Language is one of the most important innovations in history. It is a powerful tool that allows us to communicate with each other and work towards achieving a goal. Yet, language can either end in agreement or disagreement. Misinterpretation results from an unclear message. Thus, it is only necessary that we use it in a way that results in understanding, especially in business.
In this episode, we get to listen to Brian Morgan, the creator of the Think Deeply, Write Clearly system. He identified the lack of guidance by mainstream education on writing and thinking for business and its costly effects on time and money. Hence, he built the Think Deeply, Write Clearly system to address that gap in the process and help businesses foster good relationships with their customers through improved communication and excellent writing.
I have always understood the importance of being clear and specific when delivering a message, but Brian undoubtedly explains this on a whole different level. If you visit his website now, you know he is dead serious about using words to its full potential. He emphasizes the influence of language in building trust and credibility. Additionally, he differentiates between using language to inform versus to manipulate. This episode will make you reassess the purpose of your business, the way you write about it, and what kind of content you are putting out there.
His approach is unique, and nothing short of what you would expect from a thought leader. And although his approach takes a lot of patience, it attracts the right audience that you can build long-term relationships with, as Tom Matzen likes to call them “raving fans.”
Covered in This Episode
[01:36] Success Starts with Failure
[06:45] The Cost of Bad Writing
[10:18] The Purpose of Language
[11:37] Establishing Trust v. Manipulation
[19:02] Credibility = Thoughtful Approach + Reliable System
[22:49] Sell to the Smart People
[29:49] Be Clear with Your Intention
[41:39] Three Elements to Building Credibility
[44:23] How to Contact Brian Morgan
Chris Ippolito 0:53
Brian Morgan 0:54
Hey, Chris. How are you?
Chris Ippolito 0:56
I’m doing great. How are you?
Brian Morgan 0:57
Good, man. Appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Chris Ippolito 1:00
You’re welcome and welcome to the “Get Coached Podcast,” it’s great to have you as a guest. I say this often, but I’m always excited to have guests on because I bring guests on where I’m interested in what they’re subject matter experts in. You are an expert in writing. I’d love for you to share your story of how you got into the business of writing and where you’re at right now, because I think it’s a great story.
Brian Morgan 1:36
I appreciate that. Well, I got into the business by failing as an author, is the short version of that. It’s interesting, I always thought I wanted to be an author, I always wanted to write books. And I did, I spent 16 years writing a book. About four years ago I had a very good agent, we got it out, and after being bantered around a lot it eventually got rejected by everybody.
Right around that time I was working as the managerial editor, managing editor, of New York City’s premier environmental planning and engineering firm. And I’d done that job for 16 years. Right around that time we were bringing in people from Harvard, from Brown, from just great universities. Even if they went to those schools, they were not coming in with the ability to write and, I’ll say this, process information in a way that it could be understood by other people.
Because when it takes you 16 years to write a book you get pretty good at that, my job became teach people how to essentially think critically so that when they speak, other people trust them. Or when they write, other people trust them. Which is a pretty big miss in our education system, even if you went to Brown or Harvard or somewhere else. That system that I created, I would then go to other companies and say, “This is what we’re doing, is this interesting to you?” They’d say, “Oh my god, yes, we need this, too.” That became a company and that’s what my company does.
It started off as corporate training, then totally randomly, because I wrote well, I ended up getting clients through marketing. Not because I have a marketing background, but because I wrote well I ended up getting clients through marketing. Then they would say, and this was the killer to me but it just proves the whole point, “We know you are good at what you do because of how you have marketed yourself. There are 50 marketers in this firms.” This would be a major, say, Wall Street bank or, I’m under NDAs, but definitely companies that you would know, and they’d pay reasonable well. They’d say, “We’ve got 50 marketers in this firm who could put our logo on stuff and hire Facebook Ads,” etc., etc., “but none of them are building our credibility. We’re ready to hire you right now and we want you to teach us how to do that. Do you have a system for that?” I was like, “I do now.”
Chris Ippolito 4:38
Yeah, “I’ll make one.”
Brian Morgan 4:40
“I’ll make a system.” The other side of this became marketing, or I ended up in, I call it, thought leadership. Because I don’t really like that term “marketing” because of some of the same definitions that those people were dealing with, I also have some of those defining issues. I don’t like to think of it as marketing, but I think of it as credibility building and thought leadership building in a marketplace.
