Hey, Ken Courtright here after two weeks on the road. I went to teach at CEO Space in Lake Las Vegas as I do five times a year, but I also spoke on Secret Knock, Greg Reid’s invite-only, exclusive club based on his international best-selling book Three Feet from Gold.
I spoke there, and as I was sitting in the audience listening to all the other speakers, something hit me. I was listening to Brian Smith, the founder of UGG Boots. I was listening to Greg Reid, the international speaker. I was listening to David Corbin, the international speaker. Almost every person that took the stage, and they all delivered amazing information at both events, I realized something. Every one of these people that spoke had a platform in front of their platform. Some of them had multiple platforms. So the title of this podcast is “Platform Before the Platform.”
I’m going to hit things on business growth from a really different angle today. This one is fun, so let’s talk about car manufacturers, Ford, Chevy, Mercedes. Their platform to sell things is car dealerships. What’s interesting is there is an awareness platform in front of their selling platform. Their awareness platform is called auto shows.
Let’s talk about financial advisors. For close to 40 years, the financial advisors that I have studied and for half that time helped grow some businesses, their platforms are a one-on-one sit-down at someone’s home. If you’re really going to help someone with their finances, they have to get to know you, they have to trust you, and you are going to do that in a one-on-one fashion, either through a series of restaurant meetings, over lunch or coffee, or at their home. What’s funny is about 1/3 of financial advisors build their portfolios by doing free steak dinners at a fancy restaurant. I’m talking about people who live in larger cities.
How many of you on this podcast have ever gotten a letter in the mail saying “Free steak dinner on us” either at Gibson’s or Morton’s or Lowry’s, some expensive steak place? As long as you show up, you get a steak dinner. While you are eating your steak dinner, you know going in you are going to sit through a 40-minute presentation by a financial advisor.
What Is Your Awareness Platform?
The platform for those financial advisors is one-on-one meetings, but that is their selling platform. Their awareness platforms are restaurants giving away free steaks.
How about direct sales, marketing people? Platform is the same as financial advisors. It’s the one-on-one at your kitchen table. I’m thinking the Mary Kay’s, the Avon’s, Herbalife. But what comes before those? I am coming from experience. My mother-in-law used to be the national director at Mary Kay. She drove the pink cars. Their one-on-one’s were definitely their selling platform.
However, the house party comes first. My mom would see if a gal would have a house party. If she could get ten gals there, she could get a free set of makeup or something as a thank-you. The reality is the house party was just to filter out the people who wanted extra income on the side and then eventually my mom would want to book a one-on-one.
Let’s talk about real estate investors. I’m thinking guys like Than Merrill from Flip that House on A&E. They are looking for affiliates, joint venture partners. Their platform is the one-on-one, take you out to dinner. Than would say that you could use his money if you scout for him in these cities. Look for properties that meet these criteria.
What’s the awareness platform? Once a month, there is a Saturday seminar where Than will teach you everything he knows for free if you attend. He is looking for the few people that want to take it to the next level. Away they go.
One last one: professional speakers. This is what triggered the idea for me. I was watching some of the greatest international speakers at Secret Knock and CEO Space delivering their presentations. Dan Clark. Some of these guys were riveting. I realized every one of these speakers has books. Greg Reid has 45 books, I think. David Corbin just came out with Brand Slaughter. He gave us a couple of chapters of that book. It’s amazing; I cannot wait to get it.
The point is the books are these speakers’ awareness platforms. That is what creates the awareness so that companies want to book these people on their stages for keynote talks. I realized that most entrepreneurs’ thinking goes like, What are 10-20 ways we can increase sales? What are 10-20 ways we can drive more people to our website? What are 10-20 ways we could get more people in our restaurant? It seems to me that a lot of the larger companies today are asking people: What are 10-20 ways we could talk you into joining our awareness platform, meeting us at our awareness platform?
I’d like to challenge everybody on this podcast to consider creating some awareness platforms instead of trying to sell more times.
I want to give you some examples of friends of mine that as I was flying home, I was writing some names down, thinking, What do these people sell? I realized that many of them have one or two platforms in front of their selling platform.
