How to create an Image in the minds of your audience and make your competition irrelevant

written by john c ashworth

How to create an Image in the minds of your audience and make your competition irrelevant

…some vitally important and time-sensitive notes on personal branding and omnipresence.

YOUR ability to differentiate yourself and your business in the marketplace is constantly under siege by the market’s constant move toward commoditization.  As a person.  As a company.  As a brand.  You must constantly be moving to the high ground of authority and expertise.  Because like a tsunami slowly approaching and mostly unnoticed, this ominous wave is unstoppable and holds the constant potential of washing you and your business away in an instant.

In order to prevent from being commoditized, you must play the game of business in a way no one else is playing it.  You must think different.  You must act different.  You must BE different.  A scary and unsettling idea for most humans happy to follow the lead of others.

The good news is that since most other small business owners won’t do any of this.  Instead, they will continue doing the same things they’ve always done.  One of which is to simply copy others in a weak effort to make-up for their ignorance and lack of fortitude.  Or more often, their fear and broken belief systems about what works and what doesn’t, and about what is truly acceptable inside the marketplace.  Inside capitalism.  Inside the minds and hearts of your audience.

Much of this comes down to the facts.  The numbers inside any business.  The truth about what is really going on.  The truth about what really works and can be measured. The clear and repeatable path someone follows as they make their way from interest to inception as one of your new customers.  If you don’t see this path in your business, it’s definitely time to get to work.  And even if you do, it’s time to stop ignoring the premise on which I began this idea with you today; and begin working diligently to establish your authority and expertise in the minds and hearts of your prospects and customers.

How do make your competition irrelevant? Here are 3 simple ideas on which to begin your journey.

1. Do what you advise others to do.  Lead by example.  In other words, don’t get caught selling one plan while working another.  The fitness business is a great example of this.  One of the reasons I stepped away from it completely for five or six years.  Coming back and taking a look around, it is clear that it’s even worse now.  Diluted with non-sense and with charlatans.  All of whom sell one plan while working another.  Stay tuned here on the ash flash for a more honest and straightforward approach to your health and fitness.  Both as an example of how to do what I’m talking about here today and if needed, to help get your own health and fitness program back on track.

This entire point, by the way, could be summed-up in one simple statement:

“Be authentic!”

2. Establish a foundation of marketable and profitable knowledge for which you possess unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge, understanding, and ability to use that wisdom to server your niche in a way no one else possibly can; and do it in a way that is legendary!

3. Like it or not, humans gravitate toward celebrity.  What can you do to turn yourself into a local celebrity; or at the very least, be seen as a celebrity for those whom you serve.  Remember, being watched and listened to and talked about is what drives move of the marketplace.  Think Trump and don’t let your political beliefs one way or the other sway you from the absolute resonance of this example. 

Put another way, you can label all of this as personal branding and/or authority marketing; and it truly is powerful stuff.  As one simple personal example, I can tell you that my regular health and fitness segment that aired every other Friday here on the local NBC affiliate in Madison, WI did more to help me grow my fitness business back in the mid 2000s than anything else I ever did.

Recently I sat down for a podcast with my son, Carl Ashworth where we discussed an introduction to these ideas in “How to Garner Attention personally, professionally, and for maximum impact.”

Subscribe here on JohnAshworth.com and you will receive email updates about all the episodes we have planned in this series and which are focused on the topics of how to develop and position your personal brand for maximum authority and impact in your local marketplace.

Good luck!

John

Patience is concentrated strength

laura after vaccine dose 1

produced by john c ashworth

This seemed like a good post to start the 2021 year. Not exactly the first post. I posted a quick workout for you yesterday. But a good theme for all of us as we head toward the anniversary for the pandemic and we all begin the work of re-setting our hearts and minds for what still lies ahead.

In 2021, patience will be essential…

john c ashworth grief journal 2020
from the podcast desk of john c ashworth
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Here’s the story I referenced from the ash flash from 2020.

