Breaking Down Marketing Methods with Tom Poland

In marketing, so many people have opinions and sometimes, what they say just do not match up with the changes of the time. Trends come and go that is why methods, strategies, and techniques are also dynamic. One thing might work now and won’t later. Tom Poland, internationally acclaimed inbound lead generation specialist and bestselling author of Leadsology©: The Science of Being In Demand, knows this all too well. He has some very interesting, and sometimes even controversial, ideas about marketing, and what works and what doesn’t. He talks about the most commonly taught marketing methods we should avoid and the things we do incorrectly.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods

We have an interesting guest. He’s from New Zealand, but he lives in Australia. He’s also an internationally acclaimed Inbound Lead Generation Specialist. He’s the author of the book series called Leadsology and he’s got some very interesting and sometimes controversial ideas about marketing of what works and what doesn’t work.

Listen to the podcast here

Breaking Down Marketing Methods with Tom Poland

I’m here with Tom Poland, who is an internationally and claimed Inbound Lead Generation Specialist. His work has been published in 27 countries. He has shared international speaking platforms with amazing people. He has been with Michael Gerber, he’s an E-Myth fame. He’s also been with Richard Koch from The 80/20 Principle and Brian Tracy, many others. More than 2,000 business owners across the 193 different industries in four continents had been through his programs. They’ve gone to add millions to their earnings. He is the bestselling author of Leadsology, his latest is Marketing the Invisible. This is what fascinates me because you have a different perspective on what works and what doesn’t work in marketing. I love that because I’ve taught marketing forever and you’re honest about some of the things that I think need to be brought out that maybe don’t work or we’re not using properly. I just wanted a little background on you. How did you get to be this marketing guru?

It was a roller coaster ride of years of frustration, disappointment at the bottom of the roller coaster, and exhilaration at the top. I was running my own business and I had a three-year curriculum-based MBA for entrepreneurs. I started in 1995. It’s a service. You enter into what is effectively a three-year relationship with people to help them with their businesses. I was smart enough to know that I was dumb at marketing.

Two months later, I pretty much had nothing else to show for it except for my emptier bank account balance. I got sick of doing it after a while. They even have guarantees often, but you feel bad about asking for your money back. The last two years with that, I thought, “I’ve just got to sit down and figure this thing out myself.” One thing I figured out is me at marketing, what I call Marketing The Invisible service or advice, which is essentially the business we’re in, and a lot of people in the service is in, was far more like proposing marriage than I was selling the car. In other words, when people were thinking about hiring me, they were actually contemplating going into a relationship with me. It was an a-ha moment for me because I thought, “If that’s the case, I can’t just buy.” Those days we did fax marketing. You’re probably not old enough to remember, but we did audio cassette marketing, eight-track marketing, and we do all this stuff that just doesn’t exist anymore. The one side of marketing we did, it didn’t work and this will allow the prospect sufficient time to get to know us.

If I could propose to my wife on the first time I saw her because it was love at first sight, I couldn’t because it was so much to send me a miraculous story. I was smart enough to know that it’s not going to work. I need a date or about 50 dates because they quite to get to know me. It’s the same when you’re marketing a service or advice, is you need to allow people to get to know you. That means a meeting of some description, be that online or offline. You can’t just buy an email list and send out 10,000 emails and said, “Do you want to hire me?” That’s a couple of breakthroughs there.

I suppose the first thing is I had to figure this thing out myself. Secondly, I had to figure out what worked when it was a service, not a commodity, like buying a tennis racket or selling a car or selling a washing machine. That’s a very different style of marketing. A brick and mortar business will get away with marketing like a mainstream media, an advertisement in a newspaper or radio station. That will work if you’ve got a physical product. It fascinated me, it didn’t work for CPAs, for business coaches or executive coaches or financial planners. It might have worked for NASA or a chiropractor even, but it didn’t work for people like what I was doing, which basically gave some advice. Those two experiences, the implementation, and nothing working together with the realization that what we were doing was far more like proposing marriage, than I was selling a car though, that was the genesis for what I call Marketing the Invisible.

[bctt tweet=”When you’re marketing a service or advice, you need to allow people to get to know you.” username=””]

When I was reading your books, it was very interesting to me because you’ve touched on so many things that we’re doing that we probably shouldn’t be doing, and how things don’t work. You even say there are eleven commonly taught marketing methods we should avoid.