The business right now is corporate training, going into organizations and helping them write better. Also helping with their thought leadership and, if you want to call it, marketing.
Chris Ippolito 5:20
Yeah, and the skill set of being able to clearly communicate, whether it’s verbally or written, outside of looking online for people like you or books, it definitely is not taught at school. I mean I barely went to post-secondary, I can’t really say that it’s not taught there. But even at a younger age you would think they would start teaching that, especially at high school, trying to prep you for post-secondary so that you could write your essays or do a presentation and articulate yourself in a manner that is convincing, but because it’s so clear, is really the thing, right? That’s why I wanted to ask you a question.
We talked briefly about this when we did our pre-interview call, but I was trying to understand whether this was the same as copywriting or if it was something different. You were going to answer a little bit, but I told you, I’m like, “No, hold that for the episode.” I was wondering if you could maybe answer that question now. Is what you teach copywriting or is it something different?
Brian Morgan 6:45
Yes. But can I jump back? Meaning yes, I’ll answer your question. But I want to jump back because this is going to provide better context to your question. You said it’s not taught in schools, and I agree with you. I’ve actually written an essay, it’s on my LinkedIn, you might have read it. It’s called “The Way The Great Gatsby Is Taught Is Costing Your Business Millions.” And literally true. At the environmental firm that I used to work at, right? Someone at home can do this math. Here’s the cost of bad writing in the world. Or not even bad writing, because you go to Harvard, you go to Brown, whatever. You know where the capital letters go, you write fine in a certain way. Here’s the cost of not doing what we do well.
Take that there are 50 project managers who make approximately $150,000 a year and they spend 50% of their time in a document. Okay? Say editing or fixing a document. 50% of that time, or 25% of their totally salary, is saying, “Man, I wish this got to me in better shape, I can’t get this to my client right away and my budget is going to be blown. Either my budget is going to be blown, my weekend is going to be blown, or I’m doing this pro bono.” Some bad thing happens the minute that person is out of budget. That 25% of the salary across that firm, and this is a real number, is about $2 million.
That’s the cost of what we’re going to talk about right now. Why have people, even if they went to Harvard, Brown, great schools, Canadian schools, McGill, why have they come in and we’re still blowing $2 million on fixing writing? Because in the English class they are saying, “Well, what did you take from The Great Gatsby?” There’s a silence. Then the teacher says, “I think The Great Gatsby is proving that American capitalism doesn’t work.” If you want an A, that person just told you how you are assessing the information in The Great Gatsby.
By giving you the answer, you went, “Okay, great.” Now you might have thought it was something else, maybe you thought it was about love, maybe you thought it was about ambition. There are 100 things in The Great Gatsby, it could be about unrequited love, it could be about pretending whoever you pretend to be will always catch up with you. There’s 1,000 things, but all of a sudden they just told you the one that it’s supposed to be. Your brain turns off.
Now you move and somebody says, “Okay, Chris, I’ve got $100 million to spend on a project and I want to know how you would approach it.” You have got to answer that question in language. How practiced are you at getting your language around your thoughts? Because you haven’t been practiced at getting it around your thoughts. You’ve been practiced at getting it around your teacher’s thoughts, you’ve been practiced at getting it around somebody else, but you haven’t been practiced at getting it around your thoughts.
This is going to blow your mind for a little bit, but forgive me. The human being, let’s go way back. One on one, the modern human and the Neanderthal, one on one the modern human loses every time. We are not as strong. We were not as wide, we’re not as strong. If this was simply a physical battle, we would not have been the ones who survived. 100 on 100 we win every time. Because we had language, that’s it. We were able to communicate with each other.
What is the purpose of language? The purpose of language is to communicate in a way that we have teamwork so that we can accomplish things together, that’s why it exists, that’s why we developed it. It’s the most serious development in our history, it’s the most important thing we do, is communicate. It’s not taught like that in college, but it is. It’s the most important thing we do.
Then the next question becomes, “When Chris speaks, do I trust him?” Because that’s the Neanderthal human problem. If Chris is trying to give me information and I don’t trust him, I don’t act on it. Now we’re going to lose to the Neanderthals. The number one thing that has to happen is that when Chris speaks, I have to trust him, and vice versa. Language is the process through which we establish trust. It is not the process through which we assess abstract books, it is not the process through which we manipulate people to buy our skills. We have made it so many things that aren’t what it fundamentally is, which is the process through which we establish trust.