How to promote your business and your personal brand using these 4 often overlooked strategies

How to promote your business and your personal brand using these 4 often overlooked strategies

written by john c ashworth

  1. Worry less about image then everyone else does.
  2. Write like you would talk, face-to-face, belly-to-belly, person-to-person.
  3. Be friendly, not stuffy.
  4. Be courageous
Continue reading “How to promote your business and your personal brand using these 4 often overlooked strategies”

Do you have a happiness guarantee?

bombas happiness guarantee

written by john c ashworth

Over Christmas in 2019 I purchased my very first pair of Bombas socks.

Bombas is the company that donates a pair of socks for every pair you buy. Pretty cool concept and aided by the Shark Tank, of course 🙂

When the package arrived, I hung on to it for a few weeks until Christmas morning when I opened and reviewed the contents. Three pair of calf compression socks and one pair of performance ankle socks.

Also enclosed was Bombas’ happiness guarantee along with the story about their business told in a creative way. A piece of direct mail that I have now taken the time to capture and share with you because it’s pretty cool, and that sat around in my workshop for a couple months before I finally through it away.

The compression socks were not as comfortable as I thought and I had a suspicion I was going to want to take advantage of their happiness guarantee, which is…

“Our happiness team is here to make sure that you’re 100% happy with your Bombas order. If you have any problem, no matter how small, our dedicated Happiness Team (yes in all-caps and I think that’s a very important copywriting note to make) will refund your purchase, issue an exchange, whatever it takes.”

As you will see in the picture, they included three separate ways to contact the company, including the telephone and provided one additional resource for frequently asked questions. I chose email and they made it very easy. Not like the random wireless router signal booster I purchased a couple months ago that was a piece of junk and needed to be returned, only to have the process drag out for a month and a half and require bullying on my end to get anyone to respond.

I told them I had already worn and washed one pair, and that ideally I would like to exchange the other two pair for something else, and indicated that I was happy to comply with whatever they deemed fair.

They wrote right back and asked what I would like to order in exchange. I made my choices and that was it and not every night when I go to bed, I eagerly await that moment where I sit on the edge of my bed with my Burt’s Bees almond milk cream and a fresh pair of Bombas‘ socks to keep my feet cozy at night, my spirit grounded in goodness, and my feet in tip top shape for all the walking I do each week.

Thanks, Bombas!

I love my socks and you’ve made me a Big Fan!

-John

the Bombas story
notice the sense of belonging here?

The importance of personality in YOUR marketing

john-c-ashworth-in-wig

The importance of personality in YOUR Copy & Marketing

written by john c ashworth



john-c-ashworth-in-wig
john c ashworth after the 8th grade parent, teacher, versus the students basketball game. -circa 2015

There is an absolutely wonderful marketing principle for your small business that may be applied in many different situations that has to do with scarcity and the fact that most people want more of which they can’t seem to get enough. Denial or exclusivity increases desire. This is one of life’s greatest truths if you ask me.

Generally speaking, when it comes to being a consumer, really personal, memorable, and amazing experiences worth talking about and sharing are extremely rare. This is not only unfortunate for all of us, but it is actually a huge missed opportunity for you and your small business and everything you are trying to do to grow your enterprise.

So, when you give your public, and especially your own prospects and customers a really friendly, personable, believable “regular guy” to deal with, people are thrilled to have found you. Add to that an expert dose of entertainment in everything you do and communicate to your lists and you have an extremely powerful elixer for small business growth.

You as the owner or operator of your enterprise have this opportunity. As I said earlier, most squander it for a variety of reasons, the main one being that you sell yourself short and think that no one will be interested in what you have to say and/or don’t feel this a valuable use of your time or you simply don’t feel comfortable with so much attention directly focused on YOU. That’s OK in part. You don’t necessarily have to be the one to take on the task of becoming the ‘attractive character’ in your business. But someone should. Think of some of the great companies out there who have done this with their advertising with a memorable spokesperson and think about how effective that really is.

Find this spokesperson and attractive character inside your small business. Promote them constantly and outrageously and be entertaining and not boring and you will be amazed at what kind of sales growth you can create and then sustain over time.

Good luck!

