Lawyers like Jim Carrey's character in Liar Liar aren't the only people who lie to your face...

Hey You,

It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.

Today while I was sharing stuff on Twitter, one of the wells that I plunder for awesome news, comedy, and random content from, www.popurls.com, brought me to a site called “Letters From a John”.

Yep. It’s what it sounds like. Letters from random guys who have directly traded dollars for sex and how they feel about having done so.

This was part of what the creator of the site, Susannah Breslin called “The Letters Project”.

Here’s a quick description of it from the site…

LETTERS FROM JOHNS

was an online project that launched on January 3, 2008, and ended on January 3, 2009. The project was created by Susannah Breslin, a journalist and blogger.

The Letters Project includes Letters from Johns, Letters from Working Girls, and Letters from Men Who Watch Pornography. | Reviews: “A Web site gives men a chance to write anonymously about the complicated reasons they buy sex.” — Newsweek. “[A]n online collection of purportedly real letters from sex workers and their customers.” — TIME. “…Riveting reading.” — Susie Bright’s Journal.

As I was cruising through one of the posts on this site, the marketer in me couldn’t help but think, “Damn, what if I could get my perfect prospects to talk to me like this. To open up and share what they deem their darkest and not so dark secrets about why they want what they want?”

Sharing Your Innermost Feelings Is A NO NO

When I asked myself that question, one of the first things that came to my mind was Halloween…

The Playboy bunny. The French maid. The genie. Young American women wear Halloween costumes that seem to have lower necklines and higher slits each year.

So, why do young women dress so provocatively on Halloween?

Costume

Young women wear risqué Halloween costumes to possess sex appeal.

Brenda Weber, director of undergraduate studies in Indiana University’s gender studies department, said Halloween and other holidays that mark a break from the “normal” allow participants to reach intermediary currency — an act that allows someone to get a bit closer to a goal they might not otherwise be able to achieve.

In the case of Halloween, the costume wearer wants to possess sex appeal.

“and not be judged for doing so.” should’ve completed the sentence above.

The person who wrote the following line in the movie ‘Mean Girls’ TOTALLLY nailed it… “Halloween is the one time a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Note how they narrowed it down to “no other girls”, rather than “anyone”. And if you think the goal of being “Sexy” is the only one that gets trampled on by the fear of what other people think, you’re off your rocker.

What Happens When Your Prospects Are Free From Social Judgment And Why Is This Important To Your Marketing?

Through talking to one of my old friends, I started watching the first season of the HBO grand slam hit series, “The Sopranos” again.

If you’re a fan of the show like me, I’m sure you know that in the first season, the main character of the show, Tony Soprano is a top captain in the New Jersey Italian mob.

The very first episode of the show shows you Tony having panic attack and briefly going unconscious as a result of it. His neighbor, who’s a doctor, refers him to psychotherapist he knows to see if she can help him. 

Of course, in his first session, he’s got the wall up. He’s the tough guy who doesn’t need this therapy bullshit as you’ll see in this clip below…

This is James Gandolfini at his finest. He does a magnificent job of showing you, through his facial expressions, his posture, his movements, the internal battle he’s fighting with what he feels.

Then, you see the magic happens where he trusts her enough to stop putting on a show, for a half a second, and opens a little bit about what’s going on inside of him.

As this series goes on, Tony Soprano falls in love with the process of therapy and having this one space where he can say what he can’t say to any other human being on the planet. But he lives his entire life scared of being found out. Scared to death of what people would say or do if they found out he was doing so.

I believe your perfect prospects experience these very same emotions

They want a place where they don’t have to censor what they say for fear of getting their ass kicked or worse, banned from their tribe, ostracized by the friends and colleagues. Bruises and broken bones heal. Banishment or the ruining of one’s, perhaps, ‘false reputation’ can be forever.

And when someone feels like you’re the one person on the planet who gets them… who they can talk to freely… AND you have solutions that move them from where they are to where they want to be… you become their go-to guy. A god.

