A heartfelt letter from Ryan Fletcher.
A Major Shift
In The World Of Marketing.
Something exciting just happened.
I just hired a new person so I can reach more listeners through the podcast and in my Agent Marketing Syndicate(R) business.
Here is the full WANTED ad that I wrote.
It is 6-pages.
You’re free to learn from it. Steal it. Adapt it. However you see fit, for your business, use it. Sloper is modifying it as I type, to recruit new account executives for his real estate team. The “12-Months to $100K” project, given the [early] results of that experiment, has him in need of more man power.
I mention the fact, though, that I just hired someone for a reason. I’ll come back to it in a moment, but first I want to share with you, if you’re interested, WHY I DECIDED TO CREATE THE PODCAST. It wasn’t, I assure, just a decision of passion for me or out of personal interest. It was something that I saw as critical.
If you haven’t noticed, the world of marketing and client acquisition is changing. And it is changing fast.
For ENG Members, more specifically, for P/SS Members to discuss within their ENG Chapters. I wrote a detailed article that explained this shift.
The title of that article:
“Tune-In Marketing vs. Tune-Out Marketing.
A Foundational Shift In The Future of Client Acquisition,
And Building Loyal And Committed Audiences.”
You can read it here.
Stop. Read it. Then come back.
And that is why… I started the Podcast. It is a lot of work. I love it, don’t get me wrong. But I do feel a great sense of pressure each week, to deliver a better show than the week prior. Certainly there are “easier” ways to push revenue numbers. The problem. Those other ways, bluntly, are dying and are not methodologies that I would ever advise anyone to embrace for the long term. Groupon, as I discuss in that article, is the very reason why I believe that. And those who ignore this shift, sadly, will see years of hard work washed away and dismissed in the not so distant future.
In that article, I give a detailed case study of a quick test campaign that I ran in December. It reveals how I turned $711.33 into more than $17,000.
And the best part? Not once did I act like a douche-bag, or make even a single misleading promise, as you receive daily from The Guru Party. I didn’t demean anyone. I didn’t belittle anyone. I didn’t tear anyone down. I didn’t claim to be smarter or better than anyone. I didn’t tell anyone how rich I was, or flash in front of them a [rented] Lamborghini. Nor did I do any webinars or sales pitch, disguised as a training event.
I just did a Podcast and shared that content with those interested in hearing my perspective.
This led to more fan mail than I’ve ever received in business, like this one on Christmas, from Juergen, who lives in Philly.
The podcast during that time exploded in subscribers too. People thanked me daily, just for saying what they had felt and thought for years, but didn’t know how to enunciate it.
In short, I expanded the size of my audience, strengthened and deepened the relationships with my listeners, and opened more eyes in the fight against The Guru Party than I ever imagined. And naturally, because of this, as you’d expect, that “good will” created by giving away engaging content, showed up in the form of new revenue.
And what I like most? It’s not hard to understand.
When you put out content that people connect and resonate with, they develop a want to buy your book. Like Juergen, they share your same beliefs. They want to join your fight. They want to help you succeed.
This is the power of Tune-In Marketing, which I preach and practice vs. Tune-out Marketing, which is peddled by The Guru Party. I despise prospecting and begging and would never teach it.
Here is the second piece to the puzzle.
I had the opportunity to read an incredible story the other day. It was written by one of our newest P/SS members. It sucked me in. It consumed me. And for 4-plus hours, as I laid at the foot of my bed, with a pillow under my chest, I felt suspended on an emotional cliff. I didn’t know whether to cry, or to cheer, and I felt helpless as I desperately wanted to do something for this person… In the end, she prevailed. She won. Against all odds. Against the fiercest of enemy. I didn’t know if she was going to win. I had my doubts. Could she do it? When she did, I felt my heartbeat.
It was in my throat.
To say I was emotionally invested, would be an understatement.
Again for ENG Members and, more specifically, for P/SS Members to discuss within their ENG Chapters. I wrote a detailed article.
The title of that article:
Part 2: Why Your Content Strategy Needs A Lead Character, With Desirable Character Straits That People Can Truly Connect With,
To Reach Max Effectiveness.
You can read it here.
Again, stop, read it. Then come back.
Without this second puzzle piece, in that test campaign, turning that $711.33 into more than $17,000 would never have happened. So you need this component to make Tune-in marketing work. Without it, you don’t stand much of a chance to hold an audience. And friend, this is why agents burnout. Because they have no audience. A database is not an audience. I know direct-marketing. You can buy a database. It’s called a mailing-list. But you can’t buy an audience. Because an audience, at its core, represents respect and love for the person creating the content.
