“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Michael A. Stelzner doesn’t come right out and state the Golden Rule in his new book, Launch, but the Bible verse from Luke 6:31 is at the heart of every concept he teaches.
For those of us who’ve been targeted by oily marketers whose philosophy is, “Give as little unto others as possible while taking as much of their money as quickly as you can,” Stelzner’s principles are a welcome blast of fresh air.
His premise is simple:
Give to others – consistently, joyfully, generously – without any expectation of reciprocation.
Strangely enough, Launch is not a self-help book. It’s intended to help business professionals rethink the way we market; the book’s subtitle is, “How to quickly propel your business beyond the competition.”
Growing your business… by giving??
It’s a novel concept for many. But the meteoric rise of Stelzner’s latest business enterprise, Social Media Examiner, proves that his premise works. Really works.
Let’s take a closer look this anti-marketing message mindset.
Our Default Setting: Distrust
Do you enjoy watching TV commercials? Eagerly click pop-up banner ads on websites? Look forward to calls from telemarketers?
Probably not. In fact, you’re likely quite skilled at ignoring marketing messages. According to Edelman Digital’s annual survey of trust, fewer than one in three people trust marketing messages.
But, what if you sell a stellar product? Won’t your amazing gizmo alone create trust?
The best way to earn people’s trust is to stop pitching to them. Stop marketing to them. Instead, walk beside them.
When you continually focus on meeting people’s needs – for valuable insights, for access to expert knowledge, and for person-to-person connection – you’ve already won half the battle.
Change your focus from “What can we sell you?” to “How can we help you?”
Ban Blatant Marketing Messages
Stelzner calls this process the “Elevation Principle”:
Great content plus other people minus marketing messages equals growth.
In other words:
GIVE AWAY valuable, practical how-to content that helps your readers solve their problems. Consistently producing great content gives people a reason to keep coming back to you.
SEEK OUT EXPERTS in your niche (particularly those who have gigantic, raving fan bases) and shine the spotlight on them. Interview them, do a case study of their business, and review their books, products, or services. As you and your team of experts share great content, your audience will begin to perceive you as an authoritative source.
Once you’ve earned your readers’ trust, opportunities for rapidly growing your business will unfold.
Stelzner practices what he preaches. In Launch, he details how to:
… write a vision statement
… define your ideal reader base (i.e., customer)
… find, attract, and persuade industry experts to contribute content
… produce and publish comprehensive how-to articles, expert interviews, reviews, case studies, news stories, and contrarian stories
He also addresses questions skeptics are bound to have, such as:
- Should you give away your trade secrets?
- If you make your living selling knowledge, aren’t you shooting yourself in the foot by giving it away?
Every so often, Stelzner succumbs to using those odious marketing clichés: “thought leader,” “incentivize,” and “leverage.” (aaarrrrgh!)
The cheesy references to “launching your business into outer space” and “nuclear fuel” get old after Chapter 1. I ignored the rocket ship analogies and skipped to the good stuff. And there’s certainly enough good stuff in Launch to make it worth buying.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable with the marketing model you’re currently using, perhaps it’s time to shift your mindset. Launch shows you how.
You Could Win Launch!
At the beginning of the month, I asked my readers to help me come up with a creative way to give away a copy of Launch.
I received fun responses, such as:
Jan: Attach the book to a rocket and shoot it into the air.
Susy: If you were selected to take part in the very first rocket launch to visit Mars, what 5 books, 5 movies, and 5 snacks would you take to pass the time?
Karen: How ’bout the most absurd “launching” of any object, complete with pictures/video?
I’m going to adapt a suggestion from John, who proposed: “Have your readers submit exactly 60 words on the most important components of a great launch.” (John, I’ll be sending you my review copy of Launch.)
Here’s how YOU can enter to win your very own hardback copy of Launch (retail value $24.95):
In the Comments area, name the expert in your niche you most want to interview. Dream big! The expert has to be someone you aren’t already in contact with. Tell why you would like to interview that person. I’ll give you a BONUS entry if you include one great interview question you would ask that person.
The winner will be selected via the Random Number Generator on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. I’ll announce the winner in the Comments area of this post, and will also e-mail the winner.
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@bloggingbistro is giving away a hardback copy of ‘Launch,’ by Michael A. Stelzner. Enter here: https://bloggingbistro.com/?p=8445