I literally could have filled the whole book with traditionally recommended marketing methods that don’t work. There’s just a whole bunch of people out there teaching stuff that used to work that doesn’t work, or they are teaching stuff that someone else taught them. It’s like someone’s going to stand there at some point and go, “That guy’s no good.” Seriously, this doesn’t work, stop doing that.

I’ve been in sales for many decades and different areas. I think of how they’ve all been different, the different things I’ve sold everything from pharmaceuticals to real estate to loans. It’s all different. Being an author and a speaker and a consultant, I do more what you’re talking about, this thing where it’s invisible. I’m fascinated by what I see it just seems like everybody’s selling at each other and no one’s buying in the consultant world. Am I seeing something that’s not there or do you see that?

I get that. There’s an old saying in consulting, “Never confuse sales with delivery.” Part of what’s behind that is to sell the damn thing and then figure out how you can deliver it later on. In a way, we’ve had so many great marketing experts who teach so much stuff. Some of it doesn’t work, unfortunately, but some of them are rather good. There’s this very large segment of people marketing programs and services and advice and they become so good at marketing. It’s like you’ve got a ten out of ten marketing, but their delivery is two out of ten. In my experience, they fall into all three categories. The most ineffective in other words, you buy this stuff and implement it and it doesn’t work, there’s this knowing charlatan. This person knows that this stuff is rubbish and they hype it up and they think that the game is all about selling stuff. They think that they’re victorious. There’s a fake smile when people bought, often with the false hope. I wouldn’t want the karma. I didn’t even know if karma is true, but I don’t think it’s a bad principle to live by.

There are the knowing charlatans, but then there are the desperate, willing, try-hard people who just need to sell some stuff to pay the mortgage. They probably compromised. I’m not Mother Teresa, we’ve all been there probably in difficult financial situations, where you are very tempted to sell some stuff and then trying to figure it out later on how you are going to talk about the value. Particularly the former, where you’ve got those pin-ups in marketing, but the value delivery is trapped inside that. It’s like a two out of ten. That’s so much prevalent. I had an experience and they said, “Trust me, give me your money and I’ll show you how to get more clients.” Anyone who heard those people and the hands go up.

I said, “Have you done that and it didn’t work out?” 97 hands go up out of 100. I said, “How many times have you done that? Put your hand up, three times?” 97 hands go up. “Five times, seven times,” and most of the hands keep going up. I say to the audiences, “That’s not working. Let’s stop doing that. Stop giving out money to people who say, “Trust me.” This is the goal that I’m throwing down to other marketers. It got to the point where it doesn’t matter how many testimonials you have and it doesn’t matter what guarantee you have, people are not going to keep trusting you. You’ve got to do something different.

My way of handling this is I say, “This offer doesn’t trust my guarantee.” That shock some people because they go, “What’s going to work if I don’t have to trust you?” It hasn’t been working out for you. Why don’t we do this? Why don’t I trust you? Why don’t I give you full access to everything I’ve got work with you, meet with you several times a week for a month, and then you decide if I’m worth getting paid. I do that not just because the experience of being ripped off or having an effective advice is so ubiquitous. I also do it because everyone else is not doing it. That’s one of the key lessons in marketing. Everyone else is saying, “X is probably a good idea to say Y.”

You do in your book. You said there are some commonly taught marketing methods we should avoid. It would be important to talk about the things we’re doing incorrectly. What should we do instead? I want to make sure we get to that. First, let’s talk about the things that we should avoid.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods
Marketing Methods: It just seems like everybody’s selling at each other and no one’s really buying.


Let me throw a black blanket of everything that you should avoid. I’ll just give you the big principle and then we can drill down to the individual ones if that works. If people get the principle then they can look at each individual prescription, each marketing methods and figure out does it tick the box or not. The biggest box to tick is this and I’ll ask two questions. The first of two statements, “Every morning we wake up and we do what we want to do.” If you examine your day, you will find that every single day you do what you want to do. The second statement is this, “Only on some mornings do we wake up and do what we should do,” but every day we wake up and do what you want to do. On some days we wake up and do what we should do.

