EP39: Foundations [building business principles]

Let me apologize in advance, my friends.

This podcast today is going to be a bit longer than 10 minutes [more than 1900 words].

So sit back, get your bag of popcorn, and enjoy! That is, if you're listening to the audio. For the readers, enjoy doing what you do too!

So... Here we go!

Everyone (mostly) has their own standards they follow in business.

But NOT everyone lets their tribe, pocket of people, subscribers, or customers know what they are.

It's too bad because, if they are GOOD standards, then I think, it would be something you would want everyone to know. You know “they stand for this”, or “their unwavering standards of excellence prove they…”, and “they took a stand, based on their standards…”.

I do want you to know what I stand for, and what I believe to be true.

Most online marketers DO NOT adhere to these same standards.

But they should!

Marketing is going through a lot of changes, some good, and some that are just, meh!

Today we will touch on the standards or what we like to call “Foundations”, that we adhere to.

Everyone that I know that has done their best to become proficient at online marketing has experienced purchasing training that is partial, and incomplete. Even though there is almost always some good that can be found in pieces of training, the fact remains, most are not providing enough value and are not sustainable.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

You purchase training for some aspect of your business that you’re struggling with. You have been assured that this particular training will get the job done. This training or course will set you free to move forward in your business.

But as soon as you go through it, you find that you still have questions [maybe even more than you started out with]. You are still scratching your head.


Is it you?


Is it the course?

Where is the disconnect?

Could it possibly be that the course creator only taught what they know and this IS the extent of their knowledge?

or (more likely)

Was the course designed specifically to limit the knowledge shared, to encourage the trainee to go ahead and purchase the bigger, BETTER course, or MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION that has ALL the extensive training?

The one you purchased (go figure), does not have what you need to get you where you want to go!


Don’t be.

It happens! [A Lot!]

Young and inexperienced, soon-to-be, online marketers, or businesses wanting to use the internet to improve their offline business, soon find that not all trainers (insert gurus) are the same.

Some take advantage of their customers to fill their coffers. It’s the way it has been for decades.

But that does not mean it is right.

It most definitely is not.

These so-called marketers must keep finding new naïve persons because they need to keep the money coming in.

Without new blood, they would run out of people to buy their products, courses, memberships, and whatever the new thing is today.

If they would only learn how to care for their customers, their business would be beyond their wildest dreams.

That was an example of how NOT TO care for your tribe, customers, subscribers.

Moving on…

Let’s talk about the first “Foundational” principles.

#1 Emphasize Relationships Before Transactions

With foundational principles, you don’t have to keep starting over.

If we want our business to survive all manners of devastation we must build our business with sustainable principles.

What are the main drivers for online marketing?

Capital “T” Truth.

Lead with "Truth" always.

Relationships before transactions (RBT) is a principle that all businesses should be built upon.

It is the one my mentor teaches, and the same one that I share.

Building relationships makes everything afterward better. Meaning, that if you treat people like your friend and share valuable insights with them without asking them to pull out their credit cards, every time you meet, you will find that sooner than later, these people will grow to know, like, and trust you.

This is your foundation.

Note: When I talk about these things, these foundation principles, as I do, I don’t want you to think this is a gimmick or a show, that can be faked. No! It is not.

You must truly care about the people you serve and want them to have the best outcome and transformation possible.

Whatever segment of the population you serve, whatever problems they have, whatever mistakes they may have made, they need YOU, their guiding star, to help them overcome their struggles and arrive victorious on the other side of the valley of defeat.

The valley of defeat is where most marketers end up after they have had little to some success, and then afterward nothing they do seems to work. They feel trapped. Maybe they are the recipients of faulty training. Maybe they only know enough to get started, but falter at doing anything else.

Whatever landed them there, they are in the valley, on their knees, looking up at the mountains beyond, knowing they can never climb them on their own.

They need a reliable guide.

If you can be this person, this guide for them, then YOU will never struggle to see your dreams realized as well.

Let’s look at the second “Foundational” principle.

#2 Customers are Created Before They Buy Anything

Andre Chaperon has Observed that: Customers are created before they buy anything.

He decided the best thing you can do is: Treat everyone (in your world) as a (good friend) and customer. [We will be discussing World Building next]

This eliminates a lot of problems trying to help everyone (those who are not in your world).

Andre says: People tend to act like customers when they are treated as customers.

When you treat everyone like customers, by providing high-quality value, the right people [your people] tend to respond more.

If you are playing the long game, a good time frame to look at how well your business is working is around 90 days, a year, and eighteen months.