Now in my head now I have what I call the bullshit fairy. The bullshit fairy sits on my shoulder. We literally do this in my undergraduate class, we literally do this. I grab tear sheets from Deloitte, from Accenture, from companies you would know, and I say, “How many sentences are you reading and at what word do you say, ‘I don’t trust this author’? At what word?” And they all choose the same author, they all go, “Right there, right there my bullshit fairy is going off. Because how would they possibly?” But we taught language like it was manipulation, not trust building. Then that moved through, “Here’s how you market to people while you manipulate people. Here’s how you kick pain points while you manipulate people.”
You move through that, we stopped making it about trust so that we can team together and, say, defeat Neanderthals, team together and grow an awesome society together. We started making it about manipulation, we started making it about pleasing teachers, we started making it everything except what it actually is. That when somebody says, “Chris, I need you to tell me why your document is rightfully proved, I can credibly give you $100 million to build this real estate project.” Remember that company I worked for did the World Trade Center, did Moynihan Station. I mean there were billions of dollars on those documents.
When somebody says, “Chris, I need you to deliver the information in a way in which when I read this document, I say, ‘Yes, I know I can build this stuff, I know we’re going to be environmentally safe, I know that the law is followed, I am comfortable with that,'” we aren’t practiced at it. So my company exists.
Chris Ippolito 14:39
I like that a lot, as far as writing to build trust. Because I think that’s why copywriting has a bit of a bad reputation. I remember you said that last time, that there’s a stigma. Sales copywriting, I should say, specifically. But that sales copywriting is using those manipulative marketing tactics of twisting the pain points, doing this, doing that, and trying to take advantage of these very old automatic behaviors that we have as humans. Whereas what you’re teaching is a method of communication that’s clear and trust building. Right?
Brian Morgan 15:33
Chris Ippolito 15:33
Okay, cool. How do we do that? How do we build trust with words?
Brian Morgan 15:40
Okay, that’s a good question. I feel like I should answer your copywriting question better, let me do that.
Chris Ippolito 15:46
Brian Morgan 15:47
Which is a lot of copywriting is about I am going to find your pain point, and it’s actually answering your other question, as well, but I am going to find your pain point and I’m going to kick it.
Your roof is leaking. I have a Facebook ad that says, “Chris, is your roof leaking? Are you getting wet when you take a shower? Does that suck for you? I bet that sucks for you. I bet it sucks to, every time you walk into the shower, have to clean out roof dust.” Right? You have this whole long thing. By the time you go through that whole thing, you go, “Oh my god, it really does suck that my roof is leaking.” Then I say, “Well, I have the Brian system which is going to fix your roof. You should call me at this number.” You go, “Wow, I am so frustrated now that my roof is leaking that I am going to call Brian up and he can put in the Brian system on my roof so that it stops leaking. He’s right, this is a big problem.”
I’ve kicked your pain point enough to make you act. What haven’t I done? It’s pretty significant. What’s the purpose of language? Trust. What haven’t I done? Proven to you that I’m any fucking good at fixing a roof.
Chris Ippolito 17:09
Yeah. You just sold them on that your system will solve his pain, but you didn’t prove that it could, or build trust that that’s the right solution. Okay.
Brian Morgan 17:25
This is the difference between us and them. Copywriting is going to find Facebook, find whomever, and it’s going to say, “Who’s really upset about their roof leaking? I mean who is super upset about it? I’m going to pay $200 a day to spam all of Facebook,” or whatever, a certain amount of money, $1,000 a day or something, “spam all of Facebook, find the people who are really upset about their roof leaking, and I’m going to convert today.”
Well, if you know anything about these things, these marketing things, then you know that you spam whatever that might be, 100,000 people, 200,000 people, or something, with not all that much money. 100,000 people see your ad and, say, 50 people, their roof is leaking. Then three of them call you, it works, you get a client out of it, and the client pays you $10,000. You only spent $1,000 on the ad and you say, “That’s a $9,000-dollar profit, I must be very good at marketing.” What’s the other thing that you have done? Pissed off 900,000 people who you were trying to get a pain point out of, you didn’t establish credibility with. You were trying to kick the pain point of 900,000 people who didn’t answer. Did you get the one person and the return on investment? Yes. Did you piss off 99.9% of your market in order to do it? Yes.
