How your audacious vision can become a wealth magnet

 - 

This is what my 2021 is going to be all about. I ramble a bit, but it’s sincere. Think of it as the first draft that you never get to read. There’s an explanation after the video.

First, a quick history lesson. There was a time when the Roman Empire was a small business.

The story of their growth has something that might help you. 

You see, back when Rome was just a large village in the middle of Italy, when fierce enemies lurked a few days’ journey away, back when Roman roads were just dusty pathways in the summer and streams of mud in the winter, way back in the days when the southern third of Italy was part of Greece, someone had an audacious vision. 

A Roman Censor named Appius Claudius initiated a project that caused a lot of people to shake their heads. 

He built a road. A real road. The first true Roman Road. Nobody had ever done anything like this before.

The road was paved with multiple layers of stone and interlocking hexagon plates of hand-carved volcanic rock that was almost indestructible. Drainage ditches were dug to keep the water off. He set up outposts along the road to provide travelers with food, water, and fresh horses.

You might think a road like this would go somewhere important, but it didn’t. It just led into the wilderness and sort of petered out. A lot of people shook their heads.

This project bankrupted the treasury, which probably caused even more people to shake their heads. But you know what happened next.

With this infrastructure in place, the Romans could move their troops, supplies, and messengers year round with startling speed. Soon they controlled the Italian peninsula, and then they copied this system on every shore along the Mediterranean sea. 

I wrote about this a few months ago on Medium, in an article titled, “How Appius Claudius Invented Rome.” It’s been getting some attention, and I think I know why. Many people are asking themselves the same question:

What could you accomplish, if you were willing to make a few people shake their heads?

No matter where you are in your life, in your business, you can benefit by having an audacious vision. When you have an audacious vision, something happens. You will find yourself inspiring others. You will have energy and power behind your every move. Decision-making becomes easy.

Best of all, you gain an unfair advantage over your competitors.

Dan Kennedy once listed 26 “Wealth Magnets” used by many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. (There are really 27 of these, but the last one is hidden. Wealth Magnet #15 is Passion. #16 is See What Isn’t There. The 17th magnet is No Boundaries. 

My favorite, Wealth Magnet #10, is Do Something. 

If you have an audacious vision, take massive action to bring it into the world. Heads will shake, but soon you’ll have four wealth magnets, and you’ll be on your way to activating others.

Over the weekend, I had my own Audacious Vision. I’ll be sharing it with you a little bit in these emails, or you can find out about it on the video at the top of this post.

But meanwhile, what is your audacious vision? Go on! Make my head shake!

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

Share

The World’s Most Prescient Investor?

 - 

More than 2,000 years ago, a Roman censor named Appius Claudius built the most expensive road ever seen. Rome was just a city at the time, and the road led to wilderness and enemy territory in southern Italy.

His “road to nowhere” nearly bankrupted the treasury.

It also enabled this quirky city state to control the Italian peninsula, and eventually all the lands touched by the Mediterranean sea.

Appius Claudius knew that when you combine bold action with ambitious vision, people and circumstances will hustle to “catch up” with you. He famously said, “Every man is the architect of his own fortune.”

Next week, I’m going to show you how to be the architect of your own fortune. In this workshop, “Crush Social Media Without Crushing Your Soul,” you’ll learn how to map out a route that will put you in the top 10% of your field.

And that’s not all. I’m going to share my best tips and tricks, including:

How to integrate 4 types of content to build instant funnels and automated marketing sequences
The secret of to Timeless Content that lets you attract fantastic clients and customers with almost no effort
A shortcut to building authentic connections online in just a few minutes a day

It’s all happening at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 18. Here’s the link: https://newthinkable.lpages.co/wcsm-11-18-main/

Share

My favorite social media hack (441 words)

 - 

Internet gurus invented the hamster wheel.

“If you don’t post at least 3 times a day,” they warn you, “you’re invisible.”

Important, high quality activities like sales and marketing, personal contact, and doing the work you’re great at–all those things have to wait. You’ve gotta create more CONTENT and post the living frack out of it.

You’re welcome to stay on the social media treadmill, if you think you need the exercise.

But I think there’s something else you can do.

Something way more authentic, something that doesn’t take as much out of you, and something that might even work better–at least on certain platforms.

How to Use the Law of Acknowledgement

You know what everyone wants on social media, right? Attention and recognition. So why not give them what they want?

Acknowledge the people most important to you, the ones you really want to impress, by sharing their content and leaving thoughtful comments.

