If you do any kind of blogging marketing or use any kind of Small Business Marketing Strategies this is one post you don’t want to miss

Hey You,

The Dynamic Duo Of Shock Animation - Matt Stone and Trey Parker

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

What can you learn from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of one of the raunchiest shows on television today about how to grow your business? A SHIT-TON!

Why? Because . . . 


While watching “6 Days to Air – The Making of South Park” on Comedy Central, I came across the 17 key business lessons I wanted to share with you that are being modeled in Trey and Matt’s South Park business. 

And we begin with . . .

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #1: Carve out a space of your own – especially in a crowded niche

One of Matt & Trey’s primary questions is “What’s offensive?” They see themselves as offensive people.

There’s a sound bite they included in this documentary from a red carpet interview Trey Parker and Matt Stone were doing and they grabbed the part of Matt saying, “All the bad in society, blame us.”

In a heavily competitive market, these guys found their unique position. They took an extreme position that everyone else was afraid to push and 15 seasons, 220 episodes later, they’re still reaping the rewards.

And while these guys are the boss in the realm of shock and awe T.V., they blazed a trail for other T.V. show writers to come in play in this game and who knows how many billions of dollars have been generated by people writing no-holds barred shows.

While you may not go to the profane extreme in your world like Dan Kennedy’s high end client, Scott Tucker of Mortgage Marketing Genius did, loading his salesletters up with fuck bombs galore and every other emotionally charged word that allowed him to tap into the feelings he had about the “boring” mortgage industry and the problems brokers faced, you want to do whatever you can to avoid being an invisible business because you blend in with the rest of idiots.

Look at how Eben Pagan became the father of the “Dating Advice Info-

Product” business. Before he came along there were only a couple of lame books at the book store you could find to get help with dating.

Guys having issues with getting a date is a problem that goes back all the way to the caveman days yet no one sought to create a solution and offer it to these men.

Yeah, there were a shit-ton of books/videos/articles on ‘relationship advice’ but nothing solid on actually working up the courage to say, “Hi” to a woman so you could be in a relationship in the first place.

What does your market obviously want that no one else is giving them because they’re either too scared, or too dumb? Pursue that. See what happens.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and position yourself the same exact way 90% of your competitors do.

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #2: Leverage your current assets and venture into new markets

Matt & Trey’s, very first play, “The Book Of Mormon” kicked ass and wiped the floor with all of it’s “professional” competition. It went on to win 9 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

They worked on and opened this play in what could be considered the off-season of TV and opening day of the play was 2 weeks before they were supposed to go back to their day jobs and start South Park again.

What can you learn from this?

Trey and Matt have 15 years of consistently writing comedy under their belt. They know how to make people laugh. They know how to be unique.

They didn’t give a shit that they’d never written a play before. They didn’t care that they were outsiders in this industry. They didn’t worry about “theatre” audiences not getting their humor.

They took a chance and knocked it out of the park.

Eben Pagan did the same thing. Who the hell did this “Dating Coach” think he was to go from selling books, CD’s and videos on how to talk to women to selling a $10,000 per person marketing seminar OVER NIGHT?

Fuckin’ crazy right? Out of his element, right? Not supposed to happen, right?

Well guess what? This nobody in a world of Giants (Kennedy, Levinson, Abraham, etc.) sold out his very first $10,000 per person seminar and the rest is history.

He’s put millions of dollars into his pocket that the previous marketing gurus would had in theirs had he not leveraged what he knew how to do which was to build a $10 million dollar a year information marketing business.

What’s do you specialize in that people in another niche than you’re currently doing business in would pay for if you only made it available to them?

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and think this is impossible for you to do.

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #3: Not all of your ideas are gonna be winners but you gotta let them see the light of day

Trey: “There’s a show that’s gonna be airing on Wednesday and we don’t even know what it is. And even though that’s the way we’ve always done it, there’s always this little thing in your mind that says, “Oh, you’re screwed! You’re SCREWED.”

The writers have their room where they go when they’re on a mission to come up with ideas and jokes.

Nobody fucks with the writers room. Even the top guy on their team won’t fuck with it unless there’s something ultra urgent to be addressed.

“For all the good ideas we get, there’s like a 100 not-so good ideas.”

They say gotta feel safe to just throw ideas out and not get your pussy hurt if the other people don’t like your ideas. They say it’s weirdly vulnerable. One of the writers talks about being on other shows where if the other writers didn’t like your ideas, they’d shit all over you saying how much it sucks. She says their room is kind and the worst you get is, “OK,” which signals, “Okay, what else you got.

One of the other writers says they’re always chasing fun. It’s never about being a grind.

Trey says that the other people who work on the show who walk by the writing room know that the more they’re laughing in there, the less hours they have to work on their part (animation, voice syncing, etc.) of producing the show. If they see the guys pulling their hair out stressed, they know they’re gonna be there late tonight because these guys aren’t thinking of anything.

What Can You Learn From This?

Nothing will ever come of the idea you’re too scared to verbalize to the person who can breathe life into it.

