Or why nobody cares.
I was talking to a few internet marketers the other day and we were discussing what makes a “guru.” This is a topic that not many people really think about, at least not the people I talk to.
We all agreed though that anyone interested in internet marketing should be asking why person X is a guru. By the way, several of them were “gurus” in their own fields, and yes, we were drinking home brew at my house. Sorry, I like beer, and that is my beer site (in case you are new around here).
Well simply, even if you aren’t a guru, your list depends on it. It doesn’t matter if it is an offline list, or an online list.
My friend Tim Castleman described it best (paraphrased): Most people aren’t buying a product, they are buying you.
In other words the reason people buy from him over you, for example, is his persona. People are interested in him, or not, depending if you like loud, in your face, opinionated, who really don’t care if you like him or not. You may not, and that is fine, but plenty of people do.
Others may love paying tons of money to Frank Kern. Again, why is that… I suggest it is his personality. Really, are his products and affiliate products that much better when you get them from him? I don’t think so, and this isn’t to dis Frank Kern, only to explain a point. Why do people buy from Frank? Because he is interesting. A Southern surfer, happy go lucky guy that always seems to have some interesting story. People want to know what’s up with Frank. They tune in and feel a connection.
John Carlton wrote an interesting blog post about story tellers. It is worth a read even if you never plan on selling your story. Read it at http://www.john-carlton.com/2010/08/confessions-of-a-story-junkie-part-one/ . It is a great piece on getting to the point, but making it interesting. Think of how you can apply his suggestions to your own persona.
I am not suggesting copying any of these guys or any other guru. People can smell a phony a mile away, but simply be yourself. Have a story to tell, make people want to hear from you.
Think of the emails you click on, or the TV shows you watch. Why are you interested in these? Is it because there is a story? News outlets are really good at this. Think of how many “personalities” are featured on every newscast. Are these people the be all and end all of experts? I don’t think so, in fact many of them are plain wrong, but people are interested in them and their stories.
Here are some tips that can you make your story better.
1. Be yourself. This goes without saying. You can’t be anyone else, but don’t try to make everyone like you. This leads to…
2. Be controversial. Just think how boring life is when everyone thinks the same. Sure it is fun for a little bit, but after that then what? You all just start complaining about everyone “not like you”.
3. Be fun. If you had some fun thing happen, let people know. Your audience wants to know you and feel like they are friends with you, not business clients.
4. Admit a mistake. This is the hardest thing for most of us to do, but it shows your human side. Nobody is perfect, and even the top gurus screw stuff up. In fact, my guess is they screw up more than you. The difference is they don’t let that stop them. Not only that, many of them look back and laugh, and that becomes a story.
5. Be friends with your audience. Remember, relationships work both ways. Enough said.
Take a look around you and see what patterns the popular gurus have. I don’t mean swipe their copy, or try to be them. I mean, what is the reason they get so many followers. I bet you will find a good story is behind them all.