In the Sopranos series Tony wouldn’t dream of going to another therapist.

How Can You Create An Outlet For Your Perfect Prospect To Speak About Their Fears, Frustrations, And Desires Without Being Judged?

In the Guru Blueprint, Eben Pagan talks about mining these personal insights out of people through coaching sessions. And in these posts here, I give you the notes on how he suggests moving prospects to a place of trust so that you can gain further insight into what your market yearns for.

But I think you can go deeper.

And the way you go deeper is with a site not too unlike the “Letters From…” ones above.

Look at the wisdom in the title of the site, “Letters From Johns”. Notice how the author didn’t call it “Survey Results From Johns”. This is why for something as intimate as probing for peoples fears, frustrations and deep desires, I would never depend on a survey.

Surveys are formal and have the structure and feel of being tested. You’re either being questioned by someone who is judging your answers or you’re looking at a form that looks like a test – multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or essay spaces – you took when you were back in school being graded aka judged.

Your Comment Section On Your Blog Doesn’t Inspire Trust

My experience with comments is that they’re either cheering the author on, agreeing with what you’ve said, or troll-ish damning you to hell for what you’ve written, and once in a while the polite disagreement and questioning of your viewpoint.

And while blog post comments are unique to you, they limit a person in a few ways…

First of all, some people don’t feel that it’s polite to give their full detailed, long ass opinion on blogs (whether this is fact or not) because the majority of what they see are quick blurbs, so, they don’t say anything. Don’t wanna rock the boat, right?

Blog posts also put your opinion on display for the whole wide world to see. And third, if the person has their identity disclosed through gravatar or disqus, or they just fill in their info because they want credit for what they said and want to be acknowledged by you, by their birth name, it’s game over for a real taste of what they feel. That’s the opposite of intimate one on one communication.

This is why only .5% of your total audience will ever say anything in the comment section of your blog.

Letters However, Are Personal

No one grades a personal letter from one person to another.

Yeah, the one person you’re writing to will form an opinion based on what you say but when you’re writing all you have in mind is one person. Not the whole tribe. 

Another bonus with a personal written letter/email is that you have no boundaries. No limits. Only an ocean of white space or blue lines lie ahead of you.

And then with permission from the authors, put these letters on display (anonymous or not) and discuss the solutions to the problems OR a person’s success story in a blog post or in an email newsletter format like Eben Pagan does with his Double Your Dating business.

The variety in the writing and imperfection of it should let people know that this isn’t college. You don’t give a shit about the punctuation, you don’t care about sentence structure, you don’t mind if the language is raw and uncut. THIS IS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE FEEL — NOT WHAT YOU THINK IS PRETTY.

If you’ll find a way to do this and then incorporate your findings into creating marketing that connects to this feedback and then building products that take people from where they REALLY are to where they want to be, you’re going to be paying for multiple college educations, many houses, and many expenses with the money that rolls into your bank accounts.

Do You Insist On One-On-One Email Interaction?

Short of starting a “Letters From…” site, one of the best things I believe you could do to tap into the deep feelings your perfect prospects and customers experience around the problems you solve is to INVITE email contact with you.

You can even insist on them staying anonymous, using only junk email accounts to converse with you.

And then broadcast on your main site that you want to hear from your audience as openly as Zappos.com does with their call-in customer service number…

Be our guest and please call us...

We’ve gotten some tremendous feedback through email conversations with our clients and as an experiment here, just to encourage more of this, I’m going to start including my email address in my sign off here to inspire more personal feedback and take away one more hurdle to getting in touch with me.

And who knows, maybe in the near future you’ll see, My Note Taking Nerd’s “Letters From Your Average Small/Medium Business Owner” site show up.

Please feel free to let me know what you’re thinking about this topic or anything else you and I discuss here on the site at notetakingnerd2@gmail.com.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne aka Note Taking Nerd #2

 

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