I did an experiment. For one week, I didn’t post anything new. Instead, I spent about 10 minutes a day giving comments and shares to other people. Here were the results:

  • 11 new opt-ins for my list
  • 2 old clients I hadn’t spoken to in years reached out to talk about new projects
  • 3 total strangers liked and shared some of my older content

Results like this won’t turn you into a billionaire, but they cumulative impact of sincere, personal interaction will compound over the years.

If you want to get the most out of the Law of Acknowledgement, combine it with some critical preparation.

Prime Yourself for the Law of Acknowledgement

Leaving positive comments for others will get attention. People will start to look at your feed and see what you’ve got. Ideally you’ve got something good to show them.

I listed the details in the Social Media Cheat Sheet, but here’s a quick rundown of what you should have in place:

  • 5 or more examples of “core content” available in multiple formats (blog post, video, podcast, audio, etc.) that show you at your best and provide real value
  • A series of memes and clickbait that lead back to your core content, automated via software or posted regularly by an assistant
  • A good lead magnet that triggers a welcome/nurturing email sequence

If you have these three things set up, and then you spend 10 minutes a day giving your peers and prospects the attention they crave on social media, you won’t have to spend your days on the treadmill anymore.

You will free up hours of time to innovate, optimize your business, invent new products, and enjoy more personal interactions with your best prospects.

You’re going to be a fat hamster.

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

Share

Attract a flood of new clients when you apply this simple concept

 - 

Capitalism and racism are incompatible

 - 

As I write this, people are marching in the streets around the country.

Most of them are peaceful, most of them are not looting stores and businesses, and most of them have only three words they want you to hear: Black lives matter. 

Whatever you think about the protests and the events that led up to this demonstration, let me ask you a question that might not seem related.

Why are you an entrepreneur? Your answer matters.

Every one of us is in this world for a reason. You have a unique purpose. You have a talent, a perspective, or a way of doing things that nobody else can offer. 

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to uncover your gift and share it with the world.

But when anyone is systematically denied a level playing field, we are all deprived of their unique gifts. Capitalism and racism are incompatible. Black lives matter.

I’ll have some great new marketing ideas for you soon, including a neat little trick to make perpetual, unique content. But for now, think about the people marching in the street, and the one simple request that most of them have.

Share

The “Shot Glass” Secret of Business Growth

 - 

If we know each other from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, you might also know Wally and Teri and their company, Fancifull Gift Baskets.

They sell a wine, Domaine D’Aupilhac, that is a smoky bottle of gorgeous decadence. This wine was the beginning of my encounter with an irresistible marketing force. 

The shot glass principle has been used for centuries under many names. It’s become a best practice for internet marketers in the 21st century. Politicians, pastors and even drug dealers have moved the masses by using the shot glass. 

It will grow your business, too. 

Let me tell you what I learned about this secret on a busy night long ago. Our tale involves a laptop, a bottle of wine, a deadline, and of course a shot glass…

My wife had just opened a bottle of Domaine D’Aupilhac, a wicked potion of dusky brilliance. I was eating dinner in front of my laptop, working on the fourth draft of a new client’s landing page. The project was due in 24 hours. 

“No thanks, sweetie,” I had to say when my wife offered to pour me a goblet of the pure ineffable bliss. 

I kept working, and didn’t notice when she lovingly set down a shot glass of Domaine D’Aupilhac next to my elbow. 

When I took a break, I decided that one tiny shot of wine wouldn’t be enough to impair my immense creative talents. I took a sip and relaxed into a moment of divine ecstasy as a slow jazz standard played in my mouth. 

Then it was back to work!

An hour later, I reasoned that since I had already tasted a sip of seductive debauchery, there was no harm in having another shot.

When my wife went to bed, she handed me the half-empty bottle (or was it half full?).

You probably know what happened next. I poured myself a goblet and attacked my fifth draft. I worked on into the night, feeling more confident and uninhibited. The words flowed like wine…

The next morning I had a headache and one heck of an editing job to do. After washing down my espresso with about six gallons of water, I had an epiphany.

Why are we so darn consistent?

This same story has played out again and again over the centuries. The sailor ties a small weight to the end of a cord, and throws it to the crew on the shore. They pull on the cord, which is attached to a rope, which is attached to a chain that would have been way too heavy for the sailor to toss. 

From a lightweight cord, a ship is secured. From a falling pebble, an avalanche. From a tiny shot glass, the entire bottle of wine is consumed.