The other way to do it is what we do. “Why is it that somebody should trust you to fix their roof?” “Okay, well, the first thing we’re going to do is have an assessment. What a lot of people misunderstand is…” You say, “Wow, this person is very, very thoughtful about how to fix a roof,” “This person is very, very thoughtful about how to write,” or, “This person is very, very thoughtful about how they approach their coaching career.” What you begin to realize is that people don’t hire us to do things, they hire our thought process, they hire our processes to do things. They hire whether or not we are credible in our process. This is the difference.
I have a lot of athletes and coaches of athletes who are clients. This is the difference between the person who has lucky talent and person who has consistent talent. If you have a reliable system of thinking about your business in terms of actually doing the business, then people say, “I trust that every time Greg Maddux gets on the mound, he’s going to be pretty good.” But if I’m just relying on every once in a while hitting a home run, it won’t work. That eventually you go, “You didn’t really have a good system for that.”
If you market, literally market having people watch you think, now you haven’t pissed off anybody in your market. Now 999,000 people who you had formerly pissed off, no, they might not all be wanting to get a roof today, but over the course of the next 10 years half of those 999,000 people are going to need rooves and they trust how you think. This is the biggest miss in marketing because the marketing people are going to say, “But I need the ROI today,” and they’re picking when they should be seeding. Seed your credibility, continue to push it, continue to push it, and continue to push it.
This happens to me and this happens to my clients, I’m not making this up, I’m not bullshitting you, all of a sudden your phone rings and the sales call goes like this, “Brian, we’ve seen your video,” or other people, “We’ve seen your videos, it makes a lot of sense. We haven’t met before, but I wonder if you can come in. We don’t know who else we would call for this.” You sit down and they say, “It’s great to meet you,” blah, blah, blah, “Can you tell us about your prices?” Your sales cycle is nothing because you’ve already done the thing you need to do, which is prove that you’re good at what you do.
Chris Ippolito 21:53
Yeah, I like that approach a lot because it’s more that you’re playing the long game versus those short victories. Can you build a business doing it the short victory way? You definitely can. But to build long-term success, the approach of building trust. Actually, one of my interviews recently, what was the term they used? “Raving fans,” you’re building raving fans when you demonstrate your trustworthiness and your reliability and your credibility, versus just twisting it to them and almost forcing somebody to take action because they’re like, “I can’t handle this pain anymore,” and then they push the “buy” button.
Brian Morgan 22:49
Well, I’ll tell you a funny story about that. There’s a very famous copywriter, he’s got a copywriting business. He’s on the Internet and I would say 90% of the people who are listening to this would know them, maybe 100%. I won’t mention the person’s name. Asked me if I could get them a book deal, if I knew agents. I do, right? Because of the connections I have in that industry. I hooked that person up with one of the best agents in the world, let’s just say that. Because if you have a million people on your e-mail list, agents listen. I hooked that guy up. You know what the issue is with that guy? A person everybody knows. He’s a copywriter, he doesn’t write well enough to write a book. Dead serious. That’s the problem. Then it becomes, “Well, do you want someone else to write the book? Do we have to hire somebody to write it for you? Do we have to hire a professional?”
All right, now think through, okay, now this is a person who sends out to his millions of people on the e-mail list probably every day, at least four times a week, some sort of thing. This is a person I help, this is somebody I’ve spoken to on the phone. Right? This is a person I know, let’s say, okay. It has been two and a half years since I have opened an e-mail from him. Right? Because I know what it is, it’s somebody kicking my pain point. I also know that he’s not entirely credible at what he does because he can’t publish a book. He’s not a particularly good writer and he’s selling copywriting services.
It means, in essence, we self-filter in and out of markets. If you have a million people, you probably still could make a couple million every million. But you’re always banging on low-hanging fruit. The only people who are buying you are people who can’t wait, who can’t look around. If you have a million people on your e-mail list, or 5 million, or 10 million, you’ll probably find some. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to sell to the smart people? Because nobody is. Nobody is selling to the vast majority. Right?
I guarantee you that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, Aon Insurance, I guarantee you those people are not hiring that guy to help with their marketing. Right? It’s all people who make, let’s say, under $50,000 a year, they’re trying to start their businesses, and they’re willing to give him $10,000 because they think that that system works. What does it do? It makes him rich and they do okay. But Morgan isn’t buying that person, Goldman isn’t buying that person. Nobody who has money, is really smart, and really not desperate is hiring that person. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to sell to the people who are smart and not desperate? Because that’s the vast majority of the market.
