Do you have a pot of gold? It’s the key to increasing your income this year.
Sounds kind of fairy tale/folkloric/childlike, doesn’t it?
But you, yes, you—as a now-grown-up business owner, either have or need to have a Pot of Gold of your very own.
What is this crazy Pot of Gold I keep talking about?
It’s your LIST.
One of my friends, Amira, told me the other day, “Oh, I don’t like the idea of ‘List.’ Everyone talks about ‘The List.’ I want another name for it.”
OK, Amira, here it is: Your Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow.
That’s what I’m going to call it from now on. (Well, maybe for at least the next 3 or 4 months . . . )
Why am I being so over-the-top and effusive about Your Pot of Gold?
Because that’s exactly what it is.
Why is The List so important?
Ooops, pardon me. I forgot: Why is Your Pot of Gold so important?
Because, with it, you hold the key—and I do mean The Key—to increasing your income this year.
First, a definition.
Your Pot of Gold/List is the list of names of customers and clients and potential customers and clients who have said “yes” to receiving information from you.
If you’ve ever signed up for a “free download” and had to input your name and email, then you’ve signed up for someone else’s Pot of Gold.
And why do I call it your Pot of Gold? Because . . .
It gives you permission
Permission to contact these customers and prospects about your products or services.
That’s what Seth Godin’s book, Permission Marketing, is all about.
If you haven’t read it, you need to. No kidding.
Godin calls Permission Marketing the new advertising. He writes, “By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message. It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange.”
That exchange is the beginning of building a relationship with your “fans” who self-select your product, your viewpoint, your business, and you.
How do you get a Pot of Gold for yourself?
Good question. How do you get a Pot of Gold? Or if you already have one, how do you grow it, so you can grow your business?
You can’t just put anyone’s name on your List. It’s not legal. People have to give you permission to send you emails, which are still the best way to market to people one-on-one.
And you can’t easily send a targeted message to a large number of people in a Facebook post or in a tweet.
You can only send a targeted personal message out with your marketing information via email. And for email, you need permission.
Let me tell you a little story
As you probably guessed, I’ve just got to tell you a story about another one of the fabulous Business Masters whose stories I collected in the project I did in 2005 called “The Family Store.”
It’s a history exhibit of the stores that used to populate downtown Asheville, NC, from 1880-1990, and I spent 4 years researching and interviewing people who owned businesses or the octogenarian children of parents no longer alive who owned such businesses.
One man’s story popped up over and over.
Coleman Zageir (“ZAY-gur”) owned The Man Store from 1922 until 1972. Born in 1894, he passed away in 1975.
But not before he earned the respect and business of almost all the men of Asheville, NC. How?
He was a nice, quiet, honest and very good businessman. But the one story that surfaced over and over was one just like this one that my brother’s best friend, Chan Gordon, owner of The Captain’s Bookshelf, told me:
Coleman Zageir? He sold me my first suit. I was 12 years old. I bought it to go to your brother’s bar mitzvah. Mr. Zageir threw in a shirt and a tie. And he had me forever.
Yep, Mr. Zageir did that type of thing from the time he started in business. He gave away stuff. Not willy-nilly. Not to everyone all the time. Just in the beginning of their possible customer-ship.
And people loved it.
They self-selected his store to be their go-to place for fine men’s wear for generations.
And he grew his Pot of Gold.
Over and over and over.
So much so that the men he did this for have also passed on, and his generosity lives on with the wives, children and grandchildren who still remember his gifts.
Amazing isn’t it?
Mr. Zageir stopped giving 40 years ago and yet people still remember how he cared about his customers.
Poet Maya Angelou wrote, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Mr. Zageir made people feel like they were important. That they mattered. They he cared. He made Chan Gordon feel like a grown-up man at age 12.
Giving away something is one way you can grow your Pot of Gold.
Particularly if it’s important information that can help them. And make them feel successful, powerful, important, cared-about.
Stay tuned for more about how you can grow your Pot of Gold. There’ll be something about it by the end of this week, in fact.
In the meantime, tell me what was the best thing YOU ever got free from a business. It could be a free download. It could be a free shirt and tie.
What was it?
Tell me in the reply section below.