Authenticity During A Crises

authenticity, effUmarketing, be yourself

First – check out this 20 minute video on advertising in a crises. It gets real hot at the 10 minute mark. It comes from the NYT best selling author and Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams (who I’ve been a student of for over a decade). It also relates to what I wrote about a couple weeks ago before the shit hit the fan.

On to the goods

Now more than ever YOU have to be YOU. You have to be your authentic self. I don’t know who’s going to come out above this crises. It may be a different version of your business or even a different version of you.

It took me awhile to realize who I was (more on that at the bottom of this post). Plus, I continue to discover new things on a seemingly daily basis (reminder – I do have a toddler). I literally spent 20 minutes last night discussing with my wife what she thinks I do well. After all – we have lots of time on our hands. Find some time and ask your partner or a friend what they think you’re good at.

What is authenticity?

I’ve been on quite the authenticity trip lately, and here’s why – it’s imperative to your brand. Whether it be a personal brand or professional brand, people will see through your BS.

My wife, and I started our e-commerce store, Ever Rose, with the mindset of being as transparent as possible. The same holds true for my ‘Guy with the Bow Tie’ brand, and the community magazines I used to publish. Be authentic, and you’ll start to see amazing results.

How real are you?

Stop and ask yourself this. When you wake up in the morning are you excited about doing what you’re doing? Even in these times.

Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t, and I’m not going to preach about ‘doing what you love’. I want you to get real, because if you aren’t REAL you’re robbing this world of your natural talents. And if you aren’t being real when you step into work whether it’s your business or not – you’re only hurting your bottom line.

It’s inevitable your business will kind of be like you.

It will stand for your values, and your beliefs. You are your business, and your business is you. And that’s okay. It’s when you or your business starts to be something it’s not that you start to lose.

There are so many options available to consumers to poke holes in your BS. If you claim to be the world’s best chef, but a quick Google search discovers you’ve only flipped burgers at McDonald’s, well BS meters are going to start going off. Just be yourself, and someone somewhere will have a connection with who you are, and what you stand for.

If you think you’re boring, then tell people about it. Say, you’re really boring, but damn do you ever make a good pizza or build a great garage. The more genuine, and open you are, the more genuine, and open people will be back to you.

This comes to mind as I’m working with an inspiring entrepreneur who’s going to be launching an online platform shortly where you can use Bitcoin to book hotels online.

He lives in the Southern US, and is originally from India. He runs a couple hotels, and as such he started getting fed up with OTA sites (Expedia, Trivago, Travelocity, etc…) eating into his margins, and taking away from his LOCAL business, and the LOCAL economy. So, he does what any entrepreneur or savvy business owner would do – he’s fighting back. He’s so passionate about creating a fair, online portal for hotel seekers that he decided to build his own platform, and it’s going to be launching soon. His company is a reflection of his personal beliefs, and feelings. He’s REAL.

Your Personal Brand

Jordan with wife
A little photo with my wife

You hear it, I hear it, we all hear it…BE YOURSELF! And it’s so true when it comes to business, and especially in times of a crises. When I was starting out, I was trying to be something I wasn’t. I thought I knew it all. I thought the world was at my finger-tips, and I was humbled quickly…very quickly.

Whether you like it or not, you’re being judged everyday. People are Googling you and colleagues interact with you at work as they try to figure you out. On this note – have you Googled yourself lately? What comes up? Anything?

When I made the change from the corporate world to being self-employed, I was going back to my original self. The guy who I am at home, and on weekends. The guy who I knew I wanted to be when I was growing up. I dropped the act, stopped caring about what others thought, and started being REAL.

It’s not easy – it took me 10-years to figure out who I REALLY was, but it all started with my gut. How I felt in the morning was a HUGE indicator of who I was and what I wanted to do. I went from wanting to hit the snooze button repeatedly to bouncing out of bed, and ready for the day ahead.

I can’t tell you how many strong connections I’ve made by showing people who I truly am. I even let people in to tell them about my childhood, and my biological father who I never, and still don’t know. You won’t find that in a sales or business book anywhere, but it’s who I am, and it’s what allowed me to make the connections I have.

