What if the ultimate cookie is the seed you plant when you tell an engaging story?
Stories convey emotion and suck people in. Stories make boring facts memorable. They can change someone’s worldview in an instant.
The Significant Object Study proved beyond doubt that stories increase the perceived value of simple thrift store objects. 200 objects bought for $129 were sold on ebay each with a story attached, for close to $8000.
That’s more than a 6200% uplift.
Stories mean business…
Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign is a prime example. It featured the former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick and the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”
In 2016, Kaepernick started to kneel for the pre-game national anthem in protest at racial injustice in the United States. He was dismissed by the San Francisco 49ers.
Donald Trump attacked the advert saying “I think it’s a terrible message that [Nike] are sending...”
Videos were uploaded by people across the USA burning their trainers.
If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.
Nike believes that racial equality matters. It’s a core value for them. Kaepernick was the obvious person to embody those values.
Their stock rose 5%.
Sales surged by 31%.
All because Nike told a story about their core values.
Telling stories based on core values inspires action.
They are the seed you plant to make your messaging memorable.
They are the ultimate cookie you drop that brings your peeps back to your walled garden over and over again...
You may remember a random 40 mph gust of wind that blew innocently across the Suez Canal buffeting “The Ever Given” with such force that the behemoth was wedged across the narrow trade route for 7 days.
Who knew that such megaships existed?
Ships that carry 20,000 containers.
Ships 5 times bigger than 20 years ago.
It's just one example of humanity’s desire to make more and more money without considering the consequences.
A single point of failure that had 370 ships backed up costing the Egyptian Government $13m per day and world trade a cumulative $10b per day...
Imagine a company 80% dependent on mobile traffic - A single point of failure over which it has no control - suddenly having its whole business model buffeted by the actions of a competitor to whom trust is its most important core value.
Apple’s goal is to build a trusting relationship with their customers so they keep coming back to their walled garden over and over again...
Apple’s stand to ensure their customers' privacy is welcomed by one and all. 99% of iOS 14 users refused App Tracking last year. The era of intrusive tracking by Facebook, Google or any other App unscrupulously collecting data on their users is over.
That’s going to smack Facebook right in the business model.
Now imagine that you are a coach, consultant or expert service provider dependent on Facebook for a consistent flow of new clients. A single point of failure you have no control over.
A choke point that could put you in ‘Facebook jail’ or close your Ad account for no apparent reason.
Having a single point of failure in any business is a HUGE risk.
Facebook failed to properly account for such a risk and now the walled garden Mark Zuckerberg created and nurtured faces an existential crisis.
What about you?
Building your business on real estate leased to you by Facebook in exchange for your data is a huge risk.
It may not cost you $13m a day…
But Facebook could certainly shutter your business.
Apple and Facebook have built their own walled gardens in which we entertain ourselves. If walled gardens are good for them, they must be good for us too.
If you don't have one in the era of digital privacy, the seeds you plant may be wiped out by a sudden gust of wind you have no control over.
Let’s go back to first principles.
What is the #1 goal of your business… the principal output?
Your immediate answer may have something to do with money but there’s more to it than that. With the money you earn comes the control you seek.
To be your own boss.
To make your own decisions.
To live the life you wish to.
To feel emotionally fulfilled.
Having a long term business gives us all of this but money after all is only a measure of stored energy/value which is passed from one person to another.
People pay for value received. The more they receive the more they will happily pay. The logical conclusion is that we have to optimise our business for happy customers…
Not the % CTR from your Ad.
Not the % CTR of your landing page.
Not the # of clarity calls booked in a month.
Not even the % close rate on those calls.
But the number of happy customers that your business has.
Now think of this happy customer as more than just an output.
Happy customers are created long before money changes hands.
It all starts when they step into your world by aligning with your beliefs and your core values long BEFORE they subscribe, which is why a conventional lead magnet rarely achieves your goal… to create a happy customer.
The only thing that your subscriber has accepted when they download your lead magnet is they have to give you some BS email address in exchange for some ‘ethical bribe’ whose main attribute is the clickbait headline that comes with it.
The first principle is that long term businesses are built on relationships and relationships are built on trust and that is built on a shared worldview.
A shared set of beliefs.
Which is why running Ad campaigns to create awareness was never enough by itself even when you could hyper target your audience.
Did you know that the average time from connection to buying decision on Facebook is 90 days?
Let’s do the math.
30% of your audience may do business with you one day.
15% of that 30% may be ready to buy from you in the first 90 days.
That leaves a full 85% of that 30% who may buy from you later.
Truth is that even before App Tracking Transparency most coaches, consultants and expert service providers were struggling to maximise R.O.A.S..
Re-marketing campaigns have always been limited because conventional thinking says… Carpet bomb the people who have engaged until they subscribe while optimising every stage in your funnel.
All based on the false belief that your delivery mechanism produces linear results meaning that if you amp up your opt in rate from say 20% to 30% that ultimately results in you achieving 50% more conversions too.
Which is simply not true…
But I digress.
The fact is conventional thinking is not going to be enough to ensure your survival when the parameters on which it is based, have changed.
Even if you consider that that accepted wisdom (your marketing right now) is producing acceptable results.
The goal posts have moved.
In the age of digital privacy people are making trust their number one priority.
Trust takes time to build.
It is like a seed you plant in your walled garden and nurture over time.
Telling stories allows you to reach out to your peeps and nurture that trust.
Running a successful long term business is about weighing up the probabilities not the possibilities.
It’s about making changes when changes need to be made, not burying your head in the sand and hoping they will go away.
It’s about what will happen if you don’t, not about what might happen if you do.
The safest way is to go all in especially in times of maximum disruption.
It’s about paddling to catch the wave and riding it to the shore.
Not getting crushed in the shore break, when it arrives.
Paul Zane Pilzer once said the basis of your success is “Choice & Attitude.”
The good news is that you get to choose.
Will it be the Red pill or the blue?
It’s just a decision. And it’s all on you.
As Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art…
“You have a choice. Do it or don’t do it.”
You either believe that the ultimate cookie is the seed you plant when you tell an engaging story… or you don’t.
YES or NO.
Be sure about this… iOS 14.5 is sure to bring chaos.
Even if the Zuck is off by half, it still leaves coaches, consultants and expert service providers taking a big hit.
There’s no easy way out of this.
It’s time to go back to the future.
Reexamine first principles.
Reject accepted wisdom.
And build your business based on telling stories that build trust over time.
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One thing is certain. I don’t have all the answers. And what I do have, definitely isn’t for everyone or even for very many.
What I have here is for those few, who choose to cross the start line, go on a journey with me and live with the bumps and bruises that come with overcoming the challenges created in the chaos of iOS 14.5...