Kobe Bryant’s most underrated success secret

Still processing this news.

My main reaction is shock.

Kobe was one of those larger-than-life entities that seemed to be almost omni-present.  At least to me.  It’s surreal to think that he won’t be around anymore.  Then there’s sadness.  We’re the same age.  I have a daughter.  That his is gone – so young – is heartbreaking.  I feel for his family, and the families of the other victims that have been devastated by this tragedy.

Honestly, I don’t know where to file this one.

It’s like the circuitry in my brain is missing the connections to make sense of something like this.

At the same time it’s so fascinating to hear all the stories about him.

Many reflect his kindness, his sense of humor, his curiosity, his intelligence.  Most exalt his work ethic.  And this is just my observation, but few reflect what I think was perhaps his most important quality that we all can learn from: his confidence.

In some of the stories this was even a knock on him when he first came in the league, because he kept saying what he was going to do, and people around him didn’t like that.

Our culture praises humility.

Until you do what you say you’re going to do, you’re cocky.

Once you’ve done it…well, now you’re confident.

But here’s the thing:

From everything I’ve heard, he just had this enduring faith in the process.  Without it, those 4:30am workouts of legend wouldn’t have been possible.  Trusting the process is the root of confidence.  It’s in the process that we develop skill and mastery.

It would do us all well to remember that.

(This is a “note to self” for me as much as I offer it to you.)

Harv Ecker once said:

If a hundred-foot oak tree had the mind of a human, it would only grow to be ten feet tall!

Small thinking is a disease.

Kobe was one of the lucky ones born without it.  That, together with his intuitive understanding that time and encouraging the natural process of GROWTH to work its magic can win championships (and do many other great things) led him to have an unshakeable belief in what’s possible.

What an example to follow.

R.I.P.

Remember, great athletes don’t have a lock on this.

There’s no reason you can’t use this “secret” too.

I’ll leave you with what Kobe said to a young female sports reporter when she interviewed him at the outset of his career.  No one knew him yet.  And she wasn’t well known either and struggling for respect in an industry dominated by men.

He said to her:

“We’re gonna be ok.  And they have no idea what’s coming.”

To Your Greatness,

Conor Kelly

Legend of the chronic email under-communicator

“With a prospect standing before him, would you confine [a salesman] to any certain number of words?  That would be an unthinkable handicap.  So it is in advertising.  The only readers we get are people who our subject interests.  No one reads ads for amusement, long or short.  Give them enough to take action.”  — Claude Hopkins, Scientific Advertising

Let me tell you a quick story about a client I fired last year.

This was not the reason for the firing.

(There were other factors in the decision.)

Anyway, here’s the gist of it:

He was the type who, in the name of not spending a lot of time writing emails (and in his case I think some of it was signaling he’s a big shot who has better things to do), would rarely offer more than short, sometimes one-word responses.

No punctuation, of course.

Perhaps you’ve encountered such a creature?

Ultimately he was shooting himself in the foot because no one could understand what he wanted.  And besides that it usually required multiple follow up emails to get that clarity, when it easily could have been spelled out with that first touch.

Indeed, some of his worst sins of under-communication included:

*Not making clear which project he was talking about

*Responding only partially to emails with multiple questions within them

*Never saying “please” or “thank you”

*Completely not responding to emails, even when you’re unable to move forward without his direction

I remember working with some other contractors and partners of his and them going, “What’s with the cryptic emails”?

Thus, the rub:

Confused people don’t take action.

I’ve often heard this imperative from clients, “It’s good but can we make it shorter?”  The problem with catering to short attention spans is you risk some of your point getting lost in translation.   To the right prospect, your copy can’t be too long, only too boring.

As long as you’re speaking to their self-interest, and sprinkling a bit of drama and contrasting ideas throughout, and entertainment, you want as many words as necessary to make the sale.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to be said for simple and concise language; especially in their inbox where ignoring you is a simple as hitting the delete button.  But don’t let the call to brevity cut off your sales message at the knees.

If you’d like my help with striking the right balance in your sales letters or emails, good news:

I have a spot open for a new client next month.