These guys have trained themselves to just say whatever the fuck comes to their mind. They have no filter. And because of this there’s 15 seasons worth of their DVD’s that are selling everyday.

My dad ran 15 marathons. This was probably a decade or more ago. He used to wear those fluorescent vests that make sure that when car lights hit them, you can be seen miles away by the driver.

Well, he thought, “Why don’t they make these vests for dogs who run with their owners?” But guess what he told his idea to the dinks he was running with and they just “meh’d” it. So he shut up about it.

A couple years later, what does he see? Dog’s wearing reflective vests. He was ahead of the market with this idea but he was too scared to say it to anyone he could partner with who could put the wheels into motion so that he could make money off of selling them.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and keep your ideas inside your head instead of sharing them with people who can help you realize them.

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #4: Join in on the conversation your market is already having with themselves

When brain storming ideas for shows, the guys from South Park look for topics that are getting a lot of attention in society.

One idea they threw out on the table was the issue of the college kids playing for the NCAA aren’t paid a damn thing even though the TV networks and all kinds of other people are cashing in big time on them playing, and how all the players are black and all the people making the money are white. This spermed the idea of Cartman (one of the characters of the show) starting a lucrative business of getting crack babies to start playing basketball. He video tapes them and it get’s really big but he doesn’t pay the crack babies anything. And this is riding on the premise that the most successful companies (Apple, Nike, etc.) use slave labor to get the work done.

Another topic that came up was how Matt believed that the most current Indiana Jones movie was a rape. This turned into an episode where the kids agree that the people who made the movie are raping the Indiana Jones legacy, force themselves to stop watching and leave the theater and they’re running out of the theater crying, “WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS!?!”

Trey: “Last night I went onto itunes and that thing came up again saying, “Your itunes is out of date.” And here it goes again for the 400th time. I gotta another god damn version of itunes again. How many times have I hit that “I agree to . . .” and I’ve never even read one line of it.”

This sperms the idea to have something happen in an episode because the kid agreed to the terms and conditions on itunes without reading the fine print. And the joke is, everyone reads it all the time except for this one kid.

What Can You Learn From This?

These guys are taking hot topics and somehow connecting them to the lives of the kids in their series and putting a funny twist on it.

The news and tabloids give you plenty of ammunition to make your content topical and match what’s top of mind in your prospects or followers minds.

I could be doing a lot better with this.

And I think, “Oh, I could write a post about this,” every time I’m sharing hot stuff on Twitter but I never carry it over into making a post out it. Today’s post is the first time I think I’ve done it.

An recent example of this was the flood of people who suddenly felt the need to write a “Thanks Steve Jobs” blog post and stick it up on their site as fast as they could after he died.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and keep putting out content that reads like a text book and doesn’t connect with news or entertainment topics your fans are hearing about.

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #5: If the attorneys and bean counters don’t like it, you’re probably on the right track

Their executive producer Anne Garefino sits in the writing room with them and they know they’ve got an awesome idea if they’re laughing their ass off and she looks bummed out.

What Can You Learn From This?

Anne is the person who’s in charge of getting approval from the higher ups for all the crazy shit they do on the show. So when they’re going balls to wall, she’s sitting thinking in her head about the conversation she’s gotta have with the big wigs about the guys wanting to have one of the kid’s get an anal probe inserted by aliens. She’s not thinking about the audience. The writers are and rightly so. The audience is who’s paying the bills.

Accountants and lawyers are in the game of playing not to lose. They to go to school to learn how to eliminate risk. There’s a time and a place for that.

Not in your marketing. South Park’s content is their marketing. It’s the consistent education as to why you should pay attention to them vs. any other option you have. If they let risk averse people decide on what they’d produce, no one would’ve ever known who they are.

Sure, there industries like finance and health where you’re really wide open to law suits if you’re bull shitting people. But if you need a lawyer to point out the fact that you’re lying to people and that you shouldn’t be doing that, you shouldn’t be in business. You should be slow dancing with Karl in the penitentiary.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and let people with no marketing savvy tell you what will and won’t push the buttons of human emotion.

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #6: Speed to market is your friend – only partner/hire people who are on board with this belief

Jack Shih, director of animation says, “In this building you not only have to be good at what you do but you also have to be fast.

If it takes you 4 days to get something done, you can’t really contribute when push comes to shove and we’re in production, people just have to be able to turn stuff around.”

The producer, Adrien Beard says, “Most studios have a story board department and all they do is storyboards. Then they’ll have a character design department and all they do is character design. And then they’ll have a background design department and they’ll all get a 2-3 days to do their job. Everybody in here does all of that and in 1/10th of the time of a normal studio.”

Their Animation Producer, Ryan Quincy says, “Usually “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, those shows take like 8-10 months to do a season and we’re doing it in 42 days. No one does a show like this.”

On Thursday, we get one scene, we jam it through the storyboard department, get the boards drawn. We get editorial to build that initial animatic, and the guys will go in and record that scene.”