If I’ve been to a seminar or a conference or read a book or something, if someone was getting hot and sweaty about Facebook advertising and online funnels with tripwires, split testing, different colors, and tracking the numbers, and pay-per-clicks and they go, “You can sit on the beach with your laptop for half an hour a day and making a million bucks a year. This is so easy. It’s incredible.” You wake up, it’s a Monday morning, you get back to the conference, you wake up and you think yourself, “Let’s see now, Facebook ads, split testing, online funnels, tripwires, test the measure, KPI. Yes, I should do that.” Then that is a marketing method that you should not seriously consider because one of these two things will happen. Either you’ll never do it because it’s a should and not a want. If you do it, you’ll do it inconsistently, which means you get inconsistent results. There are other reasons why I would not recommend that as a marketing strategy if your marketing is visible, like tennis rackets, coffee cups maybe, but not if you’re a consultant or whatever.

That’s the blanket principle. Do you wake up in the morning and go, “This is something I want to do,” because in terms of marketing, if it is something you genuinely want to do, then you will do it and you’ll do it a lot, which means you’re getting better and better and you’ll look forward to it. Your productivity increases, your happiness increases, and your skill level increases. That’s the big picture thing. “Is it something I genuinely wake up in the morning and want to do?” What I find is that I’d say about 99% of certainly my clients, let’s say they wake up on a Wednesday morning and it’s work day. They think and they go, “I’ve got a meeting at 10:00. I just have to walk down the kitchen for my coffee machine to my office, sit in front of the computer, click a button, there will be 80 people waiting for me to present. The audience is already there for me and I’m going to present on how I work with my clients. At the end of that meeting, I’ll offer for people to reach out and talk about becoming a client.”

Would that be something that you would want to attend? There are 80 people. I’m confident about my delivery. I know I can knock this thing off the ballpark because I have done this many times. I would not wake up on that Wednesday morning, “Should I go to that meeting with those 80 people waiting for you to share about?” I go, “I got to the meeting. Cool. I’m going to do that.” That’s an example of a marketing that gets a big tick for me. Things like online funnels are incredibly complicated and incredibly expensive. I divide the entrepreneurs of the two categories. There are cats and dogs. Cats want to meow. That’s a metaphor for people who like detail, routine, consistency, five-year cashflow spreadsheets and complicated online funnels. They love that stuff. They giggle when they think about it.

Then there’s a dog like me who talk to people because cats don’t like talking to people. They preferred numbers and spreadsheets. I talked a bit, I like creating products and services and I like doing deals, seeing the sales come in. If you’re a dog, you should be barking, you should do the stuff that dogs like to do, which is to talk to people and deliver value and convert people from inquiries to clients, because that’s what you want to do. If you’re a cat, then you should definitely meow and you should do the tripwires, the spreadsheets, and the autoresponders because again, that’s what you wake up in the morning. That’s what you want to do.

Online funnels, Facebook ads, they’re expensive and they’re complicated. Can you make them work? Absolutely, you can make them work but you’re only going to make them work if you’re a cat. You’ve got to figure that out first of all. For me, I can do it through partnering with other professionals, I can get the leads that I want and I can get them completely free without affiliate commissions, without advertising costs, without complicated tripwires. I looked at her and I said, “Why would I do Facebook ads and tripwires and all that other stuff, when I could get better quality leads completely free?” That doesn’t make any sense.

How are you getting these leads free?

I have this little thing called OTN. OTN is other people’s network. Let’s just take the USA and I happened to be down onto here in Australia, but it’s the same in the UK, it’s the same in Canada and pretty much all over. There are a whole bunch of people like you and I who have email subscriber lists. If we figured out that we have a fit for each other’s audiences, in other words, you have a message that’s valuable to my audience and I have a message that’s valuable to your audience, then it’s likely that we’re going to add value to each other’s audiences and our audiences by running an event for each other.

You might run a webinar online event, whether it’s small exclusive, whether it’s big or whatever. You might do your thing for my audience and I do my thing for your audience. You’ll grow your list and I’ll grow my list and people will benefit because they’re both getting good quality information out there. They’re not just a tease and not the BS and hide things that others are doing. We both grow each other’s list. It is extremely likely to pick up new clients and it’s completely free and that’s what I call OTN. You’re getting an audience, and I’m getting an audience to you.

[bctt tweet=”The experience of being ripped off on having an effective advice is so ubiquitous.” username=””]

When you talk about growing list, I think it brought up to me the people that do the AWeber things where they send out weekly updates. Usually, they’re trying to deliver something of value because people, “I’m not asking for anything, I’m giving you stuff,” and then they make it clear that, “This is me giving you free information,” but there’s so much of that. I’m not a huge fan because I get too much. What do you think of that?

