EP58: Bullets - That Define Marketing

Creating products that help and sometimes inspire others.

How do YOU begin the creation process?

YOU must get this part right.

Your product and your business are weighed in the balance.

To illustrate the point, I want to read an excerpt - a concept - from “Great by Choice”, a book by author, Jim Collins. [Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs]

Here it goes...

“Picture yourself at sea, a hostile ship bearing down on you. You have a limited amount of gunpowder.

You take all your gunpowder and use it to fire a big cannonball. The cannonball flies out over the ocean…and misses the target, off by 40 degrees. You turn to your stockpile and discover that you’re out of gunpowder.

You die.

But suppose instead that when you see the ship bearing down, you take a little bit of gunpowder and fire a bullet.

It misses by 40 degrees.

You make another bullet and fire.

It misses by 30 degrees.

You make a third bullet and fire, missing by only 10 degrees.

The next bullet hits—ping!—the hull of the oncoming ship.

Now, you take all the remaining gunpowder and fire a big cannonball along the same line of sight, which sinks the enemy ship.

You live.”

End of Excerpt

That was great, I think.

Are YOU still with me?

Now let’s - unpack this - and take this concept, and speak in terms of marketing online.

NOW, how can we apply Jim Collin’s concept?


How does shooting at ships translate to marketing – you may be thinking?

Well, let’s say you want to create a product that will, without any doubt, end the pain and suffering that your target market is suffering from, today!

Isn’t that really what we are here to do?

Help PEOPLE overcome problems while being compensated appropriately as well!

In this discussion, what that problem is, isn’t as important as the principle, we can follow and implement.

For most marketers, and probably you as well; you envision the problem, and then go about creating the product, service, or course to solve it.

Note: for all intent and purposes, I will use the word “product” to represent the solution to the problem, whether it is a course, book, membership, or service.

It’s a great product too.

You suspect that your market will flock to it and snatch it up as soon as you make its existence known. [Don't we ALL wish?]

This is just the start of your online business, and it will just get better as you think of ways to continue releasing new products, over and over again.

Within a year or so, you will be nestled into the good life, sipping a piña colada, as the warm waters of the Caribbean lap at your heels.

But is that how it works?

Is that the way marketing online rewards hard workers?

It is if you listen to most gurus online.

And when I say listen to them, I really mean, blindly follow.

They tell you to find a target audience, find a pain point and provide a solution.

But do they break down the “How to” into REAL actionable steps, developed by professionals, and proven to work?

Usually, the answer is a flat-out NO!

But not always though.

There are still good-hearted people out there wanting to help people solve problems. Some do deliver good actionable advice.

But the training is usually limited.

Unless you are willing to pay for one-on-one mentorship, the only other solution is to join a membership, where the mentor's time is offset by having many members paying for his or her attention.

One-on-one instruction is expensive, no matter the subject.

Individual training can cost upwards of hundreds to thousands of dollars, but, group training is made affordable because of the number of people in the group.

However, even in group memberships, there are limitations to what is taught.

Many gurus have different tiers of memberships that offer different levels of training.

A beginner membership, let’s say is for only $47 a month, may or may not provide the level of knowledge that you need to achieve your goals.

The next level up, may provide more hand-holding, but still not give you all the answers.

This is the same for any business.

A home builder will build you a home. That is for sure.


How nicely do you want it to be?

How many bedrooms?

How many baths?

Is it made with 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, or concrete blocks?

Does it have 1, 2, 3, or more bedrooms?

Everything costs money!

The roof - is it shingle, tin, or tile?

Swimming pool or tennis courts?

Ask a question and receive a price to implement.

You can have whatever you are willing to pay for.

So, if you want to learn how to market online successfully, expect there will be a measure of cost along the way.

Today, I’m going to share a simple way for you to engage your audience and provide THEM with the solution to THEIR problems.

It is related to the story at the outset.

In the story, the bullets are representing communication, one way or another, with your audience.

The cannonball represents the solution to their problem.

If you create a solution without consulting with your people, your audience, your niche, and your customer, then the chances of it hitting the target [the solution for them] is unlikely.

Still with me?

You are imaging it to be a great product, but will they pay money for it?

Is it the solution they WANT?


It is NOT about what you think they want, it is about what they have determined is a problem, and whether it is big enough to pay for a solution.

So you start off shooting bullets.

Not a cannonball…


You start by reaching out to your audience – your target audience.

You ask them questions. [one bullet, a second bullet, maybe more]


You can describe the solution you have in mind, for the problem you want to solve and ask them if this is in line with their thinking.

Let them know what you will be charging for the product if there is enough interest in the solution. Then give them a call to action.

If this was done in an email to a current list, ask them to click reply and let you know they are interested.

If to a cold audience, via a FB ad, ask them to either, email you [provide an email address for them to contact you in the information provided], or ask them to simply click the “Learn More” link, which takes them to a landing page where they can opt in to get more information and eventually the opportunity to purchase.

Let them know that you intend to create the product you described, IF, you receive enough interest.

Interest ultimately is voted on by purchases.

If you need a minimum number of purchases, to make it worth your while, let them know. Don't hold anything back. You want them to make an informed decision. Remember, you cannot help everyone. You only want to work with the people that truly, want, need, and are willing to purchase your product.

If you do not get the minimum amount of purchases, you can simply refund the purchase price and start over.

In that event, you can be thankful that you did not spend a lot of time, possibly weeks or months creating a product, and maybe investing hundreds or thousands of dollars while doing it.

Learning what your audience wants and is willing to pay for, is crucial to your long time business success.

Just ask more questions - until you DO understand what your people want, need, and desire, to overcome their problems. You may need to do this a number of times. It's OK!

Once you do successfully receive purchases that will allow you to create the product, you could release parts of it, as you are creating it, to your customers, gauging the reaction they have, and if needed, updating and revising it until they are satisfied. [Sounds like a modern-day Cohort to me]

Over time, you will have taken your idea of a product, and along with feedback, transformed it into a much more powerful product.

Now you have a cannonball - that you know will successfully solve a particular problem. It has sales to prove its success.

It can be released over and over again, knowing that it is a product that will be met with interest.

A simple concept of shooting bullets, and then delivering cannonballs.

I’m calling it.

I’ll be back again next week.

I’ll see you then.

James "Shooting Bullets" Brown

P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.

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