Hope you had a great weekend!
My wife and I headed down to the Haymarket (the area of town where I’m hosting my copywriting workshop in November) and saw the musical Songs For A New World.
Musicals aren’t my first choice (I’m way into electronic music, rock — some newer and some classic — is probably my second choice, and I have a whole lot of things that fill in after that). Really though, I appreciate any GREAT music, from any genre.
Musicals, however, are Gina’s top choice. She spent a bunch of time on the stage when she was younger, and is deeply connected with a bunch of shows. Including this one. So when we heard this small community theater was putting it on, we had to go.
Without going too far off on a tangent, I have to share the one thing that absolutely fascinated me about the show. I knew the music before. Gina plays it a bunch. I even have a couple favorite songs. But I didn’t really understand it.
Songs For A New World isn’t quite a musical like you’d think of it. It’s more in the genre of a song cycle. It was a new term to me. A song cycle is a collection of songs meant for musical theater, all built around a common theme. But the stories of each song exist separate from each other. Each song is a story unto itself.
For Songs For A New World, the theme is the moment of decision.
That point in time where all the forces of your past collide… Where you’re faced with that choice of where to take your future — knowing it could be a pivotal point in your life… And all the factors and possible paths swirl around in your head as you try to figure out what to do next…
There was something about experiencing all those little stories being told live that gave me a huge depth of understanding. (This is true with ANY live experience.)
It was well done, and very entertaining.
Even in a song — maybe three minutes — you were transported into the moment, with the character, in their moment of decision. The tension built and built — and begged for resolution. And you were there with the character, begging for the right answer to become clear.
Anyway, it was thoroughly entertaining (and there were a few storytelling lessons in it, too!), and it’s well worth it if you ever get the chance to see it.
On to Mailbox Monday — where I answer YOUR questions!
Remember, you can always submit your questions to [email protected] to have them answered in an upcoming issue…
Today’s question comes from a fairly new reader to Breakthrough Marketing Secrets, and an accomplished marketer in his own right. (He even has a book that Dan Kennedy wrote the foreword to — linked below.)
And I think he was playing a little slow-pitch with this one, but I also think he was looking for that little 1% improvement for the week in my answer, that may help him push through to that next breakthrough in his career (ANYONE great in their field — or on their way — has this attitude of constant improvement)…
Roy, thanks for the offer.
I’d like your take on connecting with the Titans in my industry. With the intention of getting more endorsements and segueing into some JVs promoting my membership site for copywriters, information marketers, MLMs and marketing consultants.
I’ve got one endorsement from Dan Kennedy already, it’s in the foreword to my book…
I think I know what your response is going to be, but if I’m missing something I’d love to hear it.
Disciple of Jesus
Author of “The 24 Hour Marketing Miracle”
One Bad*** Marketing Strategist
Thanks again for the question, Seth, and thanks for reading!
First, let’s address the value in connecting with the Titans — using Dan Kennedy’s “With” strategy…
I could get lazy here, and just repeat the trite phrases… “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Or the better and more recent adaptation… “It’s not what or who you know, it’s who knows what you know.” But I’m far less lazy in these emails than I should be, for the sake of time. So you’re going to get the in-depth answer.
Let’s start with something Dan Kennedy named the “With” strategy. Now, I know you probably know this Seth, but let’s explore.
The “With” strategy refers to a mental shortcut all humans have.
We like to classify things. We use reference points or markers to help with our classification. And in this case, the reference point is people.
If I’m seen with Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, Jay Abraham, and others, YOU will start to associate me with them.
That means putting me in the same group with them.
Thinking I posses some of the same talents, skills, and abilities. That I have the same knowledge and capabilities.
You’re not necessarily right or wrong in coming to that conclusion.
But from a positioning standpoint, this works wonders. Regardless of skill or ability, by placing myself alongside these folks, I borrow much of their credibility.
This is why celebrities are so often used in marketing. This is why joint ventures and endorsements work so much better than cold marketing.
This is the key to rapid ascent in terms of becoming a “Who” in any industry.
Simply connecting yourself to the “players” can completely change how you’re perceived to the market.