That’s the miss. That’s, I think, the huge miss when you talk about copywriting versus, let’s call it, marketing through credible writing. That’s the huge miss. The vast majority of the market is still open to you and nobody is selling to them. This is not just people on Facebook, look at what most marketing teams are doing. Corporate marketing teams are putting out, “Joe and John had Coca-Cola and a beer today after work. I hope you had a Coke and a beer after work, too.” Right? They spam it around, they put it on Instagram, and they go, “That helps our brand.” Bullshit, fuck you, that does not help your brand, it doesn’t do anything for you. It does nothing except say Joe and John like Coke, that’s the only thing it does. It doesn’t actually help you.
We don’t know how to market to smart people. We send them pictures of Coke, beer, pictures of us doing Boomerang videos, and we say, “Aren’t we cute?,” or, “Aren’t we funny?,” etc. Then we say, “I’m going to kick your pain point.” No one knows how to market to smart people. It’s really easy, write well so that they believe you. When you say that “we can solve this problem,” they believe you. Then they call you, it’s a fascinating thing.
Chris Ippolito 27:53
Yeah. I was laughing there a little bit because I like subscribing to mailing lists just to see what kind of content, basically, they’re going to be sending me. Just like you said there, the vast majority of them, e-mail after e-mail, is them just trying to kick a pain point. There’s a few that I really enjoy that every e-mail they’re trying to do the opposite, they’re adding value, they’re building credibility. Testimonials is another one. Those ones, at the same time, I feel are a little bit more towards copywriting because they’re going, “Look at this person, look at this person.” It’s great, obviously there are results there and that’s building credibility. But it’s playing on the fact that it’s like, “Well, I still don’t have that thing,” right? “But you could if you look at this person.”
But yeah, I don’t know, I like the approach, it’s something I think I’m going to try and incorporate into my own writing. If I’m going to write, it’s just write to build trust. Right? Write so that people believe in what I’m saying and understand, “Oh, this guy clearly knows his stuff,” on whatever it is I’m writing. But yeah.
Again, something you brought up in our call is that you said that interviewing is about 90% of what you actually do. That really caught my curiosity and you need to expand on that. What did you mean by that and really how does that correlate to the practice of writing and the style of writing that you do?
Brian Morgan 29:49
All right, great question, good question. Okay, I go a little deep here, but I think you’ll like it and I think your people will like it. People can’t see this, but I’m holding up for you a coffee cup, or what other people would call a coffee cup. But if I say “coffee cup” to your readers, to your listeners right now, they all have an image, but it’s not the image that I just put up there. It’s a coffee cup that’s in their house or it’s a coffee cup that they often use.
And language is always abstract. It’s never the thing. If I say “desk,” there’s no desk, there’s no physical desk, that flies out of my mouth so that we go, “This is what I’m talking about.” Right? It’s referring to something. The question always becomes with language, “What are you referring to?” It gets very complicated when I say “fear,” “success,” “wealth,” “anger.” The minute you start to talk about actual abstract terms, not like coffee cups.
When I say “coffee cup,” what it is is a comment on a cylindrical, often ceramic, cylinder with a bottom, with a handle on the side. It’s a comment on that. I have taken those things and called it “coffee cup.” The same thing happens with the word “success.” I have taken what? I have taken maybe a certain amount of money and called it success. I have taken maybe health or a body percentage and called it success. But it’s referring to something else. All language is referring to something else.
Why is interviewing 90% of what I do? And, Chris, dead serious. I’ve been hired by companies who make hundreds of millions of dollars and they say, “We’re having trouble with our elevator pitch.” I say, “Well, what is it that you do?” They cannot tell me. They make hundreds of millions of dollars and they cannot tell me. Then they say something really abstract. They say, “Well, we’re consultants.” I say, “Okay, that’s awesome. What do you consult on?” “Well, we consult on a certain part of a business.” Okay. Yeah, that’s not much of an elevator pitch. Right?
Chris Ippolito 32:41
Which should give people hope, right? Don’t worry that your elevator pitch isn’t down pat. Because if people and/or companies can sell hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of business and not really have an elevator pitch, there you go, you’re good, don’t worry about it.