-John

PS If you’re interested in speaking with me directly about how I can help you achieve this effect inside your small business and want to explore the possibility of me becoming your spokesperson, check out the video feed on the ash flash, my youtube channel, and almost anything else I share here and then let’s talk about how and what I might be able to create and do for you and your small business.

Leaving follow-up exclusively to your Salespeople Defies the ‘Math’ of Human Behavior

written by john c ashworth

If you manage a sales team, you MUST read this and understand these money management facts.

This idea comes straight out of one of Dan Kennedy’s books titled, ‘Almost Alchemy.’ The entire theme of the book is centered around the idea that if you’re willing to change your business math, you can and will change your business and personal life for the better. If you’re interested, I’m happy to send you a copy of the book in kindle format.

Click here to take advantage of this offer.

Here’s what you need to know if you manage a sales team.

This is really, really important and most business owners in particular really get this wrong so be sure to keep an open mind here…

The first thing you really need to understand and deep down, you probably already know this, is that your sales volume can and will be increased significantly when you follow-up effectively. The problem, as Dan puts it, is that disbelief in the value of unconverted leads runs rampant, for both salespeople and business owners and sales managers. This is in spite of the evidence suggesting that in most commerce categories anywhere from seven to twenty one sequential and interest and trust building contacts are behind 80% of all eventual sales.

Even in faster decision oriented businesses like shopping for a DUI attorney or a car or a personal injury attorney, over half of all sales are still made to slow-maturing buyers (Almost Alchemy, by Dan Kennedy published November 12th, 2019). In other words, a lot of the money is in the drilling-down and the discipline of building elaborate, interesting, and well thought out follow-up campaigns that nurture trust and interest and that ultimately will lead to more sales. You don’t need MORE marketing, you need better MARKETING, and better business math.

The car business is famous for this mentality and I mention that from time to time in my writing because I was a car salesman myself for four years and while this was one of the most powerful and rich experiences I’ve had as a salesperson, and human being, I could not stick around forever. One of the BIGGEST reasons was that I was NEVER allowed the freedom and resources I needed to build and cultivate this kind of sales and marketing mechanism. The ‘eat what you kill today’ mentality was just far too engraved in this culture. The same holds true for most businesses, of course, but the car business is a great example that most of us can relate to. We all have to buy cars.

The other important set of facts you need to accept when it comes to your sales team are these…and I warn you, they are a little disturbing but they are in fact very accurate.

1% are great!

4% are good.

15% are adequate.

40% are barely adequate.

40% are useless.

Take a close look at your sales team today and be honest with yourself. Personally, I’ve been part of enough sales teams in a wide variety of settings and to me, this looks just about right.

Here’s sometime else very important to understand…no matter how hard you might try, you will NOT be able to improve any of the bottom 80%. Stop wasting your time, money and resources on this and spend time and invest money in your top people instead. But that’s not all. The other very important point here is that while you’re not just going to go get rid of all your mediocre salespeople. They still hold value for you, but only if you’re willing to put the time and effort into building a real and comprehensive sales system. A marketing plus sales system that can be taught, measured, and improved upon daily. That’s real work, which is why most business owners and sales managers don’t do it. It also takes a level of commitment to personal development, and the Japanese concept of Kaizen or constant improvement.

Lastly, to do this right, you need good business math and good and consistent measurement so that your math is accurate and tells you the real story about what is happening day to day. You can only squeeze your salespeople so much, and as the size of your sales team grows, you will discover that the average productivity of each salesperson declines. As Dan points out clearly in his book, the work of freeing your company from the lowest producers becomes harder and harder because there are just so many darn slots to fill. As a result, expectations are lowered and you begin your rapid decent into mediocrity and misery.

-John

PS I’m not saying you should give-up on your sales training and sales meetings and all of your efforts to inspire motivation in your sales team either. If you read the ash flash regularly, you know this is what I’m all about here. It’s just important to accept the fact that your sales training is NOT scalable. Instead, you should look at it as a means of supporting the top 20% of your sales team who will in fact benefit immensely from your efforts. If you’re interested in discussing ideas about how you can do this more effectively and having a discussion about how you can adopt better business math strategies, you can contact me here.