Ryan Moran’s Freedom From The Fast Lane
Let’s talk about a pretty cool young man named Ryan Moran. Ryan teaches how to make more money passively. He started being one of the foremost teachers of how to make more money on Amazon, but right now he is just in general teaching. His banner is Freedom Fast Lane, and you can catch him on tons of podcasts. He has his own events. His core product, his core platform, is either personal coaching at a higher level or digital tools that he creates that really help people make money on the side.
Thinking back, Ryan has two platforms. He has his Freedom Fast Lane podcast, but that pumps into his second platform, his awareness platform, which is Freedom Fast Lane Live. At his last event, I spoke briefly, but I was beside Gary Vaynerchuk and a gentleman from Shark Tank. He has two different platforms that then lead to his personal coaching, etc.
Kind of a different spin. You wouldn’t think someone trying to do personal coaching or sell digital products would be considering a podcast.
I have another buddy, Berny Dohrmann. Berny Dohrmann for 25 years has delivered personal life coaching and executive life coaching, and on top of that, strategy, sequencing, and even funding for some of the most successful companies in America. If you were Berny Dohrmann, and you were known worldwide for helping people sequence, strategize, and fund their businesses, and get people unstuck from personal challenges, you would ask yourself, “Man, how can I get myself in front of more of these people so they will consider me or my company to help grow their business?” I don’t know if anybody would have ever thought the way Berny thinks.
So what does Berny do? Berny hired what are called club presidents. These are people that hold monthly gatherings of brainstorming sessions. They are like CEO Space mini’s. These gatherings then funnel people to CEO Space International, which is five times a year in Lake Las Vegas. Then you have your hundreds or thousands of people worldwide that attend these larger events. Again, those people get filtered or called out. Some of the people, whose timing is just absolutely right, there is a phrase, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” It’s funny to watch all these great businesses come through. Many great household name products have come through CEO Space.
When The Student Is Ready The Teacher Appears
When certain businesses are in the perfect position, here comes Berny Dohrmann and the board of directors of CEO Space. They can really help these companies, but Berny uses a double platform to educate. He doesn’t charge anything. He just educates and teaches, and he is giving until it hurts. People wonder how they can get more of this. This is a good appetizer; I want the real thing. That’s when they go to CEO Space, and eventually some of them will want to work directly with some of the key people there.
I want to name another one that is so far out there that I doubt anybody hearing the beginning of this would ever think that it would go the way it went. Could you imagine being a nuclear engineer, and you need to generate some business because you have been recently let go from your very large consulting job because they merged with another company? There was down sizing, and you took an early retirement. Now you are sitting there, a year or two goes by, and you realize that this is competitive. There are only a couple hundred companies that you could even consult for.
Could you imagine this? You have a consultant. He has only got X amount of people worldwide that could take him on as a coach. Would you believe that this gentleman chose of all things Facebook groups as a platform to get business? He went into 25 Facebook groups and became friends with all of these people. He profiled them. He knew there were people in each of these groups. He strategically found the right groups to join. He knew these people either managed or worked at the 200 companies that could get him a job. He then joined these groups, and he got exhausted over a period of eight weeks because everybody kept realizing, Wow, this guy really knows his stuff. They started asking the same questions over and over.
After a period of exhaustion, he knew it was time. He had a coach in this phase. The coach said that it was time to start your own Facebook group. He left those 25 groups, and he started his own group. This would be platform number two. He started his own group, and hundreds of people followed him into his own group. His group took off. More and more people started sharing it with more and more people. The group grew over 2,000. He started getting the same exact questions over and over from all of the new people.
His coach said it’s time to now hold a webinar. Make eight key points that you seem to teach people over and over. Hold those eight key points on a slide deck. The coach said, “Why don’t you go through four of these? Teach four on the first webinar. Then at the end, explain that you ran out of time. You don’t want to make these things four hours. Do an hour and a half or so, cut it short, get off there, let people breathe. Then say that in a week or two, you will finish.”
He did points 5-8 two weeks later. At the end of this third platform, the gentleman said, “If anybody knows anybody out there that works at any of these couple hundred companies, at this point, I am looking to start a new consulting practice. If anybody can throw me some connections, I’d be eternally grateful.” From what we hear, he got two jobs out of this. Both of them in the million-dollar plus range from Facebook groups in nuclear engineering.