Sure there are some that will respond to your message quickly. They will just get it and order whatever you are selling.

And if you’re not selling anything, they’ll want to be on the waitlist, because they know you’re going to be selling something soon. They are syncing up with you and want to be part of your tribe.

This is good. Very good, but… the early purchasers only amount to…

…merely 15%

You still have the other 85% that are still out there reading your emails, blog posts, newsletters, and bridge emails. They’re not ready to purchase, but they like you and are learning to trust you. And all along the way, they are learning more than they ever could.

They are percolating.

Give them some time to find what they like best about you.

When you share a topic about a problem they can truly identify with, in their good time, they will rise to the top and start raising their hand. “I’m interested, tell me more.”

Treat people like customers, period.

That decision eliminates downstream problems.

While you’re doing that…

Create just one newsletter for everyone, sharing the best information for all.

Don’t create multiple versions of newsletters for different levels. You know, bronze, silver, and gold levels. Treat your people ALL the same. They can tell the difference.

Provide the most impactful information you can in 1500-2000 words.

This will eliminate headaches for you, and it will continue building ALL your people at the same time.

Moving on to “Foundation” principle number 3.

#3 World Building

Andre Chaperon says “the real world is non-linear and messy”. We all can see this. Things don’t just work the way they should.

So, to do the best for your customers, you should start building “worlds” for them to inhabit.

Worlds that cater to them.

Worlds that capture their attention, give them a story that feels real in every way possible, and page by page, email by email, this world pulls them forward with narrative tension.

As you are building your worlds, you will attract people that want to be a part of your tribe. At the same time, you must repel everyone else.

You cannot help everyone. Yeah, I know that is a myth the gurus want you to believe. It just keeps you busy spinning your wheels, and nothing good is accomplished.

Start small, by building a town or city (so to speak). Not as big as a huge world. But it still takes skill to do. You will learn over time what your people care about, what they need to learn, what they are afraid of, and what will help them overcome their struggles.

Start building your world, your town or city, serving these people, the ones that want to do better tomorrow, than they did yesterday.

Teach them.

Train them.

Build them up.

Build your world slowly and surely over time. This puts you in a position of being an expert, and it will make it easier for people to want to purchase your products, some today, some tomorrow, and mostly 18 months from now.

Now on to the 4th “Foundational” principle.

#4 Permission Before Promotion

This is a biggie…

Just because we have permission from an audience member to be on an email list, does not mean we have permission to send them promotional emails.

Did you know that?

Many marketers, just keep sending out email after email, trying to make a sale at all costs. Of course, NOT ALL marketers are this way, me included, but there are a significant number of those that just learned marketing in the wrong school of hard knocks.

What is the cost to the prospect? Their time and attention.

Sending multiple promotional emails over and over, eventually makes people want to read less and less.

Don’t you feel that way?

I know I do.

With as many emails as I receive each day, I can barely go through and read the subject lines. Some I delete as soon as I see who it is from.

Know what I mean?

Here is the cold hard truth.

Most people at any given point in time are not interested in what you have.

News Flash!!

People do have their own lives after all.

They don’t care about what YOU want.

They only care about what THEY want.


When you ask them for permission to send promotional content you are respecting their time. They now can choose to give their attention or not.

Let them decide.

They know the difference between being coerced into clicking and being asked to click only if they want to know more.

Respect their time. They have already given it to you. They are reading your message.

So, don’t screw it up.

If you piss them off or offend their intelligence, you may never get them to open your messages again. [remember, I told you sometimes I just delete emails, just knowing who they come from]

Our subscribers and customers today are smarter than ever before. They can sniff out a spammer a mile away, and anyone that does not provide real value, instead of hype, are as good as trash.

“Click” – you’re outta here!

This goes back to the beginning. Treat your people as if they are a customer already. Before they purchase anything, they need to feel like you value them for the attention they have already given you.

They have already made a personal transaction with you. Their time and attention, for the value inside your email or newsletter.

These four “Foundational” principles, may not seem like they are significant to you, based on your experience and understanding…

…But believe me, they ARE SIGNIFICANT!

They, if followed, and embraced, will change the course of your business forever.

This is all part of the long game of marketing, that many new-age marketers are doing to best serve their people.

How about you?

How do you intend to serve your prospects, subscribers,  customers, friends, and casual observers, who are entering into your world?

My suggestion to you is to keep coming back each and every week, as we strive to share new, and not-so-new marketing secrets.

Don’t miss out.

Until next week, my friend.

Take care and be well.

James Brown Image

James "Climbing Mountains" 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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