You want to stand out in the marketplace? Create an amazing experience.

Near the end of 2016 I spoke at a conference in Brazil and it was one of the most epic experiences I’ve had in my career. I can’t even begin to describe the spirit and the energy and the passion of these people. If you ever get a chance to go to Brazil, do it!

And yes, there was a language barrier, so my presentation was literally translated in real time. As if presenting to the largest audience of my career wasn’t a wild enough experience already! But that’s a story for another day.

Anyways, near the end of the event there was a presentation that I really wanted to listen to, so my translator and I went out to the one of the top balconies where we wouldn’t interrupt too many people and she translated the presentation in real time for me.

Boy, am I glad we went, because this presentation was AMAZING. I literally took pages and pages of notes.

The presentation was all about gamification. The presenters, Tatiana Gabrael and her husband Renato Gabrael, sell an online course which helps participants to improve their eyesight, and they include a game as part of the course to keep students engaged and progressing.



So Tatiana and Renato are experienced with gamification, and what I want to share with you today is the ingenious way they gamified their presentation.

During their presentation, about halfway through, they encouraged audience members to open up a secret envelope that everybody was given when they registered. FYI this was a three day event; people were given this envelope on day one when they registered and on the envelope it stated that they couldn’t open it until they were instructed to.

When it was time for Tatiana and Renato’s presentation, it was the end of day three. People had been holding on to this secret envelope that entire time, so it created all this anticipation until they finally revealed that that envelope was designed for their presentation and people could now open it.

Of course, it turned out that the envelope contained a game to help the audience participate in the presentation and experience the theory of gamification in action. It helped them implement what they were learning right on the spot, as they were learning it.

The experiment was a hit and everybody was smiling and having a good time. It was a great great example of how to design an experience so that people not only get the value from the information itself but from the way the information is presented.

It’s the little things that count and I think, more than anything, the audience appreciated the fact that Tatiana and Renato poured in so much thought in terms of how to involve the audience and how to create an amazing presentation that was three dimensional.

In addition to the game components, one of the things that Tatiana and Renato talked about was incorporating characters in the games you create. To demonstrate this, they actually had characters in their presentation, real people dressed up as the characters they were talking about!

These “characters” went out into the crowd and engaged with the audience.

It was really really cool. It was just an awesome example of how to take information and turn it into an experience.



The bottom line:

The bottom line is I will not forget that presentation. Yes, the information Tatiana and Renato presented was very valuable, but that’s not why I’m telling you about their presentation today.

I’m telling you about their presentation today because they presented the information in a way that was MEMORABLE.

And this is where you and I have the same opportunity.

We can look beyond the information we’re sharing and focus on HOW we’re sharing the information. By getting intentional about this, we can create an unforgettable experience that people will want to tell their friends about.

This might apply to the content you share on social, to how you structure your webinars, to your email autoresponder when somebody signs up to your list, and it definitely applies to the experience you provide for your paying customers.

Whether you offer a digital or physical product or service, there are always opportunities for you to tweak the experience you are providing customers and turn it into something special, the same way Tatiana and Renato turned their presentation about gamification into an experience that I wanted to share with you today.




Marketing is simple.

Too often I see business owners making it way more complex than it really needs to be.

The fact of the matter is, it boils down to three specific things:

The first thing is getting attention.



How do you get attention? Well, there are a ton of free and paid ways to get people’s attention.

There’s content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, affiliate marketing, direct marketing, email marketing. There’s mobile marketing, pay-per-click marketing, there’s point-of-sale marketing, referral marketing, SEO marketing, street marketing… Man, the list goes on and on.

The point is there are a LOT of ways to get people’s attention.

Let’s take content marketing as an example. What’s the whole point of creating content?

Well, we want to create high value content so that it grabs people’s attention and gives them value up front, in the hope that they’re going to want to continue to hear from us. Maybe they connect with us on social or join our email list, and if we provide them with high value content on a consistent basis creates a tremendous amount of trust.

It’s all about getting attention in the beginning because once we’ve got the attention, we can earn the trust.

If we look at email marketing, it’s the same thing. What are we trying to do when we email our prospects? We’re trying to get their attention with a catchy subject line and then hook them with the opening line. It’s all engineered to get attention.