I no longer have visions of me quitting my job while I brushed my teeth in the morning. I’m doing what I want, and what I’m supposed to be doing…at this point in my life anyway.

Start being your authentic self and the rest will follow.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

Ps. It’s a shitty time we’re in right now. If you need help, whether it’s financial, emotional, mental – let me know. I’m here for you.

WTF is going on?

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

Two weeks ago – who would of thought we’d be here? It’s safe to say just about everywhere there are people fighting over toilet paper.

In times like these – you have to be as authentic and as transparent as possible. If you’re staying open for business – then let your customers know why (see what Radisson Hotels and LUSH Cosmetics are saying).

If you’re closing your store(s) – let your customers know why (see Everlane).

Stay Local

Local business is going to be hurting over the next few weeks and potentially months. If you’re a small, local business – you should be reaching out to your customers or local news agency to spread your story.

Let them in on your vulnerabilities. Don’t be desperate, but open up and be truthful. Everyone’s BS meter is through the ceiling, so be as down-to-earth as you can. You will be respected for it, and hopefully that leads to some sales to keep you going.

More on being vulnerable in business here

Now is the time to hammer away at how local you are. This will really set you apart from ‘The Big Guys’. ‘The Big Guys’ can whether the storm, but you may not. You have a very powerful story to tell and EVERYONE likes an underdog story.

Can you be a hub for people to drop off supplies to those in need? Can you support your local food bank? Can you offer free delivery services or consultations over video chat?

I’ve seen companies – who are closed – pay their employees to go support those in personal care homes. As you can imagine – personal care homes are in need of extra support whether it’s cleaning or security.

As I sit with my hands on the keyboard – I really don’t know what to think. I’m so thankful I’m able to work remotely if I so choose. I’m thankful I have enough savings built up in the event I’m not selling too much over the next few months. I understand you may not be in this position, so if you need help – you can find me here.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Stay safe and friendly!

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How To Defeat the Lizard Brain in Four Fast Steps

homer simpson with lizard in brain, Lizard Brain

You’re in sales. Whether it’s in a job interview, presenting a multi-million dollar pitch to a room of investors or your online t-shirt store – you’re constantly selling something. Once you’ve gotten a potential customer through the door – you’re selling.

Psychology of the sale

I sleep with a psychology book on my nightstand. I love diving in to how the mind works because once you understand how we’re wired, it makes certain things like selling quite simple.

Here’s the three-step cycle going on in your prospects mind before they purchase anything, hell before they even approach you:
1) Fight or flight (THE LIZARD BRAIN!) or spam filter to your pitch
2) What does this mean to me (providing social context)?
3)
What problem does this solve (very analytical)?

Before visiting you online, setting foot in your store or chatting with you at a networking event, humans primal extinct is to fight or flee the situation. It’s only been for the past century or so where our basic standards of life (in the Western World anyway) have been covered to a point of not having to worry about a large predator jumping out of the bushes and devouring us on the spot. However, our minds have been slow to change.

This is the lizard brain quickly deciphering whether we should run or stand put and duke it out to the best of our ability. Our mind has been conditioned to conduct a quick survey of our surroundings within nano-seconds. Once this assessment is complete – the body chooses whether to fight or flee.

This is why you may find your palms or brow get sweaty before a pitch. For me it’s my lower back and armpits. Hell, I get sweaty before I ask my wife about whether or not she wants pizza or a pita for dinner. It’s human nature.

Knowing this primal instinct is hardwired into everyone’s mind – you must get it to calm down before moving to the second part of your prospects decision making mind. To do this you must be clear, concise, while sprinkling in a bit of humour (if you can).

Click here for a script on how I get past the lizard brain selling CCTV cameras. Sounds sexy doesn’t it...

The Lizard Brain is very picky

The lizard brain is essential for survival. This is why it’s so difficult to get past. In your pitch you’re selling using data, metrics and all these things the lizard brain doesn’t care about. Remember the lizard brain is the spam filter. 90% of what you’re saying or pitching isn’t getting through. The lizard brain is lazy and if you’re throwing numbers, and business jargon its way it will get overwhelmed and discard the vast majority.