Brian Morgan 32:58
Don’t worry about it. Right, it’s totally true. It becomes this question of when you say something, not what are you saying, we all know what you’re saying, but what are you referring to. This is particularly helpful with coaches, we’ll do one with a coach.
A coach is often going to say, “Well, I help you with your business, I help you with your mindset that you can succeed in business.” That’s a pretty common coach thing. “Well, what does that mean?” “Well, I help you with,” and then all of a sudden you hear the story. Then they say, “Okay, I used to be 350 pounds. I felt terrible, I was depressed, I was suicidal, I was,” etc., etc., etc. What you realize is that when they say, “I can help you with the mindset to have a better business or to overcome yourself because I now have 11% body fat and I used to be 350 pounds,” that is the concrete thing that is underlying the abstract. But if you just rely on the abstract, you haven’t communicated anything. Because just like if I say “coffee cup,” someone else has a different sense of “coffee cup,” and you have a different sense of “coffee cup.”
If I say, “I’m going to help you with your mindset of business,” that doesn’t ring true for anybody. Because I know what that means to me and you know what that means to you, but you haven’t communicated a damn thing. But if you say, “I used to be 350 pounds and now I’ve got 11% body fat. I know what it’s like to stand in a mirror and hate yourself. I know how to talk to myself so I can still work out and still not eat the pizza that I desperately want to eat at 11:00 on a Friday night. I know how to have that conversation with you. That’s what I mean by mindset.” I say, “That’s your marketing campaign because that’s something someone is going to buy.”
Chris Ippolito 35:02
Yeah, I like that a lot. Because, as you said, I interview a lot of coaches and I do pre-interviews with all of them. There’s been a few where, “Okay, tell me a little bit about your business. What kind of coach are you?” I’ve had those very abstract answers. Thank you for equipping me in a nice follow-up question. Because sometimes I end up not inviting them as guests because I’m going like, “I don’t understand.” When I try and pull that out of them a little bit, it doesn’t end up going anywhere, and then I just have to say, “Okay, I don’t think this is a good fit because I’m not seeing it.” Right? “I don’t see what you do.”
Yeah. By the way, I had half a large pizza today, don’t judge me.
Brian Morgan 35:54
I have a pizza issue personally. But this is the other side of marketing credibly. Listen, I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but I hope this comes off as credible, truthful, and not jerky. You can go on the Internet, not be particularly good at what you do, spend a certain amount of money, and make money, you can even make millions of dollars, kicking low-hanging fruit with pain points. You can do that and you can make millions. Because you’ve made millions, you might even convince yourself that you’re very smart.
That, to me, is not somebody that I often can work with. Because when I say, “But what’s the actual system, what’s the thing you’re doing that no one else is doing to fix the roof? Why is it that that system is so important?” They, in essence, say, “It’s something I can sell in Facebook Ads.” Like, “I don’t fucking know, it’s just something I’m selling in Facebook Ads.” I’m like, “Yeah, actually, in order to get people to understand the credibility of your thoughts, you have to have credible thoughts. If your credible thought is ‘I can kick low-hanging fruit and make money,’ I can’t help you because it’s not deep enough, it’s not good enough, you’re not there enough to use this type of marketing.”
That has happened before, too. To do this well, you have to be good at what you do.
Chris Ippolito 37:41
Yeah, I like that. I think that it’s more in line with the type of person that I have always identified myself as. I used to struggle in some of the old sales jobs that I was a part of because I wouldn’t do those tactics of trying to be high-pressured sales. I always took the approach of building a relationship and really working that long-term opportunity. You don’t win short term when you take that approach, or at least I didn’t, but you start feeling the momentum building and you’ve got to be willing to put in an extended amount of time and dedication doing it that route. But I think that’s why people maybe go the other route, because they’re going, “Well, I can see results a lot quicker if I go this route and I can sustain those results if I keep kicking pains. Versus if I’m going to go the other route, it’s going to take some time for me to build that credibility up.”
Brian Morgan 38:48
Yeah. To your point, I love your point, we’re talking here, I don’t know when this is going to air, but we’re talking here right in the middle of the market crash, we’re talking right in the middle of financial difficulty. I know my wife’s company is furloughing people, and I suspect a lot of people that are going to be listening here are having some hard time. This is when that other model falls down because they’ve got nothing to do.
