Discover The Exact Small Business Marketing Strategies That Chris Rock Used To Become Famous and In Demand and How You Can Follow His Lead And Do The Same In Your Business
It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2.
David Steinberg hosts a series on Showtime called Inside Comedy where he interviews the living legends of comedy, guys and gals like Jerry Seinfeld, Don Rickles, Kathy Lee Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Mel Brooks, Larry David, etc.
These people are all multi-millionaire professionals who at one point in time were invisible to the world just like that person who was standing in line in front of you at Starbucks the last time you were there.
Just like you and I, stand-up comedians are for the most part lone rangers who have the desire to serve an audience, get them to fall in love with them, and to be rewarded handsomely for doing so.
You Have More In Common With A Stand-Up Comedian Than You Think You Do
Unlike a popular actor who still gets paid an ultra high fee for doing a movie even if it completely bombs or an employee that continues to earn a salary even though they’re wasting the companies ad budgets on image advertisements featuring dancing cats in bikinis, essentially bombing when it comes to making the ad pay for itself, the stand up comedian lives and dies on their ability to get immediate desired feedback from an audience in the form of the laughs that lead to ticket and album/DVD sales.
Which isn’t too unlike the direct response marketer who takes a beating if their ads don’t bring them targeted eyeballs with money in hand who eventually pay them for their product or service.
Last week I watched the “Inside Comedy” special David did with Chris Rock and the story of Chris’s rise to fame and the nerd in me couldn’t help but see the similarities in the challenges he faced down and the disciplines he had to take on to make a name for himself . . .
. . . and the challenges the small business owner/entrepreneur/founder encounters and needs to embrace in order to establish themselves as the solution at the forefront of the minds of their perfect prospects.
So in true nerd fashion I’ve taken notes so you and I can see Chris Rock’s journey of going from a nobody to a somebody and how the lessons he’s learned that keep him on top of the game can teach you to do the same for yourself.
Let the show begin . . .
When you saw comedians growing up did you say to yourself, “This is what I want to do?
Some kids took appliances apart. When Chris was around six years old he became fascinated with taking apart jokes. He was intrigued at how someone could say a word and get a specific reaction.
Are You Aware Of The Power Of A Single Word?
If you’re gonna last in business, you need to realize the power that words have in getting you what you want. You need to be a nerd when it comes to words because it only takes one wrong word on your sales page to completely suffocate your response.
Look at this proof in the example Brad Gosse gave while presenting at Yanik Silver’s Underground Seminar . . .
One guy he knew was doing a clickbank launch and he called Brad up because he was dumbfounded by the fact that his order page had gotten 1,400 impressions but he’d only had 2 people buy.
Brad discussed all kinds of possibilities for what could be wrong and then thought to click his order button and saw the word EBOOK in the description of what you were getting.
He told him to take the word “EBOOK” off the page and he went from only having 2 sales out of 1,400 people to having 1 in 4 people buy.
The word “Ebook” was murdering his sales because in this industry, just as in porn, people expect these to be free. He’s found that because so many ebooks have been given away, people don’t want to pay for it if it’s packaged that way.
His wife sells a cookbook which also comes in an ebook format but they call it the “downloadable green version” and people are happy to buy it. But when it was labeled as an “ebook” no one wanted it.
REMOVE THIS WORD FROM YOUR ONLINE SALES COPY
Brad likes selling inexpensive stuff to prove to himself that his customers are willing to fork over something – $1, $5, $10 bucks and he wants buyers on his list to root out all the freebie scroungers.
He’s found that the more you train your list to expect shit for free, the less shit they buy. The free line can kill you just like it’s killing the porn business. The porn business shot themselves in the leg by giving away the farm.
Now, the only thing that sells well in the online porn biz is interactivity. This is live web cams, dating services, Russian brides, etc. Anything you can download or watch somewhere for free now serves as the equivalent of free blog content in that it’s used to arouse peoples interest in your other services.
This same interactivity factor can make a difference in people buying from you or not.
Was there someone around you when you were growing up that was funny that interested you?
His grandfather was pretty funny and influenced his performance style. He was a preacher. He watched him prepare a set every week. He never wrote the whole sermon out. He’d just write himself bullet points and run with it from there.
