Many moons ago I was quite the martial arts student.
Over six years I managed to collect enough pancake-sized bruises, bell-ringing whacks to my head, and accidental groin kicks to earn myself a brown belt.
I’m pretty proud of that, but it took me a good 3 years before I could start dishing out more punishment in the sparring ring than I took.
It was around that time that, almost overnight, my fighting style went from resembling two rams smashing their horns together over and over again (where basically they guy with the highest pain tolerance won), to reminiscent of Bruce Lee having his way with a low-level henchman.
Well, at least I felt as nimble and powerful as Bruce Lee – I got hit a lot less, and started landing nearly every punch and kick I threw.
And, in addition to my increased confidence, I limped a whole lot less too.
So what made the difference?
Among the few breakthroughs that turned things around for me was a technique I learned from one of the senior black belts, or sempai, of the dojo, Michael Jai White.
If you’re not familiar with the name, you’d almost certainly recognize his face from movies such as “Spawn”, “The Mike Tyson Story”, and “The Dark Knight”.Wanna know how I got these scars?” – Not a good day for Michael
Unlike many other Hollywood stars that rely on their stunt doubles and fancy editing to make them look like action icons, Michael is a bonafide butt-kicker, having mastered more martial arts styles that my kids have Dora the Explorer toys (which is a boatload).
He didn’t have a name for the little lesson he shared with us that night, but I call it the “Flying Karate Cam”.
Michael described how inexperienced fighters basically have one strategy: looking directly at their opponent standing in front of them and charging straight ahead, head down, fists-a-blazin’.
This approach, he explained, wasn’t effective because every opponent, from the day they put on their white belt, is trained from day one to block everything that comes straight at them.
“You’ve got to go beyond the 3 or 4 targets your physical eyes can see right in front of you. Imagine that there’s a small camera flying all around your opponent, that transmits everything it sees directly to your brain, allowing you to see all the vulnerable areas that you opponent isn’t thinking about protecting.”
Now, although I wasn’t a big believer of out-of-body experiences, who was I to argue with a guy that’s wiped the mat with virtually everyone he’s fought.
It took me a few days to get used to it, but soon I began to see open spots all over the guys I was fighting – hands too far from the head, elbows hovering just high enough to expose the rib cage, feet spread too wide to respond to a quick kick.
Even better, the more openings I saw, the more my opponent had to worry about defending himself from my punches than throwing his own.
While they probably wouldn’t think of themselves as martial arts masters, the best marketers and copywriters I know have their own version of the Flying Karate Cam.
But rather than searching for the best angle to deliver a roundhouse kick, their cameras are trying to find the best angles to deliver their offer.
You see, the common approach used in most marketing is some head-on variation of “Here’s what I’ve got to sell you, now buy it!”
But prospects have their own natural defenses from such attacks: skepticism, the recycling bin, banner blindness, “skip this commercial” buttons on their remote controls, or just simply ignoring them altogether.
And these defense mechanisms have been conditioned to fire on hair-triggers since people are bombarded with these direct-buy messages thousands of times a day.
Your job is to set your Flying Marketing Cam loose to find creative and effective ways to bypass those defenses and deliver your message.
Take a good look at your current marketing efforts and see if they’re selling straight on, going right for the sale.
How is that approach working out for you as measured by your response rates, closing ratios, retention, and refunds?
What other angles and “less head-on” methods could you use to improve your numbers?
Cheers to your success!
P.S. If you’re ready to discover new approaches you can use to bypass your customers’ defenses and massively improve the results of your marketing efforts, you’re in luck. I’m working on a series of trainings that will reveal a handful of strategies that are working today that do exactly that. So keep your eyes peeled for those announcements.
P.P.S. What’s the top defense mechanism that your customers and prospects use to block your marketing messages? Do your email open rates stink? Are you wasting your time on too many tire-kickers?
If you would like some help guiding your Flying Marketing Cam to find solutions simply COMMENT BELOW describing your problem and I’ll be sure to address it on one of the upcoming trainings.