You can’t buy that. It must be earned.
And to earn it, trust James Patterson on this—the world’s #1 bestselling author—you’ll need to execute on Part 2. It is not optional. It is not open for discussion. It is essential. If you cannot craft a compelling Lead Character out of yourself, then you cannot practice Tune-in Marketing. Most will refuse to execute on this step, though, because it is challenging. Difficult. Hard. You think real estate is hard?
This is 10X times harder.
It is difficult because it forces you to look deep inside yourself. You may find things you wished you hadn’t discover. You may learn things about yourself that you wished you hadn’t learned. Maybe you will find that you have given up on your dreams? It may lead you to re-live old memories. Some may be painful. Maybe some you took some for granted. But these are the personal stories and life experiences that have shaped you. Sculpted you. That have made you who you are. And it’s those inner most thoughts, these are what you’ll put on paper, publicly, for the world to see.
“But Fletcher, I’m not a good writer.”
“But Fletcher, I don’t know what I’d say.”
“But Fletcher, I’ve never spoken about those things before.”
“But Fletcher, there’s nothing special about me.”
“But Fletcher… ”
All I can say is. Several years ago I thought and said those very same things. But with the power of words, and the developed skill to tell a story, craft a message, you have the strength to move the proverbial mountain. Why prospect? Why cold-call? Why door-knock or beg family and friends for referrals, when it telegraphs to those closest to you. “Please help me. I’m desperate. I can’t grow my own business.” I’ve often wondered. Where is the honor or respect or self-worth in doing real estate that way, as The Guru Party teaches and instructs?
What is the end result? What becomes of it?
What, you make a little money? You sell a few homes? But when people look back at your life, what will be your legacy? “Mom or Dad could pick up a phone and bug people,” is that what you want to be known for? Is that what you want your kids to see. “Mom or Dad is a salesperson.” I know that this is what The Guru Party pushes. But I happen to think ‘greatness’ looks a bit different.
What is your mission? What is your purpose? When your kid’s teacher asks “What do you parents do?” what do you want their response to be? “Dad
is a real estate agent? Mom is a real estate agent?” Little Timmy’s Dad is a doctor. And trust me, I know the difference in judgement. I was a pre-med student once. People love talking to a pre-med student. Mothers introduced their daughters. When I became a real estate agent, that’s when the respect stopped. So I’m not bagging on real estate agents here. I’m just telling you how society makes judgements.
I was a real estate agent at one time. And I got to be honest. I would never want my kids to tell their teachers or friends or friend’s parents, that I was a real estate agent. Even if that’s what I did. I’m so much more.
Being a “real estate agent,” is that what greatness looks like? According to PsychCentral.com, the profession of real estate agent is one of the most depressing professions there is.
“The highest rate of depression was found among those in the public transit system, such as bus drivers. They had a rate of 16.2 percent, with those working in real estate weren’t far behind with about a 15.5 percent rate.”
This is something I talked about in the January 2015 Issue of Broken Industry. “Real Estate Depression.” It’s not because the profession itself isn’t noble, it’s because society doesn’t respect it. So those in the profession, tend to feel no deeper sense of purpose.
It’s a real bitch being labeled a “real estate agent.” Because by your title, you are discredited as valuable.
And what about “never give up on your dreams,” where did that get lost? Parents today preach to their kids, “You can do anything. Never give up on your dreams.” But then daily, parents settle. They accept less. Mediocre becomes the benchmark. Paying the bills becomes the ultimate goal and achievement. I don’t know when it happened. But Mom stopped chasing her dreams. Dad stopped chasing his.
Why do parents do this?
I’m not making this shit up either. I see it… I get the emails. Agents tell me their stories on a daily basis. And to be blunt, it fucking kills me. Because parents who settle, end up with kids who settle. And you know what? Yes, I’ve been told that my ambition is annoying. “Fletcher, do you really need all those books? Books? They’re so boring! Don’t you want something else for Christmas? Don’t you ever stop reading? Can’t you just relax? Can’t you just turn it off?”
The answer is “No!”
Because I once dreamed of being a world-class athlete, except, I was born with limited physical abilities. I played college football, but it quickly became evident to me, I was too slow. Not strong enough. My vertical jump confirmed the cliche, “White guys can’t jump.” But my mind?
Intellect? My curiosity for how things worked?
This is my playing field.
And I play on it often so that my kids can see me playing on it. Some parents smoke. What happens to their kids? They become smokers. Some parents live off of welfare. What happens to their kids? They perpetuate the cycle. “Why get a job? Obama will take care of me.” And some parents, as sad as it is, give up on their dreams. They get comfortable. They settle. They stop shooting for the stars.
