Hey everyone, Ken Courtright here. This is Today’s Growth | Growing Business Today. This week we’re dedicated to case studies. I explained on Monday’s podcast. I broke apart Growing Business Today, talked a little bit about growing, how when you’re talking strictly business you’ve got to grow some revenues. Our last dozen or so podcasts were strictly dedicated to growth. Then I talked a little bit about the word business, about it centers around the 4 M’s and how that’s switching to, at least in my opinion, the anchors are more content and relationships as we’re seeing evidence of in the marketplace. Then I talked about the word today, and how things are changing so quickly on how we market our businesses. What I wanted to do is this whole week is dedicated to case studies. These case studies are very apropos because I’ve got product based case studies, I’ve got service based case studies. I’m going to hit case studies from different angles this week so that hopefully, in each of these podcasts there’s just one or two little nuggets that you’re hearing, that myself or our company is putting into play growing other businesses. Hopefully you can use a nugget or two, and use these in your own, household or your business. We’re going to jump right into the second case study. Again, same place. I was out in Vermont, I was on a panel, and people were walking up to a microphone and we had set this up where people would walk up to the microphone, state their name, their current business, and then they would say, “And my current business challenge is.” Then based on what they say, we would choose who on the panel is best suited to answer that. With the numbers of people on the panel, and how many people were coming to the microphone, I had plenty of runs at helping folks out.
The second case study I want to roll out this week is a lady who walked up to the microphone. She says, “I have been an image consultant for quite some time.” As a matter of fact her whole life I want to say 30, 40, years. Her niche was focusing on self-confidence. An image consultant to me can go so many different ways. Is it focused on the face? Is it focused on clothing? Is it how someone holds themselves? They’re an image consultant to some degree. You could say that they center around the word “presence” how someone’s presence is perceived in the marketplace. I did a little bit of drilling down, and I found out that for the last 20, 25 years, her market has been churches. She would go in and present to a church, and then after speaking on the platform a little bit there at the podium, she would hold a conference on a Saturday and do some image consulting to a group and the church would pay her. Her whole take was that she would go in telling the seniors of that church that a lot of people, if they had some image consulting, it would really raise their self-confidence, and it would help their body of parishioners get better jobs, advance their careers. She really, really knows what she’s talking about. Anyway long and short of it is, I said, “It sounds like you’re actually doing really well? What is your current business challenge?” She said, “Well honestly, I need a change. I need to do something different. I’ve recently began doing a couple of corporate jobs, and even working with some politicians.” She says, “I’m finding it incredibly gratifying.” There’s a number of differences here, but the difference is her new work has been one-on-one, where her previous work for years was in groups. She’s getting incredible fulfillment where these corporate folks are listening, paying attention, and implementing her suggestions. She’s getting the feedback of how quickly it’s helping them advance careers or get elected, things like that.
To completely set the stage before I explain the suggestions I had for this person, I want to say that on the last podcast, I did a case study where someone had a product. I gave suggestions of, “Hey, if you’re going to take that product to market, exactly what would I do first, second, third, fourth, fifth?” I took out a Ginsu knife and explained what I would do if I was rolling out a brand new product into the marketplace. This is a service. This is so completely different that nothing that I would do in the first podcast am I repeating in this podcast. There’s no overlap whatsoever. A couple of reasons why. Number one, this service, it’s not a commodity. It’s a niche. It’s a very specific niche. Unlike the jewelry, which jewelry can be expensive but a really good image consultant, it’s pretty pricey quite frankly. This involves an area of building incredible trust both online and offline before you’re going to get any deals. This woman, if she’s going to switch from the church market to the corporate market, there’s a lot of things that I would recommend go first, second, third, fourth. Here’s what I’ve got. I got a punch list here. Number one, my advice to her from stage was I would first and foremost, do a digital footprint of the three largest companies and the three largest individuals that are currently online promoting themselves as image consultants. There’s image consulting firms, and there are image consultants. These are two different animals. One is a group of people, usually with a big budget, maybe even having a PR firm promoting them. One is usually an individual running around helping people. What I said was, “I would go create a digital footprint,” and then she says, “What’s a digital footprint?” I said, “Okay, excellent question. A digital footprint is when you can find a business online that is where you want to be.” I said, “If you took the time, if you took an hour, could you show me three image consulting firms, and three image consultants in your space?” She says, “Yeah, no problem. I could do that in five minutes.” I said, “Great, if you were to give to me those six businesses, I have a team of people that could in under a week show you every move these companies and these people have made going back into perpetuity until they began of what they did building their website.” What they did promoting themselves online, or through social media. I can’t find the TV commercials they ran, but I might even be able to get some recordings of some radio spots they’ve ran or where they had a booth in a trade show.
