A Quick Lesson in Expert Positioning – Interview with Mike Koenigs

Why not GO to an “expert” when we want to know how to BE an “expert?” Well, we’ve done just that this week when we interview Mike Koenigs.

He is the founder of Traffic Geyser, the first internet video system to generate web traffic, and he’s also the author of several books on positioning and video marketing. All of his work can be found at http://mikekoenigs.com/.

In this episode, Mike addresses many of the roadblocks that hold us back from higher performance, one of which is ‘nervousness.’ He has a unique way he characterizes nervousness and teaches us how to solve that problem.

He also invites listeners to go to Authors Expert Marketing Machines to grab your free ebook he just published on expert positioning.

The Podcast Transcript:

Bill: Well we are speaking today with Mike Koenigs. Mike is our special guest. He’s a what I would call a marketing marvel. He might disagree with that, but he’s very good and has been over the last 10 to 12 years in marketing online and offline and we thought it would be really interesting to get a peak inside of Mike’s mind about expert status and how do you really claim your authority as a sales professional or a business owner today. So Mike, are you there and welcome to the call.

Mike: He it’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me Bill. It’s – this is fantastic.

Bill: Good, good. Well glad you’re here. What I’d like to do here I know you’ve got a couple of special offers or special gifts that you’re going to talk about a little bit later. But I’d like to ask you first, you know, you have been in the business world long enough over the last 10 years to see tons of changes and epic changes. And what do you suggest maybe a couple of things that you’ve noticed over the past 10 years in sales, in sales departments or with businesses who sell products and services. What are some of the things that you can point to and say, these are some massive changes and they’re going to be more changes in this area? I’d like you to take a stab at a few trends you’ve seen.

Mike: Sure well I’m going to actually the way back clock on it a little bit further than that just to put things into perspective, because I actually started marketing without really knowing that I was doing marketing over 25 years ago. And I started a company called Digital Café we’re one of the first interactive marketing agencies in the world and this is back when there was – Razor Fish was a big name for example or there was US Web was another one and these were companies that were rapidly worth a billion dollars or more. They got acquired by huge advertising agencies. They’re all the talk because they were some of the first companies that were doing things online. I actually started marketing online before there was an Internet and also and floppy disks were the only medium to transfer stuff so I created floppy disk sales presentations.

And back then what sales people wanted was something that provided a repeatable experience that was exciting and unique and eye catching and different that would grab a prospect’s attention, get them to say, wow that is cool, show me more and show me the results of what your product or service would deliver. And so my little company Digital Café we started it believe it or not 1989 I sold it 10 years later to a billion dollar a year publicly traded advertising agency and the reason we got acquired is we did unique different marketing things.

So the stuff that hasn’t changed is getting people’s attention and using cutting edge strategies and methods that are unique, different and attention grabbing right?

Bill: Right.

Mike: And I’ll give you one example of something that put us on the map and changed the marketing world in a lot of ways. We used to call it Promotional Entertainment at the time and we produced a video game called Chex Quest that shipped in over 6 million boxes of Chex breakfast cereal for General Mills. And if you remember a video game called Doom is like you go on, you shoot stuff in a maze ours was a “non-violent game” where you walked around with a soaker, a milk soaker and you basically eliminated flemoids were which were basically little creatures that were chasing after cereal creatures alright.

But the whole point is AOL was the sponsor America Online at the time again pre-Internet and they gave away 6 million games with America Online on it and they increased the sales of their cereal by 233% while that promotion was going on. So everyone won. AOL said, it was the most successful promotion and the most profitable promotion they ever did. General Mills said, the most successful promotion they ever did sold the most cereal they ever did and of course it was good for us because it put us on the map and eventually I didn’t become a rich man but I became wealth for a little while as a result of the sale, but I learned a lot.

