Adding personal touches greatly helps conversions. However, it sometimes makes it difficult to sell the business. So how do you find the right balance? John Warrillow offers some tips.
James: But personal involvement. That’s one that I think is really interesting. I’ve seen a lot of articles, pro and con, against building an authority or not. Like, I wouldn’t have heard of your business without John Warrillow. What do you think is the right approach here?
And you know, even the great Claude Hopkins in his original marketing book said that wherever possible, they’ll lend a name or a celebrity or you know, a person to a brand to increase, you know, the conversions, pretty much without fail, if you personalize it. It actually starts to differentiate. But it can also be harder to sell. So I’d love you to speak to that topic.
John: Yeah, it’s a delicate line for sure. Because most CEOs are their number one salesperson, right? You think of Elon Musk and Tesla, I mean, you know, what would Tesla be without Elon Musk?
James: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates.
John: Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, I mean, you could go down the list. Somehow, you have to proactively transfer that equity that you have in your name to the company, and it’s easier said than done.
Bill Gates is a great example. I mean, Bill Gates has had a much more significant, in many ways, career after selling or leaving Microsoft than he had before in Microsoft. But he focused on the products in the business, and tried to have that sort of halo effect accrue to the business, not necessarily him personally. And so, you know, there’s lots of things that you can do to make that case.
First of all, making a clear line between your company and your name. So, just because you have your name in the company, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t sell it, but it’s more difficult. So, you know, if you think of Johnson & Johnson, as an example, like, that’s a sellable, valuable company. And yet, it’s still two brothers, its namesake. So you can do it, but you want to focus and invest in the brands that you’re building. So in Johnson & Johnson’s case, they own Band Aid, as an example. So they built up the products. In Microsoft’s case, it was the products, etc.
So look, I think you can be your company’s best asset. Again, I would point to Elon Musk in that way. But over time, you’ve got to start having that halo accrued to the company. So some of the practical things you can do in that vein, you know, make sure that you’re not the first face on the website that people see, for example. You know, if you build in a management team, you might think about alphabetizing the names on your management team, as opposed to doing it in the Christmas tree hierarchy, where you as the chairman, CEO, founder are at the top of the Christmas tree, for example; little subtle things you can do.
James: That’s a great tip.
John: Yeah, just subtle things you can do to communicate that you’re there, you’re driving, but you’re not necessarily the most important person in the room.
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