Adrien Beard: “Trey’s the quarterback. We’re like the offensive line. If wants to do something, we have to figure out how to do that. If he wants to do guys bouncing up and down on their nut sacks it’s our job to figure out how it works. But it all starts and ends with Trey and Matt.”

What Can You Learn From This?

As a small business owner, you can’t afford to be slow.

I don’t know what instilled this philosophy into Matt and Trey. Maybe Comedy Central had ultra limited resources when the show started and these guys got addicted to making it happen with minimal fluff.

With your business if you’re a one man show, you wear all the hats. You’re the writer, you’re the marketer, you’re the accountant, you’re everything. This means if everything’s gonna get done that needs to in order for your business to not only survive but thrive, you’ve gotta make the most of the time you have.

The same thing is just as true if you hire or partner with someone. You want maximum productivity. If you’re going slow with putting salesletters together, with writing blog posts, with writing emails, you’re gonna left in the dust by the South Park-style competitors of your world who are on the door step of your prospect with value more consistently than you are.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% go ahead and mosey on through your days. But don’t bitch when your competitors stay or become more popular and profitable than you. 

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #7: Stay rooted in what you brings you joy in your business

In case you didn’t know, like I didn’t, Trey and Matt do most of the voices for the show and these guys laugh their ass off as they’re recording what they wrote.

Trey: “It’s just so funny how Matt and I are in our 40’s and it’s still like, when that Japanese guy shits in Kyle’s mouth and Kyle shits in the ladies mouth, it makes us laugh so goddamn hard. I know there’s a lot of people out there who don’t laugh at that shit as hard as we do. But it’s just so satisfying for me especially after going from Book of Mormon and Broadway and all the accolades and that’s great and I’m super proud of that but to come back here and do a Japanese guy shitting in Kyle’s mouth *laughing* brings us back to our roots, you know.”

What Can You Learn From This?

Why would anyone spend most of their life running a business that brought them no happiness, growth or fulfillment?

Sounds like hell to me hell. No, worse. It sounds like having my lips sewn to a Japanese guys asshole and having him shit into my mouth and having a Hollywood starlet’s lips sewn to my asshole and shitting into her mouth in a human centipede.

When you see these guys laughing and smiling with their whole being at what they’re creating, it’s not hard to see why they’re still going strong. I believe you can do that too. You can find a market to serve where the value you create lights you up and radiates to everyone you encounter.

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% get into a business just because it can bring in some coin. But if you do, you’ve go no right to bitch when you’re emotionally and financially bankrupt because you had no passion in your business. 

Renegade Small Business Marketing Strategy #8: Partner with people who make your life easier and enhance your abilities

Matt: “Even though we’re a partnership, and I really do feel that way, that we each bring something different to the table and it’s why it’s made us survive but the way that the episodes and the movies are expressed is completely through Trey. Like, Trey’s the chef.”

When we first started getting famous and people are saying, ‘Matt and Trey and Matt’s the director’ and I got calls and offers to direct studio comedies, crap shit that I probably didn’t want to do anyway, but I was like, ‘You really don’t know what you’re doing. You know what I mean. Yeah maybe I could go fool people for a little bit and maybe I might get lucky here and there with a scene or two or I might pull off a little bit but it’s not in my DNA. I don’t have that competing skill set. So whatever I’ve got is channeled through him.”

Trey: “You can look at a band and say, ‘It’s all Eddie Van Halen’ but as soon as David Lee Roth leaves, you’re like ‘FUCK that band.’ And Eddie can sit there and say ‘I write everything’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re not Van Halen without David Lee Roth.”

Matt: “Where I can be tough is where Trey can’t and where he can be tough is where I’m not. That’s helped us in the business of the whole thing. You’re not going to get in an argument with Trey. Trey’s not gonna argue with you about something. And I’ll argue about fucking everything all the time.”

Trey: Trey and Matt’s the band and no matter who does what or whatever, that’s the band.”

What Can You Learn From This?

Some people don’t want to lead. Some people are content just being the talent and leading themselves is enough for them. They want to let their gift shine but they don’t want the burden of leading others.

Some people feel at ease running the show and actually prefer to do so and are good at it.

This is why partnerships can be so powerful. You can get the best of multiple worlds and turn all the awesomeness into a laser beam that blasts through all the activities that need to be done and allows the business to hit it’s target.

Walt and Roy Disney had this. Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer have this. Brian Clark and Sonia Simone of Copyblogger have this. In each of these situations, both parties believe (d) that no matter who does what or whatever that the two of them together are the band and is responsible for the company succeeding at the level it does (did).

Remember 90+% of businesses don’t live to see their 5th birthday. If you want to be in the extinct 90% get into a business and try to run the whole damn thing yourself so that you can have all the credit. Good luck with that.

That’s it for today. I’ve loaded you up pretty heavily. I also didn’t want you waiting 2 minutes for this post to load. I’ve got a lot more kick ass pictures to go along with Part 2 of this post.  

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you’re down with some renegade small business marketing strategies that can help you with your blogging marketing you definitely want to click here now to see this  . . .