A psychology professor named Robert Cialdini describes a wicked experiment using this principle. A researcher approached innocent homeowners and asked them to display small public cards in their windows, which said, “Be a safe driver.” 

Two weeks later, the researcher came back with a ridiculous request: He asked the homeowners to put a huge billboard on their front lawn that said “Drive Carefully” in ugly letters. He showed the homeowners a picture of what the billboard would look like. In the photo, the ugly sign covered most of the house. 

A full 76% of the people who displayed the tiny cards in their windows agreed to put the outrageous signs on their lawns! 

Commitment and consistency are hard-wired in our brains. If you decide you’re the kind of civic-minded person who would put a safety sign in your window, you’ll feel inclined to be consistent by putting one on your lawn. If you decide it’s OK to have a shot of wine, you’re likely to be okay with a glass of wine.

How to use the shot glass if C19 has impacted your business

In your business, you can use this principle to get new clients. If someone decides your content is worth reading or watching, you have a much better chance that they’ll pay you for something. 

This doesn’t mean that whenever someone downloads your free report, they’ll turn into a six-figure client. But if you can sell them a tiny product or service for a negligible price, they’ll be open to almost any justifiable upsell. They have already paid for your work. In their mind, you’re someone who receives their money.

There’s a reason commitment and consistency work so well. They actually benefit us most of the time. You avoid spending a lot of cognitive effort by keeping consistent with your past choices. If a certain gardener cuts your lawn, you might as well hire him to trim your tree. It saves you the time and effort of finding someone new. 

You can make the power of commitment and consistency work for you during the covid-19 crisis. People are trying hard to cut back on their spending, but they are also making radical changes in how they work and live. 

All you have to do is offer an affordable, bite-size service that supports one of these changes. 

That’s your shot glass, and as the economy re-opens, you’ll have a rich new pipeline of customers ready to buy your whole bottle. 

 

Share

Try this if covid-19 is starving your business

 - 

Thousands of years ago, there was a famine.

No matter how hard a people were willing to work, no matter how skilled they were at hunting or farming, they were up against global forces that seemed to overwhelm their individual effort.

Could we be in a similar situation now? Maybe, but there’s be a way out.

During those hard times long ago, someone came upon a cache of rotting food. Out of desperation, she chose to risk a tiny taste. 

The result? She discovered fermentation.

If you enjoy beer, wine, cheese, kimchi, sausage, kombucha, miso, or yogurt, you can thank that person who went against conventional wisdom. 

This is your time to make small experiments, to test out new ideas that would have seemed crazy or even toxic a few months ago. 

Do it on a small scale, so you won’t be hurt too badly if it fails. Send a brash but sincere email to 10% of your list. Test a new process with a single client, with their permission, and with the clear understanding that if anything goes wrong you’ll make it right.

You might discover a new trickle of income that could tide you over until the economy recovers. You might stumble upon a breakthrough that changes your industry and the world.

If you’re worried about what covid-19 is doing to the economy, here’s something else to consider. As soon as you start experimenting, you awaken a sense of adventure. This isn’t just some woo-woo fluff. It’s neuroscience.

There’s a part of your brain called the ventral striatum that lights up in response to novelty, experimentation, and curiosity. The ventral striatum triggers the release of dopamine and other “feel-good” neurotransmitters that can make you more creative and more resilient.

If nothing else, every experiment you carry out will make you feel better almost immediately. 

Someday soon, the quarantines will end. Economically, the picture will be pretty bleak in the short-term. A lot of businesses will be gone forever, and many will change beyond recognition. 

But all that pent-up energy has to go somewhere. The whole world is eager to go out and take action and work and seek entertainment. There’s going to be a resurgence, and the economy is going to grow in ways that are hard to imagine now. 

The leaders who took risks and tested their ideas early will ride this huge wave, and uplift hundreds of other businesses in the process.

If you’re suffering economically now, the best thing you can do is innovate, brainstorm, and keep trying. You’ll find a new way to not only survive, but to thrive. 

Share

6 things to do while you’re social distancing (770 Words)

 - 

This situation sucks.

We’re under attack by brainless microbes that are only partly alive, and everybody is hunkering down to prevent the spread and creation of more of these creatures.

If you’re starting to feel like the star of a bad zombie movie, you’re not alone.

But take a second to look at the silver lining. This is enforced leisure, and you’ve been given the gift of time. Even if you haven’t experienced a slowdown in business, you’re probably spending less time driving and in meetings. 

