How much are you paying to learn about your customers? 

My old newsletter used to go out to twenty thousand people worldwide.

This was over a decade ago, when email marketing wasn’t quite as sophisticated as it is today.

However, that permission asset was a powerful source of leverage for my business. The case study that comes to mind was inspired by a piece of advice my mentor gave me.

He told me that anytime you launch something new, get as many reps as you can, as quickly as you can. Compress your learning in the early stages so you can iterate and improve.

Taking his recommendation, here’s what I did.

During the launch of my company’s consulting service, one of my calls to action was a free thirty call where subscribers could rent my brain. First ten people who wrote back won the slot.

Wonka would have been proud.

People’s responses were overwhelmingly positive. To the point that every month for a year, my calendar would be filled up with a nice stream of these short one on one conversations.

It didn’t monopolize my time, and none of them were paying clients, but what they gave me in return was something that was more valuable than money. Practice. The chance to get reps. Those short, unpaid sessions became the arena for honing my craft as a consultant and the platform to learn the skill of creating value for anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Not to mention, everyone agreed to write me short testimonials about their experience with me, which were useful in shaping future iterations of the service line, and the marketing thereof.

Some of those people didn’t click with me, but some did became paying clients down the road. Most just wanted the free session, which was fine with me. Price to pay for learning about your customers.

How much are you paying for marketplace education? What free version of your service can you give away to fill your funnel and exponentially increase your learnings?

It’s the power of curiosity. You have to trust that you can learn from all of your leads, even the wrong ones. Not unlike an algorithm, you can use that data to get smarter, quicker.

It’s always better to learn and pay for your education, as opposed to sitting around waiting for a sale. As my old boss used to say, there’s nothing more frustrating and potentially wasteful than trying to coax business decisions out of a small data set.

If you want greater leverage, use the permission you’ve already earned to learn.

Get as many reps as you can, as quickly as you can.

People will tell you how to sell to them. 

What’s your iteration strategy?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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