I’m halfway there where you’re just like, “Come to the free webinar training,” and you get to the free webinar training. It turns out to be a sales pitch. What a shock. That’s going to be completely re-positioned because again everyone else is doing it. They’re doing it X, U, V, through Y. What I tell my clients to do is you run a live demo. For example, let me show you in real time how we generated a weekly flow of inbound new client inquiries. That’s how it’s positioned. If you think about this, this is a very clear and very direct and very honest and very transparent value proposition. It’s not a free training. I am going to show you how I work with my clients to generate leads. One of my clients, a management consultant, Frank from Philadelphia who works with his clients with big data and AI and stuff.

Let me show you in real-time how are we using artificial intelligence to produce quality and manufacturing units. It’s a demonstration. We pitched it as a demonstration. If we’re going to make an offer at the end, we tell people, “There will be an offer then you don’t need to stay for that, but you can stay if you’d like to.” Most of mine, there’s no replay, so you’ve got to attend live and that’s it and there’s nothing to buy so relax. We’re doing always the opposite of probably what we are doing, the opposite of what most people are doing, which is disguising a sales trap inside this wrapping that says free webinar training. Instead of having a pitch we’re saying there’s nothing to buy, you offer a free consult with qualifiers.

You have filters in place. You have to check boxes, “I’m going to go meet with you. Dr. Diane and I agreed that I can afford XYZ per month. If we agree, it’s a good idea to work together and yes, I can put aside X hours a week.” Whatever the filters or qualifiers so that when you get to meet with a prospective consultant, they’re highly qualified, they know what your fees are, and you’ve already agreed that you can afford that. Instead of having this price shock conversation and the consult have no idea you’re so expensive. They know what your fees are and if they agree they can afford you, they never how you work with your clients in broad terms and they liked that. It’s inbound, you’re not chasing anyone. The next thing and this is the biggest one, this is more important than the three I just mentioned, is that they’re not coming along and you have a conversation where you’re trying to convince them that it’s a good idea to work with you.

It’s a confirmation. They’re coming along purpose that you have the answer, that you have what they need. Sales was not even in my dictionary, but I rarely even say the word because it’s a south free zone. I don’t want to piss anyone’s time. Salespeople always talking about their conversion rates and everything else. A person convinced against their will is a person who remains unconvinced. That’s the person who doesn’t continue with your program because two months later they wake up and they go, and the guy, “I never wanted to buy that thing. It was just that slick silver tongue devil salesperson that gave me the scarcity offer and the bonuses, the countdown timer and the other bullshit.” It’s a gentle process when you have that consult because people are hoping to confirm, and I’m an ethical person.

I’m able to say to people like, “I can’t help you. I’m sorry.” A gentleman said he wanted to promote his gym. It was a revolution in the gym system. “Sorry, I don’t work with the gym. Let me give you some ideas. I’ll refer you to a client of mine who will do SEO and Adwords stuff.” The point is this, if you’ve got a strong flow of how the consults are coming through, it’s not so much on my trade, but I can afford to say to people, “I’m not the right guy for you.”

What if they’re a new consultant and they don’t have that your database. They’re just starting out. How do they get the initial people interested to even listen to that?

What you personally have to do is they have to create a demonstration of what they do, which knocks it out of the ballpark. That’s the most important asset. The most important asset is not the email list. It’s not their LinkedIn contacts, it’s not even who they know. It’s a presentation that when I look at that presentation, provided they’re serving my market, which is independent professionals. I looked at that and go, “That is one great presentation.” You don’t just wake up one morning and put that together. That also underlines another key point, is to start. People say, “I don’t have an email list. I didn’t have many LinkedIn followers.” Start. We all started naked coming out of the womb. We all started with nothing. At one point, someone’s got a list of 60,000 linked to my mail signed up for a free.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods
Marketing Methods: If it is something you genuinely want to do, then you will do it and your productivity, together with your happiness, increases.


Where do you put your presentation if you have no following yet?

You get the audience from the other people’s networks.

How did you do that?

