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George Bryant, The Lighthouse Method
It’s episode 300 of the InnovaBuzz podcast and we wanted to celebrate with something special. A huge thank you to all the amazing guests that have been on previous podcast episodes. You make this such an amazing show and it’s a very special privilege to be able to speak with you, learn from you, laugh with you and then to share your insights and wisdom with all our listeners.
George Bryant of GB Masterminds and The Lighthouse Marketing Method first appeared on the InnovaBuzz Podcast in Episode 226. You can find out more about George there and his philosophy of human-centered marketing.
George is committed to help you ethically scale your business by showing you that relationships beat algorithms. In this milestone episode, George honors us by sharing so much more about his expertise and marketing know-how.
In our discussion, George and I talked about:
- Really understanding each customers’ own journey
- The role of empathy in human-centered marketing
- Working on yourself first
Listen to the podcast to learn more.
Show Notes from this episode with George Bryant of GB Masterminds
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- Every entrepreneur should have access to basic digital marketing skills just as everyone has access to basic water and healthcare.
- People are not paying for products. They are paying for access and accountability. A product is only a way in which somebody votes with their dollars or attention to then come into a journey.
- Customers don’t buy your product because it convinces them. It’s because they believe that when they transact with you, you are going to genuinely help them achieve the desired outcome that you promised them.
- People choose the best relationship over the best product.
- There is not one business that cannot benefit from email marketing.
- Your business only works if you are intentional and methodical about what you do.
- Understand your lighthouse – what is your mission, your branding, and your message, and then understand all the different parts of your ideal customer – their before state and their after state. That’s where you then form your content.
- Your job isn’t to know where your customers are today and tomorrow. It is to know where they are now and where you want them to be in 12-36 months from now. That’s what a business is.
- A launch isn’t a business. It is just a hobby and a liability.
- People come into your business for your leadership. They are coming for the accountability to achieve the goal that you promised them.
- Digital marketing is easy. Business is easy. When you understand the game, you will know the play and the levers to pull.
- A lighthouse stands with structure in the face of resistance, to create possibility.
- Content without structure is just noise.
- Once you build your lighthouse methodically, you have a strong foundation that can withstand any storm, hurricanes, and gale-force winds, and its only job is to keep its lights on. But in order for that light to work, everything has to be in place – the foundation, the structure, and the lightkeeper has to know the cadence.
- Every lighthouse has its own unique signature, and just like any business, you need to have a plan. As soon as you decide on that plan and turn your light on, you can never turn it off.
- The Lighthouse Method is a 9-step process to make business and digital marketing easy. It uses nautical terms to teach you how to be congruent in business, understand customer journeys, and dispels all the mistakes and mess that people have out there about how to do business online or offline. If you follow these 9 steps, you can plug the holes and tighten the process to build your lighthouse, turn the light on, and control the destiny of your business.
- Build your business backward. Test it, get feedback, and get paid even before you start building it.
- Business and marketing change every single day. The foundation never changes but the wrapping paper changes.
- Done is better than perfect; there is no perfect product and there is no perfect offer. There is just the offer and having a healthy relationship.
- Business in its existence is uncertain. That’s why we, as entrepreneurs, love it. Entrepreneurs love to chase uncertainty. We create roads that haven’t been paved before. We create products that have never existed before. We create content that nobody has ever done before. When you have a solid foundation, you can change the wrapping paper quite often and pivot fast. You just have to reinforce what you’ve done. You’re like a chameleon in business and you can bring people back to the same place.
- The way we do marketing now is no different from the way we did marketing a hundred years ago except that the mediums have changed. We’re no longer using newspapers and so much word of mouth. We’re using social media and digital marketing with faster and more touch points. It’s still the same journey. We’re just using a different delivery method.
- No business is smooth. You’re going to hit storms and either one of two things will happen. You are either prepared for it and you can navigate it because your boat is ready, or you spring a leak but you are aware of the leak and know how to plug it, and you’re able to continue, or your boat can’t maintain and has to dock.
- Strategies and tactics are not business and neither are launches. Strategies and tactics will put out of business. They are temporary. They chase and are horrible. When you have a solid foundation, strategies and tactics will have a home because you are using them to be in the current state, and even if they don’t work well, your foundation is still strong. If you don’t have a strong foundation to use them, you’re going out of business.
- When you have a solid foundation, you know your customers. You know the journey you designed. You can pivot really fast and meet them where they are.
- 2020 is going to be different from 2022. The beginning of 2020 is going to be different from the end of 2020. If you’re trying to turn the Titanic every day by 180 deg, it’s not possible, but if your foundation is strong and you understand the game, you can be pretty agile to meet your customers where they are and take them on a journey.
- People don’t buy the best product. They buy the best relationship.
- When you hit a nail into a fence, you can pull the nail out but the hole is still there. That’s how you need to think about congruence in your business and in your company culture. You have to be impeccable. Your job is to lead and create a safe space for people to take their journey.
- Culture and relationships have to be at the forefront of your company.
- It may take 50 to 100 touch points to move a customer towards your business but it only takes one to push them out to sea, and have them never come back. It can take years to build a relationship but it only takes one day to lose it.
- In everything that you do in your marketing, remember that what you are really doing is that you are giving content. You are shining your light out into the world so that people can establish a relationship with you. Your goal is to move them closer and closer to your lighthouse, and the moment you become incongruent, you push those people out to sea, and they’ll never come back again.
- 86% of marketing is word of mouth. People talk about bad experiences way more than they talk about good ones.
- Always keep in mind that on the other side of everything we create is a human being.
- Everything that we do in life is predicated on a relationship, and it’s the one thing that will always be free. You don’t have to pay to be in a relationship. You don’t have to pay to deliver value. It’s the best and cheapest business principle that will guarantee the success of your business when done with intention.