Finding A Competitors Digital Footprint Is Your First Step
People today, when they do marketing, it leaves footprints, it leaves a trail, it leaves a trace. I said, “I would reverse engineer their presence, or their image online.” I said, “Could you find out where they blog,” and the lady says, “Well yes I could.” I said, “Could you find out if they’re on Facebook?” She said, “Sure.” I said, “Could you find out they’re on Pinterest?” “Yes I could.” “Can you see if they have a Youtube channel?” “Well I probably could.” “Even on your own could you see if they hold annual conferences or do they take booth space in bigger conferences?” She goes, “Yeah, I probably could.” I said, “Can you see if any of the executives of these companies or the individuals write books?” “Yeah, I probably could.” “Can you see if any of them are speakers? Do they do a circuit? Are they promoting themselves on stages?” “Yeah, I guess I could.” I said, “I would recommend that you map everything you can find about these six, and it’s critical to do the difference between a company and an individual.” Here’s why, once you’re done doing this, and you got to do what I said first. I said, “I then want you to open a website call Archive.org, and look for a tool called The Way Back Machine.” This is a really cool tool because it allows you … let’s say you find a company that’s been image consulting for 15 years. You can go back 15 years and see what their website looked like 15 years ago, and even read the content on it. Then you can fast forward every 18 months, and see screenshots of what their website looked like. The reason you want to do this is, let’s say they got published in New York Times or a magazine. Wouldn’t they be proud, and they probably would display where they were picked up on their website? Of course they would, they want to brag about it. If you go to IncomeStore.com click press and you can see every time, like we were just in Forbes for Can’t Miss Conference 2016. I was just on CBS. Anytime they give us publicity, the media, you’re going to brag about it because it builds your credibility. What you can do with Archive.org, and it’s fairly genius, is you can go in and see where they were bragging about, meaning who picked them up. Well there’s a possibility they hired a PR firm to get them that press. Does that make sense? You want to see if it worked for them. Is it possible that that might be a strategy for you? I would look at a progression, about every 18 months. Then what I would do is I would timeline it. This is called a Gantt chart, it’s a reverse Gantt chart. I would see if you could find a timeline of these bigger companies. Now, I would do the three companies first, then I would do the three individuals separate.
Individuals Take a Much More Hands On Approach
You’re going to find a completely different, much more of a hands-on guerilla marketing approach by the three individuals. I would be willing to bet that the individuals, at least one or two of them, started at a bigger company first. What you’re going to be looking for on these individual’s websites is something that just … I don’t know how to say it other than just to say it. It glaringly sticks out that one of these three individual image consultants has chosen a very unique path to market themselves. Maybe it’s through podcast, or YouTube channels. I’m here to tell you, if it looks like that’s working, that’s the model I would replicate. I say that because they may have learned that from a bigger company with a deep pocket that did a lot of split testing. That maybe the reason they left that company just to use that intellectual property to advance themselves. I’ll give you a couple great examples of digital footprints, which is really just a fancy term for modeling what’s already working. You could make a case, that Burger King’s demographics, at least up until 10 years ago of where they would put a store was this simple. The demographic budget was close to zero and their demographics was move next to McDonalds. McDonalds took all the intersections because they wanted visibility from two different directions. Burger King said, “You know what? They’ve already done the homework.”
