Build a Cult Like Following With Your Subscribers

Build a Cult Like Following With Your Subscribers… not just a list.

by Ernest O’Dell – Guerrilla Internet Marketing Institute

Wednesday, November 9, 2010

“Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” – John D. Rockefeller

Don’t build a list! Build a community! Build a cult following!

I know it goes against conventional wisdom, and you hear the gurus tell you, “The list, the list, THE LIST!” But, let’s face it: no matter how big your list is, if the ROI is minuscule, then it’s not worth a dime.

Yes, build your list: but, don’t let that be the final analysis. The list is only the beginning: not the end.

You hear it all the time:

  • “List Building on Steroids”
  • “Massive List Growth”
  • “Mega List Building”
  • “Build a List of 100,000 Names While You Sleep”

Yeah, right! Baloney-Salami! Or as my Yiddish babushka would say, “Baba-mieses!”

Bigger Is not always better!

You hear statements like this all the time in the Internet Marketing world, but the gurus who go about bandying those statements conveniently forget to tell you that the number of names you have in your subscriber list(s) shouldn’t be your top priority. The fact is, you can have 500 million names in your list… but if they aren’t responding to your offers, they are worth nothing to you.

This is sort of the problem one runs into on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. They think, all of a sudden, because they have access to half a billion people, all they need to do is make a buck off of each one.

Well… don’t quit your day job, dude!

So how do you get your list to be responsive?

I like some of the suggestions that J.K. Ellis makes in his article “10 Ways to Build a Cult-Like Following” where he outlines the tactics used by cult leaders. Now, I’m not advocating that you go out and build a cult then spike their Kool-Aid… no. If you do that, you’ll be back to “Square One.” Just ask Jim Jones and David Koresh. They’re not doing so well right now.

First of all, you need to stop seeing your list members as e-mail addresses… and realize that behind each name is a real live person. Then you must focus your attention on engaging, ENLIGHTENING, entertaining, and educating them. It’s more like INITIATING them, rather than INSTRUCTING them. Most people who give instruction are really not doing much more than stating facts, figures and history. Any good teacher can do that as well as a bad one.

So, what’s the difference?

Learning by initiation is about creating the experience that makes the learning personal and visceral to your students, your subscribers. A good example of that is showing someone by example, like in the movie “The Last Samurai” where Tom Cruise’s character was learning how to be a samurai warrior from other warriors. Once his instructor made it clear to him that he needed to get beyond “head knowledge” and let it become “One” with his body and psyche, then, and only then, did he learn the art of fighting. The same concepts are taught in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”

People learn “in the doing” of things when they are taught “by the example” of things.

Does this make sense?

When you manage to become the sensei, the Master Teacher, you’ll have the makings of a “community” that you can effectively market to—a group of like-minded people with similar challenges, wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. In effect, you will become the guru (teacher) and you will have developed a cult like following.

Until you understand this and master its implementation, all the Facebook ads, joint ventures, search engine marketing, direct-mail messages, banner ads, and dedicated e-mails in the world will not do you one bit of good. You’ve got to get people’s “ear” where they will listen to you. You’ve got to become like E.F. Hutton, where… when you speak, people listen.

There are a ton of concepts and strategies that you could simply “tell” someone and they would intellectually understand but they wouldn’t “get it” as an insight. They would only see it as information. The result is that they may use it… and they might not. I run into this all the time with real estate professionals. It seems that they are just too busy to “slow down” and absorb the information.

But, they’re not the only ones: I also find people in the insurance industry doing the same thing… and just about every other industry you can think of…

Teaching by initiation means holding back on simply telling the student what he or she wants to know and instead providing them an experience where they “get it” on their own. The subjective part of the experience is where the lesson will become clear. And when the “lights come on” it will have more value than if you had drawn it out for them on a drawing board.

To read the remainder of this article in PDF format, click on the link below.

Build a Cult Like Following With Your Subscribers – GREEN BAR.pdf


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