Teach And Serve On Awareness Platforms And The World Will Come To You
The concept is: Could you imagine if this gentleman tried to do the traditional? LinkedIn, going through gatekeepers. He would be beating his head against the wall trying to get noticed with these jobs. Instead he goes on to awareness platforms and teaches and serves and teaches and serves until it hurts, asking nothing in return. Then the world came to him.
I am going to rattle off a bunch of great starter platforms. Here we go:
- Facebook groups
- Sponsoring events
- Holding your own events
- House meetings
- Steak dinners
- Trade shows
Those are all great starter platforms. The question you have to ask yourself is: Which is the best platform to start with? Which platform would best allow a group of enthusiastic potential clients to need to receive your messages or receive and communicate? Let’s say you do a podcast, like I am doing here. Everybody here is receiving my message. Had I decided to choose Facebook groups, you would be able to receive the message and communicate about it.
What you want to do is pick a platform that best suits your personality and your lifestyle, meaning the timing. How often are you home? I am traveling a lot, so I can do these on Saturdays, I can load them up, I can set them early, and I can work around the schedule.
No Selling Ever On These Platforms Only Educating
Here are some notes on platforms. There is no selling ever. There is only educating. If you sell on a platform, you are breaking the golden rule. Can you buy a car at an auto show? No, you cannot. If you go to a free steak dinner, can you buy something from that gentleman right there? If you took him out to the parking lot, you could, but they are mandated by these Northwestern Mutual Funds and all these other companies. You don’t sell at the platform session; you educate and create awareness. You sell in the one-on-ones.
If word gets out you’re selling, can that platform go viral? No. Human nature says we don’t forward things that are closing people, that are asking for the order, that are offering a discount. Very few people share that type of information.
My podcast is growing 50% per week organically. We have never done an advertisement. We have never emailed a list. I emailed 41 people in the very beginning. That’s it. Now we are growing like a weed. Every other week, we are in the top row of podcasts for business.
Here is the question: Have you ever heard me sell from this podcast? No. If I started selling, if I was already dropping my products, it wouldn’t go viral because human nature says it can’t.
Here is the question: If you can’t sell on a platform, how do you generate business? You don’t sell; you seed. A farmer plants seeds. If you plant corn, what is the only thing that can come up? Corn. If you plant green beans, can corn come up? No.
The key is this: When you are seeding, on every fifth, sixth, or seventh platform session, you can then seed like I do. I will mention the name of one of our events or use an example of one of the case studies, and I mention where you can find the data. Just now, note that I didn’t name one of our websites because I am only in Episode 3 of the run, and you don’t want to seed too often. You just want to add value.
We have been tracking the traffic to our company websites and our event websites. The people visiting our websites is in direct proportion to the traffic growth, or the exponential viral growth, of our podcast. The point is, if you are doing the right thing, if you are teaching until it hurts, if you are giving and serving until it hurts, the law of the universe takes care of itself. The law of reciprocity kicks in. The world spreads your message, just like the podcast. Away you go, and you’re in good shape.
Could you imagine if I started or ended every podcast mentioning our products? I’d believe you’d be gagging, and I don’t believe you’d be sharing it. I certainly wouldn’t follow a podcast if every time I get on the podcast, the guy is trying to jam his products down my throat.
Let’s wrap this up. Here is your homework. What platform(s) would be great for creating a loyal and growing following of your core beliefs and teachings? If I were you, I would come up with 3-5 of them. Ask yourself, “What platform best fits my personality and my lifestyle?”
Your second piece of homework: Don’t get good, get done. Don’t get good at your platform. Just get done. Start it. Get it in motion. Focus. By the pure definition of focus, the acronym: Follow One Course Until Successful.
We have 685 revenue-generating websites. We have never once launched a website properly. Every site we have built, we have had to take it down and rebuild it until after the world started talking to us and commenting to us about what we built. We have given up trying to launch things perfectly, properly. We know we are going to have to break it and restart the thing. We don’t get good at websites; we get done. Does that make sense?
When you decide what platform you want to go down, if it’s books, write a book. It might stink. I tell people all the time that I am a poorly selling author. Do we sell books every single week? Oh yeah. But I am not an international best-selling author. But I am going to keep writing. I just finished my third book. I am going to keep writing because it is the right thing to do.
Don’t get good, get done. I am Ken Courtright from Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. See ya.