Copying A Successful Marketing Strategy Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
I want you to go to your town, and picture where the Burger Kings are and see if they’re not right next door or in complete view, while you’re biting into a Whopper, can you see the McDonald’s golden arches? I’m picturing the town I live in right now, I’m picturing the town the next town over, and the next town over, and the town I grew up in, it’s the case in every case. They’re either on the same block or right next door. Another one is Pepsi. Pepsi is one of the best modelers in the world. What they do is they understand Coca-Cola is such a much bigger company that as there is a shift or a shift in trends of Twitter, of Facebook, of a Youtube channel, of this, of that. Pepsi isn’t usually the first to go into something new even when they started doing the Michael Jackson, his hair caught on fire and this and that. Coke was using large celebrity endorsement 2-3 years before Pepsi jumped in. Coke goes first and then Pepsi goes, “Okay work for that big behemoth. Let’s copy that.” I’m here to tell you that copying is the best form of flattery. If I was going to be an image consultant, number one, I would look for what’s already working. What are people in 2016 accepting from an image consultant? That will give you a start but I certainly wouldn’t finish there. The first thing I would do is I would find out, “Okay what is the image of the website itself of an image consultant? I want to make sure you wouldn’t want to do something too cheesy, too inexpensive. I would definitely put your best foot forward as an image consultant if you’re going into corporate or if you’re going into politicians. No question. Then what I would do, let’s say you establish yourself. You’re modeling what’s already working in the marketplace. You use Way Back Machine. You’re that. Now, I would recommend strongly that you take the 5-10 phrases that you think people would search and want to find an image consultant. I would plug those phrases into a tool called BuzzSumo, like a Sumo wrestler. B-U-Z-Z-S-U-M-O, and I would plug them in and see what that tool shows you and here’s why. BuzzSumo goes back 12 months and displays for you the top 10 most viral pieces of content in your space. I’m going to guess if I’m an image consultant, I would want to rank in Google for terms like … I live near Chicago 40 miles away. I would want to go for, “Chicago Image Consultant,” “Image Consultants Near Chicago.” I would want to look up a best image consultant. What I would do is I would plug those types of phrases into BuzzSumo and I would look at all and it’s stacked by the most viral at the top. Excuse me, one second. I need to get a stack of water here. I would stack them. I’m sorry, I would look at them and understand they’re already stacked and I would then open each piece of viral content and I would ask myself, “What in the world went into this to make it so viral? What did people like here?” The thing you’re looking for the most and I believe BuzzSumo is the tool that shows this. Actually, this is the tool that exposes the next step. BuzzSumo shows you the piece of content that went viral. Now, what you want to do is find that piece of content online. You go to the root source like you just click on it. It will take you to it. If you follow the trail, it went viral. Almost all trails will expose to you the sneezer that blew it up. Let me explain what that means.
Find The Sneezer
A sneezer is a person of influence. Back in the day, if you heard commercials that says, “When E.F Hutton Speaks, people listen.” Back in the day, E.F. Hutton was a sneezer. Today in the medical world, you would say that Dr. Mercola would be sneezer. In the self-improvement world, you’d say Tony Robins would be a sneezer. Someone that’s a true absolute authority or someone that has a social media or a website following that is severe is a sneezer. Almost every piece of viral content bumps into a sneezer at some point. They expose it to their massive following and it lights on fire. What you want to do if I’m an image consultant, I want to find the top 10 pieces of viral content. I want to see if I can recreate and replicate one or two or three of them and do as best I can replicating a very similar piece of content. Then I would take it right to the sneezer that made it popular and see if that sneezer would want to review that piece of content and share it with their audience. You don’t tell them that you know that they did this 9 months ago for somebody else. The reason you want to do this and this is what I love about business. Business is all psychology. Business is psychology. My favorite business book of all time is “The Psychology of Selling,” by Brian Tracy. It is not a book I’m selling. It is on business. Business is all psychology. The reason this will work for you and the reason this will work in any case for any business is this. A sneezer is somebody of influence and they know it. What a sneezer wakes up thinking every single day is how do I expand my audience? How do I grow my subscriber base? Almost every sneezer out there, Oprah. Quite frankly when the President of the United States steps down, he’s still going to be a sneezer. The reality is the income that goes to a sneezer is in direct proportion to the value and the size of their audience. They’re always in pursuit of more audience. Now could you just imagine this? Let’s say you don’t know a sneezer. You don’t know. If you’re in business long term, there is a strategy that works all the time and it goes like this. This is the template version and then you’ve got to get creative with it. Could you imagine? Let’s pick on Tony Robbins. Most people know who Tony Robbins is. I think we all agree although he’s now a billionaire X times over, he’s still in pursuit of more influence. Could you imagine, if I really had a piece of content and I knew it was awesome and I knew it could improve people’s self-image and get rid of doubt and fear and it was everything Tony Robbins speaks on. What if I was long-term thinker and I started in my local community a Tony Robbins fan club. I could prove in 6 months. That I grew this from me and a buddy to me and 10 people and then we had meet-ups and we studied his book and his this and his that. We attended his conferences. Six months later, I got 1500 people growing 10% compounded monthly.