The way I do it is I interview them. If you think about this, I’m not going to be interviewing Seth Godin tomorrow or if I just started. I got to build up, Seth is the king of the marketing world in my view and he’s an amazing guy, but he’s busy. I can go online, I can look at who’s running his podcast. I can Google independent professional podcast. It’s easy to find people who would make a good guest on my podcast show.

Let’s just say I’m starting out from scratch. If I say to that person, to the email outreach and I’m going, “I’ve checked out your podcast. I liked it so much. I left a five-star review and leave make some comments because it’s a tough stuff and I’d love to share it with my network. I’ve got a very small network but we got to start with somewhere. Here’s the link and here’s what I’ll do. I’ll be asking for backlinks to your landing page. Mine will drive a lot of traffic there, but there will be a place for using this account.” Everyone in marketing knows that’s going to help the search rankings and backlinks. Twitter is free by the way. Facebook is free, YouTube is free, LinkedIn is free and my website is free. Literally, it doesn’t cost a cent.

If you’ve got an internet connection, you’ve got everything you already need. You interview the person and the interview is an extraordinary thing. An interview can build rapport, respect, reliability and reciprocity; four keywords that can build those things in twenty minutes flat. It’s like the best first steak you ever had. If you can go there and say, “Would you want to have a conversation about growing each other’s list? Maybe do something cool for each of those audiences. I’ve only got a small audience, but I’ll get this out of the ballpark presentation. If you look at it, I’ll send you a replay.” By the way, in Marketing The Invisible, the latest Leadsology book have a ten-part persuasion sequence, which lays out step by step exactly what to put in your presentation to make it or not get to the ballpark presentations. I’m not holding you back here. I’m giving pretty much the whole blueprint away as best I can of what we’re doing and how we doing how we do it. It’s just sometimes you’re sitting there going, “That’s great. Do I need to knock it out of the ballpark presentation to get to other people’s networks? How do I do that?” It’s laid out in the book.

There’s a lot of great information in this book. You’re talking about books, I’m going to ask you for people, I have so many people who were trying to sell their book. Is it the same process for that? Let’s say you want to get in front of all the top CEOs because you’re a consultant, where do you start with that? Is that the same way?

[bctt tweet=”Only on some mornings do we wake up and do what we should do.” username=””]

The first thing is my stuff. Leadsology is not about finding ideal clients. We’re talking about CEOs. It’s not about finding CEOs. I know that sounds completely illogical, but it’s about finding the people who happen to be the CEOs.

Who helped them?

There will be someone who’s got an email list full of CEOs. We work with that person and they open up their email lists full of CEOs to you or whoever that’s to be.

You don’t take an email list and say, “Do you want to hire me?” What do you do with that email list?

We give that to the person who built that email list. We give them an email to send to their subscribers saying, “We’ve got Diane, she’s doing an online live demonstration of how she gets X, Y, and Z. Click here to join. I’ll look forward to seeing you on the call.”

The people get on the call because they’re interested in the person that owns the list. It’s like having Tony Robbins say they liked you so you’re on Tony Robbins’ list or whatever.

It’s equivalent of getting invited out to Oprah and share about your book. People don’t know you, but they know Oprah. I’d like to have that trick as well. I don’t know how to market books, but I do know how to get other people who have big email subscribers list to open them up and provided your services are great, endorse your services. Thereby, grow your list and get you more clients. I know how to do that without paying a cent.

Why would they do for you? If you say you’re going to give them backlinks and all that type of thing.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods
Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis.

In both sense because of the four things I mentioned, which were respect, before relatability and reciprocity. When you establish a relationship of respect, rapport, reliability, which comes down to authenticity, reciprocity is the big one. Reciprocity is the most miraculous marketing force and it’s hidden. It’s unconscious, but reciprocity is extraordinary. It means what reciprocity means. If people want to know about this, it’s a great book called Games People Play written by a psychiatrist called Dr. Eric Berne. He sold 30 million copies.

Let’s say I moved in next door to you, you poor thing. Let’s just say that happened and I introduced myself and there’s Dr. Diane. I’m walking down the street one day, walking my dog. You’re walking the other day and you said, “Tom, how are you doing?” “What was that woman’s name?” I say, “Good morning.” I feel stink because you’ve given me actually three strikes. You get me my name, you greeted me, and you asked me how I was doing? I gave you one or two back. I haven’t reciprocated. We feel good when we keep the score even. This happens all the time with particularly going to go to a friend’s place for dinner, the wife calls out and she gets me, “Yes, that’s good to know. I’ll check with my wife, she’ll be fine Friday night. What do we bring?”