Ride the information superhighway over here to peep my calendar and schedule a time to talk:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

We can even keep it short.

Just not too short.

Happy Communicating-In-Full,

Conor Kelly

Polite Canadian protests politely

A while back, one Canuck subscriber wriggled free of the bonds of decorum long enough to question my muscular ways:

“I noticed you go for a lot of US content, popular references, etc. but I’m in Thornhill [an area just North of Toronto].  Wouldn’t it make more sense to segment US vs. Canada so it feels more personal to me?”

Well spotted my warmth-deficient friend.

Here’s what that’s all ‘a-boot’.

Most of my clients and subscribers (about 70%) are US based.

Setting aside that to segment peeps by their IP address would be so highly impractical that it would scarcely be worth the time and aggravation…and the fact that the only folks still left on the planet that don’t understand what a broadcast email is are sequestered in remote tribes in Madagascar…

‘Tis a worthy intention to keep the feel personal.

To that end:

Always write to your main buyer.

Look, most businesses have a variety of buyers, it’s true.  But there usually is one main type of buyer.  And it’s a common mistake to try appeal to your various market segments by using general language.  Yes, you want it to resonate…with your most rabid customers.

They’re the target.

It’s one reason why I do a “customer prototype” with every new client and drill down on how old they are, their level of education, their gender, etc.  If most of the buyers are women, I’ll write in a way women would relate to – even if men buy too.  Or if I know my audience is older, I’ll avoid colloquialisms or popular references that might leave them scratching their heads and slow the momentum of our sales message.

And what if some buyers that don’t fall into this esteemed category?

If they’re otherwise qualified and interested in your offers I can assure you they’re not getting much acid reflux over it.

But thereby your main crowd…

Your lowest hanging fruit…

Your base

…Is engaged.

There’s a lot more to this, but for now, thus is my muscular answer.

Take it for what it is.

Great news for those of you who have been asking:

I have an opening for a new client next month.  If you’re interested in my help with a website critique, some web copy, or an email campaign, no need to cross the border.  Simply visit this convenient link instead to see my calendar and schedule a time to talk:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

However, you can’t afford to drag your heels on this as I expect that spot to fill up quickly.

Until next time…

Happy Personalizing,

Conor Kelly

Never show a prospect your naked rear end

There’s a small Catholic Church in Murtosa in Northern Portugal.

What’s interesting about it is it’s the only Catholic Church where it’s acceptable to drop your trousers so everyone can see your naked rear end.  The reason?  The local saint, St. Gonacalo has a reputation for curing hemorrhoids.  All you have to do is show up at the church, show his statue where it hurts, say a prayer and according to the locals, the pain disappears.

Now I’m not saying it doesn’t work.

But it strikes me as being eeeeerily similar to the kind of blind faith many businesses display in their marketing.  Often, their copy is based on uninformed guesses made while drunk on personal projections and everything the owner wants to say vs. what their market needs to hear.

Again, it’s not that it never turns out ok.

Just keep in mind that getting inside your market’s head to a point where it’s downright creepy is much more profitable than playing the marketing version of pin the tail on the donkey, which is what you’d be doing in the first scenario.

If you want my help with your marketing plan for world domination in 2020 (you do have a plan, don’t you?)…or in profitably profiling your prospect…make the neither long nor perilous journey via the link below to be notified when a client spot opens up:

Instantly add yourself to The Muscle’s waiting list.

Best part?

You get to keep your clothes on.

(Although I mostly do consultations over the phone, so really…clothing optional.)

Happy 2020,

Conor Kelly

P.S. I’m so sorry.

I’ve neglected you.  Truth be told, my schedule is almost always full, so I haven’t kept up the muscular writings as well as I should.

No excuses.

And, no more…

I have some new additions to my vaunted “weapons of mass persuasion” planned for 2020 that – if put to acceptable use – will indeed help you grow your sales and profits.  I’m eager to share these with you.  Stay tuned.

I’ll also be letting you in on some things that have been inspiring me lately.

What can I say…

I’m just a really inspirational guy. 😉

2020 – here we come.

Andale!