What’s in your Welcome?

There are sometimes amusing and frustrating consequences in not following the crowd.

Recently I changed my whole opt-in process. I decided I wanted to do 5 new things at once.

Come to think of it, that should have been a clue as to what was about to happen.

These were my 5 goals…
  1. Give a ton of valuable gifts and information to every new subscriber.
  2. Keep it under lock and key until requested.
  3. Confirm their subscription in a friendlier way than autoresponders normally require.
  4. Customize the thank you page with their name at the top of the page.
  5. Give them a follow-up form that did not require a name or an email.

I worked with no less than half a dozen of the big opt-in form companies, as well as some boutique firms, and all of them looked at me like I had 3 heads when I told them what I wanted.

In the end, after weeks of false starts and dead ends, I had to let it go, having accomplished only 3 of the 5 tasks I’d set out for myself. Someday I will add the rest, but today the technology doesn’t yet exist on a broad enough scale to pull it all together.

We have such amazing technology, we think everything should be possible with the touch of a button. I sure did. Think about it. Creating a full website, something that only a dedicated engineer could do for you just a few years ago, can now be done in a few minutes. It may not be that good, but that isn’t the point.

The point is, we are led to believe by the technology we can see and the promise of technology to come that nothing is out of reach to our searching thoughts. 

And that presents a very real problem.

Are we having fun yet?
Using technology has consequences.

If you aren’t careful, it could end up operating you! My flirtation with programming resulted in an overly complicated mess of semi-interlocking programs that ultimately collapsed of its own weight.

But the thing can fail for other reasons, like the technology being wrong for your brand.

In video content, almost all the solutions available promise insane levels of riches for no apparent reason other than “Video is cool.”

So we have version after version of explainers, cartoons and PowerPoint-style video builders; all owing their success to the bandwagon effect. The pitch is, “you should be using it because look who else is using it!”

But once everyone is onboard, people get tired of it and the next new thing pops up to take its place.

I’ve tried all this stuff and all I can say is that it works a lot better in theory than in practice. Mostly it takes an incredibly long time to do anything worthwhile in these programs, and like my autoresponder adventure, won’t even allow me to do what I want to do.

The message I can get across in a few seconds in my little home-made video takes hours to build in one of these easy-peazy programs.

But this obscures a more insidious problem. The opportunity to learn how to represent his or her company on video is lost in a world of garish bits and bytes. 

But what if, instead of using video in this sort of haphazard and semi-conscious way; what if he used it to lay down a path of attraction instead? What if he used it build up his audience instead of just trying to force a sale on them?

What if the very best customer is one who knows the most about what they want because of how you’ve been training them all along? What if sales could be made by the person buying instead of the person selling?

Actually, there’s no “what if” about this scenario.

The Content Carousel

That’s simply what it means to work as a visible authority. But for some strange reason, creating this kind of system isn’t valued by many. It’s seen as too much work. They want the sale right NOW.

Ironically, the technology that can help someone create a perfect path of attraction is so simple anyone can use it!

And yet the skills people seek out are the ability to rapidly persuade total strangers into buying things they can’t afford and don’t understand.

Persuasion is necessary only when, let’s face it, my needs are more important than the needs of the person I’m selling to. This is rationalized away rather easily because in that system, information about what I’m selling is so scarce, I know way more than my prospect can.

Even that word, “prospect”, a thing, the object of my prospecting, rather than a human being with a unique set of needs; that very word plunges one’s thinking into the world of predator and prey.

That’s why I created something I call The Content Carousel. It gently guides the building of a system in which persuasion is replaced by attraction to your natural authority. Clients don’t need to be chased. They naturally pursue their own interests, and when you’ve done your job, one of those interests becomes you.

This positions you in a very different way than your competition. And I use that word guardedly, because when your content does its job, the word “competition” loses a lot of its meaning as well.

So if you have decided to do some of this with video, the next question is how. My own recipe is not very complex, but it gets the job done.

And one of these days, so will my opt-in forms. 🙂

    10 replies to "Attraction v. Persuasion"

    • Jeff Harrison

      Steve, once again you take the complicated and make it simple…simply the best way to build a long-term sustainable business, in any industry or niche! Bravo.
      I have been listening, reading and watching you now for a couple of years…and you do walk your talk. Thank you

      ps…I almost did not read this extremely valuable message when I scrolled and found no video, but because of the relationship you’ve created, I stayed, I consumed and now I think I’ve actually grown a bit taller! Thanks Steve

    • Steven Washer

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jeff. This was an experiment of sorts. I probably should mention that there are 5 videos embedded within the article, (4 old and 1 new) so if you have some spare time, you might enjoy the review.
      And here’s to continued growth for all of us! 🙂

    • Mel Hardman

      Great comments…and advice, Steve. I’ve often thought that so many of today’s internet sellers are a recreation of the old ‘snake oil pitchmen’ who followed the circus & carnivals around, capitalizing on the audiences they drew. Whether they are hyping some concoction of homeopathic ingredients (that the FDA is about to arrest them for ….and jerk off the internet!) to programmers with the latest ‘launch’ of super-easy web site building tools, it just keeps going on…and on.

      Your approach is so refreshing… blatantly honest…and effective.

      • Steven Washer

        Robert Preston would have appreciated that comment, Mel!
        As for the rest, among other things, it enjoys the benefit of seldom being tried…

    • Rolf

      Great information Steve.

      • Steven Washer

        Much appreciated, Rolf!

    • Walter Psotka

      Steven… I always look forward to reading your emails.
      You are the model for “integrity” in this crazy email marketing world.

      I need to re-frame my own on-line persona to reflect who I am.
      Keep up the good work !

      • Steven Washer

        Thanks, Walter! And godspeed…

    • Christy Foster

      Steve, I am so grateful I met you! I love the advice and content you give. The thing I love most about you is I never feel like you are selling me on the 10 ways to make a million dollars in 5 days. Thank you! I look forward to more gems from you.

      • Steven Washer

        Thanks, Christy! Actually, from a practical standpoint, it can also be a matter of time preference. One can be paid once a year and live like royalty. Those who feel a need to be paid several times a month have to deal with the greater pain of their shorter time preferences. So one question might be, who’s running this circus? 🙂

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