I have a friend who I’ve mentioned a ton of times on this blog. He runs a few businesses, but if you’ve read anything about him on here, it’s probably about the alternative health store project he has going on.
The project that:
- Has terrible site design
- The simplest email marketing plan known to man
- Practically no social media presence whatsoever
- A bunch of articles that simply rant about the status quo
- And a ton of blog posts that highlight hate comments and doubters
So why on Earth am I talking about him again?
Because the way it works is genius and the amount of money this project brings in would make anyone’s eyes water – especially if they knew the lack of effort that went into it.
I’m pretty sure I wind this guy up, because I tend to analyse and quantify what he does, and as you can tell by looking at the above, he’s not an analyse-and-quantify guy.
In fact, when I pressed him about the above stuff, he boiled it down to a simple principle. What he called:
The F*** You Principle.
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I recommend not being quite as abrasive as my buddy, so I’m going to break down how I’d approach following the same sort of path he’s carved for himself.
Like I said, this would annoy the hell out of him if he actually read this. Luckily, I can guarantee he won’t read this because he’s too busy spending money, travelling and being an adventurer to read this blog.
Of course, there’s a lesson in that too, but whatever.
What my friend calls the Fuck You Principle is basically just an extreme version of what’s known as repulsion marketing.
In general, 99% of people are never going to be your customers. That’s just how it is unless you’re Microsoft or Facebook or something.
Repulsion Marketing is term that describes an approach to marketing which basically builds that principle into your marketing.
Instead of writing a sales letter that draws in the 1% without upsetting the 99%, you write a sales letter that boldly states “THIS IS NOT FOR YOU, 99%. GO AWAY.”
Good examples of this are the pick-up sales letters which start with stuff like;
“Are you a hopeless nerd? Does the thought of talking to a woman make cold sweat run down from your armpits? If a girl knocked on your door right now, would you scream through the door “LEAVE ME ALONE” because you’re deathly afraid that if she saw the state of you, she’d laugh and tell all her friends about the loser in the dark basement?”
Now, that imagery turns off 99% off people. Most guys who consider themselves normal aren’t going to admit that’s them. Girls are obviously going to close that window quickly.
That’s good, because the rest of the letter isn’t for them.
This might seem like a terrible business decision, because who wants to lose customers? Remember though, you’re not losing customers. You’re just filtering non-customers out.
Most people lose their minds over repulsion marketing because they’re not the customer. So it repulses them.
So they squawk about sales letters being terrible despite them working exactly as intended.
1000 True Fans
There’s a model of approaching business called the “1000 True Fans” model.
Essentially, you work out the yearly value of your customer. You work out the amount you need to live on. Then you work out how many customers you need to reach that.
Now, the model counts only “true fans” who will buy everything you create. Essentially, the loyal customer.
If you need to earn $100,000 a year to support your lifestyle, and you can charge $100 a year to your loyal customer base, then all you need is 1000 true fans to support you.
It’s a pretty flawed thing, but the general principle is sound in that it’s better to build a steady core of people who like your work and pay for it than try and be the next Walmart competitor, where you make $1 an item and have to serve millions of people with high turnover.
If your goal is to have a concentrated target base of loyal customers, then it’s worth trying repulsion marketing. You don’t have to go all out, nor be abrasive. But you can’t be afraid to exclude people, and you should make it a part of your practice.
You have nothing to lose, because in all actuality, the people you’re excluding probably aren’t your target market anyway.
P.S. I’m not as abrasive as my friend, and I don’t like upsetting people or excluding them.
However be under no illusions – this is exactly the type of long-term plan I have. I just prefer to think in terms of including people and affording them special privileges.
What this means is that if you want to be part of the exclusive gang, it’s not going to be on public display.
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