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Yep, You Gotta Do It
This next principle is age-old, but it definitely affects how we grow businesses. I want to bring everybody back. My wife turned a certain age and we had agreed for many years that at this age we were going to go look at vineyards in Bordeaux, whether we could afford them or not. Having no idea that our company would become a six-time Inc. 5000 company and we could sincerely look at these vineyards for purchase in the near future. All of that to say we looked at seven vineyards, four in the Saint–Émilion region and three in the satellites around it. Something amazing happened. We also looked at three vineyards in Tuscany as well.
What is absolutely amazing is the two vineyards that we have followed up on that we would probably look to purchase in a couple of years, assuming they’re still for sale and the same people are still there. They were not necessarily the ones with the best wine or the best price. What is so amazing is that my wife and I are deeply in love with two vineyards because of the winemakers. Not necessarily the owners, although the owners play a big part in what I’m about to say. The winemakers themselves who have been on that soil making that wine for many years in both cases. We’re so ingrained with the story of the vineyard. They were even the people that walked us through the eleven hectares and the seven hectares and they explained how their parents and their children planted those olive trees and made this river bend this way.
Stories sell. Click To Tweet
What’s amazing is the story of their love for that land and their love for wine and what wine does with and through people that drink it. It was so captivating. We actually want to carry on that torch and that tradition. What does this have to do with your business? Everything. Many years ago when I first started this show, I did a lot in the beginning with the Right to Succeed website. You can find a lot of what I’m saying in my Today’s Growth Classics podcast that I do with my wife. If you dig into some are oldies and goodies, they’re the most downloaded podcasts. You guys know these are read thousands of times a day in 60 countries, but some of the oldies are so strong on what I’m about to share that they’re worth reviewing even the first 50 episodes because I was so passionate about what I’m about to say.
Here’s what’s real about selling. People want to buy products from cool companies and cool people. They don’t actually even buy products per se anymore in relation to what was known as the three P’s: products, pricing and placement. They buy products because there’s a story behind it. I’ll never forget, I was on an airplane reading a Dan Kennedy book and I got jolted. I was reading about No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent. Dan Kennedy said, “After many years of homework, we found out that the super-affluent make their buying decisions more often than not on the entrepreneurial story behind the brand.” He gave the example that when a man goes to buy a $30,000 watch, it isn’t necessarily the watch that he’s buying. It’s not the quality of construction.
All top ten watch manufacturers have the same quality of construction. They’re all amazing, but when a guy is playing poker and his friend goes, “Nice watch.” The guy wants to go, “Let me tell you about this watch.” He wants to launch into the story of the founder of that company, how he almost went bankrupt, how it took his son to shake him by the shoulders to get the watch company back on track, and how grandpa had to come in with more money and save the watch company. Stories sell. Winemakers that make the wine sell the vineyard to the next vineyard owner. You need to tell stories on your website. If you open your website, is there a true hardcore, heartfelt emotional stories about the original founders of your company? The owners, the team of people.
Do your key people have profile pages on your website? Even video clips where they’re telling why they work there? Why they love the company? Why the products are amazing and why they will do this for as long as the owners will have them? You’ve got to have that brand story and that brand transparency. I remember spending stupid money to have an Emmy Award-winning director film a three and twenty-minute biography of our company. It still stands on our homepage and it was so worth it. People want to know why are people fighting seven days a week for their website. A lot of you reading this know that if you trust us with your money, we’re going to make sure that site grows because we’re going to split the revenue with you. We have a guaranteed revenue commitment every month that says you’re going to at least get this much money and it’s a sizable chunk based on what you put in to start that website that we built or bought you.
People want to buy products from cool companies and cool people. They buy products because there's a story behind it. Click To Tweet
Does the world want to know who the people are managing these sites? Who are the people staying up seven days a week making sure my asset performs? They don’t just want to know that we’re a tech company with 200 people in offices in Romania and Pennsylvania and all over the world. They don’t care. Everybody’s got that. Everybody has SEOs. They want the story. That’s why we launched Income Store TV. A once a month documentary on taking people behind the scenes into Income Store and who are we in and why we do what we do. Here’s a question. If Kerri and I are willing to spend an obnoxious amount of money every month making a little movie, exposing the people behind Income Store and why we do what we do and why if a website crashes, which they do.
We have 1 out of 50 sites crash and we can’t resurrect them. We’ve got to go out and buy them another website with our own money. Why do we do that? How do we do that? We want to expose the insanity behind the Income Store. Who are these people that make the decisions when a site is unsalvageable? Our customers, our clients love this. They crave this. That’s why 71% of our website partners do another deal with us. How many of your customers, how many of your clients know who you are? What percentage of your customers knows your brand story, the embryonic story of why you even started your company? How many? What percent? They all need to know.
I remember somebody came to me one day and they go, “Ken, I heard you on the radio. I went to your website. It took me half-an-hour to figure out what your company does.” That’s what I want. They had no idea exactly what we did, but they knew we were cool. They knew that we had something going on and they knew the world loved us because of social proof and the ridiculous amount of testimonials we have all over our website. Get off this blog, get out a piece of paper and start writing out your brand story, your embryonic story. Why does your company exist? Who are you? Tell your customers who you are and why you do what you do. They want to know and they need to know.