In the end, what happens to their kids?
No, not every kid gives up on his or her dream. But when a kid sees their role model, Mom, Dad, settling, giving up on theirs, what signal does it send? What message does it convey?
When I see someone quit. I can almost guarantee that person was raised in a household of quitters.
My worst fear as a parent is that my kids won’t have the skills to fend for themselves. To bring their ideas to life. To make their dreams come true. You think a college degree is the answer? I don’t. If you want to gamble your child’s future on what can be found in a textbook, taught by some liberal-leaning professor have at it, but not me. Not a chance.
I want my kids to be able to build something like this.
It doesn’t matter what they decide to do or what their message is. Whether it’s rooted in a product or a service, in their own business or someone else’s, or even if it’s just an idea that they believe in…
To be successful in bringing that idea to life, they are going to need to know how to convey that message, that idea, to the world.
And they’re going to need to have the skills that will enable them to create the content to build an army of supporters, so they are not out there alone in the fight to bring that idea to life. Their vision can inspire others. The will attract people of like-mind, who want to collaborate. If they need funding, its not hard to raise millions, if you have the right story. Listen to the Podcast Start-up. It all starts with the content that you create, and the Lead Character that you cast.
My kids will have these skills. I will teach it to them. The power of words and story, is a religion in my house.
One thing that struck me recently, having interviewed a number people for the position I’m hiring for, is just how unskilled our society really is. Every person I interviewed had an idea. Each had a dream. They saw themselves doing something great. Yet, not one of them had even a clue of how to make that vision [of theirs] a reality.
“How sad,” I thought. It fucking kills me. Because they desperately want something more for themselves but there they sit. Lost. They don’t know how to get it.
I hate it.
Because as I wrote in my book:
“As a parent, as a friend, as a mentor, as a marketing consultant, as whatever “title” you wish to give me or others assign me—I believe my purpose is to inspire. To lift up and encourage others to dream. To think big. And not just big. But huge. To not be afraid to imagine the impossible. To keep hope alive and to not be fearful of the unknown. To not be cowardly in times when courage is needed. To step up when other won’t. I believe my purpose is to help others to un-cork and un-bottle, and to un-lock the potential locked inside themselves. I believe my purpose is to help other expand their vision to see what is actually possible and not just what society (or the The Guru Party) tells us is possible. I believe my purpose is to help others create their own destiny and to fulfill their own unique mission.”
Make fun of me of you wish. “That’s stupid Fletcher.” Some will.
And… that’s okay.
But in addition to the reason mentioned previous, this too is why I created the Podcast. I needed a Platform to stand on to deliver this message. Likewise, my company, Agent Marketing Syndicate(R), my book, Defeat Mega Agents, the entrepreneurial community that I support, ENG: Entrepreneurs Networking Group(TM), the magazine that I publish, Broken Industry, and all the content that I produce each month, even the people I hire—is just an extension of my life’s purpose.
That’s why my WANTED ad was 6-pages long. It is why it required applicants, just to be considered for the position, to do hours of homework prior to submitting anything. And it is why it required them to write me a detailed letter, about an event or experience in their life, that helped to sculpt them into who they are.
Because I refuse to associate with anyone, on a personal level, who does not share my same purpose. My conviction. My fight (and passion) for inspiring others.
Those inside the Protector/Social Superhero program know this about me. None of what we do is easy. It is all hard. It is all difficult. Of my employees. Of my members. From my self. I expect a lot. I need everyone associated with me to be fighter. I can’t have them quitting or making excuses. Because those people will cause me to fail. And most important, I cannot tolerate even an ounce of negativity or whining, or anyone who doesn’t support their fellow community members.
Because let’s face it. It’s fucking hard to learn a new skill that you’ve never been exposed to.
Think back to when you were a baby, and you took that first step. (It sounds weird. But I remember mine.) It seemed impossible. I remember when Jackson started to walk. I remember when Zoey started to walk. Little drunken sailors. They were terrible. They couldn’t stand, they couldn’t balance. But I encouraged them. I kept standing them back up. Melanie and I kept forcing them to practice. Both of our kids walked before they were 10-months, but that first step. It seemed impossible. They did it, though, then a second step. And a third…
But imagine, if instead of being encouraged. What if we had told these little-balls-of-fat, “you suck.” Look at you. “Your little stupid baby legs,” all fat and gross. Look at you, “all wobbly and dumb.”
“You’ll never be able to walk.”
“You stupid baby. You’re terrible at this.”
“Can’t you learn anything?”
Sounds horrible, right? But this is society’s greatest skill. Convincing people that they can’t do things.
