A consistent marketing strategy is essential for success.
It’s something we all need to aim for as we develop our online businesses.
To help me in this respect, I have been reading a book that I’d been meaning to read for a long time.
“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini
Quoting from the Amazon product description:
‘Cialdini explains the psychology of why people say “yes” – and how to apply these understandings…. You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader – and how to defend yourself against them.’
So the book appealed to me on two levels –
- As a marketer, I need to get people to say “Yes”
- But as a “Bright Shiny Object” addict (in recovery) I need to defend myself against marketers’ tactics
And knowledge is the first step in both processes.
Reading is a bit of a luxury for me, and mostly happens on the 5 hour train trips to visit my Dad, so I’m only part way through it, but the chapter that really got me thinking was on….
According to Cialdini when we have made a decision on anything, we experience “personal and interpersonal pressures” to behave consistently with that commitment, and justify our earlier decision.
One example quoted is that gamblers are more certain about the outcome of a race just after they bet on a certain horse than before they place their bet.
Another aspect of “consistency” is exploited by the “foot-in-the-door” sales technique where a small purchase is often followed by a larger offer once a tiny commitment has been made that turns a prospect into a customer. The new customer is certain the product is “the one”, and confirms his decision with another purchase.
It won’t take a marketing genius to recognize this as the Sales Funnel we all alternately “try to profit from” and “fall for”.
It’s not my intention to summarize the book, rather to describe how it helped reinforce my feelings about a problem I’ve been grappling with in my drive for a consistent marketing strategy.
Consistency In Network Marketing
I’ve written on my own blog about the perils of promoting more than one network marketing business and the need to be consistent with our promotions – whatever we’re promoting.
But it’s hard.
There’s that initial honeymoon period when everything is moving fast and there’s lots to learn, your best contacts to “get in place” and it’s all exciting and new.
Then all too soon the realization sets in that, yes, this is the business you want to be your “forever business” because it ticks all the right boxes, but it’s time to knuckle down to the principle of doing something every day to advance that business.
Taking daily actions is a more commonly accepted meaning of “being consistent”.
In my business if everyone had brought in the same number of people as I did, we’d all be motoring along nicely. But they didn’t.
I say this not to blow my own trumpet, because I’m no great marketer. Some in our team have introduced many new customers, while I’ve only brought in about seven people. But if everyone else brought in seven, or five, or even one new customer, there’d be no stopping us.
Instead there’s been a slowing down as some of the team have drifted off to investigate other businesses, in the hope that instant wealth can be found there instead. Hint: it’s very, very unlikely.
Why Does This Happen?
It’s not a new phenomenon, we’ve all seen it. I’m not proud to say I’ve been guilty of it myself. In the end lack of a consistent marketing strategy can lead to lack of focus, overwhelm, burn-out and “quitting”.
Quite apart from the temptations of Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, I think the biggest reason is a genuine lack of skills in the average person who wants to promote an online business of any kind – network marketing or otherwise.
After finding that your best efforts didn’t work for “Opportunity A”, you get attracted by “Opportunity B”, which is bound to be easier to promote, and the whole cycle of failure starts again.
I suspect very few of us started from the outset producing quality blogs with avid readers and lead magnets and all the other fancy stuff. Apologies if I’m dis-respecting anyone here, but my pathway to a half-way-reasonable personal blog, plus the honor of being invited to write on PAC, has been a series of failed blogs and blunders plus blood, sweat and tears – literally tears on some occasions!
Training For Network Marketers
So I started looking round for a way to “train” team members. Here’s where I started to experience fears that I could end up promoting an inconsistent marketing strategy.
There are some excellent training courses around and I know they are helping many PAC members.
However the reason they don’t fit into MY marketing strategy is that many of them have a monthly subscription cost so there’s a tendency (for me at least) to feel the need to start promoting the course to cover its fees. For part-timers (like me!) this can dilute the resources of time and money available to promote the main business.
I understand why these courses have monthly fees:
- To generate an extra income
- Give you something to offer to people who say no to your main business
- To finance an ever expanding library of quality content
- Help your team duplicate
But it wasn’t the way I wanted to go because it was inconsistent with the main thrust of my promotion, which is that my networking business doesn’t need a monthly purchase commitment.
It needs a commitment to effort, but not a monthly financial commitment. A one-off product purchase qualifies you for life.
So I was loath to turn round and say, OK you don’t have to buy product monthly, but unless you’re a star-marketer you’ll need to pay a substantial monthly fee for training.
The Network Marketing Dilemma
You found a business that is just perfect and you want to tell the world, BUT you don’t want to approach your warm-list (OK 97% of you don’t want to) AND you’re finding it tough to market online. I include myself in both groups.
Online marketing training is essential, but quality training isn’t cheap, so the desire to cover your training fees can tempt you to promote the training instead of your business IF you let it become another Bright Shiny Object. It needn’t be a BSO if you’re disciplined, but it’s tempting, and I’ll admit I’ve done it myself in the past.
With good training courses there are SO MANY different skills you can learn that you’re in danger of being stretched too thinly; then along comes another strategy or tool, and before long you’re in overwhelm mode and the main business is on hold.
On the other side of the coin, it would be unfair not to mention, in defense of the monthly training subscription model, that if your main business goes belly-up, you have a ready made business in the training program AND you still have your newly acquired skills.
For a review of a well-respected monthly training package check out the recent PAC review of MLSP by Emi Koulev.
Is There A Solution?
Well – I hope I have found a solution that’s consistent with my “no monthly fee” strategy. It’s still in its infancy at the moment, but I’ll be writing about it on my personal blog as it progresses.
If it all works out as planned (OK, as suggested by the sales letter) it will spread the rewards of committing to small daily actions amongst many people, each contributing their best skills.
On one level I’ll be a bit out of my comfort zone doing this, but on another it will be playing to my strengths rather than my weaknesses. Blogging is a major part of it – and I promise I’m not just doing this to avoid trying to learn video marketing!
When I’ve more to share, I will. I’m not meaning to sound mysterious, but I’ve nothing to show for my efforts yet, just enthusiasm to get started.
Talking It Over Helped
Happily I found this solution thanks to one of our own PAC community members, and I want to give a special mention to Jacs Henderson who spent ages chatting to me on the phone the other day and helped me consider a different approach.
What was so professional was that, instead of just trying to “sell me something” we talked things over and Jacs agreed with me that what I’d originally asked about wasn’t right for me.
Then the very next day, along came the promotional program that is exactly consistent with my marketing strategy. What a great community.
To your success,
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