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Be Brave and Do Information Interviews

Information interviews are one of the true secrets of successfully entering a new market.

And fortunately for you, your contemporaries are just too darn afraid to ask for them.

Someone who's experienced in the field you want to get into will know things. They'll have an idea of what the pain points are.

Not every time—occasionally you'll run into a member of that target market who simply doesn't know how to articulate the common problems of the niche...

...but you'll still have a friendly conversation, and I'll bet they introduce you to one or two other people who do know.

What you're looking for are the key words and phrases that declare, "Yes! I am a member here! I know what you're struggling with."

For me, they stand out immediately. As soon as I've heard them, I recognize them.

And after 20+ years in the professional working world, even I have to go back to the drawing board and do some information interviews every few years or so.

I'm not exempt.

information interviews two women chatting discussion

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Information Interviews Help You Learn FAST

All that learning I did to this point means little in the context of the new target market.

I am not my customer.

What I believe is important is not what they believe is important.

You'll see people try to jumpstart this step by using an online survey.

I don't believe that's anywhere near as valuable as a one-on-one conversation. In person if you can, by video or a phone call if you can't. I've used Zoom, Whatsapp and the old fashioned phone.

If you can, record the conversation. Make sure you get the interviewee's permission first.

Now the key thing here is having the guts to ask.

It really does not take much.

Just ask if they'll meet with you for 20 minutes. You want to hear from them about their experience in the field.

I've had people offer to do this without me asking them.

Why?

Because some people enjoy sharing. Others like to show off what they know. Sometimes it's a combination.

Sure, you'll get an individual who's "too busy." I still get that today. But it's one person in a hundred I ask (no kidding.) It's a little shocking for a moment, but then I laugh and look at the 25 other people who've already agreed to meet with me.

You don't need 25.

Four or five would be a great start.

But imagine if you did meet 25 members of that target market. Imagine if you met with them over a week or two. How much would you pick up about that market?

And really, really fast.

So be brave. Have the guts to ask. You only need to be brave for a minute.

The payoff is amazing.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. To book a consultation with Jason, click here. <<

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Being On Mission When No One Is Watching

Being on mission is not easy. Let's get personal. Five years ago I wrote a post about how you can really paint yourself into a corner. The subject was the possible price of success, and whether you are willing to pay it.

Back then I was a big fish in a small pond. Online marketing was still in its infancy and people looked to me for direction. Of course I was not the only person nor even one of the most prominent people in the industry, but I was a lot more visible than I am today. In the time since, the marketplace has become overrun with shouting, unskilled marketers: when the barrier to entry is the cost of a Facebook ad at pennies a click, anyone can claim expertise and draw leads into a funnel.

Let me be clear: I was around in this field when Facebook ads did not exist. I remember when advanced targeting for Facebook ads came out...and I remember because it was painful. I had just blown through $3000 in a week doing the incredibly sinful thing of sending traffic directly to a conversion tool. (Don't do that. Leadgen has never been my thing. I'm a Conversion guy and now hire smarter people to handle Traffic generation.)

At any rate having seen the 2014 article it got me wondering where my thinking about success and the price to be paid for success is at today.

megatron character price of success who are you are when no one is looking being on mission

The Evolution of Being On Mission

I have seen many "flash in the pan" marketers appear, make a splash, and then vanish back into the murk as quickly as they arrived.

I have witnessed many people become the temporary darling of the marketing world (ah, to be that individual again as I was for a time in 2012), the golden boy who is the shiny object that will fix all problems...and watched as they, too, either submerged never to appear again or instead elevated to guru status and became one of the old boys of the IM field.

I saw Frank Kern capitalize on his "surfer dude" persona...only to change it a few years later via a snazzy square haircut and suiting up, and become the President of the Internet. And good for him: while I don't slavishly follow his initiatives I do believe he generally wants to help people, and does know what works.

There are young marketers today who don't know who Frank is.

They don't recognize the name Dan Kennedy, either.

You don't have to, of course: it's not a prerequisite to have studied the past to be successful in the future.

I have become a small fish in a vast ocean.

Being On Mission and Your Definition of Success

Success to me means something different than it did five years ago. Back then it was largely about dominating the marketplace...being the go-to guy for answers on Conversion topics. Ensuring that as much of the traffic as I could get was drawn my way. I knew I was in the best position to help those folks.

A hell of a lot of "Tall Poppy Syndrome" was going on in and around that marketplace at the time. Some people just couldn't stand it that someone else was doing better than they were. Occasionally some of these individuals raise their heads and bray, unconscious of the fact that I have long since moved on and they have not. If you intend to be successful, you will have to put up with this kind of nonsense.

Which reminds me: an aside. Something I have noted about hate is that everyone squeals. When they are not the subject, they will tell you, "Be cool; water off a duck's back." But when it's their turn as the target, when the cannons are turned upon them, they squeal as loudly as everyone else.

Back to the price of success. When your personal definition of success has changed, the price to be paid changes.

Much of that price for me personally is encapsulated in this question: "Who should get my time?"

I suppose this question was hidden in the background half a decade ago as well. But it is most prominent today.

The Ongoing Results of Being On Mission And The Meaning of Success

In pursuit of answering this question I have expanded and raised the level of my circle. These decisions have forced me to stop pursuing some things I have been good at in favor of others I am not so good at...yet. And on an almost daily basis I have had to confront the "Can I really do this?" question.

As your circle of control and influence expands, you'll be running up against problems that are larger than anything you've ever tried to handle before.

My 2014 problems were centered around straightforward sales & marketing.