And as time went on we started doing stuff on the Internet. And I’ll tell you what the next big thing was that’s relevant to everyone which was I was doing marketing for an alternative hospital that was located in Mexico that used to do alternative and complimentary cancer treatments and also they’re a holistic hospital that only served their patients raw food. They did Chi Gong meditation and they had this whole protocol that literally I watched people who are stage 4 cancer suddenly become cancer free sometimes. You know, it was amazing and I was in charge of their marketing with my wife who for years had been Deepak Chopra’s Director of Marketing. So we had access to this kind of holistic whacky world.

So there was a new series that popped along at the time called Google Video it was before YouTube even started and I started putting all my videos on Google Video because it was free. But what happened that was interesting is all of our marketing I said, why don’t we just start interviewing people who have had remarkable transformations in their health and doing video testimonials and putting them on the website.

Bill: And what year it was?

Mike: Because what is – this is back in probably early 2000’s.

Bill: Okay.

Mike: You know, I’m going to say, 2000, you know, this was again before YouTube so I’ll 2004ish.

Bill: Okay.

Mike: And 2000, I think 2005 is when YouTube came out.

Bill: Good.

Mike: And at the time hosting videos is really expensive. So what I did is I started putting videos on Google Video at the time, later on I put them on YouTube as well but what wound up happening is I named these videos using keywords like alternative cancer treatment, alternative liver cleanings and holistic medical treatments stuff like that. And suddenly the hospital call me up and said, whatever you’re doing don’t stop we doubled our leads in the past week. I’m like what the hell did I do. Because all we were doing is putting these videos on their website. But what was happening is, Google Video was indexing all these videos that were named using keywords that people were searching and they’re showing up in all the keyword results ahead of everyone else.

And because it was video people are clicking on the video watching the video and they’re suddenly pre-qualified and basically ready to buy. They’re like I know someone who needs help right now and can I get in? And because they were these authentic raw to the point conversations with people who clearly I was showing like I had got x-rays, I was showing before and after tumor shots. You know, all that kind…

Bill: Wow.

Mike: …of stuff people were blown away. And it was like holy cow. Well that became the foundation for my first online business called Traffic Geiser because one YouTube came out there were about 100 Me Too video websites suddenly and at the time I was manually uploading all these videos online naming them and it took like a week to upload a couple of videos. I made a system that uploaded them everywhere in a couple of minutes and it saved me a fortune in time and money and more effectively it just completely obliterated the search engine results.

So basically to get to the point here in answer to your question, the biggest things I’ve seen are number 1 get people’s attention and be a little unique, a little bit different. The second thing is make lots of videos, put them online, get them distributed in as many places as possible. And the third is just be raw, authentic and real and show evidence and proof that your stuff works, your products and services work, nothing better than that than showing results and interviewing people who have used your products and services. And people will fall in love with you and they’ll be pre-qualified and ready to buy.

So I’ve spent the last 10 years basically automating marketing that’s my whole world and helping people find their unique skill set, their unique message and getting it out to the world so they’re seen as a recognized expert authority. It doesn’t matter what the topic. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world.

Bill: So when it comes to – and I love that, I love the story and I think your advice is just spot on. The question I have is sometimes and maybe because we’re not very good at communicating it we get a little resistance from people and I’m sure you’ve seen it too. You know, I’m really not built for video. What am I going to say. I don’t know if my customers will, you know, do video testimony. We get all of that lizard brain resistance. What would be a way that you would recommend cutting through that because really what you’ve been, you’ve mastered is the new technology but it’s not just to use it you’ve actually mastered it to do business with it. What is a…

Mike: Right, right.

Bill: …is there a way for someone to look in the mirror, talk to themselves and say, you know what this scares me but that means that’s exactly the thing I should do. What advice would you have for the person who’s resistant I guess that’s the question?

Mike: Sure well the classic we call it the I have a face made for radio or I’m nervous or I’m not good enough or whatever it is. Whatever bad voice from your primary caretaker that made you non-confident or in-confident, unconfident early on or whatever problem you have that you’re paying your therapist for now today it’s the same stuff. So here’s what I can tell you. Nervousness is an act of selfishness and when I say that, what I will tell anyone is I developed a system I call it the perfect customer exercise and it is a step by step process that can literally eliminate your fear of speaking, presenting, being on stage or being on camera in minutes. And the primary center point of this whole thing is, when you are focused on you and worrying about you it’s a selfish act.