Here are some ways to make the most of these extra hours: 

Use your phone

Most of your potential clients are probably getting cabin fever, and they’ll welcome a productive distraction. Even now, most people won’t make cold calls, and if they do they’re going to come off as pushy or even desperate. 

If you can reach out and have a real conversation, offering service and compassion, you’ll have a connection that more than 90% of your competitors aren’t making. Use this time to build a base for the day when it’s safe to come out and everyone’s rushing to catch up and rebuild.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to call the people you love who can’t be with you right now. This is a great time to build new relationships and strengthen the ones you already have.

 

Be open to serendipity

As you and your people work remotely, keep your eyes open for procedures that are better this way. 

Likewise, make a note of where you’re really being slowed down by social distancing, and see if it provides any insight about ways to change your processes in the future. 

Use this situation to find new opportunities. Which leads to the next suggestion…

 

Invent a new product or service: 

What are the biggest problems you’re having? Are others likely to have the same problems? If you find a solution, can you provide it to current and future clients? Can you offer value to your clients in other ways which you aren’t already doing?

This is a great time to brainstorm, innovate, and pilot test your favorite ideas. 

 

Share your abundance 

You have resources, knowledge, and experience that could make all the difference for someone. What do you or your company do better than 90% of the population? 

Spectrum is offering 60 days of free Internet service to families that don’t have it, so kids can attend school remotely. Manufacturers are retooling to make badly-needed medical equipment. Plumbers in Detroit are working for free so that residents with the lowest incomes can take hot showers. This philanthropy is likely to bring benefits in the future, but that’s not the only reason to do it.

A lot of people are scared and suffering right now. Is there a way your business can help? The goodwill you generate will pay off down the road, and you might save a life (or at least make a hardship more bearable) this month. 

 

Upgrade your content 

If I still haven’t given you enough to fill your schedule and raise your spirits, you can always take this time to share your expertise. Write a book or start a podcast. Brainstorm 1,000 memes, posts, and Tweets (you can cue them to be uploaded on a schedule). Think up a marketing/media plan for next year, when this crisis is over and there’s a surge of growth as everyone scrambles to catch up.

At the very least, make a video. What simple advice, encouragement, or high-quality service can you offer right now? Turn on your camera and talk about it for a few minutes. 

You should be doing this all the time anyway. You can get a Vimeo account for as little as $7 a month, and of course there’s always YouTube.

 

Take care of your health and fitness 

Maybe you can’t go to the gym, but you can do push-ups and yoga on the floor. Or step outside and walk around for 20 minutes. 

This can stimulate your brain and make you more creative. You’ll get your blood and lymph circulating, which can make you more resistant to Covid 19 and any other bad bugs you’re exposed to.

 

These trying times can also be an opportunity. As I write this, there are reports that the number of cases in China is dropping. We’re still bracing ourselves for the big wave, but some day soon this will pass over us and things will get back to some semblance of normal.

When that day comes, you can be first in line for a burst of growth and productivity if you make use of the time that you’ve been given today.

Share

By-the-book marketers will call this sacrilege!

 - 

Nobody wants to merely blend in with all the marketing noise. That’s how businesses die. 

But if you’ve ever read even one marketing book, you might fall for a crippling misconception.

You see, practically everyone knows rule #1: Emphasize benefits, not features. This is an important rule, but if you leave out its counterpart, you will be crushed.

 

When benefits work against you

If you’ve got a completely different set of benefits that nobody else is promising, then rule #1 might be enough. But what happens when all your competitors are touting the same benefits? Chances are you’ve been caught in this swamp before

Almost any real estate agent you ask will offer to sell your house fast, for the best possible price. Most IT services will reduce downtime, streamline your workflow, and protect your data. And every single copywriter in the world is going to promise you more clients, more sales, and bigger profits 

If your benefits are the same as everybody else, a prospect doesn’t really have a reason to choose you. Instead, they’ll fall back on the cheapest, loudest, or most familiar option. 

Luckily, there’s an easy way around this “me too” syndrome: Start focusing again on the features.

  • How will you sell that house faster for a better price? Tell me the steps you’ll go through. Even if every realtor goes through the exact same steps, nobody has ever talked about them.
  • If you’re a personal trainer, explain that you spend half of each session doing resistance training at the weakest point in your client’s range of motion. List the 27 different muscle groups that you test and work with. Describe the weights and equipment you use.
  • Do you offer IT services that reduce downtime? Show how your software refreshes the data and scans for bugs 37 times per minute. That you analyze 29 data points on an hourly basis. That most problems are discovered and corrected within 11 minutes. Mention the names, model numbers, and versions of all your software and equipment. This information will be meaningless to most of your clients, but it will be a billion times more refreshing than the overused term, “state of the art.”