When they say, “Don’t bring anything.” That’s the perpetual giving machine. We take wine, we take flowers and the next day on their front doorstep is little pop plant and then my wife feels like she’s got to give something back. It never stops. There’s the power of reciprocity. I was exaggerating for the sake to give a little story, but that is the power of reciprocity. If we would do something for someone else that makes them look good in front of the tribe and actually helps them, then they will feel that they want to help you rather than all other things being equal. Some people won’t help you, that’s fine. You’re still making a little bit of place by helping them, backlinks or whatever else. Respect is number one. If they didn’t respect you, they’re never going to reciprocate. Rapport, professional integrity is established, respect is established. We were going to put the relatability to them, their market, they can relate to you and reciprocity is the four flavors of what I call the four psychological allures.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods
Leadsology©: The Science of Being In Demand

It is all really interesting because you’ve got a lot of psychology involved in this and your other book was called Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand. You look at this from a behavioral perspective. I’m just curious what led to that interest in the behaviors and the looking behind what’s happening?

I have a curious mind. I’m subscribed to about seven different newspapers around the world. I subscribe to the New York Times. It was anti-Trump and then Chicago Tribune. For example, I’m living here in Australia who tends to be more pro-Trump, so it’s both points of view. I was interested in why do some people buy and why do some people keep paying, and why are some people done by. I call it the Tao of Marketing. It’s ancient philosophy, but test and observe. Why do headlines work? It’s hard to get statistical significance with certain numbers of idea, split test two different headlines. You need 50,000 exposures of one headline and 30,000 before you can tell without a shadow of a doubt, one is better than the other.

It’s hard to do. There’s a lot of guesswork involved when we have lower numbers like you and I would typically we have in our marketing. The psychology to me has always been fascinating and I’m not a psychologist and I’ve got lots of clients who are psychologists, but I am not. It’s just figuring out when you say this, people respond with that, what was interesting. It’s another getting out there and figuring out what’s cunningly ethical that actually works. We’ve all been tempted to flatten down the voice of ethics from time to time because we need the money. The only difference is something is unethical and that works in short-term at least. Something ethical that works is an idea, is a way of doing something. For example, the idea of getting my message into someone else’s network through interviewing. Why does that interview work? It can because of the Toyota Prius. I read an article once that said the Toyota Prius when they bought their hybrid car out, it runs partly on battery and partly on petrol. When they bought that out, then Honda brought out their own hybrid car at the same time. The Prius outsold the Honda ten to one. It’s the similar price, similar quality. What was the difference?

When the marketing analysts were done with the whole research thing, they discovered that Prius owners even more than wanting to be environmentally friendly, they want their neighbors to know that they were environment-friendly. The Prius was this unique ugly duckling of a car. It was so distinctive that when someone’s driving, “That’s green. That’s someone who cares about the environment.” With the Honda Accord, it was the same body shape as every other Accord, just a little badge on the back saying, “Hybrid.” No one knew. That Prius factor is how important for us to be perceived a certain way by the people we care about. Apparently, it’s very important, I had no idea. When you interview someone, they are made to look very important and well-positioned in front of an audience. That’s a massive reciprocity factor right there. It all came out through observation.

It’s curiosity, which is interesting because it’s what my book’s about, it’s curiosity. I’m fascinated by what makes some people more curious than others. You definitely came across that way and in everything I had seen of your work. What I found interesting was that you didn’t do as much social media, Twitter specifically as some of the others. Is there a reason for that? How do you feel about this?

[bctt tweet=”Reciprocity is the most miraculous marketing force and it’s hidden.” username=””]

I don’t get Twitter. Do we tweet? We tweet several times a week, but I have a cat that does the Tweeting.

Can you be a cat-dog combination or do you have to be a cat or a dog?

They are rare. Probably the 2,000 or more clients that I’ve had over the last 37 years, I could count on one hand the number of people who are a cat and a dog in one body. Even they should delegate the cat work because the work that the dog does, the leading and the speaking and the developing of the ideas, that’s where the money is, and that’s often where the greatest passion is. What do I tweet? I tweet because if I tweet, people say, “You’re an old fuddy-duddy and you don’t understand social media.” My favorite business book of all time is written by Richard Koch, The 80/20 Principle. One of the things I learned in that book is that there are a few small things that we do that give us the biggest bang for our bucks. There are a million things we could do that gives the tiny, little result and tweeting is one of them.