How Can I Help You? How Can I serve You?
Could you imagine if I attended one of Tony’s events? I said to one of his handlers, I said, “Could you do me a favor? I am the President of Tony’s fan club in such and such a town. Here’s my iPad with our demographics growing and it shows up into the right severely.” You know that handler is going to bring that message back to Tony Robbins and you know if you wait 5 minutes, he’s going to come out from the black curtain, walk up to you, shake your hand, give you a hand, give you a hug and say, “Wow, tell me about this.” He’s going to say this line. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to say, “My goodness that’s amazing. I so appreciate you. What can I do for you? How can I help you?” I want you to understand something, everybody listening to this. Everybody that’s moving and shaking with a growing audience wants a bigger audience faster than they’re currently growing their audience. On the flip side, they know their audience can add so much value to so many other people and they don’t mind sharing their audience. They don’t mind. They know there’s other people trying to get where they’re at and they’re thankful that somebody turned around at one point and helped them. These people that you look up to and, “Oh my God. They got so many people. Oh, my gosh.” No, no. They want to help you. You just have to understand you cannot lead with what’s called a premature ask. “Tony could you do me a favor? Can you write an email and recommend my newsletter?” No, no. He doesn’t know you. There’s no relationship. That’s a premature ask. You did not have the right to ask for a favor but when you become the head of the Tony Robbins fan club and you can build a big audience and then you go to him and say, “Hey check this out.” He goes, “My gosh, how can I help you?” That is called the law of reciprocity. Let’s bring this back to the image consultant. If I’m going to start a brand new image consulting business and go after corporate America and go after politicians, I want to use leverage. I want to leverage somebody that already has a large subscriber base, a large following of corporate executives, a large following of politicians, right? I’ll give you a really simple example. If I had a product or service and definitely this would work in the image consulting business, and I was able to go after say professional athletes, the last thing I want to do is try to go through a gatekeeper and one-by-one get a hold of a professional athlete and sit him down and show him what I got. Forget that.
Rub Elbows With An Influencer
I want to meet an influencer that has a book of business that leverages already a group of athletes. Guess what, I would want to go to an athlete’s agent. If I can become somehow a person of value to that agent, they’re going to bring me into a hundred meetings with that athlete. If I want to go into corporate America, I want to partner up with someone that’s already connected to executives in corporate America. I would not want to go and knock on doors and cold call my way into onesey-twosey jobs. I want to slowly, methodically build a relationship with the person that can be bring me into those executives. Now hoping that makes sense because it’s so much faster. The whole point of Grant Cardone’s Book 10X, it is the point of using leverage to use it as a fulcrum or a mechanical advantage and pivot your way in. Bottom line is if you can use leverage, you will get that person of influence to turn around and say, “How can I help you?” Then it’s simply a matter of finding a way to play together and it becomes such a joy doing business instead of such a grind trying to knock on doors or make one more call or try a different type of advertising to tell more, sell more. You want to relax in the numbers. You want to use leverage and that’s definitely the way to go. To just to quickly put a stamp on this, number one, I would use a digital footprint. I would find what other image consultants are already doing. I would reverse engineer, see what fits your personality and replicate it. I would then jump on BuzzSumo. That gives you in the narrative of your space. It physically shows you what’s hot and moving, what’s probably cool, cutting edge, controversial, comedic and a way you go, what makes people cry, that thing. Then number three, I would use leverage to get in the door. I would not knock on doors. I would use Sneezers, people of influence to get you in the door. Hoping that makes sense. This was a good little case study in image consultant wanted to penetrate the market and quickly. Hoping that helps. I am Ken Courtirght, signing off for Today’s Growth | Growing Business Today. If this hit you or you liked it, do me a favor and subscribe and/or if you really have the time, jump on iTunes as you have to be on a desktop as it’s a little bit of a pain in the butt. You go to iTunes and throw me a review. You guys are awesome. Talk to you soon. Bye.