Chris now writes jokes the same way. He looks for topics.
How Are You Relaying Information To Your Audience?
If you want an example of someone who works similar to this when they shoot sales and content videos, think of Brendon Burchard. Here’s a snap shot of how he does this in his courses . . .
You see the boards behind him? They have single words or max, one sentence per thought he wants to cover. He uses the bullets to remind him of what he wants to cover and to keep him on track and asks him to tap into his expression because his mind is free from regurgitating a memorized script or reading a teleprompter.
You can click here to see an example of how Brendon does this in the wild for his Total Product Blueprint course.
If you follow this example, you relieve your memory of the need to remember an entire presentation and you avoid sounding like a robot like Eben Pagan does when reads off the tele-prompter.
Dan Kennedy uses slides during a seminar the same way but for his latest Renegade Launch he read robotically from the tele-prompter and if you’ve listened to Dan live without a net and Dan reading, it’s like a night and day difference in how it impacts the listener.
But be warned. This bullet formula is meant for someone who knows their subject cold, backwards and forwards. If this is you, you can trust that the greatness in you will pour out.
When did you jump into trying it out on stage for real?
He was a huge fan of Eddie Murphy because he was the first really young comedian rocking the stage in the big leagues in his 20’s. Before Eddie, everyone you saw put on a suit and a tie and wanted to look like a professional grown up.
Right out of the gate Eddie never put himself in the “Grown Up” category.
Instead, he’s on stage saying, “All of these diseases scare me because these are fuck years for me. I’m in my sexual prime. I fuck. These are the years to fuck. This is when you do your best fuckin’, when you start to learn your body and you getting your shoulders in on the fuckin’. Eighteen year olds in audience, make some noise. (HUGE portion of the audience screams out) Ya’ll don’t know how to fuck yet, see. (Crowd Erupts In Laughter)
Eddie was from Brooklyn like Chris was. Everyone he knew wanted to be like and make it out of Brooklyn like Eddie Murphy. This is a prime example of how people identify with intimate details you disclose about yourself. Don’t deny that you have this same power that Eddie did.
So Chris is waiting in line to get tickets to go see Eddie and he sees an ad for a comedy club. So he shows up there and they tell him that tonight is audition night and that you had to pick a number.
He got up on stage for 3 minutes and got a couple of laughs and as he was walking out, Mike Eagan, who ran the club said, “You passed.” and Chris didn’t know what the hell he was talking about because he’d never even been in a comedy club before.
Mike told Chris he could come any night and from then on he was at a comedy club every night for 9 years. EVERY NIGHT. He pretty much went a decade without taking a woman out for a date on a Saturday night.
How much Work Are You Actually Putting In?
This behavior mirrors Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice he gave to the audience at Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Business Mastery seminar. He said . . .
Passion is the game!!! If you’re pissed that you’re falling asleep, you’re winning. If you not, it’s over. Simple as that.
He believes that even the biggest Garfield the cat fan could get paid $100,000 grand a year, talking about how much the fuckin’ love Garfield and find ways to monetize eyeballs.
Gary gets paid $15,000 to drink wine with people?!? Case in point. If you have a business model that doesn’t make you happy, you need to change it TONIGHT!
You can’t win because you have to work YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF to kill it!!! THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE!!! That’s the biggest problem that he sees, NOBODY WANTS TO WORK HARD ENOUGH!!!
People wanna do law of attraction and have shit magically appear in their hands. That shit does not happen.
The only way that you’re gonna work 15 hours a day and pay that sacrifice to be away from your loved ones to travel and hustle is if you’re doing something around a subject matter that you live and breathe and die for!!! Period. End of story.
Put up content around this subject matter and I promise things will happen.
7PM to 2 AM is Game Time!!! Maybe 9-2 if you’ve got kids and a family!
STOP WATCHING FUCKING “Dancing With The Stars”!!!
How are you doing in this “WORK YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF” department?
If you’re not getting the results you want, living the life you want to live, making the impact you want to make, you probably want to assess how you’re managing yourself.
Did you feel like Saturday Night Live was moving you forward?
Chris thought he was the shit when he landed SNL but he was still real young.