The lizard brain likes black and white. It’s taking care of your survival. It doesn’t care about data. Your pitch needs to be clear and concise. The lizard brain is lazy, so don’t make it do too much work.

How to get past the lizard brain

  1. Focus on the big picture in black and white. No grey areas. Remember this is fight or flight you’re dealing with.
  2. Use emotion through visual and audio cues
  3. Create novelty (how are you different and exciting?)
  4. Throw in concrete facts (verified evidence)

Your entire sales pitch is wasted unless you get past the lizard brain. Your pitch was created with the analytical part of your brain. Having said that, don’t pitch to the lizard brain with analytics. Get past it using the points above. Once through the lizard brain you can dive into the details.

If you missed it above – Click here for a script on how I get past the lizard brain selling CCTV cameras. Still sounds sexy doesn’t it…

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Punch in your email addy below to get more ‘lizard brain approved’ content sent direct to your inbox.

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Why Attacking Your Competition Like The President Is Good For Your Business

The next few paragraphs aren’t going to break down the latest polls, how much marketing dollars have been spent or unravel the gong show that is the Democratic Party. Rather it touches on things right under your nose that if investigated closely…provide the framework for being a standout business (and also how to get elected).

Attack your competition.

I don’t recommend going at the throats of your competition like the President (see Trump’s Twitter feed). You don’t have the resources or power of a President.

Having said that, you can subtly attack your competition.

There’s a local jewelry chain, who goes after “The Big Guys” by letting outsiders (like you and me) into the world of diamond trading. They even break it down to where they single out the BIG BIG diamond companies in their messaging.

Did you know most diamonds go into one big pot? Then “The Big Guys” get first dibs without really knowing where the diamonds are coming from and whether or not they have been obtained ethically.

Meanwhile, this local jewelry store gets their diamonds from a single source that doesn’t play with “The Big Guys,” so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality diamond from a reputable mine. These powerful statements are included in their marketing.

You don’t have to be super focused on what your competition is doing.

It’s good to know, but you don’t have to be obsessed. By seeing what they’re doing, you can start breaking down their claims in your messaging. Similar to what the local diamond store does and what President Trump has been doing forever and ever.

You don’t have to outright name your competitors, but you can peel back the curtain on what really goes on in your business. This creates trust within your customer base because, to the consumer, it feels like you’re giving away trade secrets. You become the expert whereas your competitors seem dodgy.

You’re an expert in your business category. Share what you know.

How many times have you seen a babe pop up in your Insta feed hawking some health/fitness product YOU KNOW isn’t the reason for their six pack? I’m willing to bet he/she isn’t an expert, so if you’re a fitness trainer you can go on the attack and tear down these Insta swindlers.

Having been a high performance athlete I know a single kale smoothie isn’t going to do the trick. It’s a combination of eating right, exercising right, and doing both consistently over a long period of time. Tap into what you know and include it in your messaging.

Your knowledge is what sets you apart from the other noise. It’s what differentiates you from the pack. Attack your competitors in a way only you know how. You have insights into your business category that the Average Joe doesn’t. Expand on those like the diamond company, the legitimate Instagram fitness trainer and The President.

Different works. Different wins elections. Different businesses win.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

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How To Discover Your Ideal Client

Name badge stating Hello! My Name Is Debbie
Hello! My Name is Debbie

Do you know who you’re speaking to? Putting out any messaging whether it’s on social or legacy media and not knowing who you’re speaking to is just plain lazy.

Your message will be bland and won’t really resonate with anyone. You’ll blame Facebook for their shitty advertising platform or blame your radio sales rep for swindling you into buying 30-second spots that didn’t generate any traffic.

Here’s the thing…look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What is my message? Who am I speaking to in my message?” Chances are you don’t have a clue. Instead of blaming the medium (Facebook, radio, etc…) you need to blame the message.

