Why I do what I do

After posting the TED talk of Simon Sinek explaining how people do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it, I should explain why I do what I do.

I do what I do because I am sick of the small business, or the small in general, not having the same shot that the big guys have. I sincerely want to give those mom and pops a website and online marketing framework that can compete and beat the big-box stores when compared side by side.

As The Art of War would explain, the small have an advantage – they are quick and mobile while the big are slow and stationary. Big box communication must be passed through layers of middle-managers. Your communication, as a small business, comes from you. You think it, you post it. Make it fun. The big guys cannot make it fun.

I have an innate drive to help people. My business of providing a state-of-the-art website and other online marketing at a price that is affordable is remarkable. I haven’t had a client yet that wasn’t blown away.

People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

I do it because you are remarkable in one way or another. And you can need to tell the world about it.

The Coincidence of Invention

All of the musical instruments used in Mozart’s symphonies were invented before he was born, or at least before he started composing.

For decades, it seems, all of the world’s most accomplished physicists attempted to launch rockets. We have all seen the old, grainy footage of a tall rocket wobbling, gaining a few feet of altitude, before tipping to the side and exploding. We should consider that those were likely the best minds of that time, trying to achieve lift off and failing.

The tape measure was invented by a clothing designer. Just think of how many masters of carpentry and construction toiled with yard sticks, or whatever the hell they used before some clothing designer thought of the tape measure, with its sturdiness and recoiling action. Any rugged carpenter or contractor that arrived after the invention of the tape measure accomplished more and better work because of the spark in the head of delicate designer.

Any astrophysicist or rocket scientist that came after the cracking of the code needed for lift off never had to go back and figure out that first, once nearly impossible step.

There seems to be a great coincidence when it comes to the technology we enjoy. Agriculture made it possible for people to live in one place. Industrialization brought everyone closer together. The automobile made sprawl possible, which made communications necessary. Eventually we were going to combine the two into cell phones in automobiles. This all built up and made the personal computer needed to share even more data. All of these inventions were not possible without the trail of ideas that came before them.

Today, none of us that use the Internet to do our work could begin to explain the code behind the packets of information sent and received. I could not even explain half of the WordPress functions that I utilize to build websites in my business. If I was working at a time when WordPress was not developed, I would be screwed. Mozart (probably) did not know how the violin was constructed. He just knew how to weave its sound into the highs-and-lows of the oboe and percussion instruments.

Today, every person and small business has the same platforms available to them that the multi-national corporations have. Text, Tweet, Post, Blog, Video, open-source software – if we are not taking advantage of the appropriate tools, we are trying to re-learn how to launch the rocket.

Cincinnati Bengals Can Sell Tickets, Just Not the Way They Are Trying.

The Cincinnati Bengals are in my cross hairs today.

The Cincinnati Bengals have experienced terrible attendance at home games this season.

Now, despite hosting a critical season finale against division-leading Baltimore, with several scenarios putting the Bengals in the NFL Playoffs, the stadium will likely be half full. In addition, non-sellout games mean that the game will not be televised locally, as well. Local fans without a ticket will not be able to watch the Bengals in any way. (I’ve always disagreed with this practice, but that is for another time.)

Anyway, the big idea that the Bengals front office has for trying to sell out Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday? Buy-one-get-one-free tickets for existing season ticket holders.

Wow. Gee. Thanks.

I just read on the Bengals website (on Tuesday) that the club has sold 2,000 tickets using this method.

Wow. Gee. Amazing.

Probably not even worth the man hours it took to write the script of the ads, especially considering that this means that they actually sold 1,000 tickets, not 2,000.

This is is a perfect example of a scared, unimaginative campaign to do something pretty important in the professionals sports world.

Another way to look at this problem of trying to sell tens of thousands of tickets, is as an opportunity, one with little cost and huge upside, using access to incentives you already have.

Here are some ideas, with no discounts needed. Just get ready to count the Benjamins.

  1. Enter each fan that purchases a ticket into a raffle for a pair season tickets to next season’s home games. (They won’t sell out anyway.)
  2. Enter each fan that purchases a ticket into a raffle for the game ball used in the game itself.
  3. Enter each fan that purchases a ticket into a raffle for the jersey that their favorite player wore in the game.
  4. If the jersey-ball idea works, keep it going…. raffle off hats, wrist bands, shoes, etc.
  5. Use existing trade and relationships and exclusive sponsorships to raffle off a new car to fans purchasing tickets.
  6. Raffle off an empty luxury suite (I am sure there are plenty) to a fan purchasing tickets to the game.
  7. You can make some of these contests time sensitive. For example – “All fans that purchase tickets to Sunday’s game between now and 8 p.m. will be entered into the drawing for the luxury suite.”

People in this situation are rarely enticed by discounts, buy one get one deals, or free soda. They are going to pay a lot of money at the game no matter what you discount and they know that.

“Use what you have to get what you want.” <- That motto seems to apply to almost all marketing opportunities. What you have is access to players and exclusive experiences that the average fans would love to have (and pay for) the opportunity to have. Use that to your advantage. It costs you nothing more and I would bet my car (2008 Toyota Yaris) that it would sell out your game, filling your stadium with just the type of fanatics that you want to have in attendance.

I mentioned upside before? NFL games are in many ways like NASCAR races. You don’t really appreciate it until you experience it in person. Getting a fan to a game means reciprocal business down the road, especially if they have a great experience. Stop giving away your one commodity. Start using it in a leveraged way to earn countless points for your brand.

You’re welcome.