Bill: Yes.

Mike: It’s like what…

Bill: True.

Mike: …will people think of me? What will they say about me versus when you come from a place of service and you are there to improve the quality of someone else’s life look you will do anything okay. And when it’s your child and you see some harm coming about them you don’t think about you, you think about your child. You are suddenly 100% focused on that or whoever your – the person you love or care about most. I don’t care if it’s your dog, your husband, your wife, whatever it is. Okay so bottom line is this, when you are going through that process what I have people do is I teach them this simple exercise and actually when we’re done here I’ll give everyone – I’d give them my book for free if they want and I go through and I give them the worksheet on how to go through the perfect customer and there’s also a little training video.

Bill: Thank you.

Mike: But the very short version of it is this. What you do is I asked somebody I’d say, okay Bill can you imagine a client or a customer that you’ve worked with that you love them, they love you, they paid for your product full price, they had great results, they came back and said, what else do you have and they also refer customers back to you. Have you ever had that happen before?

Bill: Yes but not often enough.

Mike: Okay, right, right instead you’re stuck with customers who suck your life for us, steal your time and your energy, try to squirm and get extra out of you and complain and wine and stuff. So those are psychic vampires and we want to completely eliminate them from our lives, completely all right. So instead we want affluent customers people who are joyful who come to us over and over paid by whatever, whatever, whatever. So here’s what we do. I would say, okay Bill tell me that person’s name, not their last name but their first or last name. Is it a man or woman and how old are they and what’s their first name?

Bill: It’s a man named David. He’s 45 years old.

Mike: Okay so David’s 45 and what – tell me everything you know about him. Like is he married? Does he have kids? How old are they? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Just give me…

Bill: Yes.

Mike: …a bunch of details…

Bill: Yes he’s…

Mike: …tell me what he wears, what he smells like, what he drives.

Bill: What he smells like.

Mike: I’m telling you, you got to get, you got to do visual, audio, kinesthetic, you got to get your whole brain involved in this because this an act not of thinking but of being and it’ll sound a little woo woo. The bottom line is I get as much detail as I can okay and with a few questions. I mean yes you can get up there already. I know we don’t have to go through this, you know, step by step. But the bottom line is I can sit here and ask you a bunch of questions and there’s a formula for this. So when you’re fully associated with his name is Dave right? Okay you’re fully associated with Dave, he’s 45. Can you tell me a little bit about him so I can use this?

Bill: Yes, sure he’s got 2 kids, he’s married, he owns a small business. He is in the, you know, $200,000 to $500,000 income range. He’s active, works out occasionally, pretty healthy, always looking, eager for new advice, new council, new coaching new ideas. He is always in growth mode looking to grow his or her – his business to the next level in maybe 5%, 10%, 20%…

Mike: Great, great. Now here’s what’s great about that, I know already he’s a seeker okay, personal development, self-help et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So here’s what happens. You get fully associated you know who it is and when you’re speaking on camera or you’re doing your recording you’re speaking to the one. And when you speak to the one you’ll attract more like the one to you as if by magic. And people who are horrible marketers who are nervous and uneasy they’re the ones who are trying to speak to everyone and they’re worried about what everyone thinks about them. They’re trying to appeal to everyone…

Bill: Yes.

Mike: …and guess what when you appeal to everyone all you’re doing is attracting rotten, unsophisticated schizophrenic, crazy people who don’t know what they want and when you don’t give them what they don’t know what they want they blame you for it.

Bill: Yes.

Mike: Okay. So crazy marketing attracts crazy people and schizophrenic people, but when you are directing your focus and you’re in a service mode and you’re speaking to someone that you actually have an emotional investment in people can feel it come through in your voice, they can see it in your eyes, they can register it with your authentic presence and those who are not like the one will be pushed away.

Bill: That’s right.

Mike: And great marketing repels just as much as it attracts and you can’t be afraid to repel the rotten crazy people because they’re the ones and let’s face it every business has them. These are people who suck your life force, use all your resources and energy and there’s nothing you’ll ever do to make them happy because they’re not capable of being happy because they don’t know what they want. And this is what’s great about Dave when I picked up on he was constantly – you said, he’s constantly focused on growth and finding the solutions he’s a seekers. Seekers are opened mined, they’re willing to grow and they’re willing to let go of things that don’t work and even look inside and say, I’m responsible for my own destiny and where I am right now. That open mindedness is exactly what you want for a great customer. They’re open okay just like you are.

Bill: Boy that’s a profound thought because, you know, we’ve all had marketing people come into our companies and say, okay who’s your ideal client? And we say, and they say well name them just like you did. But that’s where they stop. Okay David he’s 45 years old okay great that’s it. What you’ve done is no, no, no, that’s not enough you’ve got to go much deeper than that because like you say, you’ve got to associate, you’ve got to be that person on that 5 minute video and when you are that person you will attract people like that. And most of us stop way too – at a shallow level instead of really going deeper about what is David? Who is he? What’s his personality? What’s in his heart? What’s in his sole? We don’t do that and that’s great, that’s awesome.

Mike: Yes, yes well what I’ll do is – here’s where I’ll say this not to impress anyone but to impress upon them how effective this is. And actually talk about this in my book a little bit too, but I talk about how I went from, you know, I come from a lower middle class background, I grew up in a small town in Minnesota. My dad’s a barber at 75 years old he’s still cutting hair.

Bill: Wow.

Mike: Okay he’s just like he’s been trading his time for money his whole life okay. And he just like doesn’t know how to stop. And my goal in life was I wanted to be rich. I hated being lower, middle class. I didn’t like where I was from. I wanted the hell out of Minnesota. A nice place to be from, didn’t like the weather ever. I’m not a cold weather guy. I live in Southern California now. But my parents and I get along swimmingly, but the bottom line is I was like how do I escape from this? How do I get to be rich someday? So I’ve been studying marketing for 25 years trying to figure out the magic formula and not knowing that the magic formula is to speak to the one.

But here’s how it served me. When I did my very first product event we call them launches in the online marketing business, after, you know, struggling and trying to figure this out I did $1.6 million in sales in a single week. The next time I used the same formula $9.1 million in sales in a single week.

Bill: Geeze.

Mike: The next time $7.1 million. Since then in the past literally now it’s only been – it’s actually less than 3 years over $30 million in sales. And I can tell you that the reason why people are like what’s the secret? What’s the magic? The secret is speak to the one and when you are fully associated and you can – and I literally when I’m reading my scripts or I’m presenting on camera I am fully associated with the best customer that I’d ever have and I know what they smell like, I know what they dress like, I know their children’s names, I know their aspirations, their goals, I know what they drive, I know where they live. I have pictures of their home. And I actually practice speaking my script to that person before I roll the cameras. And I practice it, and practice it and anytime and I’ll have someone standing by me and anytime they feel like, you’re a little in-authentic there you’re not natural it’s because I’m not focused on a person.

Bill: Yes, yes.

Mike: And it again it scares the hell out of most people because they’re oh if I don’t appeal to everyone no one’s going to buy my stuff. It’s exactly the opposite it’s counter intuitive but this…

Bill: It is.

Mike: …works.

Bill: You do talk about, I thought you were going to say at one time, you said, when you would try to appeal to everyone you appeal to no one because you…

Mike: That is true.

Bill: …you strike right down the middle in the split and you don’t get anybody.

Well in closing tell me a little bit about you’ve got some products and I know you’ve got a website. Tell me a little bit about how people can access some of your content. You’ve got tons of free stuff, but you’ve also got some really cool new program available.

Mike: Sure well how about we get someone started down the easiest path which is they can have a copy of my book which is called, Author Expert Marketing Machines.