And compared to every one else, he didn’t think he was that good. He’d never taken an acting class, never had written a sketch, and the guys leading the show were better than him. He acknowledges that Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, David Shade, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley and Adam Sandler were all superstars and that he got the acknowledgement he deserved even though some people will try to tell him SNL held him back.
He rode the bench just like Kobe Bryant did for two years.
He feels this was a great time in his career and likens it to going to X Men school. Conan O’ Brien was a writer on the show, Senator Al Franken was a writer on the show. He was surrounded by greatness.
Who’s In The Room With You?
Tony Robbins talks about Mark Victor Hansen coming to him asking for advice on how to move beyond his current income level. Tony made it simple and asked him to assess how many multi-millionaires Mark was spending time with. Mark admitted that there were no millionaires he was surrounding himself with. Tony then told him that’s why he wasn’t doing better than he was and that he needed to put himself in the presence of people who had attained what he wanted and learn what they know.
Who are you surrounding yourself with that you can learn from? What’s your X Men school? How are putting yourself in the presence of people at the next level above you?
Did shit come together for you after SNL?
Chris admits that after SNL he was pretty much done. He’d been in a couple small rolls in movies. He believes he was never GOOD in anything he’d done, just ok, and had a rep as a nice guy to work with.
What he also feels was a challenge was the fact that Saturday Night Live hadn’t had a black actor on the cast for eight years. And Eddie Murphy was the last one. This led to people always comparing him to Eddie Murphy. Any reviews you read were pretty much, “He ain’t no Eddie Murphy.”
He feels it’s hard to grow under this kind of scrutiny and felt his career was over after SNL.
So he’d pop up in a TV series here and there and some shit bird roll in a movie and he remembers knowing his career was in the toilet because one February he had no work, even though it was black history month when black comics get all kinds of work because every white school wants to book you.
This is when he gave up trying to get famous and started really focusing on becoming a good comedian.
He believes the show case clubs where you go in and do 15-20 minutes on stage have ruined comedy. Everyone who makes these their primary act has visions of having a television series in their eyes.
Before there were showcase clubs, people actually had to develop a show. Before Cosby and Seinfeld, stand up comedians were happy to just be stand up comedians. Now people are trying to get a TV show based on a shining 8 minute clip and that’s it.
The same thing goes for baseball nowadays – no one can even pitch seven innings anymore. Seven innings is a big deal now. When Chris goes on tour and does two hours, people are amazed not having the reference in their mind that there was once upon a time when everyone did two hours.
Only this lazy ass generation can’t hang with putting together a full on show.
His only goal at this time was to be able to be good enough to sell out the comedy club with having to do any of the ineffective promotion that was the norm for the industry (putting yourself in front of people who no interest in seeing you in the first place).
He started getting better and better as a result of all the work he put in and he found his voice that allowed him to not be so scared. People started laughing so hard that he had to look around and make sure they weren’t laughing at something else. This is when he knew he was onto something.
He had auditioned for all the shows like Letterman and Leno and had gotten turned down so he didn’t have to worry about the size of his bits so they could fit into those shows so he’d go longer and not having this time constraint was liberating to his act.
ARE YOU PARANOID ABOUT THE LENGTH OF YOUR BLOG POSTS?
It might be easy for you to look at a Copyblogger or a Zenhabits, Seth Godin, or Chris Brogan and think that shorter format is what you have to gun for in order to appeal to people.
Not me. I don’t give a fuck as long as I trust what I’m saying is interesting and tells a complete story. I’m not trying to fit into and industry norm package and trying to appeal to everybody with a wallet. I don’t believe you should either if it squelches your voice. I trust that if what I’m saying is intriguing, that the right people will make time for the discoveries I reveal.
And you might think that shorter posts will lead to more output, more content out there to be crawled and indexed but you must be careful because shortness just for the sake of having more content out there without substance is like putting lipstick on a pig – underneath the glitter it’s still a pig.
Whatever length you go, always keep in mind that your main outcome is to BRING. THE. FUCKING. RUCKUS. Maybe you do this with short posts, maybe you tell a longer story but the one way to determine what you’re capable of is to set no bullshit deadlines for yourself that are shorter than what you’d feel comfortable working under.
Now at the beginning you may not be bringing the fucking ruckus to your audience because you’re not used to performing under the gun but if there’s gold inside of you, I believe you’ll get better and better and better. I know I have.
