The Secret Life of Houdini & One Big Marketing Lesson

Houdini is considered to be the greatest magician of the 20th century. The book “The Secret life of Houdini” reveals how he grew up in an extremely poor Jewish family and left home as a teenager to make it big. Eventually, he became an immensely popular and successful magician of his time. The secret of Houdini’s success wasn’t just magic. Sure, he knew a few good tricks. But there were far more talented magicians during his time who weren’t anywhere closer to making a living. Houdini did one thing better than all his counterparts. It was — PROMOTION.

Houdini was a non-stop and relentless self-promoter. He left no stone unturned in promoting his shows. In fact, his close associates revealed that he was more into promoting his magic than perfecting his tricks. He knew that after a certain point of time, the product doesn’t matter.

And the reason I brought up the story of Houdini is because in my own journey, I have seen two types of entrepreneurs:

  • The highly successful (like Houdini)
  • The intellectually lazy

The intellectually lazy entrepreneurs almost always, rely on one or two or three channels to bring customers. They heavily rely on what’s already working. Ultimately, when their best performing media fails, the business comes down crashing like a pack of cards.

On the other hand, the highly successful entrepreneurs are hard-nosed self promoters. They are in constant look for for more avenues of promotion. They go all out and spread the word across as many media as possible.

The harsh reality is — If you aren’t promoting your business day-in and day-out, it will do something, it’s NOTHING.

If you have hired an SEO or Social Media agency, do not stop there. Do not wait for someone else to promote your business.

To be really successful, you need to come out of the intellectually lazy zone and take charge your marketing. Here are a few UNCONVENTIONAL avenues of marketing you can try out to promote your business:

  1. Joint ventures: You can enter into joint venture partnership with another business who serve the same target market. You can offer to promote their business to your customers and in exchange, they can promote your business to their customers. It is a win-win situation for both.
  2. Selling to Existing Customers: This is the area where most businesses fall short. The marketing industry has now engraved this rule in stone “It is 10 times easier and 20 times more profitable to sell to an existing customers”. Yet, most business owners forget to market to existing customers. If you take the time to write one simple email, craft an exclusive offer and send it to your existing customers, chances are — you will see your orders jumping up in the next 24 hours.
  3. Editorial Style Newspaper Ad: Few people are aware that editorial style newspaper Ads are read 500% more than normal Ad. The reason is simple — it doesn’t look like an Ad even though it is an Ad. Since nobody is doing it, you will quickly stand out and start gaining huge momentum.
  4. Speaking Engagements: In almost every small or big City, there are gatherings of people where they invite speakers from different walks of life. It could be associations, schools, clubs, or college. You can position yourself as an expert in your field and offer your speaking sessions for free.
  5. Content Syndication: You can actually do free PR. Good publications both online and offline are always in lookout to fill their pages with high quality content. If you can offer to write great article in your subject and you can prove that you are an authority, they would mostly won’t deny and even ask for more.
Promotion is more about implementation and action. The more you promote and the more you reach out, the better you become.

Next time, when you do not see traffic on your website, instead of blaming the SEO team or the social media agency, do one simple thing. Look into the mirror and ask yourself this question — “Have I done enough?”

Share this article with your friends and colleges on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Do let me know your thoughts on how you are promoting your business.

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