I recently had conversations with both the editor and the publisher of my new book…and we decided to change the working title because I was nervous that my “marketing book” might be perceived as a “personal development book.”
Not that there is anything wrong with personal development…we all need it!…but I feel strongly that there are many others more qualified than me to be the messenger there…and I should just stick to marketing.
The previous working title was Overdelivery…not really a word and not entirely a marketing concept either.
While I love over-delivering in every aspect of my life, business and personal, I questioned whether anyone would read such a book with that title from the likes of me.
So we made that a chapter instead. I still couldn’t resist making up a word.
The new working title is Measurable Marketing…thinking that no one can mistake that title for anything but a book about direct response marketing.
That’s the information I want folks coming for…and I am determined to deliver that.
Thinking about how the title of the book changed, brought back some conversations I’ve had in the past with some thought leaders in our marketing world, most of whom you would recognize.
What I was recalling from those conversations was their observations from interactions with their audiences.
They shared with me what happens when they write or send videos about marketing (specific techniques) vs. “softer topics” (that we can define here as “personal development”).
What they all told me:
When they share marketing tactics, they receive lots of response; but when they blog or vlog or discuss more “personal” topics such as living life as a free and independent entrepreneur or how to treat people correctly or simply living a life with purpose that you love, they always receive many more comments (and positive feedback).
The conclusion: “We come for the information but we stay for the inspiration.”
A short time after having those conversations, I had the privilege of speaking in France to a group of up-and-coming French entrepreneurs…and as I took the stage with a translator at my side, I asked the group three questions:
1) “How many of you have a huge mission or vision you want to fulfill in your life and then share it with the world?”
Most of the folks in the room raised their hands…but not all of them (which was perplexing).
I then asked:
2) “How many of you never raise your hands at a seminar when asked a question?”
I think those who didn’t raise their hand to the first question raised it here…well, most of them…extreme introverts aside…
Then I asked:
3) “How many of you would like to reach millions rather than dozens with your mission or vision?”
Now I think I got ALL of them to raise their hands…finally…and I probably should have asked those who didn’t raise their hand (to this last question) to leave the room.
After all, I was about to get into a presentation called, “Marketing isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”
Being 100% transparent, I shared with them at the beginning of the speech that I really didn’t know whether it would be all about “marketing”–since I knew that there were PowerPoint slides that felt kind of woo-woo created by this “reluctant preacher” of personal development.
My gut always tells me that I am neither comfortable nor equipped to go in that direction when I drift there.
I’m always more comfortable staying in my box called “direct marketing education.”
I confessed that I was not an expert in personal development but that I am considered somewhat of an expert in direct marketing…but what I had learned in those conversations with my marketing buddies (and now on stage in a foreign country) is the overlap of the two is huge.
And that becomes more apparent every day.
I find it difficult talking about RFM or LTV without also talking about building relationship capital or contributing to connect.
Marketing concepts need context. And maybe a little woo-woo too.
And it goes both ways…that is, ask a guru in the personal development space if they think they can grow their business to where they want to without at least understandingmarketing (even if they outsource all of those functions).
Most successful gurus in that space will tell you that learning marketing is critical to everything they accomplish and are trying to accomplish.
Clearly, even in a speech all about marketing, I needed to talk about BOTH…because no matter how big any of our missions are–and how much passion we have for those missions—if we don’t spend time focusing on marketing AND personal development, we won’t be able to make as big a difference in the world.
I think most of the French entrepreneurs knew this before I confessed it…but I felt I would be doing them a disservice if I didn’t emphasize it and explain it…and it reinforced the lesson for me.
You can’t have one without the other.
This seems fairly obvious to most of you too, I imagine. It came to me much later in life.
But unfortunately, there are still many what I would call “heart-centered entrepreneurs” who believe that their mission is so pure and so important, it’s only a matter of time before everyone will hear about it…and them.
“Build it and they will come…not…”
And also unfortunately, there are world class marketers who can sell anything to anyone but if they are doing it without heart (i.e. a passion that is driving them), my observation is that they will make a lot of money but ultimately feel pretty empty in the long run.
I never want anyone to sell or position their product or service in a way that makes them uncomfortable or makes them feel they are marketing without integrity.
But I also don’t want them waiting around for something to happen.
That’s why we as marketers need to do it…and then teach it.
Bottom line: Teaching marketing is so much more impactful when your students are in love with what they want to share.
Since those conversations with my buddies–“Professors of Marketing” (and none of them have an advanced degree in the subject…only success in the marketplace)—followed by my first presentation on foreign soil,– I now pay much more attention to what resonates most with folks who want to make the biggest impact.
Like my buddies, I receive a lot more feedback on posts when they are about softer topics other than marketing—it’s not a trend but reality.
Now I intentionally merge the softer material with more hands-on marketing advice to make sure we never lose sight of the fact that without marketing, nothing happens…and without heart, our marketing sucks.
And while I am pretty sure that folks come to blogs like mine for the “information,” I’m also pretty sure they stay for the “inspiration.”
At least that’s my hope.
I’d love your thoughts and opinions about this…send me an email…and I guess if you unsubscribe after reading this, I’ll assume it means you want all marketing all the time. 🙂
P.S. I’ve been following something online over the last couple of weeks from two of my favorite Internet marketers, Grover and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
I have consulted with them as a child (and then with my children when I became an adult)…and consulted with all of the Muppets…for lots of “information” as long as I can remember (e.g. the song “Letter B” taught me as much as “Let It Be”).
After watching a documentary recently called Muppet Guys Talking, I can say with confidence that this is a perfect example of a place where you can go for some awesome information; but I guarantee you will stay for the inspiration.
The Producer of the film is my good friend, Victoria Labalme, a thought leader, teacher of presentation skills and performance arts at the highest level, and someone who personifies what I talked about in my post today:
She is a skilled teacher who understands that being a skilled marketer gets the word out on your genius to many more people than you could ever dream of…and today she is using that genius to share the genius of The Muppets.
How this came to be:
Victoria is married to Frank Oz.
Frank Oz is one of the most famous performers in the world you may never have heard of… unless you are a Sesame Street fan, a Muppets fan, a Star Wars fan, or a fan of some of the amazing films Frank has directed like The Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Housesitter.
Frank Oz helped create and perform some of the best-loved characters of all time…Bert and Ernie, Grover and Cookie Monster (those Internet marketers I told you about), Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal, all from The Muppets.
And Yoda from Star Wars.
Yes, that’s right. Frank Oz performed and voiced the character of Yoda (even in the most recent Star Wars film).
Frank worked for many years, along with an incredible team of puppeteers and performers including Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Fran Brill, Bill Barretta and the legendary Jim Henson (who led the team and performed Kermit the Frog, amongst others) on Sesame Street and The Muppets.
And in Muppet Guys Talking, for the first time ever, five of the original Muppet performers come together to discuss the creation of their iconic characters under the visionary leadership of Jim Henson.
With unexpected stories, rare behind-the-scenes footage, and important insights into how Jim led his team, this documentary gives a private glimpse into the true spirit of the Muppets and how a culture of innovation, hard work, and playfulness produced one of the most successful creative endeavors in history.
Information and inspiration indeed.
I am not telling you about this as an “affiliate”…I am telling you about this to support my premise (and two of my heroes, Victoria and Frank) that inspiration comes from all directions…and The Muppets (and Frank Oz) are no exception.
I had the privilege of being a participant in an intimate meeting with Frank a few years ago and it was one of the greatest lessons I have ever gotten about how to truly prepare for anything that is meaningful in your life…and who can argue with Yoda (who is also a director of high budget films where precision from intense preparation is everything…time isn’t just money when making a big Hollywood movie…time is A LOT OF money)…
Yoda and Frank said, “There is no try, only do.”
And Frank has “done” everything in his life with supreme excellence, including this wonderful documentary with Victoria.
What this film teaches about transformation, community (and of course marketing!) proves my point in this week’s post as well as anything I could share with you as an example.
The film for me, above all, is about how the “Muppet Guys” shared their big vision in a big way…and why this phenomenon has stood the test of time.
It is as much about the information shared in the wisdom of the Muppets and the Muppets creators as it is about the inspiration they created for millions around the world.
Muppet Guys Talking is available now for purchase at www.MuppetGuysTalking.com
I make nothing if you purchase the film…as I said this is not an affiliate link…just an invitation to get a serious dose of inspiration for the price of around two lattes.
This site is the ONLY place you can get it – it’s not on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon or in theaters.
Muppet Guys Talking is an extraordinary film about an amazing team of people achieving incredible feats of creative expression, characterization and storytelling through the power of non-competitive collaboration.
Not just the ordinary kind of collaboration – as this film shows us, there was an extreme level of what experts call ‘psychological safety’ present in this team headed up by the late, great Jim Henson.
Now that’s inspiring.