My 2019 problems are centered around often-undefined subjects of attention and focus.

My concept of the system I'm operating in has moved from closed to open.

The problems I see today are frequently overwhelming: considerations about the future and how human life will be, what to do about serious problems we face today, how we can use technology in ethical ways to solve those problems.

Data science and philosophy have bubbled up to the top.

It has been said that character is who you are when no one is looking.

And it goes both ways. Megatron is "on mission" regardless of whether the world is watching or not.

What does success mean to you? And what price are you willing to pay for it?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. Book your session with Jason by clicking here <<

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Head Trash and Why It Is So Important

Head Trash is the limiting beliefs you have. I have them, too. They're different from yours, but the effects are similar and bad, so we should talk about them.

A limiting belief is, foremost, an unconscious belief. You are not aware of it. If you were, it would not stick around very long: like fog in the sunshine, it'd "burn off" and you would be free of it.

And the worst thing about head trash is this: you don't suspect you could be a victim of it.

You're walking around with your point of view of the world...and you think it's 'normal,' the only way anyone could possibly see things.

"It ain't."

Head Trash and Your Point of View

The point of view you have at the moment is weird...individual..."site specific" if you will.

head trash man throwing liquor bottle away bad idea

We all have limiting beliefs. When you find one, and clear it, another takes its place higher up the perception spiral. I'm not sure we'll ever be free of them.

But we can definitely identify and clear out the limiting beliefs most weighing us down right now!

Imagine Pareto's Law, aka the 80/20 Rule, applied to your life:

A small number of decisions have the majority of the effect upon your life.

A small number of perceptive filters have a big effect upon your business.

The decisions are driven by the filters.

You act on what you believe to be true.

What you believe to be true is what you think is possible.

If you view yourself as "the janitor," you're not going to walk up to the CEO and propose a deal, are you.

Your perception of that role would be a limiting belief.

It's possible for someone to take on the job of janitor, but not identify with the role of janitor as their personality, you understand. But for nearly everyone, they'd get sucked into that view of themselves because of the role they took on.

And that would block them from doing this or that action because "janitors don't do that."

Are you starting to see what I'm demonstrating here?

Head Trash is a collection of limiting beliefs that stop you from doing what you'd really like to do.

How do you identify you've got head trash?

When you find yourself saying, "I can't do that"—usually to yourself—stop and ask yourself, "Why not?" Write the answers down. Review them: there's your head trash.

The Granddaddy of Head Trash: Money Tolerance

Money Tolerance is a critical limiting belief. It's a highly effective thermometer to tell you exactly how you're feeling about yourself at this very moment.

How much is "a lot of money" for you? Who told you that number? Where'd it come from? Because it's a BS story: thousands of people out there, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, believe whatever number you said is a tiny amount. (The typical range for the garden variety human is $500 - $2500, by the way.) If you believe the BS story that $2500 is "a lot of money," how on Earth will you ever invest in a $5000 program to help yourself or your business? And how will you ever sell a $5000 offer? You can't! You'll find ways to screw the sale up.

Fortunately, Money Tolerance is a head trash limiting belief, and the goal posts can be moved. Yes, there is a lower limit to Money Tolerance as well as the more visible high figure...I won't bother to sell $50 items, for example, because it's a "waste of my time and energy." (How many good money-making opportunities am I cutting myself off from because of that 'truth'? I well know making money is only about Traffic and Conversion, and if we can get those numbers high enough we can make plenty of money on a $50 offer. But somehow it's still a "waste of my time." Exploring this belief would open up possibilities to me that exist now, but I have cut off from my perception. See?)

When you find yourself blocked, self-painted into a corner, unable to proceed...ask yourself, "Why? What do I believe about this situation?"

Why can't you move to another city?

Why can't you start that business?

Why can't you approach this prospect?

I'll give you another example of head trash before we finish.

A Personal Example of Head Trash In Action

In the past year or so I've been working on getting into the Space field. To do that, I've been meeting, engaging with, and doing interviews with Space experts.

There's a guy who runs what I consider to be the best explainer channel on YouTube for Space, and the rapidly rising subscriber count echos that statement. But for a year, though I connected with him on Facebook, I didn't "feel right" about approaching him to be an interview guest.

Some limiting beliefs held me back.

I was only able to ask him a couple months back, and then had to wait around 45 days for the actual interview date to come around after we booked. I had to get another Space expert on my show before I could ask this person to be a guest.

Would he have been a guest much sooner if I had just asked outright? If I had simply been comfortable with asking him a year ago? Probably (we'll never truly know, but I strongly suspect so)!

But I felt I needed "credibility" first in this situation.

See how that held me back for at least six months from proceeding in the direction I wanted to move in?

That I needed "Space" credibility was my limiting belief. There's something about self-worth in this field, a gap that I believed I needed to make up before moving forward.

These things are not rational.

You may have a low money tolerance because as a small child you heard your parents arguing about a $600 washing machine purchase in one of those "listening at the top of the stairs" moments. That number got installed for you, as most head trash is. And for decades you've been walking around with this unconscious belief fueling the voice in your head that says, "That's a lot of money!" whenever you encounter a price at or above it. "Yeah," you reply to yourself unconsciously. "It sure is." And this drives your emotions and actions.

Identify that moment, clear it, replace it with something else (note that it'll be a NEW limiting belief: a higher figure of "That's a lot of money," but still a fake story you're telling yourself!), and your range of possibilities will expand.

Few things are more exciting than getting rid of head trash, and observing what you or someone you like can now imagine as possible.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a call to discuss your situation with Jason using this link. <<