five points above? Do you think I missed anything?
Have you ever come across a person that either justified your failures, allayed your fears, attacked your enemies, confirmed your suspicions or encouraged your dreams?
And if you did, how did that make you feel towards them?
Would love to hear from you so please leave a message in the comments.
Until next time.
Tony Lee Jacobs
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