What about in an actual store? As soon as you walk in you are bombarded with signage and marketing displays, and even as you check out your attention is being fought for by point of sale displays.

So just remember, the very first objective of our marketing is to capture people’s attention.

After capturing someone’s attention, we want to convert that attention.



This could mean turning a prospect into an email subscriber or social follower, or perhaps even a customer if you are making a direct sale.

How do we go about converting attention?

First, you need to have a great offer that people actually want. This ensures that they have a reason to convert.

Second, you need to make use of sales triggers such as scarcity and urgency. This ensures that they have a reason to convert right NOW.

Like capturing attention, there are many methods you can use to convert attention. On the web, we typically make use of landing/sales pages that are simple and direct visitors to a clear call to action. It’s on these pages that we make focused use of hooks and triggers, using copy, creative and layout to make it ultra appealing for the visitor to convert (and making it easy to do so).

Webinars are a popular method of converting attention because they allow us to share immense value with the prospect and compel them to buy all within the same presentation.

Then, of course, there’s traditional salesmanship via the phone or in person, where we use conversation to make our pitch.

Regardless, once we’ve captured someone’s attention, we need to deliver the goods in order to convert that attention.

The third part and final element of marketing is keeping that attention.



Again, this is really, really simple. It’s all about loving on your tribe.

It’s about continuously over-delivering and maintaining that high level of trust. It’s replying to comments and emails. It’s delivering unexpected bonuses. It’s finding out what your audience is trying to accomplish and helping them get those results.

Regardless of how you do it, always think about how you can continue to be of service to your customers/audience.

As business owners, we are problem seekers. We want to be aware of the problems our market is experiencing and create solutions for them. If we continue to create solutions, people are never going to want to go anywhere else.

As long as we continue to identify problems and provide solutions, people are going to want to continue to buy from us.

Here’s the final thing I want you to think about, though. Think about the experience your customers have when the buy from you and consume your product.

Because the marketing process doesn’t end once someone buys. It’s really like the pre-launch to whatever you plan to sell next.

So you want to engineer that whole buying experience to be a ‘WOW’ experience. You want people to be raving about the experience of buying from you, because that’s what’s going to set up the long-term relationship and repeat sales.

And it’s going to allow your business to continue to thrive because your customers are going to come back and buy from you again and again and again.

So that’s it. Marketing is really simple. It’s all about 1) getting attention, 2) converting that attention, and 3) keeping that attention.


Your turn: What are you doing to simplify your marketing? 



I do NOT like commuting. Getting stuck in traffic sucks.

That being said, the one thing that I actually do enjoy about commuting is it gives me time to listen to podcasts.

A podcast I listened to recently tells the story of one email that produced MILLIONS of dollars of sales and generated hundreds of thousands of amazing responses online.

…using a simple marketing tactic that you and I can copy in our businesses.

Here’s the story:

Derek Sivers founded a company called CD Baby which he sold in 2008 for $22 million.

In this podcast episode, Sivers talks about the time he rewrote the automatic email that was sent to customers after they purchased a CD.

Initially, the email basically said, “Hey, your CD has been shipped.”

Sivers was looking at that email and thinking that it didn’t really reflect the personality of him or the company, so he rewrote it.

It took him 20 minutes or so to rewrite this email.

Because of the personality and the humour he injected into this email, it became an online sensation, producing millions in sales and hundreds of thousands of great responses.

Here’s the email:



That one silly email was sent out with every order and customers LOVED it. And the buzz and goodwill that this email created generated millions of dollars in sales.

Now, you and I can use the exact same strategy. It’s just a simple marketing idea, right? Make your autoresponders engaging and fun!

Here’s the awesome bigger picture that this story represents:

We have a tremendous opportunity to identify these touchpoints in our business – the mundane, forgettable aspects of the buying experience – and instead turn them into an experience that people will never forget.

We have the opportunity to turn these “boring” aspects of our business into an experience that people want to share with their friends, family, coworkers, and the vast digital public, the same way that Sivers’ email offered such a unique experience that it soon became a viral sensation.

The bottom line is that you and I can have a huge impact with our marketing just by challenging ourselves to take the aspects of our business that we take for granted – such as a purchase confirmation – and transform them into a reason for customers to tell others about us and and our products.

The amazing part of this strategy is that, besides a few minutes of your time, it’s completely free to implement. It’s not a huge marketing play. It doesn’t require a big, expensive campaign.

These minor details and touchpoints in your business are already there, waiting to be improved. It’s a cheap, relatively simple improvement, but if can have a profound impact on the success of your business.



Sivers says, “When you make a business, you’re making a little world where you control the laws.”

I LOVE that thought process.

When Sivers re-wrote that email, he made his little world a more memorable place. The word got out and suddenly everybody wanted to visit!

That’s the beauty of being entrepreneurs… you and I get to control how we do business. We get to control the experience we provide.

Anyways, I loved this story from Sivers. It inspired me and I hope that it will inspire you too.



There are two MUST-HAVE components in every effective marketing message. Do you know what they are?

I first learned about these two components from a gentleman by the name of Don Miller. At the beginning of his workshop, Don presented a picture of a beautiful leather bag and he asked us, “how much would you pay for this leather bag?”

There were about fifteen of us in the room at the time and the consensus was that we would pay anywhere between $250 to $400 for this bag.

Then Don showed us a video. It was only about four minutes long but, by the end of the video, we were so emotionally moved that we all wanted the bag. We didn’t care what the price was!



Because now we were viewing the value of the bag from a totally different lens. We connected with the bag on an emotional level.

Don then revealed to us that the bag sells for over a THOUSAND dollars, which was, in many cases, four times higher than what we were willing to pay for it in the beginning.

Here’s the kicker… they CANNOT keep that bag in stock! It is constantly sold out! And the primary driver behind those sales is this emotional video.

It was fascinating to me because, on the surface, the product itself did not change. It’s the same leather bag. What did change was the connection I felt with the bag.

It was an incredible demonstration of how you and I, as business owners, can change the perception of our products simply through our marketing.

The video is effective because it makes perfect use of the two key ingredients that must be included in every marketing message.

Those ingredients are the INTERNAL and EXTERNAL CHALLENGES faced by your customer.

The external challenge is what your customer is likely going to type into Google when they are looking to solve a problem. It’s their literal need.

The internal challenge is what your customer is feeling on an emotional level to motivate their purchase decision.

Internal challenges include things like fear, shame, embarrassment, recognition, the desire to be loved or to belong. These could be limiting beliefs that are holding your customer back.

Internal challenges are often related to confidence; your customer wants to be likeable, they want to be a good spouse, or a good parent, or a good friend. They want their life to stand for something.

For example, an advertisement for a kitchen cleaning product speaks to a logical external need – to clean the kitchen. Yet the imagery, tone, and language of the ad might include themes such as love, happiness, and togetherness, because the desire to keep a clean kitchen can be connected to a deeper desire to provide a safe, comfortable shelter for your family.

In short, internal challenges run deep. When you appeal to these in your marketing, you open up the hearts of your audience in a much bigger way than when you appeal to external challenges alone.



Now, the real marketing magic for you and I is when we blend the two of these together.

When you go too heavy on the external, your customer might understand why they need your product on a logical level, but they feel no emotional compulsion to buy.

On the other hand, when you go too heavy on the internal, your customer might feel connected to your product on an emotional level, but feel no logical reason to buy.

I’ll give you an example from my own business.

I recently launched the TRIBE course, in which I share everything I’ve learned from years of working with membership site owners.

The external challenge faced by my customers is that they want to know the best strategies for running a membership site.

However, just beneath this lies a more powerful internal challenge – the desire to have true financial stability in their business and life, to eliminate the stress of living from sale to sale.

Membership sites generate recurring revenue, and recurring revenue creates financial stability. So it was my job to combine these external and internal challenges in my marketing when I was launching TRIBE, to show potential buyers not only what they would literally learn from the course, but how it would actually feel to implement my teachings.

This snippet from one of the TRIBE launch videos is a good example of this:



Do you see how the literal promise – to launch and grow a thriving membership site – is juxtaposed with words and images to convey the freedom that a thriving membership business would bring?

This is exactly what I want you to strive for in your marketing – a combination of appeals to external and internal challenges, the perfect mix of logic and emotion.

If you truly understand your audience and you master the combination of these elements, your marketing campaigns will be unstoppable.