[thelist] Online Marketing Resource

Joel D Canfield joel at bizba6.com
Thu Jan 6 14:55:58 CST 2011

On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM, Fred Jones <fredthejonester at gmail.com>wrote:

> 50% of $10K I would think is not bad. 50% of a year's sales I think
> would at least be incentive enough for a marketer to put some effort
> into it--the profits would then (in theory) be directly correlated to
> his success. Perhaps not, however.
> that depends on this marketing guru doubling the biz in a single year. that
is a pretty tall order. if, as is more feasible, the biz grows a whopping
10% this year, said marketing guru could make half of $1,000—$500 for a
year's work, right?

this also assumes the "bolt marketing on top" thinking which I'll address
below where you ask some good questions

> > have your friend read everything ever written by Seth Godin; commit it to
> > memory if possible. act on it. it will change how they do business at a
> > fundamental organic level, rather than pasting 'marketing' on top of
> > whatever he's already doing (see Seth's book "Meatball Sundae")
> Hmmm, this is interesting. If it would really change change his
> business at a "fundamental organic level" then your vegetable-eating
> reference makes sense. Hard to perceive how this works, however, but
> it is also interesting that you push his books more than your own
> anyhow. :)

nobody's heard of me; recommending my own books can't possibly come across
as anything but self-promotional. recommending someone widely acknowledged
as a marketing guru is more likely to come across as genuine. (I know you're
not being argumentative, Fred, and neither am I. I love this stuff, so
please take everything I say as cheerful, exuberant, even, friendly advice.)

good marketing isn't poured on top after you've built a business, it's baked
into everything you do. it's a mindset.

it is not, however, the mindset most folks think of; the plaid polyester
sports coat mindset. it's not about how to make a quick buck, how to
increase sales without regard for whether or not people actually need the
service you're selling, or whether *you* are right for *them*.

marketing is about understanding people. it's a basic truth of sales that
people do business with someone they know, like, and trust. and yet, most
companies, even small ones, spend exactly zero time letting anyone get to
know, like, or trust them before they ask for money.

we all have, to some extent, an intuitive grasp of how people think. you
know that if you cut in front of someone in line, they'll be annoyed. if you
smile at someone, they'll almost certainly smile back. this intuitive grasp
of human psychology is much broader than most of us realise.

ever had the experience where someone says something which seems intuitively
obvious though you've never heard it before? they just connected two truths
in your brain with a connection you hadn't made on your own.

when you read about some marketing system ("buy this product or service and
double your sales!") there's no intuitive human reason to believe it will
work, because that's not how we're wired. imagine solving other human
problems with some product or service. is that how you'd raise kids, improve
your marriage, find peace in life? no product or service will do that, but
different thinking can.

find someone who guides you to a new way of thinking, one that makes perfect
sense, but you just never thought of it before, and you'll *know* this will

he could spend 2 hours reading Seth's "Linchpin" or my "The Commonsense
Entrepreneur" and he'll know that either it makes perfect sense and can be
easily (though not necessarily instantly) implemented, or that it's a lotta
hooey. he's invested a couple hours to know whether a fundamental shift in
thinking will work better than asking someone else to do his marketing for

>  > they could read my books too, of course :)
> Well now if we read Godin and then Canfield, what about Mike
> Michalowicz and Steve Krug and Tim Ash etc. etc. I'm not trying to be
> difficult, but it's hard to find one's way around a field that one
> doesn't know.

I understand completely. this is a field I *do* know. consider this: if he
reads a book a week, next year by this time, he's read 52 books on business
and marketing. even if half of them are nonsense, he's got 26 books full of
great thinking in his head.

> If someone asks me for advice about a CMS, I can provide excellent
> professional advice, backed by solid evidence of number of users,
> community members, forum activities, and number of large and small
> successful sites using the tool etc.. I feel this is all concrete, but
> this marketing stuff is all abstract and seems (to me anyhow) mostly
> based on anecdotal evidence. Sure maybe Joe's Worm Shop increased
> sales by 50% because they read a book, but maybe anyway they would
> have--this issue you also noted in your first sentence to me. :)

apples/oranges. one is a mechanical process involving machines, the other is
a psychological process involving human beings.

but even human beings follow rules. consider a single example of how
business behaviour gets divorced from human behaviour: every business I know
gives new customers special deals, lower prices, to get them through the

that's just stupid.

who do you treat better, the person you just met, or the one you've known
for years? well, if you're a decent human being, you treat your friends and
family pretty darn good. and if you consistently treat strangers better than
your family, you are in trouble.

it shouldn't be difficult to see how such a fundamental human issue would
apply to business. and that's all marketing, real marketing, is ever going
to be: applying the simple (yes they are) rules of human behaviour to

> However, I will also note that Seth Godin does certainly have a very
> good reputation. But so do some others.

yup; and a lot of it is about whose personality you click with.

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