Here are 700 words outlining how to craft your ‘different’ message

Here are 700 words showing you how to write a stand out message

Finding Your Ideal Client

Before you release any messaging into the world. KNOW WHO YOU’RE SPEAKING TO! How do you do this, well this is where it gets a bit complicated…

You can call this your ideal client/customer or a persona. I used persona’s all the time when working with radio stations across the country. I nailed down a persona to age (44), sex (female), name (Debbie), and her likes and dislikes. Every time we did a promotion, ad, whatever…it was targeted around our ideal listener aka Debbie. Debbie is who we spoke to.

  1. Getting super specific helps craft your message as you know exactly who you’re talking to.
  2. It helps you target your advertising.
    For example – Debbie had a couple teenagers in her house, so she was running them around to their activities on the weekend and polished off a glass of wine on her Saturday night. Knowing this it was very important to have our messages out and about in the community around things like football fields, gymnasiums, and the burbs. Plus, wine stores…
  3. A persona helps you identify your ideal customers biggest problem(s). You really start to get in their heads.
    For example – Debbie’s biggest problem was time…she had none to herself because she was busy with work during the week and family engagements around her work schedule. So, we always did fun promotions and marketing that helped Debbie escape from her regular, hectic routine.

Based on the above – you can already start to tell how to break down your ideal client. You get an understanding of where they live, how much money they have, what’s going on in their life, what they like, and what they dislike.

If you get stuck defining your ideal client

Try asking an existing one. Pick someone who is a fan. Ask them what they do on weekends. Do they like to travel? Do they drink Bud Light or Highland Park Scotch or Appletini’s?

Record their answers, save the document and if you’re feeling extra frisky…post in on the wall in your office. You don’t have to get as specific as I do by naming them, etc…but you should have a good idea at who he/she/they are. Then you can start crafting your message, and creating a business flow centered around your ideal client.

By not defining your ideal client you might as well give me all your money, so I can burn it, although I’ll probably buy a few bow ties first before I incinerate your cash.

You should never advertise, hell you shouldn’t even turn on your OPEN sign, before knowing who your ideal client is. It’s THE first step, the BIGGEST step, and it often gets overlooked.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Need a bit more help on defining your ideal client? Punch in your email addy below, and I’ll send you weekly tid bits direct to your inbox.

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Think Like a Media Company

Different forms of media on way markers

Customers pick YOU before your product.

Do you want to build a faceless drop shipping company that has huge customer acquisition costs OR a long lasting sustainable business that delivers revenue consistently?

I’m perfectly fine with those who have drop shipping businesses or generic e-commerce shops. If you’re making a living…good for you. Maybe you’re making big bucks and living the dream…good for you. For me these successful businesses are few and far between.

I’ve seen more success by building a brand, a trusted name and playing the long game opposed to something that hits big when it first starts, then customer acquisition costs start eating away the bottom line and before you know…POOF! The business is gone.

Your business. Your media company.

I spent a decade working in the media industry and I’ve seen it drive revenue. And I’m talking BIG revenue. The same sales structure most media companies use can be applied to your business no matter how big or small.

A few general ideas:

  1. Market yourself/product. More on that HERE. You have to spend money to make money. I’ve had BIG budgets and I’ve had tiny budgets, but I’ve always had a budget to acquire customers.
  2. Hammer down your ideal client and profile them to accelerate your sales (this one is more complicated). You have to know who’s buying from you and why. Then tap into that reasoning to speak directly to like minded individuals who will become your customers. Punch in your email at the bottom of this page to get my newsletter where I’ll be sending out how to define your ideal client in the coming weeks.
  3. Tell your story. More on that HERE. Please STOP following what others are doing and tell me about YOU. I don’t care about what your product can do for me. Tell me about you FIRST, then I’ll listen to whatever else you have to say. Remember, buyers pick you before the product.
  4. Give back to your customers and community. More on this below.

Inward Marketing

If you’ve heard the term inbound marketing, INWARD MARKETING is not it. I’m not even sure if inward marketing is a term, but it is now!

Quick note – if you don’t have any paying customers yet – then focus on marketing yourself. If you don’t have the dollars (you should find something…anything to marketing yourself) you can use the guerrilla marketing approach. I touch on that briefly here.

Instead of using your ad dollars to drive new customers and build your brand awareness by purchasing traditional (billboard, print, radio, tv) or through social media you turn those dollars inward and give back to your existing customers.

I worked with a Lexus dealership years ago and this is exactly what they did. Dealerships typically spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising every month. This dealership took those dollars and put together exclusive concerts, deals, spa packages, trips, charity functions etc…but only for their customers. You had to be in the club in order to receive the perks.

You better believe word-of-mouth started to travel as this dealership’s existing customers were like chickadees spreading the the message. If you wanted to get pampered and treated like a God, then this dealership was the place to get your Lexus. Soon people were coming to them asking how they could get in on the perks. The answer was simple, buy a Lexus from us.

This simple concept was honed during my 10-years in the radio industry. We constantly ran promotions that benefited our listeners (aka customers). With the Lexus dealership – we took what I did in the radio industry, copied it and pasted it to the benefit of Lexus owners.

You need to start thinking of yourself as your own TV, radio station, magazine, social media company, etc…It may sound like a lot of work, but you’re probably already doing most of it. For your business – this is an amazing way to share your stories, your personal beliefs, and further connect you with your potential customers. You may not see giant sums of customers at first, but with time your CORE fans will develop that personal connection with you, and next thing you know – you’ll start to see your brand grow through referrals, and satisfied customers who come back time-and-time again.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Any questions? Need to dive in further on a subject? Sign up with your email addy below and get info direct to your inbox. It’s also your personal gateway to me (if you care about getting personal).

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Valentine’s Day Gratitude

Photo of heart shaped text I Love You

If you’ve been following my posts regularly you’ll know I usually sign off by saying “Love you.” Now, I don’t really love you because I don’t really know who you are. Although I can assume we’re somewhat like-minded because you wouldn’t be reading my non-sensical madness unless your brain was wired like mine.

Anywho, my family recently lost someone who was close to us. She was 30, and died after a couple year fight with cancer. It hit my wife particularly hard because she worked closely with this gal for years. With both my wife and I inching closer to our mid-30’s it really put things into perspective.

I’m extremely focused on the future, that I sometimes lose sight of what’s happening right now. Empathy is also not one of my strengths, but that’s a story for another day.

What’s the point?

With Valentine’s Day being this Friday, I’ll let you in on something I’ve been doing for the past 13 years. I met my wife in College over 13 years ago. For our first Valentine’s Day I didn’t know what to get her. For whatever reason, the thought jumped into my mind to write her a letter and stuff it in her locker.

I’ve continued this tradition for the past 13 years with the exception of stuffing a letter into a locker. I usually leave it on her pillow or sneak it into her purse or boot (I try and be creative). Anyway, the letter is basically acknowledging what I’ve loved about her from the past 365 days.

It’s a time to reflect on the special bond we share, and gives us a chance to appreciate what we have in the present.

In recent years – I’ve started this practice in my business life. Every year around Valentine’s Day I call a few people (instead of a letter) who have been instrumental in my business and/or personal life, and tell ’em I love them and thank them for how they’ve shaped me.

  1. It’s a simple gesture to make others appreciate what they’ve done. After all, don’t we all want some sort of recognition?
  2. On a selfish level – it feels good to do it…really good. Hell, Oprah made a career out of giving away free stuff just so she could feel better.

We could do a deep dive into the psychology of giving compliments and/or gratitude, but all you need to do is compliment one person right now, and you’ll instantly feel better. Try it.

You never know

You might like it. The reaper could be coming for you in an hour, a week or 50 years from now, so keep swinging and every now and then take some time to reflect on what you’ve done and who’s helped you get there.

My wife and I’s friend barely had a chance to fulfill her dreams. And we never got the chance to thank her on the impact she made on our lives.

Make a list of those who have impacted your life, business or both. Give them a call, write them a letter, direct message them, whatever…It’ll benefit you, it’ll benefit your business, it’ll benefit your life.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

PS. Be on the lookout for a survey link coming direct to your inbox. I want to know why you continue to read my ramblings. Aren’t signed up yet? Do so below…

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