We’ve all seen our fair share of web personalities claiming to be self-made millionaires with a great secret that will help you unlock the door to riches overnight. There are few legitimate ones and even fewer with the integrity, electric personality and wisdom that characterize author and speaker Randy Gage. It sounds like a bold claim at first, but Gage has more layers than an onion with a journey that has an interesting beginning with a young, 15 year old Randy in jail for armed robbery.
Today, Gage has spoken on prosperity and success in over 50 countries, authored the best-selling book, Why You’re Dumb, Sick & Broke and How to Get Smart, Healthy & Rich and has had his articles published in Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Magazine and many more.
After connecting with Randy via LinkedIn, I was really anticipating this interview because he has really excelled in spreading his message and building a strong online presence. You would never be able to tell that the 52-year old has always been extremely resistant to technology, taking over two years of prodding to get an email account only to have them each email printed out by his assistant for 6 months.
There is one thing that people like Randy have in common, I mean the people who are making six and seven figures online: they all know it’s about value and relationships.
Our discussion offers firm validation on sanctioned techniques but also some unique insight from a man who has mastered all mediums of marketing from print to radio and television, yet has abandoned many of the traditional mediums in favor of online tools such as social media and email marketing.
Without further adieu, my interview with the great Randy Gage:
FULL AUDIO INTERVIEW:
Melonie Dodaro: Randy, I wanted to interview you because of your incredible use of social media. I’m really impressed with what you’ve done on the various social media platforms that you’re active on. Can you share some of the ways that social media has helped you build your personal brand?
Randy Gage: The thing that social media does is get all of the intermediaries out of the way so you connect direct with your tribe, whatever that may be. Whether you’re a book author or a dry cleaner, if you really do social media right, you connect directly with people and that’s where real branding is done. Most people think branding is a color scheme or a logo or a tagline. That isn’t really what branding is.
Branding is how the market perceives you and when it’s really done right in an amazing way, like Nike or Apple, it’s not even just how the market feels about you – it’s how you make your market feel about themselves. Social media allows you to be so connected with them and know what’s going on in their space. What are their concerns? What are their questions? What are the issues they’re dealing with? That’s what makes people say, “Hey they know what’s going on with me. They care about me. They connected with me.” And that’s what I really work on doing in social media.
Melonie Dodaro: Yes, absolutely. So I know that you’re also very high profile in the network marketing world and I’m curious as to how you view social media for network marketing.
Randy Gage: The way I see it is you shouldn’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do offline, and that’s the lesson. I think this is what a lot of people in network marketing don’t get…if you were in line at the theater, and you were going to see the new James Cameron flick, would you just start throwing up all over the person in line in front of you saying, “Hey! I’m in this amazing opportunity and you should be in on this.” Would you do that in line at the movies? So why would you do that on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere else?
It’s like people think, “Okay so here’s what I do, I got a Facebook page and then I join a group and wow, there’s 573 people in that group. Let me send them all a pitch!” Would you do that if you walked into some other club and there were 570 people in the room? Would you assault all of them with your pitch? No. So if you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online.
Right now, let’s say you meet somebody online. The relationship develops, you know you’re having a conversation, and you recognize the need that they have and you think your product or service could help them or you think your income opportunity could help them. Great.
“Hey, I’ve got something I want to chat with you about. You know send me your email or give me your phone number, I have something I think you might want to check out.” Then take it offline and, where appropriate, approach them but the problem is everybody thinks that this is the shortcut. I’ve got all these leads now because everybody who’s following me on Twitter or this Facebook group get this event invitation, which turns out to be a tele-seminar pitch for their amazing jungle juice that they do on Tuesday night at 7:30 from somebody you don’t even know that comes up in your Facebook. That’s the event. How gracious of them to invite me to that event. Like, oh please!
Melonie Dodaro: You’re right, I so often see network marketers making that mistake: pitching, pitching, pitching and it’s the same thing. A lot of businesses make that mistake too but I do notice it’s very prevalent in the network marketing industry. So aside from the whole pitching thing, have you seen other mistakes that network marketers have been making with social media?
Randy Gage: That’s the main one. They forget that network marketing is like every other kind of marketing and that the most sales are already done. People buy things because of BLT. They believe you, they like you, they trust you. If you have BLT, they will buy it. They vote for political candidates because they believe them, they like them, they trust them. They take any kind of action like that it’s based on BLT.
I have a very successful business because I’m good at marketing and so I’ve been a copywriter since way back. I’ve been a direct mail guy and I’ve done radio and I’ve done television. So I looked at social media when it first came out like, “Wow! Look at all this great opportunity for all this interruption marketing that I could be doing!”
Once I got on it, I was smart enough to say, “Well, before I do this on Twitter, I’m going to just work for awhile and I’m going to see what the accepted practice is and how people conduct themselves on here.” And fortunately, I did that and realized that if I just get on and start pitching people, it’s no worse then spamming them with email spams. They don’t want that. People hate that. So you get on and you figure it out and you realize you still can be a marketer, you still can be a promoter but you’ve got to follow the rules of the game: you get in but provide value first.
I put out so much free content. I do a video every week on my YouTube channel. I do a blog post everyday, five days a week. I broke 50,000 tweets yesterday and I do hundreds of Facebook updates but I’m putting out stuff of value, stuff that in years past I would have charged money for. You would of had to hire me as a consultant or go to my seminars or buy my book or buy my DVDs. What I found is when you give value, provide lots of free content, people start to say, “You know what? I believe that guy, I like that guy, I trust that guy. He gives me lots of free content and I see he’s got a DVD set. I think I’m going to buy that. Oh I see he’s coming to my area. He’s going to do a seminar. You know what, I like the stuff he does so I’m going to go to his seminar and see what’s that about.” And they spend money with you without even selling.
“People buy things because of BLT – They believe you, they like you, they trust you.”
Melonie Dodaro: Yes, exactly. Providing value is so key, I completely agree with that. What other advice would you give on how to use social media to get better results?
Randy Gage: Well, in copywriting we always talked about the intrigue headline, the question headline that caused you to say “What is that about?” and then caused you to read the first sentence which intrigues you to read the second sentence which intrigues you to read the third – we called it the “bucket brigade” copy based on back in the day, when fire companies used to put out fires by one guy handing the bucket to the next guy, to the next guy, to the next guy. You want your copy to pull people through that and you do the same thing with video or audio or anything else. Social media is no different.
If you intrigue people with putting those big pictures with “I lost 87 pounds in 10 minutes!”…We still think you’re screaming at us. Whereas if you did some photos and a journal or showed some progress report and did something with a little mystique, something a little mysterious that causes me to say, “Hey what are you doing. I noticed you’re losing all this weight or you’re on this special program. What is it you’re doing?” Now I’ve given you permission to market to me. I’ve asked you to market to me. I’ve actually expressed a need for whatever product or service you have and that’s what social media can do in an amazing way.