So what’s that worth?
Well, it CAN be worth a lot. Although it’s not a golden ticket.
First off, if you’re uber-connected but a dolt, you will be found out. At some point, the facade will crumble.
Being connected by itself doesn’t do anything for your competence.
Also, having a huge network but hiding it will not provide these benefits. You have to put it out there.
You’ll notice when I talk about working on the Titans sales letter, I mention working with and getting feedback from Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, and David Deutsch. All top copywriters. By simply stating that, it adds to my cachet. Hiding it would do nothing.
Be truthful. Faking this will come back to bite you (faking anything in business isn’t very smart).
But in being truthful, use everything you got. And yes, you can make mountains of molehills.
Being connected will also create unexpected opportunities…
You shouldn’t just build your network because you think these folks will add to your reputation.
There are many other reasons to connect with the players in your industry.
Using the Titans project again, I’d connected with Brian Kurtz long ago with the thought we might eventually do something together. And if we didn’t, that was okay.
I’d also done an interview with him, partially for the “With” effect, and also because I know I have a ton I can learn from him.
But because of that connection, when it came time for Brian to hire a copywriter for the Titans project, he thought of me.
And I got this super high-profile gig.
But that’s not the only opportunity that arose. Just last week I was talking to a friend and Titan in his own right who mentioned that he had a source of business capital available. Then I was talking to a client who would really benefit by having easy access to that capital. Being in the middle and making that connection was an opportunity I only had because of connections.
I’m also connected into the local angel investor community. I don’t have immediate need to raise capital. However, having that connection if the need ever arises may prove very fruitful.
Business opportunities can arise out of your network. New friendships. The chance to do good in the world.
There are a million things that can happen from being connected by high-level Titans, experts, gurus, and “players with money” that won’t happen if you’re not connected.
Now here’s how to get connected…
This is very simple, but very easy to screw up.
Powerful people don’t connect with other powerful people by asking for something.
Rather, they give value. Or, at the very least, simply just make a connection with the idea it will be an avenue to provide value later.
And if you want to be connected with these powerful people, you at least have to be perceived as powerful (it’s ALL perceptions)…
Here’s my favorite attitude when connecting with Titans and players…
“It seems like we should be connected.”
Nothing much more than that. Very casual. Not needy.
Just a desire to connect based on some vague universal forces that are pushing you together.
When you approach the connection not out of need but out of this sense of it being something that was meant to be, there’s very little pressure to it.
You first show them that you understand them, what they do, and who they are. And then you quickly tell them what you do, and how you might be able to provide value into the future. And don’t ask for anything.
Then, down the road, you can drop them a line to share an article relevant to them, or some other tip you may have picked up.
Again, not trying to get anything.
Do this a few more times, and you’re hard to ignore.
Always keep the pressure low. Always focus on giving rather than taking.
This will get you noticed, and positive feelings will build.
Being present and providing value will grow the relationship. And from there, it will blossom.
One more tip on connecting, fast…
I mentioned before I once interviewed Brian Kurtz.
This is a strategy to get in quickly with nearly any major player in your industry. (One I just recommended to one of my coaching students, too — and she’s running with it!)
Titans, gurus, and players nearly always are media hounds. So much so that it’s always notable when you get a reclusive Titan.
And if you want to connect with them, the easiest way to do it is to “own the media.”
This can be a book you’re writing, that you’re doing a series of interviews for.
It can be a podcast or other web media.
It can be a newsletter or other print media.
If you own a media channel that has their target market, it’s very easy to get in with nearly anyone.
You simply ask to feature them in your media.
Explain what you’re doing. How you’re going to put it in front of their target market. And make it very easy for them to say “yes” and participate. (You want to make it as close to zero-effort on their part as possible.)
You’ll be surprised by the doors this opens and the connections it makes. And they will continue to compound and build on each other.
Speaking of Titans, the day is coming fast…
Titans of Direct Response is a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of the top minds in direct response… Designed to bring you both the timeless principles and strategies of the top direct response minds in the world — AND how they’re applying them TODAY.
If you’re a serious student of the business, it’s the place to be.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets