Earn More: Personal Marketing Secret Of The World’s Top Business Minds
Reading Time: 15 minutes
Trust is a hard thing to get in sales and marketing, which stinks because it’s like a rocket booster for sales. Trust has to be earned, meaning we can’t just spam our way to it overnight. We’ll explore the top personal marketing tips the world’s top business minds have followed to achieve trust in our digital age.
Let’s talk about it:
My compatriot sat before me, seeming to hold his breath, as though he were a chimney choked of smoke and fire. I had no idea what might come out.
Maybe I’d get a spiteful word for my lack of understanding, a “f%$k you” for pushing too hard, or perhaps…could it be…
He began crying.
This grown man, stacked with greater years upon his shoulders than I had, began to crinkle his eyes at the folds and shed a few tears.
“Thank you,” he said. “Thank you Jean-Marc.” I sat opposite him in our Panera Bread booth trying not to smile too awkwardly but happy I could be of service.
I felt I was accomplishing my purpose.
Trust Is About More Than Money
To explain, weeks before, me and my Boomer buddy had met at the same Panera Bread (their ‘plain’ cafe latte is the shiz, I swear there is a cool cascade of little bubbles that tickle your face when you try to sip it –and a hint of spicy nutmeg in the milk).
He wanted to talk about me and what I was working on.
He had been quoted a crazy 20X price by a competitor and had wanted to hear about my thoughts on LinkedIn marketing strategy and LinkedIn b2b lead generation services.
However, when I approached to see a mess of papers strewn about the booth’s table and him tapping away on his Macbook Air, I figured it was more prescient to ask him what was up.
The skinny was he had been working on a presentation that he thought was perfect for a TED talk. The problem was ol’ TED didn’t seem to agree and had rejected his repeated attempts to get on their roster.
“What is your talk about?” I asked.
“How I had climbed Mount Everest,” he answered.
And with my interest piqued, I dived into his unique story and history.
For one, he never reached the summit due to catching frostbite–and secondly, on his journey to climb the mountain beast, he provided the very encouragement his teammates needed to reach the summit themselves.
As an outsider to his life and a trained story teller, I had the obvious advantage of seeing his run at Everest and the surrounding events as a connected story. The revelations I shared from my notes led to the aforementioned tears.
That has to be the greatest show of trust any man or woman can show another, a moment of honest vulnerability.
It may sound lame, but that moment we shared was more important than any money he could have given me.
If only we could accomplish this online.
The Hardest Thing To Get People To Do Online Is Trust
Now, you might be wondering why someone should care about trust online or via social media.
People just need that face-to-face we argue. And yet we do not have the option of living in a purely analog world of in-person coffee chats.
Pew Research shares the facts with us:
Overall, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 26% who go online almost constantly, as well as 43% who say they go online several times a day.
You aren’t surprised by this.
Tens of millions of us are essentially living online in our own versions of virtual reality. If that is true (and Pew is lauded as a pretty crackerjack bunch), should we forfeit our humanity as a tradeoff?
If you’re human (assuming this isn’t being read by a sentient android in the year 2080–in that case, I’ve always felt the Terminator was misunderstood) then the only way we can consider our travels in the web space and through social media, is socially.
“…there is no cognition, emotion, or action independent of a social component for humans. That might sound like an extreme view, and maybe it is, but I honestly can’t imagine an argument that could counter it.”
Positive social interaction is our jam as human beings. In the same linked article (above), Dr. Heflick goes on to explain that positive socialization or sharing subjective experiences with others “can improve relationships between members of different racial groups (e.g., less dehumanization and prejudice), and generally increase feelings of closeness with other people.”
The most remarkable finding?
These interactions do not have to be that deep.
“These shared experiences are often seemingly trivial,” writes Dr. Heflick.
With all the benefits, why wouldn’t we try to perpetuate this?
What does this have to do with B2B sales and marketing?
“Well over half of participants in a recent study think that companies don’t operate with their customers’ best interest in mind” – AdWeek, “Consumers Trust In Brands Has Fallen To A New Low”
Trust is a hard thing to get in sales and marketing. It has to be earned, meaning we can’t just spam our way to it overnight.
But if we can earn another person’s trust–it is the golden goose of business.
Trust makes things move a lot faster. In fact, boutique consulting expert and “Millionaire Consultant” Alan Weiss calls the ability to increase revenue through the increase of initial trust with prospects, “the Accelerant Curve.”
That means that the more people trust you, the more money you will make with them.
You’ve had this experience in your own life, if you’ve ever read a book, visited a restaurant, or enlisted a specific hairstylist for help based on a close friend’s recommendation. That information from a trusted source saved the business a lot of time — and you a lot of research.
What made trust in business matter to me
I am not a good person. I am not a docile lamb.
Not coming from much, I am sure I think about money more than the average person. In the past, I have asked myself what I might be willing to do to succeed at this money game–and there were only a few things I wasn’t willing to sacrifice.
That said, things changed for me when I was invited to see success in business in another light.