So my advice is to work to a deadline and to a point you want to clearly make, not a formulaic industry norm set amount of words.
The Key For Opening The Hearts Of Your Audience
Chris’s HBO comedy special “Bring The Pain” changed his world.
Before this he was featured on another special called “Big Ass Jokes” but “Bring The Pain” brought the fame.
Chris acknowledges that political stuff gets the most attention but the relationship stuff sells tickets.
Political stuff is topical so it’s easy for the press to write about it. But political comedians play clubs and 1,200 seat theatres. That’s it.
“If you want to play Staples Center or Madison Square Garden you’ve gotta talk about people fuckin’.”
You’ve got to talk about the complexities of men and women more than anything else. Even when he’s touring around the world, the relationship stuff works EVERY TIME. He doesn’t have to change even one line in Europe, or Australia, or New Zealand or anywhere.
Your life is your relationships. That’s all it is. Everything else you do is your job. He’s come to the conclusion that even though he loves comedy, his relationship with his wife and kids are ultimately what’s going to determine his happiness.
The More Personal Something Is, The More Universal It Is
How are you at weaving in the relationship details into your marketing/content?
If you’re just puking up text book data and putting this in front of your audience, don’t be surprised if they react like you did when a text book was placed in front of you as a child.
Think about it, what made your heart sing more – a math text book or the intricacies woven into all the background of the characters and their relationships with their parents and each other of the book, “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory”?
We, as humans are attracted to the human drama. Look at what sells on TV and in the movies. All that stuff is put there not because someone wants to put it there but because it sells.
Love, jealously, hate, envy, passion, compassion, and all the other spectrums in the rainbow that is the emotion involved with relating to the other people in your life are massively appealing to your audience and if you pepper this stuff into your content, you’ll be doing exactly what Dan Kennedy preached in his DNA Game Changer Seminar (get the full notes on this course here) and credits for having the same people buying from him over the span of 20 years, even though they have all of what he knows after getting the newsletter for a year and have Magnetic Marketing.
Start letting your audience in and watch what happens.
How Prepared Are You For Opportunity?
Every comedy special and tour is like a fight to Chris Rock.
So he does what fighters do. Fighters set up a training camp. Fighters will do an eight week camp to prepare for a fight and he believes if you give him eight weeks he’ll fuckin’ blow you away with a great act.
A lot of the time he picks West Palm Beach Florida for the place to work out. There’s a lot of old Jewish people there. He figures if he can make old Jews laugh at his shit, without changing his act for them, he feels like when he puts it in front of the young people it’s like he’s swinging at a lobbed underhand pitch.
He likes to find what you wouldn’t call an ideal situation and say, “Let’s work underwater.” And this leads him to feel, “If I can do this underwater, you get me above ground, it’s gonna be amazing.”
I’ve seen Chris Rock perform “underwater” live in L.A. in the rinky dink room at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. He was working out his jokes he wanted to use while hosting the Oscars.
Chief Nerd had a ritual when we were working there where we’d go to the club on Sunday night. If you got to the club before 9 you’d get in without paying a cover and only have to buy two drinks.
Before 9 is when they let all the open mic’er’s get out and do their 3-5 minutes. Fuck that. 97% of these guys were horrible so it only took us a couple times of falling into this friend/family/tourist trap and enduring this punishment to come to the conclusion that we’d be best served by showing up 5 minutes before 9.
At 9 they had their up and coming paid regulars get up and rock the stage and they kicked ass. There’s quite a few of them who are doing big things today in comedy.
But the real reason we wanted to be there specifically on Sunday night is because guys like Andrew Dice Clay, Eddie Griffin, and other heavy hitters would call in and if there was a nice size audience, and they were wanting to work out (refine their act) they’d just drop in and hop on stage. And this was how I got to see the super star Chris Rock working his magic only 20 feet from me in a little dark room.
They still have this arrangement going so if you’re a fan of seeing live stand up comedy, I highly suggest you go check them out at five minutes before 9 on Sunday nights.
Who’s Your Greatest Stand Up Comedian?
The guy hosting the show said he saw Bill Cosby in 1969 at the Apollo Theatre and it was the best act he’s ever seen. Chris Rock says he saw Cosby in 2007 and it was the best stand up act he’d ever seen. He’s still got it.
