I Pull Back The Curtain to Reveal…

watching video

Remember that scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when Toto pulls back the curtain so Dorothy and her pals discover the “Wizard of Oz” is merely a man?

I’m thinking about that scene for two reasons:

1) After I send this email, I’m hopping in my car with my wife to follow the gray concrete road across Kansas. We’re driving from Missouri to Colorado to visit our 24-year-old twins who have moved over the rainbow to settle under blue Rocky Mountain skies.

2) I want to pull back the curtain on some of my marketing “wizardry” to reveal some secrets that could help you grow your business.

Here’s the story behind #2…

Earlier this week, I launched a new micro-training called “The 3 Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Buy — Without Pitching and Prodding.”

It’s a 12-minute video. In my email on Tuesday, I suggested you could watch the training “in less time than it takes to down your second cup of coffee.” I shared the training on LinkedIn with a similar message.

Lots of people watched the training.

One person complained. Loudly.

His gripe: I disabled the fast-forward/rewind function on the video. So he had to sit through the ENTIRE 12 minutes. (Gasp!) He wanted to skip the stuff at the beginning and jump straight to the juicy tips in the middle. I wouldn’t let him. So he was sore.

This guy claims to be a marketing expert. He told me my marketing was “low quality.”

I could have told the guy to visit the Wizard and ask for a brain. But I held my fire.

Instead, I pulled back the curtain for him and revealed some of the strategy behind the video.

I told him the training has a very deliberate structure:

  • Short (10-15 minutes; 12 minutes is best).
  • No talking heads.
  • Limited or no visuals.
  • No fast forward or rewind.
  • Very set organization and format (including testimonials before the tips).

I didn’t bother to tell him why no fast forward or rewind. But I’ll tell you…

The video is intended to provide valuable tips to anyone who chooses to watch — even if they don’t want to do business with me. But it’s also intended to encourage people who might want to do business with me to schedule a free strategy session.

The content before and after the tips spells out why storytelling is important and who is a good fit to work with me.

Someone who is unwilling to watch a 12-minute video, someone who says, “Just gimme the tips. I don’t want to hear the other stuff” — that person is a tire-kicker who isn’t a great prospect.

I disable forward/rewind to weed out the tire kickers.

And that, my dear munchkins, is Behind-the-Curtain Marketing Lesson #1:

Effective marketing not only qualifies strong prospects,
it disqualifies weak ones.

Behind-the-Curtain Marketing Lesson #2:

Adopt PROVEN Marketing Methods.

When Gripey Guy (do you mind if I call him “Scarecrow?”) told me I was peddling low-quality marketing, he was spouting a theory that it’s better to allow forward/rewind. (Note the word “theory.”)

I told him: I adopted the video structure from marketing experts who have tested different approaches.

The reason they (and I) settled on our approach: It works.

Other marketers before me released training videos with the same structure. People watched and liked the videos. Many scheduled strategy sessions. Some of them became clients.

So I went with a proven approach.

But I wanted to give Scarecrow the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Scarecrow tested the question: “Enable or disable forward/rewind. Which works better?”

So I asked him: “Have you tested the question?”

Scarecrow replied: “No. I’ve never tested that.”

Which brings us to Behind-the-Curtain Lesson #3:

Don’t let your personal opinion cloud your marketing judgement.

You may personally dislike videos that disable forward/rewind. That doesn’t mean the videos are “low quality” marketing.

You may dislike receiving marketing emails. That doesn’t mean you should remove email from your marketing mix.

If you could conjure high quality marketing based merely on what you like, business-building would be simple — so simple a scarecrow could do it.

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.