I was struck with an interesting idea today about how to build a sense of transparency or realness to your audience and strengthen your connections with them. I was sitting with a few other guys this morning waiting for an investment conference Timothy Sykes is putting on to start.
As a side note, I’ve been following Tim for nearly two years now. I’ve always been fascinated by the stock market and trading. I had absolutely NO plan, resulting in NO success, until I came across Tim’s site. Early on, during high school and college, Tim turned $12k in Bar Mitzvah money into $2 million trading penny stocks (qualified as stocks under $5.00 per share). If you have any interest in trading, penny stocks or the stock market, you need to take a look at Tim’s site. One of the main reasons I’m a subscriber to his service right now is because he is a transparent trader. He reports his losses along with his gains to help his students learn. You can get some free trading lessons and an overview of his strategy for free here: Timothy Sykes.
Back to the point though. The guys I was talking with mentioned references Tim has made on numerous occasions about how poor of a trader he is and that anyone could do better than he does. This despite him being up almost $180k this year alone. I made the comment that this is the same approach Tim takes to marketing, saying that he “sucks at marketing.” And THIS Is despite him making over $800k this year through sales of subscriptions and DVDs.
The connection between one of Tim’s most success-driving qualities of being a genuine, real and transparent trader, and his self-demoralizing approach clicked in my brain. He doesn’t toot his own horn or take the typical, “I win every time and know best, so only follow me” approach. So far, there have only only been a handful of trader/teachers I’ve come across that are willing to even touch their losses in a public sense.
Today I was hit with the power of this marketing technique. Whether or not Tim is intentionally using it as a technique to make a stronger connection with his audience or not is irrelevant. It simply works. By him saying he’s a terrible trader, yet being a successful one, it builds confidence in the minds of his audience that he is genuine and gives hope that they can do better.
With all of the fraud in online marketing, blogging and affiliate marketing, more than ever there is a need to make a connection with your audience if you want to be as effective as possible. Some marketers fake this connection. For instance, they send out spam emails with an “re:” in the subject line to emulate an email from someone you know.
This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about honest to goodness connections that build trust and a relationship with people. The more people think you’re just like them, or that a product or service is provided by and for people just like them, the more likely they are to follow and ultimately consume what you have to offer.
One way to do this is by taking the Timothy Sykes approach and bashing on yourself a bit. Talk openly about a way or ways you’ve failed at what others are looking to you to be a guru or expert on. This can apply to everything from investing to blogging, and quilting to fantasy football. No matter the niche, there’s room for transparency.
Course you can’t fake this, or at least can’t fake it for long. People will eventually see through the insincere attempts.
Disclaimer: The link to Timothy Sykes’ site above is an affiliate link. If you sign up to be a customer of Tim’s, I will make a little money.