There was no impact by tweeting. If I tweet bright stuff every day for the next five years, I’m going to get some new clients out of that, no question. I want the more direct route to the market. I want the OPN route, which takes a little time and yields a great result. It’s 20%. My office manager, another cat who is very good with numbers. When I say to her, “Can you crunch our numbers, please and tell me what is the acquisition cost of new clients for this channel versus this channel or this channel? Tell me where the bang for the buck is.” That’s always OPN.

We do a lot of marketing in LinkedIn. It’s very profitable, it’s very successful, but it’s nothing compared to what we get through other people’s networks. I tweet. We have a Facebook group that’s growing organically. I’ve never promoted it but it’s great, it’s nice. I would go in a heartbeat for decent OPN because that’s where the money is. The person who has this email subscriber list, who is ethical, who has added value, and has been interested and engaging, there’s a transference of that subscriber’s relationship with that person. To me, it’s like a referral. If you need a good plumber, you ask your friend, “Do you know a good plumber?” They go, “Jackie Smith is a great plumber.” You call Jackie Smith because it’s a referral. It’s a transference of credibility and trust from my friend to Jackie Smith.

It was so tough to get that on Twitter. Twitter is like the Hugh Jackman of marketing. I made the mistake of asking my wife who the most irresistible man was. She said, “It’s Hugh Jackman. He can sing, he can dance and he can act.” I said to her she’s making a mistake, “What if Hugh Jackman is in the front door right now and you opened it and he proposed to you, what would you say?” She said, “You know I love you, Tom.” I know what she was going to say next. She said, “I’d run away with him because he’s the true definition of irresistible. You can’t say no.” If I opened the door and he proposed to me, I probably would have run away and I’m not even gay. He’s that good. We can’t do our marketing like Hugh Jackman. We can’t just send out a tweet out and expect them to go, “It’s Tom Poland. Let me spend some money with you.” That’s your Hugh Jackman marketing.

There is another guy. I tracked him down in Yorkshire in England called Jack Human. He is in-charge of Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken Restaurant in Yorkshire, in the UK. I’ve seen his LinkedIn profile. He’s more good-looking than me, but that doesn’t say much. He’s nowhere near like Hugh Jackman. A little overweight, a bit of a scruffy beard. If he knocked at the front door and proposed to my wife, I don’t think I would’ve lost my wife. We got to do our marketing more like we have Jack Human and less likely Hugh Jackman because we’re not the world’s most irresistible body proposition.

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods
Marketing Methods: A person convinced against their will is a person who remains unconvinced.


Let’s say you want to do a mastermind. Everybody wants to do masterminds. Are you sick of masterminds?

It’s called the spiral. No, I don’t like masterminds. I never went to masterminds.

What do you think of them?

I had never been in one that’s given great value. I know lots of people will lead them that give good value. Danny is one. I could drop his name, but if you believe Danny and his stuff, you should follow him because he’s a great value. The masterminds I had been involved with, I’ve always felt the leader was lazy, “Let us get them a room and let’s get them sharing ideas with each other.” Majority of the people that joined a mastermind group are at the same level. They want to be led, they want to be taught.

If there’s an element in the mastermind group with this fresh new revelation about something that actually works that would be nice, then that’s a very valuable group of people. I’m just weird. I’d say what got me excited was reading the Muhammad Yunus’ book, A World of Three Zeros. He is the guy who started the Grameen Bank, which gives X dollar loans or microloans to poor Bangladeshi village women. I’d go to that. There’s a digital marketing conference down the road, “I’m over that stuff.” I think masterminds, if you get the right one, are a great idea. I don’t have a serious problem with people charging $35,000 a year and don’t give value. I’ve heard that story from participants so many times, “I think if you just join the mastermind with a great, amazing guru and then all my problems will be solved.” They won’t be. You’ve just got to step up and by all means, learn from people.

I have people that want to sell like, “You’re an author.” A lot of authors get a PR people to help them because they’re not good at this stuff. How valuable is that?