Society is expert at beating people down. Convincing people to quit and to give up before they even get started. This why, no one, without sharing my same conviction on this, will ever be allowed acceptance into the Protector/Social Superhero program.
Because learning a new skill, at first, no different than a baby learning to walk, requires support and encouragement…
That first attempt. That first month. That first year. This is when we struggle the most. This is when we doubt ourselves the most. This is also when we’re most apt to quit, because we haven’t convinced ourselves that we can do it. Certain questions still haunt us. “Am I just wasting my time?” Then your friend laughs at you. Your Mom. Your Dad… Maybe it’s one of your siblings. They make a joke. Of course, “they’re just kidding.” But it doesn’t feel like they’re “kidding” to you. It hurts, because you believe in this. You actually want it. So it cuts you. And it gets harder, because now you question yourself even more.
And because we don’t want to be laughed at. And because we don’t want to hear the jokes…that aren’t really jokes, what do we do? We start to keep this new skill to ourselves. We hide it. Maybe it’s our writing. Maybe it’s our music. Whatever. And whatever natural confidence that we did have, because of that criticism, the jokes, the scrutiny, that confidence disappears. Now we must fight even harder to be confident.
I am relentless in the support and encouragement of my kids for this reason. Critics? The criticism? “Fuck them!” Who cares! “Your Dad loves you! Your Dad thinks you’re great! Your Dad thinks you’re amazing!”
Just imagine, “You suck,” if that’s what we told babies every time they fell down. Would they ever walk?
“But Fletcher, adults are different. They can take it.”
First, no adults are not different. And second, no one wants to “take it.” Any new skill, no different than a baby learning to walk, is a new skill, and most us are self-conscious about it to start.
That first podcast I did, I could barely bring myself to turn on the mic. I was terrified. My good friend, though, co-host and business partner, Ryan Sloper, encouraged me. If not for his support and encouragement, who knows if the Podcast today would even exist.
I might still be in “prep” phase. Still “thinking” about it.
And while its true that I’m good at many things. I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
Against popular belief, I’m still practicing to become better. I have not achieved my pinnacle yet. Not even close. I can’t see the peak of the mountain. I’m barely over the first bluff. For seven years now, I’ve been climbing. Pickaxe. All my gear. And I don’t feel that I’m even close to the summit that I one day hope to reach.
There is more out there for me. I saw this Starbucks video, as I was writing this. I encourage you to watch it. Then ask yourself, am I the Howard Schultz of my industry?
The people I work with, we are different because we think different than everyone else.
This what Dreamers and Innovators do. We are passionate. We operate as founders of startups, driven by vision and ideas. Not as salespeople.
We are world-class athletes of the mind and in our intellect, and curiosity to create experiences. As Shultz put it, “The Willy-Wonka” of whatever it is that we are building.
This is something, I assure you, The Guru Party nor the Low-Information Agent will never understand.
This is why I start every Podcast with these words, “Greetings! Fighters. Entrepreneurs. And agents who refuse to just be ‘real estate agents.’” Because I know who I’m talking to. And it’s you. Not them. So I don’t cater to their little minds or dinky imagination. What you and I have planned for our lives, far outpaces that.
PS: If what I’ve written here resonates with you and you might want to work with me. You share my same convictions. You want to be a part of our little community of “founders.” Then, do this: Go here. Watch the Video. Then decide. But please don’t fill out the prelim-application by “shooting from the hip,” with an uncommitted attitude. If you do, you will be ignored. I share my life with you, my beliefs, my thoughts, my passions and convictions, because I want you to feel comfortable with me, to share yours.
And, if you don’t own Defeat Mega Agents. Then please do not complete the prelim-application at all. No information will be sent to you, and you will not be considered. For our relationship to work, you need to understand who I am, just as I need to understand who you are. In my book, in each issue of Broken Industry, and by listening to the Podcast, these are the place where you will discover that.
Here’s to us! Cheers!
By the way, I mentioned that I hired a new person just recently. I did this, because I am more committed than ever to build this community, of founders, of dreamers, of people who desire control over their own future—and understand, the ability to create content, and tell stories, is the true currency of our society. I am investing heavily in the distribution of my content, my message. And frankly, I needed help to grow this community at the rate I am committed to. With the caliber of minds, that aren’t intimidated to imagine what Howard Shultz imagines. So if you get a chance to communicate with Joshua, please know he is not just an employee. He has a real mission here. Just as I do…
Please. Re-read those two articles. Tune-in Marketing is the form of marketing that will dominate the future. Those who don’t understand that, sadly, will not have a bright future in business.