Bill: Excellent.

Mike: It’s free and don’t let the word Author get in the way because the whole point of Author is in order to be someone significant, in order to stop trading your knowledge or treating your time for money and start selling your knowledge instead and how to increase your value and become recognized as the authority and the expert in your space, in your world whatever that is, it is really important you understand something called building a platform which is what you know, who knows you, your reach and what you talk about. It’s going to be your expertise, it’s going to be your years of experience all rolled up into ultimately publishing yourself. And when I said, author that means putting a couple of vides out there is publishing, writing an article on a blog page is publishing. But no one – if you don’t have what you want right now it’s because no one knows who you are and not enough people have access to you. And it’s up to you to tell your story in an authentic real way and use these tools in this new media.

So what Author Expert Marketing Machines is it’s a book that I wrote, it became a number 1 best selling book in two days and I literally read it in two weeks and I’m not a genius or an expert all I did is answered questions. So it’s a system that I teach inside the book of A, how to identify your perfect customer and speak to the one, also I teach a strategy called the 10 by 10 by 4 which is pulling your specific knowledge and know how out of your head and being able to share it with the world in an easy affordable way. And then there’s four videos as well that go along with the book. So it’s just at authorexpertmarketingmachines.com

Bill: Okay authorexpertmarketingmachines.com.

Mike: That’s correct.

Bill: Okay, good.

Mike: With an s and the book is also available on Kindle you can buy it, but why not have it for free it’s the same thing and giving it away as a gift and my goal is just to help as many people as possible multiply their values, stop trading their time for money and be able to translate or convert their knowledge in the products and that would give them the leverage they’re looking for. And ultimately I think everyone I know, every professional I was just talking to the world’s leading IVF invetro doctor is a friend of mine this weekend he stopped by my house and he – I mean this guy makes millions of dollars a year and he has hundreds of thousands of dollars in overhead a month. I mean just to basically break even he’s got to make millions and it’s all him.

Bill: Wow.

Mike: Okay he’s trading his time for money and he goes, man I love what I do but I just turned 50 and I don’t get to see my kids I’m constantly traveling, I’m on the road how do I turn my – sell my knowledge.

Bill: Yes.

Mike: And when I sat him down I said, man there’s five 5 steps and I went through. I’ve got a little 5 step process and the good news is, it works for anyone, anywhere in the world and if you think that your business or you’re different the answer is no it works for financial planners, it works for chiropractors, it works for healers, doctors, I don’t care what business you’re in, you’ve got knowledge other people need and right now no one knows you have it and know one knows about you and you haven’t converted or compressed that knowledge into a product that you can sell so you can get off the hamster wheel.

Bill: Yes now.

Mike: That’s my little pitch but it’s…

Bill: I appreciate that.

Mike: Once I figured this out for me it’s like bam my life changed.

Bill: Well I love – the thing that you said, that we harp on a lot of the pod casts and I will use the word harp because sometimes it sounds like that is this idea of polarization it’s the idea of attracting people as well as repelling people. And when you’re strong…

Mike: Right.

Bill: …in your message and you stand firm in your beliefs and you really understand the kind of person – prospect you’re looking for what you call the perfect customer it’s easy to repel people but it’s really easy to attract people too and that makes your life so much easier, so much full of joy you’re not running around the 11th hour trying to change pricing to land a deal it’s just not like that and yet so few people really have embraced that way of doing business. And so to the extent this can help them I know it is, I know it will authorexpertmarketingmachines.com.

Mike I really appreciate your time today. You’ve been more than generous with it and I appreciate you being on the show.

Mike: It’s my pleasure Bill and thank you for the opportunity to be on your platform. You know, it’s like I would say and this is an important lesson for everyone when you loan and you give your platform to someone else and you have the opportunity to teach and share and improve someone’s life or transform a life it’s the greatest gift you can ever give. So thank you for letting me do a – I love to do more than anything which is to teach and share. And I do not take it lightly and I appreciate you very much.

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