I don’t write it. I’ve had it so many times in my latest book because of Facebook funnels and PR people and everything else. I’m happy with anything that works that’s ethical and PR is mostly ethical. I’ve just found that I have spent thousands of dollars several times over about twenty, 30 years that does and all of it for nothing. I’m not a big fan. There’s no question whatsoever that if your name’s Richard Branson and you jumping on a hot air balloon and go around the world, you got to get some pretty good PR out of that. I’m living in a little castaway beach, I don’t quite have the budget. It’s not even so much that it doesn’t work or I’ve never had some need, but why spend all that money if I know how to get into other people’s networks, which is free and I can rinse and repeat it every single day of the week? I can generate six figures a month and it’s free. Why would I hire a PR expert?

Do you do the extra stuff with your books? Do you go to book signings and tour the world? You don’t do any of that stuff?

No. I write books because I have to write books. There’s something in me. It’s like giving birth to a baby. Once you started the thing, it’s going to come out. At the start of it, the conception is a whole lot of fun. By the time the thing comes, you are just so over it, but I have to do it. It’s like Sylvester Stallone with the movie Rocky ’74 or the sequel. His sister’s trainer, “I want to get a get back on the ring.” His trainer says, “Rocky, what are you nuts? You’re going to get beat up again, you’re too wild and you’re too old. You’re too old, you’re too fat, you’re too slow. Your family is going to suffer. What are you going to do that for?”

Rocky thinks for a moment, he looks at the trainer and then he looks at his feet and he shuffles. It looks back with the trainers says, “Because it’s in the basement.” As soon as you said that, I knew what he meant. It’s there, it’s in the basement. I can’t get rid of it. I have to do this. That’s why I write books. I don’t go to book signings. I don’t get a big book and campaigns or just write the damn thing and publish it. If people buy it, that’s nice, I have to do it because it’s in the basement.

[bctt tweet=”There are a few small things that we do that give us the biggest bang for our bucks. ” username=””]

I thought that your book is refreshing because you just tell it like it is. I think there are so many people that are looking for this so complex thing that they think they have to do everything and then they get overwhelmed, especially if they’re a dog. Even the cats, there’s too much to keep up. A lot of them are starting off without any money at all, and you’re paying for all of these things.

I’ve got something that helped the people who don’t have the money yet. I’ve been there, trust me. I haven’t had $10 to get a decent image to put onto a slide. You can go to It’s completely free. There’s a ten-minute video a day for five days. Do the ten-minute video plus the fifteen-minute exercise that goes with it and by the end of that five days, you should have generated five fresh leads and I hope that you can convert one into a new client from that. It’s for people who genuinely don’t have the money. If you’ve got the money, then you shouldn’t be investing it with Diane or someone like us to get more business in. If you don’t, maybe the Five-Hour Challenge can help.

You have some great information and that’s a great idea. I love leads like that for people because not everybody’s at the level that they can afford to do a lot of things. What’s your main website? Is there something else you want to share with people?

This has been so fascinating and I enjoyed your book. Thank you so much again for that. I didn’t get to go through it off since I got it a little later, but I got through a lot of it. I thought it was interesting because you just write a way I like to read. It’s not all the fluff stuff. This is the way it is. Too many adjectives and adverbs and all the fluff stuff, I put it down. This was just telling you this is what works, this is what doesn’t work and this is how to do it. Thank you so much for being on the show, Tom.

It’s a pleasure. I enjoyed it. Thanks, Diane, for having me.

I want to thank Tom for being my guest for this episode. What a great show. We get so many great guests. If you want to find out more about Cracking the Curiosity Code, my book and the Curiosity Code Index, which is the assessment to determine factors that impact curiosity that I’ve created, you can go to I really appreciate the conversation with Tom. Interesting stuff. I think that some of these guests, they have such unique perspectives and I really enjoyed meeting him and looking into his work. I think not everything that’s out there is necessarily working for everybody and I love to get different perspectives. I hope you enjoyed the show. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Tom Poland

TTL 261 | Marketing Methods

Tom Poland’s is an internationally acclaimed inbound lead generation specialist. His work has been published in 27 countries and he has shared international speaking platforms with the likes of Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame, Richard Koch from the 80-20 Principle, Brian Tracy and many others. More than 2000 business owners across 193 different industries and 4 continents have been through his programs and many have gone on to add millions to their earnings. He’s the bestselling author of Leadsology©: The Science of Being In Demand.

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