The reason he says Cosby is the greatest ever is because Cosby’s so good no one even attempts to do Cosby.
Where as all kinds of people do a little Richard Pryor, including him. You can actually attempt Richard. You can’t even try to do Cosby.
The genius of Cosby is that his material doesn’t rot. When you’re doing topical news event shtick, it dies because it depends on your audience having a reference point. NONE OF BILL COSBY’S MATERIAL IS PREDICATED ON A DATED REFERENCE POINT.
Chris says, “Every joke is SO. FUCKING. GOOD. that it stands the test of time. Almost all of Bill’s shit would work today just like it did back in 1969. You can’t say this about any other comedian.”
The Cosby staples are his family, aging, going to the dentist and expands out to all kinds of other stuff anyone who’s human goes through the motions of performing.
Richard Pryor originally wanted to be Cosby. This is something that is well documented. He even sounded like him.
Pryor had power in not being the cocky guy on stage. He was vulnerable. It wasn’t hard to believe he could break down and cry at any time.
Take A Note From Dan Kennedy’s Renegade Millionaire Launch
Don’t know if you knew this or not, but Dan Kennedy’s Renegade Millionaire products he just did a launch for have been on the market for years now. The “Updated” Magnetic Marketing product he offered as a bonus is probably close to 20 years old now. An oldie but a goodie.
And guess what? When Dan is in his 70’s, he’ll be able to roll out Renegade Millionaire and Magnetic Marketing AGAIN if he chooses to do so because the concepts within them are SO. FUCKING GOOD. that they’re timeless – they’re based on the universal truths of being an entrepreneur and selling psychology.
Now this doesn’t mean that Dan isn’t riding the wave of the new trends in marketing. His Social Media Money Magnet seminar spoke directly to what was working right now in the fast changing world of online marketing. (To get your hands on the full set of the 88 pages of notes we took on this event, you definitely want to click here now)
What Fundamentals and Core Truths Can You Cover Not Only In Your Products But Also In Your Content?
Inner Game/Head Trip stuff has a long shelf life and it’s crucial component to succeeding in any realm. Look at “Think and Grow Rich”, “How To Make Friends and Influence People”, and “Psycho Cybernetics”. Without any launch or big time publicity these books continue to sell year after year after year.
Tony Robbins’ “Personal Power” product has proven to fall into this category as well selling for at least two decades now. I consider it the “Personal Power” of entrepreneur products.
Renegade Millionaire is an Inner Game product for entrepreneurs. It’s about getting your mind right around the topic of marketing, money, and productivity.
So even if you’re in the Stompernet business of riding the wave of ever changing game of internet marketing, you can bet on the idea that your audience will need help with the core fundamentals of that market as well as help with getting the head out of their ass when it comes to limiting beliefs that keep them from taking action.
The greatest example of a person I’d tell you to pay close attention in this realm because he’s SO. FUCKING. GOOD. at covering all the bases, is Eben Pagan.
As we speak I’m going through his “Advanced Learning and Teaching” seminar. I have to still take notes on his Leadership seminar as well as his NLP seminar. We’ve already taken notes on his Wake Up Productive seminar and his Connected course. This is all content that addresses inner game issues.
I’ve already taken notes on his classic “Guru Blueprint” course which I believe he just rolled out again for the third time. We offer the notes on his mega marketing seminar “Get Altitude”. And something I’m thinking of finally taking notes on is the “How To Build A Profitable Business From Scratch” seminar I’m sitting on here.
Do you see how this guy is covering all the bases for what his prospects need? He ain’t the hot kid on the block for nothing and if you only took one action today and that was to join his list to witness his prolific product creation, that would be one of the smartest things you could ever do for yourself.
Mark my words, this guy is going down in history as being a “Cosby-like” game changer right up there with Dan Kennedy and Jay Abraham. I think that with the path he’s on, he’s going to have an even bigger impact than they have. Brendon Burchard is another to keep your eyes on.
Are you seeing more clearly now the similarities between you as an entrepreneur and the stand up comedian?
I ask you take action on these world class small business marketing strategies used by this comic legend to defy the odds and shine bright in the eyes of his audience so that you can experience your desired results too.
Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd