Want to know how to market in such a way people want to buy from you? Listen as empowerment coach, Steve Eriksen as he shares his secret sauce to become the trusted advisor clients turn to.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Market in Such a Way People Want to Buy From You" you will discover...
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How to Market in Such a Way People Want to Buy from You
Interview with Steve Eriksen
Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is Steve Eriksen. Steve is on a mission to empower midlife solopreneurs to create a thriving online coaching business by providing knowledge, help, and support with marketing and technology. He's helped people transform the way they approach their business by helping them define a path forward, as well as providing the guidance and support to implement strategies that work for them and their businesses.
As someone who's been in the online marketing space for over 20 years, he's heard and seen it all. He uses his knowledge and expertise to help you become a trusted advisor for your clients. I recently had the honor of working alongside Steve and was absolutely blown away with his simple and practical transformative approach to marketing and technology. And of course, I naturally knew that he's going to make an excellent podcast guest. All the way from the Southern part of Norway, Steve, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show. Thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
Thank you so much, Susan, and thank you for inviting me onto your podcast. It's an absolute pleasure to be here with you and sharing with your listeners some of the tips and golden nuggets that I have.
And I know you've got lots of them. I think this show would go on for several hours if we were to drill into all the things that you know. Maybe days, not only hours. Steve, I think a good starting off point would be how about the challenges that you see entrepreneurs and really solopreneurs, because that's your focus, what are the biggest challenges facing solopreneurs?
Here's the thing with solopreneurs, I mean, it's the nature of solopreneur that you are in business on your own. What I'm seeing is that people are really struggling with finding the right help and thinking that they have to do everything on their own when their a solopreneur and really struggling to understand the whole spectrum of what they need to do. Because quite frankly, if you're in business, there are so many different aspects. You need to have at least an understanding on and seeing how it all fits together. You haven't just got your coaching business and what you do with clients, but you got onboarding. You have the marketing that leads up to it, the sales, the accounting side of things, the technology, the managing the website. All of these things hanging together. And when you're coming in as a solopreneur, you often have your own expertise and not all the other expertise that you need.
Part of the challenge is that if you don't know that you need it even, because you don't have the knowledge that you actually need this expertise, then you can be in a state where you are just not able to push your business forward and get to where you want to be and don't know what's actually stopping you from getting there. That is one of the biggest challenges that I see.
Yeah, it's that you don't know what you don't know. You don't even know what questions to ask to get the help because you don't know what you actually need. It's like that catch 22. It's pretty scary when you think about all the things that you do need. Now, I know that one of the pieces that you have are the blueprints, is a roadmap to client attraction. Talk to us about that roadmap, because I think that would help in terms of some of the things that we need and get to know what we need. Is that the case?
Absolutely. Yes, the roadmap is focusing very much on your marketing, because one of the biggest mistakes that I see people are doing is they're following what we call a very traditional way of marketing, and this is what you're exposed to most of the time. This is an ad that says, "Hey, we got this service. You should be buying this service." We tend to go out and we speak about ourselves. For instance, in my terms, that would be me going out and saying, "Hey, I do technology services, and I do marketing. I can help you with this, and I can help you with that. And I can build your landing page, and I can build your website." That's all me, me, me. It's all I, I, I, and it's nothing about you.
What you actually need to do in your marketing, and this is what I call client attraction 2.0, is that you truly need to understand who is in front of you, who has the problem that you are trying to cure. For instance, in terms again, of what I do is I have people who are really struggling with their technology. When they are sitting in front of the computer for three days, and they're trying to get this mailing list manager to work, to send out this lead magnet, and we can go into what those terms mean if you don't know what they mean, but you're trying to implement this and you're sitting there for three days and you're tearing your hair out. You're feeling like if you don't get this to work, then you're never going to be able to build your business. That language is all about you. It's all about what you are going through. Or rather, what your ideal client is going through.
And when you speak to your ideal client in those terms, where they really feel that, "Wow, the person is speaking to me understands what I'm going through," they're connecting with you. And when they're connecting with you, they're much more likely to buy from you. Because they truly feel heard. They truly feel seen, and they feel like you actually can understand what they're trying to do. And therefore, you can help them with that as well.
Let's talk more about that connection because that's really important even getting to that point. Because you rightly said so often people just are so focused on what product or service that they can offer and it's, "Well, let me tell you about what I can offer you," rather than, as you say, understanding what they need. But let's go deeper into how do we get to understand what they need.
First of all, you need to speak to your clients on a completely different level than what you typically would do. When you're told to go and do market research, often the market research would consist of, would you need this kind of service, would you buy this, how much would you pay for it? What I teach is when you do market research is that you go and talk to them about the emotions that they have. You talk about the problem, you define the problem saying, "Hey, are you the kind of person who are struggling with your technology? Tell me more about that. How do you feel when you're struggling there? What is the frustration? What is the challenge? Where would you like to get to? What is the end result that you want to see? How do you feel when you're achieving that?"
It's one of those things in marketing, we buy with emotion, and we justify with logic. That's how it works. The mistake that we're trying to do is to sell using logic, and that doesn't work so well. But when you sell with emotion, that's how people buy. They buy it because they want it. They buy because they're feeling that this is something that's going to make a difference in their life. They feel it's going to make a difference in their life. If your solution is, "Hey, you're going to go to a course, and you're going to get group coaching. You're going to get these sessions," people don't buy group coaching. They don't buying a course. They buy what the course will do for them, what they're going to get at the end of the day.
The interviews, the market research you need to do is all about understanding what is the pain of your ideal client? What is the salvation, where they want to be afterward when they solve that pain? That is the key thing.
That really is. You're absolutely right, I've heard that so many times that you buy from emotion and then you justify it with logic afterward. "Well, I needed it, so I needed to have it." But somehow that wasn't quite the reason that you bought it in the first place. Talk to us more about these emotions, because I know you spend a lot of time with this and you put different courses together on this subject. I know that there are, I don't know, how many different kinds of emotions, but do they fall into a certain category that there's a limited number, certain words? Talk to us more about that.
The emotion thing itself, it's actually something called an emotion wheel. If you just search for emotion wheel in Wikipedia you will find this. It is a very nice little visual and description of emotions. It's like a flower, in the center you have the really strong emotions, and they have defined ecstasy, admiration, terror, amazement, grief, loving, rage, and vigilance as the core. And then as you're going out it transforms into be a weaker emotion. So terror would go to fear, going to apprehension. Rage would go to anger and annoyance, et cetera.
When you're speaking to people, the trick really is to find a group of people who have similar kinds of emotions that you are trying to market to, because that would just make it so much easy for you. I'll give you a real example of this. A lady I was speaking to wanted to focus on women, 40-plus, who no longer had a husband. The reason she chose that wording, no longer had a husband, was that she was aiming both for divorcees and for widows. But when you really think about it, the marketing message you're going to do on an emotional level to a widow and to a divorcee is very different. A widow, she's going through grief and sadness and going over towards pensiveness. She's been left behind and feeling bereft and trying to deal with the inheritance and potentially with children and et cetera.
But the emotion that she's going through is very different from a divorcee who is maybe being cheated on by a younger woman, trying to go through the divorce courts. Husband is not paying the child support that he's supposed to be paying, not turning up and taking the kids for the weekend. There are a lot of different emotions going on. If you're trying to help them, when you're targeting them, when you're speaking to them, when you want to connect with them on an emotional level, you can imagine the language you have to use is very, very different. Also when you're building up a community, it's very important that your community is feeling connected, that they are very alike each other, they have the same kind of background, they have the same kind of... Well, they can communicate on the same level, and they want to go in the same direction.
They will see you talking in the community about the anger around the divorce courts, et cetera, whilst the widowers are saying, "Well, at least you have a husband. At least he's still around." There can be quite a lot of friction there. Really, when you're looking at it from the emotional point of view, it becomes very powerful in trying to hone in on who is your ideal client and how do you communicate with them and how do you connect with them. That this really the key thing.
And I can see with that the idea of being that trusted advisor, how that is so important here. One of the things that is going through my mind is that online marketing, the technology is something that you teach as well. Somehow, I'm trying in my mind to marry this emotional thing and then the technology. Help me with that.
Yes, absolutely. It's a question I get a lot. In one way, I mean, I teach people to stick with one thing and one thing only until they're successful. I'm having a little bit of problem myself with this, and I'll tell you for why. If you have your marketing sorted but not your technology, you're not going to get very far because we really live in an online world. If you have your technology sorted but not your marketing, you're not going to get very far either because effectively you're just automating something that is not working very well. What I do, what my expertise is that I actually have so much information and knowledge and able to teach around marketing and about technology. I literally been using computers since 1977. I was 10 years old when I started using computers. My last role with a company for the last six years, I've ended up as the chief technology officer, being responsible for web platforms and for launches and CRM, the customer relationship management systems for 350,000 contacts for launches that we're taking in mid to high six figures for a company that was doing over 25 million in revenue a year, eight figures.
At the same time, I have studied marketing for over 20 years and been executing on marketing for over 20 years, so I really got a strong base in both. What I see is that nobody really is feeling both in this space. So you get people who are technology experts but they don't understand the marketing. So when they're trying to implement it, they can't do it without good instruction. The problem is that as a solopreneur it's very difficult for you to give good instructions if you don't understand the technology. At the same time, if you have people who are great with technology but you're struggling with that marketing and trying to tell people what you're supposed to be doing in the marketing, that doesn't work either.
And here's the interesting thing, a lot of people who come to me with technology challenges do not understand the marketing properly either. They really go hand in hand, because the technology is there to automate your marketing. If you don't have your marketing sorted and your business systems sorted before you do your technology, you are going to struggle with your technology, end of story. It's as simple as that.
Yeah. So many people are scared of technology and scared of doing something wrong. As you say, they don't know what they don't know. Then they don't like the idea of marketing because they see it as selling and they see it as promotion, and it's got this sort of yuckiness about it, in their eyes, that perception of it. It's almost as if you're at a standstill, you don't want to market and to sell, and you're scared of technology. It's like, "Help."
Yeah, exactly. First of all, I hate selling. I really don't like selling. What I prefer to do is to market in such a way that people want to buy from me. And that's a very powerful distinction. When people want to buy from you, it's very, very different from you having to go and sell. If you have to go and sell, then you're going to get objections, and part of selling is to overcome those objections. And then when people are saying, "Oh, I don't know whether I can afford it," then you've got to start talking about, "Okay, but you can afford it, maybe you put it on the card. Citibank is doing this credit card. You can apply online and then you can pay me."
I don't like any of that. That's the advice I'm getting from people as well when I speak to them. What do you do? How do you do your selling when you're teaching how to sell? It's all about overcoming objections. What I do is I developed a way of positioning yourself as a trusted advice, as you talked about earlier, where when you go and do a strategy session or a discovery session, people will typically turn around afterwards and saying, "Wow, that was fantastic. How can I work with you? How much does it cost? Have you got an opening? When can we start?" I very rarely come across objections. That for me is a completely different ball game. That's what marketing is about. Marketing isn't about selling, marketing is about pre-selling. But you doing it in such a way it's done through what you're writing when you're doing webinars, et cetera.
And you don't ask for the sale there and then. You don't ask them to hand over a credit card then. You don't do any of that. But what you do is you market in such a way that all of the objections are handled before they get into the same situation when you are actually taking the card. That is the key difference, really. If you market the right way, you don't need to sell.
I love that approach. We should all go for that. Let's talk more about mistakes that you find solopreneurs make, especially obviously in both marketing and technology. I know you've hinted at some of them, but let's go into maybe one or two of the most common mistakes that you find.
Yeah. The number one mistake that I find is people are trying to do it on their own. The number of times I've spoken to people who are saying, "Oh, I've been spending days and days on trying to make something work." The days and days you spend on something that's not working for you and you can't figure it out is much better spent looking for people who want to buy your services so you can get revenue. When you can get sales in, when you get money in, you can actually pay for people to help you. One of the things that I advocate is absolutely going out as soon as you can if you can do it before you even start a business, but if you are making any kind of revenue, I would even say that even if you're struggling a little bit with making payments, think about where can you invest money in people to help you to get you more money in quickly because it can really make a difference.
To give you an example, I put on a summit in September. I did that in two weeks because I paid somebody to help me find the speakers and interview them and sign them up and do all of that work. What I was doing in the meantime as I was focusing on the marketing and getting people to attend the summit. If I'd tried to do both, I would have probably got a quarter of the number of people into the summit. Then the summit for me was a way of generating money. I got more money out of it, much more money out of it than it cost me to hire somebody to help me. Think about that, where could you spend money effectively to help you make more money? What money can you spend that will generate more money? It is not a cost, it's an investment in help. That's number one.
The other thing is, and I have suffered gratefully from this, and this is why it's really high up on my list, but also I speak to a number of people, and that is the bright, shiny object syndrome. When you don't have a plan or you're not working the plan you have, you're being distracted and you're working on the wrong tasks. I call it busy work. When you're looking at the tasks that you have, you can classify them on two different axis; is it urgent or not, is it important or not? Then you have the tasks that are urgent and important, going down to the ones that are important but not urgent, urgent, not important, and not important, not urgent. Okay, that's a little bit much to take in.
The tasks that are not important and not urgent are the tasks we often like to do because they're easy to do, and I call it busy work, and not driving your business forward. But the tasks you think you have to do in the business and you justify that, "Hey, I'm working on my business. Look I'm so busy, I'm doing all of these things in my business." But they're actually not that important and not driving your business forward, but it makes your mind think, "Yes, I'm working on my business. I'm trying to be successful." It's an easy way for us to justify what we're doing, that we're working into the business.
It's actually what we have to do. There are only two things that we really need to work on; things that are urgent and important, or things that are important but not urgent. When you classify every task that you're doing in those two categories, is it urgent and important, or is it important but not urgent, when you only do those tasks, that's when you're driving your business forward. Everything else, check if you can outsource it. Is there somebody else, is there a VA, is there a technical person, is there a social media person, anybody else who can actually do that for you so you can focus on what's important? That is one of the biggest things that I'm finding. Pulling that bright, shiny object and changing what you're doing, not following the plan and not working on what's important in your business, that is often what stops people from being successful.
That's brilliant. Yes, and I remember way back when, when Stephen Covey brought this to light, it really hit home. Because you're right, we do things at the last minute because we think they're urgent but they're not necessarily important. And as you rightly say, they're not driving our business forward. I'm guilty of the bright, shiny object. I know that one very, very well. I think I've got a Ph.D. in that one. Steve, if our listeners want to find out more about you, and I believe you've got a summit coming up soon, talk to us about that and how they can find out more.
Yes, if you wouldn't mind putting the link in the show notes. If people go to midlifesolopreneur.com/bookmarketing, then that is a good place to start, and I will share some resources with you. Yes, I have the summit coming up in January again. The summit is over five days. The aim is to help solopreneurs take the next step in their business.
When you're putting together a summit, it's very important that you have a very clear idea of what the attendees are going to get out of it. And the premise of the Solopreneur Accelerator Summit is that you're going to walk away from every single session thinking, "Wow, that is something I can try to implement in my business right away." It's not the place for the speakers to come and just sell their services. It's not where they're just giving you the what and the why without telling you any kind of information, where you have to contact them and pay them lots of money. They're being very specifically instructed, they have to share something that people will find useful. Things like checklists and templates is one of the biggest things that I'm asking, but people can take this and implement it. So if you're interested in attending the summit, you go to midlifesolopreneur.com/bookmarketing. You will then be able to find a link to sign up for the summit as well.
That's fabulous. I really like that because just like this program, I always want our listeners to be able to, after they've listened to it, say, "Wow, I can do that." So there's one gem that our guests share and then they can do something and that's something practical. So the fact that you demand that of your speakers, I really like that. I know that's going to be a super event, and I hope lots of our listeners will be able attend that. Steve, if you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be?
It's part of what I talked about, the urgent and important. Here is a way for you to think about every single task that you are doing. To me, this is one of those golden nuggets that could transform your way of thinking. Think about every single task as being either a $1,000 task, a $100 task or a $10 task. And this is in terms of the money that it will cost you or generate for you. If you are spending your time on $10 tasks, that could be going into Canva and creating a social media graphic and personally into Facebook. It could be also things like setting up your mailing list manager and things like that. They're very low-value tasks. They're not going to generate a lot of money for you. They're also not going to cost you a lot of money to outsource.
The $50 task is more the way you are in front of the client and you're doing some consultancy with them or some coaching with them, and they're paying you money. It doesn't really matter what they're paying you, $50 an hour or $150 an hour. It's really about tasks that are generating a little bit of money but it's not going to be a needle mover for you. If you're still doing the same thing in 30 years' time, you're still not going to be able to retire financially. You need to do it. Obviously, you need to do it, you need to spend time with your coaching clients, et cetera. But where you really need to think about spending your time is the $1,000 taskThe $1,000 task is where you are investing time in your business on future income. It's when you are planning your events when you're planning your webinars when you're writing your lead magnets when you setting things up that will generate you money in the years to come. When you are able to have something that you can use again and again, and every time you use it, it makes money for you, that's what I call a $1,000 task. Take a look at all the tasks you're doing and look at how much time are you spending on the $10 tasks. How much are you spending on that 50 to $100 task? And how much are you spending on that $1,000 task? Until I looked at it that way for me, I spent probably about 60% of my time under $10 tasks, and I spent about 39% of my time on the $100 task and 1% of my time on the $1,000 task.
When things started shifting for me was when I had that aha moment, and I started spending my time on the $1,000 tasks. That's when things started shifting. It takes a little-
... bit of [inaudible 00:26:34], where you have to go through time in it, but it's going to make so much money for you in the future. And that's what going to give you the financial freedom that you crave.
Whoa, that really makes you stop and think. I'm just going to really have to divide what I do into those different buckets. It probably is going to be pretty shocking to find out where I'm spending my time. Steve, this has been absolutely amazing. Listeners, another treat for you, a treasure trove of priceless information, and you probably are going to have to listen to this a few times to extract all the great nuggets that Steve has shared with us on this interview. So Steve, thank you so much for being our guest expert and mentor. And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. I sincerely hope that it sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book marketing success.