After getting a meeting with the most successful business person I know, a man who had risen from nothing and nowhere to be named the top business owner in my city, I learned his secret sauce was giving and I haven’t been the same.
He put me onto the Go-Giver and I have not (yet) looked back–and–it has surprisingly helped me gain opportunities where I couldn’t have guest they existed.
If you had to sum it up in one line, the “Go-Giver” ethos is about multiplying your success by multiplying the number of lives you touch.
And to be in the position to touch lives, you have to have earned trust.
Online Personalities Who Have Earned Trust
Speaking of earning trust, if we are going to spend such a large portion of our business (and personal) time online, the least we can do is identify trustworthy people and learned how they have earned trust from others.
Here are some people I met on the internet and have come to trust enough to regularly consume their content, buy their products, and follow to some degree.
Aubrey Marcus: be incredibly honest
My fellow marketers and I never typically discuss trust as a professional topic outside of making sure a landing page holds the right social proof and testimonials to keep people from bailing.
So when a content marketing manager colleague said,
“This guy named Aubrey Marcus…I would buy anything from him”
And I asked, Why?
And she said,
“He’s just so honest, you should check out his podcast”
I knew I had to.
CEO of the now-successful global fitness brand Onnit, Aubrey Marcus admits he built his business on podcasting (and I would add, the trust it gained him). You never get the feeling his content is scripted or salesy–just raw in the here and now.
In his book, “Own the Day, Own Your Life,” he even goes into detail about his hypocrisy, shortcomings, even his past sexual dysfunction.
His willingness to trust he’ll be taken well is like a gift to his audience that we return by lending him that trust back.
Frank Kern: be yourself,even if it’s out there
I imagine Frank Kern has some of the same issues I’ve had in the past, where people don’t ever really know when I’m being serious or being facetious.
With a regularly sly smile, Mr. Kern is CEO of Frank Kern Inc. and a multimillionaire internet marketer who’s claim to fame includes helping clients earn over $18 million in less than a day, helping Neil Strauss launch a book to bestelling status, and guiding Tony Robbins through a majorly successful product launch.
That said, he embraces his inner weirdness, which he unabashedly translates into outer weirdness.
The first 30 seconds of the following vid should give you a peek into his style.
I have been at an event where he admitted to his own struggles with mental health and self esteem. Afterward, he jokingly commented about how he was paranoid we might all try to hurt him.
His brand is reasonably irreverent with some “OK….?” moments thrown in for good measure. But rather than avoid the man, you embrace his message because you figure if he’s being true to himself his words and methods will ring true as well.
Random note: Also, he’ll regularly comment that you should never ever listen to anything he says. So, there’s that.
Edmond Lau: be clear and straightforward
If the quickest way to cover the distance between point A and point B is a straight line, then many developers seem to know how to get there verbally. Edmond Lau is no exception.
I learned about Edmond Lau, a well-known Silicon Valley software engineer (Google, Quora) and author of the Effective Engineer, from a friend at my office.
While I am not as well acquainted with Mr. Lau’s ethos and all that, I can say, just from going through his basic email course, he is efficiently direct in his communication.
You can check out his talk at Google below:
In a world, where marketers and professionals of all types are chided with the non-sequitur, “Be interesting” (because everyone has such short attention spans these days) it is nice to leave a site without a pop-up that frantically declares,
WAIT!!! YOU SURE YOU WANT TO MISS OUT ON THE DISCOVERY OF A LIFETIME???!!!
Or an have an email that relies less on “clever” tricks such as
“HUGE MISTAKES (Please Read)”–a real subject line.
And more on the valuable content inside:
“What 500+ interviews revealed about the best engineering cultures”
And from what I hear, this strategy of directness has allowed Mr. Lau to travel a straight line to an increasingly comfortable life.
Tony Robbins: be emphatic about giving value
Listen to a talk from Tony Robbins long enough and you’ll most likely hear his catchphrase,
“The secret to living is giving.”
The man is a walking-talking value-dispensing machine. His early events were called “value-add seminars” and even at this stage of the game, instead of telling b%&@#es to “watch the throne” like Kanye or J, he expresses his hope to offer “some value” to his audience.
Like many who come to dig him, I discovered his wisdom at one of the lowest moments in my life. Since then, I’ve given great weight to his words and virtual counsel.
His life’s journey embodies the American Dream and his energy is just as boundless (so much so that Aubrey Marcus will make mention of Mr. Robbins’ relentless spirit in-between sections on cage fighters and Olympic Athletes in his book).
While he’s been profiled by enough authorities to make another full attempt a lackluster affair, the biggest thing that draws thousands to trust him with the goals of life and business guidance is his overt focus on helping others.
Tony’s nearly sacrificial zeal to see others benefit from his insights and resources express the notion he’d do the same for you. And his fans hold fast to that unspoken promise.
When I think about it, we all have a bit of a tough time with this, don’t we? Matters to leap and people to avoid can leave us a bit wary for the road.
But if we, from time to time, can remember that we’re all passengers on the same boat or spaceship Earth–we just might be OK–and earn some trust along the way.
Who do you trust online and why?