I always start every project by collecting as many facts as I can about a client or their products. I try to get at least 100, or even 1,000 if I’m not in a hurry. One of my early mentors refused to write a single sentence until he had compiled 15 pages of facts about a product. Fifteen pages.

When everyone in your industry is boasting the same benefits, there’s only one way to stand out. Show your market, in a very concrete and tangible way, exactly how you deliver those benefits.

The old rule still applies. Benefits before features. But never leave out the features.

Share

Crush Social Media Without Crushing Your Soul (792 words)

 - 

It seems like you only have two choices:

A. Make a two-minute video every day, even if you have to churn out bathtubs of canned moments that glitter like the latest craft beer bought out by Anheuser-Busch.

B. Become invisible.

What if there’s another alternative?  What if you don’t have to turn the double-hopped chocolate oatmeal stout of your soul into a watery Coors lite?

What if you built something slow and exceptional, something that took a long time and nobody would see it every day? What if?

Those who found your content on their own, without having it rammed into their eyeballs, would be blown away. They would feel like they had stumbled upon a carefully-guarded secret. You are the treasure they seek.

Stepping off the content treadmill

If you’re just randomly shooting out Instagram posts and tweets without a plan or a goal, then you’re wasting your best chance to do something new that will make a real difference.

You can’t compete on cost, range, or convenience. The digital portals have already beaten you there, and AI will soon make it impossible to even try to keep up.

So if you’ve lost the battle of digital marketing, what do you have left? Everything. You’ve got a big advantage that can never be taken away by an algorithm.

You have substance. You are a real live human being with stories, experiences, and values to share. Are you sharing them?

Substance doesn’t happen in a dozen daily instagram posts. At least not right away. Build your house first.

Then build a trail of breadcrumbs leading to it, and you will become the hero of your own legend.

Build a high-value, automatic campaign in 7 steps

Here’s my quick formula to get you started:

  1. Decide what you stand for. In your business, in your personal life, and in the way the two come together.
  2. Come up with 5-10 pithy statements about your values, your goals, and how your values and goals translate into the service you deliver. This is your core. Express at least one of these statements in every ad, video, tweet, or post you put out in the world
  3. Search your history, your products, and your business for specific facts and stories that illustrate your core. Talk to your people, your clients, your vendors, and your friends and family. Make a LONG list of anecdotes, facts, and stories. (The late Gary Halbert would typically create 15 typewritten pages of this stuff for his clients)
  4. Look at what you came up with for 2 and 3 above, and repeatedly ask, “What’s in it for my clients. How does this bring value to them?” When you’ve answered that question, you’re ready for action.
  5. Start with the core. Make a short video for each of your core statements. Illustrate it with your facts and stories from step 2. Make it clear what a client is getting by watching it.
  6. Once you’ve got your core in place, you just have to reiterate it in expanding circles. Start with the useful: How-to videos, listicles, blog posts that offer the solution to a problem in the title. Do you have a high-impact secret to staging a home before open house? Do you know about a local law that affects landlords or homeowners? Each one of these useful items should also express something about your core, and link back to it.
  7. Now you have a treasure trove of high-quality content. If you’ve done it right (that’s another whole article), then prospective clients will find a lot of your content on their own. At this point, you can start linking to it with social media. Brainstorm dozens of compelling sentences (you can use headline templates for most of these, and then add your own), have your graphics person make memes out of them, and plug them into software that will post automatically. Each one should link to something in your treasure trove.

Getting real

After you complete step 7, you’ll have valuable, evergreen content showing up in the world automatically. Now you’re ready to add a personal touch.

Create spontaneous, original content when and where you see fit, and add it to your treasure trove. Whenever you talk to a potential client, you can text them a link to something useful you made. Reply to comments with statements like, “Glad to help. Here’s a link to a video I made about that.” Go live on Facebook to talk about a problem you solve, and offer your content as a bonus for watching.

Getting started

This is an oversimplified outline. I could easily spend an hour talking about any one of these steps. But if you just start thinking about your content as coming from your core values, you’ll be far ahead of most of your competitors. Not to mention you’re doing a good deed by replacing the noise with something real.

 

Click Here for permission to reprint this article

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

 

Share