I was watching TV and 60 Minutes came on, and there was this really interesting story about a couple in Michigan that made 24 million dollars on the lottery. Of course, you're going, “Well, somebody won the big ticket.” No, they did it over years in small increments, and it was fascinating the way they did it. They figured out a formula. There was a particular kind of lottery game where, if somebody didn't win, it would roll back. This couple knew that the moment it rolled back was the time to buy more tickets, and statistically they could win. They basically out-mathed the lottery, and it even went as far as being investigated by the state of Massachusetts because they went from Michigan to Massachusetts after Michigan shut that down.
It was outstanding the way they were able to do that, but here is the point. Everybody's into the lottery, right? You go buy a ticket and you're going to win and you're going to retire and do all these great things. It's a dream. You're going to get rich quick. But what they did is they used the same tool and the same dream that everybody had, built a company, sold shares in it, and got everybody rich doing it slow, and that was the key. They were patient. They waited for the right time. They had a system, and that is the biggest difference between playing the lottery and being played by the lottery.
When a Win Is Not A Win?
Now, I don't know if you've played scratch-off tickets or not, but here's the deal with those. One out of every 8 or 10 or so are a winner. More often than not, the winner is known as a push. A push means you spend $10, you get $10 back. It's something I call kissing your sister or kissing your brother, and Vegas has made that very popular in a lot of games where you put in a dollar, you win a dollar back. You still feel like you won, but really you didn't win anything, you just broke even. They get you addicted to this concept.
Well, I've seen this kind of mentality a lot of times in marketing, especially when it comes to people selling you how to get rich quick; you're going to make a million dollars overnight and all this other stuff, right? Well, I have this thing on my desk. It's called an easy button. You may have heard of these before. It's associated with Staples, and here's one:
“That was easy.”
Right? So that was easy. All you have to do is press that button and boom, you're going to get rich! I've seen this all the time. I've gone to webinars on “All you have to do is drive traffic to ___,” “All you have to do is build this funnel, the secret funnel formula,” or “I'm going to show you how to make millions on LinkedIn by connecting and pitching with the right people.” All of those things tend to be get rich quick formulas. That's the lottery dream, but the reality is this. It takes time, it takes trial, and it takes error. They didn't win every ticket that they put in there. They have buckets and buckets of them, but they won more often than they lost.
One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison. He said, “I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that it won't work,” and that's essentially what these people did. What you have to do is keep trying, but don't buy into schemes. Create a strategy. That's one of the main reasons why most people's marketing don't work; they try something and then they stop. I want to give you five key things that you need to think about when you're developing a marketing strategy, especially online. Those five things are, in order: audience, targeting, messages, timing, and noise.
Let's start out with the audience. I've often heard it said that the most successful people niche down. They find a niche of underwater basket weavers, but even that niche still has to be drilled down. You have to segment to where they're at. Now, there are six core principles. They're what I call cold, warm, and hot. Cold, they don't know anything about you. Warm, they know about you, but they're not ready to buy. Hot, they are ready to buy. Often there are three more segments. Where are they in your customer life cycle? Are they past clients, current clients or potential clients? You have to figure out which audience you're marketing to. If you try to use too broad of a brush, chances are you might make a couple of hits, but the more targeted you are with each message, the better off you're going to be.
Here comes the second thing: the targeting. Now, there are so many different ways to get messages out. What happens is people try to use a strategy, email or social or website, whatever it is. Yes, use them all. Use email to get certain people on your list or get people to pay attention to what you're doing. Use social to get another group. Try your website, drive traffic to your website. Try using audio and video, and never forget something as basic as print. It could be a letter, it could be a postcard, a gift, whatever, something they get in the mail, or something you hand out. What you're trying to do is reach the audience not only where they're at, but where they're going to pay attention.
Next comes the messages. How are you going to deliver these messages? When you use email and social, are you driving them back to your blog? Are you using graphics to get people back to your website? Are you using videos to educate people to get them on your email list? That's what setting up the messages to perform a task is like. What is the purpose of the message and where does it fall into the ecosystem of how you're communicating with that person?
The next piece is timing. When are people paying attention to things? If they're consumers, chances are they're going to be on Facebook and they'll be on nights and weekends because probably they're working and they're not paying attention to Facebook as much during the day. If they're businesses, chances are they'll be on LinkedIn, and they're going to do that during work hours. That's the next piece: are they business? Are they consumer? When are they going to pay attention? Then there is frequency. When it comes to timing, how often should you send it? Should you do it daily, should you do it weekly, or something else? If you send out a daily message, that's 365 a year. When you send it a weekly, it's 52. If you send out monthly, it's 12. What's enough? What's the right formula for where people are at? If people are hot to buy, maybe you send them a message every day. If people are cold and just getting to know you, maybe you send them something once a month. All of that plays down to what kind of messages and where you're putting them and what's the timing.
The final piece of this puzzle is noise. You have to be louder and more tuned in to where people are listening to for your kind of solution, because there are way too many ads. Now, there are blatant ads that people pay for inside of Facebook, but there's also non-blatant ads where people are promoting things, but it may not feel like promotion. It could be a video or it could be a question or something along those lines. Trust me. I know you've taken some of those IQ tests and name tests on Facebook, right? There's marketing involved in that. They're trying to get your information. So too many ads get in the way. The second piece of that is, can you beat the algorithm? The algorithms show certain content more often than others, and that's one of the games that you have to play. I don't have time to get into the details on that. The final thing is, are you doing something that is scroll stopping? Are you getting attention from people in inboxes, on social media, somehow, some way that's not making them bypass your message?
Let me leave you with a couple of final thoughts. Number one, have a strategy. Figure out what you're trying to do. Number two, start a plan. Lay the plan out so you know where you're headed. Three, execute the plan. Make sure that you do it exactly the way that you laid it out. Number four, measure the results, and then finally, repurpose some of those pieces and build some new stuff. You may not get rich quick, but if you follow this lottery formula, you may get rich slow.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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