- Relationships should be at the forefront of everything that you do. Every single thing that you have is based on a relationship. It’s what keeps your boat on course.
- The hardest part of a business is the foundation. You have to think through the future. There is no point in building a house that will only last for 10 years. In order to understand that, you need to understand your goals and where you are going.
- Stop thinking in weeks, months, and quarters. If you keep measuring in quarters, you will not have a business in two years.
- Take some time to sit down and build a 100-year vision for your company. When you start to do that and understand that, it changes the game you are playing.
- Social media is not engagement. It is just used to service a touchpoint and a beacon of light. When a person is ready, he’ll turn towards the shore, but he might need to see 50 of those before they leave a comment for the first time.
- Without impact, you can’t make an income; and without income, you can’t make an impact. Those are two things that you really have to focus on and ground yourself in.
- When you think about where you want to be in 5-10 years from now and work backward from that, it changes your decision process. It changes your focus. It changes how you create your company culture, how you do your marketing, branding, and messaging.
- You’ll get 10 times higher multiple when you decide to sell your business if you have a plan.
- The only two things that win are being a decent human being and focusing on relationships.
- Ask yourself what light do you want to shine and what impact do you want to leave – is your business built on money or is it built on making customers achieve their goals, which gives you the ability to build the biggest company in the world.
- The lighthouse is a powerful metaphor for congruence. It’s understanding that no matter where anybody in the world sees you, you will always have one message and one thing you are known for.
- Without that foundation and without those principles that you stand for – what you mean and what you help customers achieve without products, there is no business to be had.
- Understand what business you are really in. A product isn’t a business. It’s a tool and a path. It’s a bridge. On the other side of that product is the after state that consumers are going after.
- Empathize with your customers and understand their journey before they do. A little empathy goes a long way.
- The foundation of your lighthouse doesn’t start with building your lighthouse. It starts with you as a person.
- Before you think about your customer, think about who you are. Build your lighthouse first. Once you understand who you are, you can now start to understand who your customer is.
- Customers are captains.
- Customers have 3 levels of beliefs – external beliefs, internal beliefs, and paradigm beliefs.
- Our job as marketers and business owners is to build that vehicle that gets customers from their before state to their desired after state whilst avoiding the traps that they call objections, but in order for you to create that, you have to know who you are.
- You don’t have a business if the only way that somebody can achieve their goals is if they pay you. That’s not a business. It’s a transaction. Business is helping people get there at their different levels and allowing them to escalate up.
- When you understand your customer or potential customer in the journey that you want them to take, your entire job is done because you know the language that they use.
- 90% of your work is done if you do the right user research, content research, and competitor research. You just have to basically map the entire journey and insert yourself as the expert. Use your customers’ words and not yours.
- Your business being successful is a byproduct of you understanding yourself and then understanding your customers before you put anything into the world. Take the time to audit it and be really intentional and methodical about who you are, who your customers are, and where you want to take them.
- The secret to any success is principles, not strategies nor tactics.
- The foundation of your business is who you are. You are at the core. Once you know who you are and you know who your customers are, customers will find you. They will know who you are and you don’t have to convince them.
- Accountability is allowing people to be on that journey. It is taking what you know and being very intentional on the path.
- Our job as business owners is to lead people. We lead people from where they are to where they want to go. If you rely on the merits of them doing it by themselves, you’re going to put yourself out of business.
- Customer journeys only go one in two ways. It’s either duration or direction. If you promised a time frame, do it. If you’re teaching somebody a process, be intentional about it. Otherwise, it creates back doors that leave customers out. They buy courses they don’t consume and products that go on the shelf.
- Your biggest fear should not be that you can’t get any customers but that a customer buys your product and never uses it.
- Accountability is being intentional and knowing the path that your customers must take before they know it.
- The amount of money that a business makes doesn’t come from the number of products it sells. It is from the results that its customers achieve that is correlated to the amount of money that a business makes.
- Go through your own customer journey. And then, have those people who are close to you go through your customer journey and give you unbiased feedback. Ask strangers to go through it. Give them your product or service in exchange for their feedback. Don’t be interested in them telling you how awesome you are, instead, be interested in them telling you all the holes that they experienced, where can you improve, and how can you make it better. That experience is what will dictate the results of your customers which is directly proportionate to the success of your company.
- You are your ideal avatar but in your after state. Your customers are in their before state. Those two are very different places. They’re in the experience. They’re in pain. They’re in that state and you have to make sure that you understand what that is so you can meet them where they are.
- No customer journey is linear. Customer journeys are systematic.
- You have to be congruent. Everything that you do either moves a customer one step closer to you or one step further away from you.
- Leadership is saying the same thing as many times as required until the last person gets it.
- Meeting your customers where they’re at is knowing that all your customers are in different parts of their buying cycle. Make sure that all of your content is congruent to the core of what you built in your lighthouse, which means that every single thing that you do is serving as a touchpoint in that ecosystem to wherever they are, and is moving them one step closer to where you want them to be.
- Customers are smart. They are informed. Your job is to think about your lighthouse as a funnel. When you get to the pier, that light is sharp and focused like a sniper rifle, and the farther away from the shore you get, the wider and wider the light gets. Customers are always going to move closer to you as long you are shining the same light congruently, consistently, and intentionally. They’ll get closer and closer and that takes them on that journey.
- The one thing that you’ll never be able to compete with some big companies is budget, but the great thing about them is they always go wide, and nobody can ever go as deep as you do. Nobody can go one level deeper with your customers as you can. Keep in mind that on the other side of everything that you do is a human being, and if your mission every day is not to be one step faster or one step better but instead to go one step deeper with your customers, it guarantees your success and there is no way to lose that game.
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