I’m looking at this, and I hope this doesn’t come off like a jerk, I’m not at all hoping that bad things happen or anything like that. But do you know what I’m putting out in terms of my own marketing next week, the week after, and the week after? Exactly the same stuff I was putting out a month ago. Because I know that even if the company can’t afford to hire me right now, there will be a time when the credibility of my services are needed by them and I will have established it over the course of time that I was building a relationship with them that I didn’t even know that I was building.
And when the economy comes back, I will be there. But if you’re kicking a pain point, if you’re spending $1,000 a day on Facebook to get somebody, you might not get them right now. What I would suggest to all of your coaches, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, you can hire me or not hire me, I can help you or I cannot help you, it’s not a pitch. Get your thoughts out there. Because the marketplace is desperate right now to learn about you. Not hire you, necessarily. Some people will, but not at the same rate as they will in a year. But this I would look at. If this conversation makes sense to you at all, what you’re looking at for the next year is called opportunity. Because everybody else is out of the marketplace and you know how to build credibility. That is a super power come 2021.
Chris Ippolito 41:04
Yeah. I think that’s great advice for anybody, coaches or entrepreneurs. As I like to wrap up every episode asking that question of what’s that one thing coming out of our conversation that you would suggest the audience take away and take action on, would that be it, take more of a focus of building credibility, or would it be something different?
Brian Morgan 41:33
Okay, we’ll do a little lesson here, if it’s cool.
Chris Ippolito 41:37
Brian Morgan 41:39
In order to build credibility, you’re dancing with three elements. We’ll do the 35-second version of this. You have to fundamentally understand who your audience is. Here are the two big questions of that. When you present information to somebody else, and this is true on a 1,000-page technical document or true in a piece of marketing, it’s the same thing, “What do they know, what does the audience know? What do they need to know?” Those are the two big things that you have to know before you start writing. The second thing is, “What’s the purpose of the thing?” Do they know why they are listening to you? Number two. Then here’s the hardest one. There’s an expected critical response, there’s a bullshit detector on everybody. The way to kill the bullshit detector is to give them an assessment of information before you have told them what you are assessing.
Instead of saying, “Tax rates need to be lower,” right? I wish I did this with politicians, but everybody understands. Instead of saying, “Tax rates need to be lower,” say, “Studies show that lower tax rates, or tax rates under a certain amount, generate more income for small businesses and is a net gain.” Because what you have really done right there is said to somebody who has bullshit detector, “Go get a better piece of data.” You’ve laid down the gauntlet of “go get a better piece of data.” If you show your data first, then comment on the data second.
Think about how this plays in the world. “Tax rates need to be lower.” 50% of the country just went, “Fuck you, that’s not true. I’m out, I’m not listening to you anymore.” Okay, show the data first, “Studies have shown that,” etc., etc., etc., “Therefore I’m willing to hear different opinions, but it’s my belief that tax rates should be lower.” Now what do I have to do? I’ve got to get a better piece of data. That’s credibility.
Yes, I think we should all be building credibility in the marketplace, that’s something that I think can be done. But that’s essentially how to do it. If you are in control of who your audience is, what the purpose is, and what the expected critical response is, people are going to find you credible. If you’re not, you’re spitting in the wind.
Chris Ippolito 44:12
Yeah, I think that’s great advice. Thank you for sharing. Where would people be able to learn more about you, what’s the best place for them to seek you out online?
Brian Morgan 44:23
I appreciate that. Think Deeply, Write Clearly is my website, thinkdeeplywriteclearly.com, it’s the name of my company. There’s a little form, there are some videos there people might find interesting. I don’t know when this goes out, but on Monday nights right now, just because we’re all isolated, we’re doing a free isolation class to learn something just for fun and anybody is certainly welcome to join that. But thinkdeeplywriteclearly.com will explain anything they might need.
Chris Ippolito 44:59
Awesome. Yeah, I’ll make sure to have that in the show notes, as well as a couple other things that we made reference to throughout our conversation. That was an absolute pleasure, Brian. It was fun to have you on. I took a lot away from that and I’m sure the audience did, too. Thank you for sharing.
Brian Morgan 45:19
Thank you, man. This was fun, I appreciate what you do for coaches, I appreciate how generous you are with your time, and thank you very much.
Chris Ippolito 45:27
Thanks a lot. Take care.
Brian Morgan 45:28
All right, bye.