Month: June 2021

Death Or Insanity?

A society is gauged by how they treat their mentally unstable.

I once wrote this down somewhere in my notes and didn’t even think much about it at the time.

After all, thoughts would always be thoughts.

Well, today, I met a clean cut, handsome, smiling 66yr-old with dementia.

I didn’t even figure it out initially as I was caught up with how impressionable and overly affectionate he was with a neighborhood kid.

When it hit me, my face was like one of Martin Scorsese’s freeze frames.

Jaw drops. Click!

Memories came flooding back.

I tried to think of the exact minute you go from being all rational and logical to spewing incoherent and meaningless stuff.

The exact moment it clicks shut in your mind, and then you begin saying nonsense.

The exact moment your mind is broken.

And then, the forced smiles, yimus, snickers, and managed tolerance from people around you.

The loss of dignity. The shame. You go from being respected to becoming a mad man.

In a very superstitious community like ours, your case takes on a spiritual undertone immediately.

A mad man is never ashamed, only his family members are” – Igbo proverb

Why then would his family let him go about like this?

But then, there’s only so much caregivers can give and take.

People get tired.

Patience has an elastic limit.

People have their own lives to live, build and manage, and not let it peter out by being tasked with the burden of taking care of a family member, a mentally unstable one at that.

What about his country/community?

Which begs the question, aside ostracization, what does Nigeria do for its mentally ill?

Kesh just told me “They don reason us wey well finish before they start to reason craze people? Baba, you go wait tire o

In saner climes, mentally ill people are provided with robust options; quality health care system, accessible medication.

And so many of them even get to enjoy life, doing almost everything others get to do including getting an education and raising a family.

And though I have never been to a mental health institution in Nigeria, you just have to visit our prisons to understand what it means to be institutionalized in a country like this.

This is not one of those ‘everything wrong with Nigeria’ posts, rather it’s a reaffirmation of the maxim ‘Enjoy the life you’ve been given‘.

We could all die any day, worse is we could lose our minds any day.

And with a country as ours, we are always minutes away. Love yourz.

When we talk about the uncertainty of life, we almost always think of death.

I once got down from a bus at Marina, walked about ten steps, tried to shift for an aged woman walking beside me so she wouldn’t get hit by an oncoming vehicle and boom!!! I smashed the side mirror of a danfo parked on the side of the road to bits.

I had just the transport fare to where I was going on me, so when the conversation switched to “Bros, how we go do am naa?“, hard guy for start to dey cry sef. πŸ˜‚

I thought about every decision I made prior to alighting from the bus when I did.

See me wey suppose stop on top bridge. Heiii God!!! πŸ˜‚ Which kind calamity be this?

And then it hit me, someone once said that’s how the afterlife is/would be.

The one time you get to question every single decision you’ve made throughout your life.

That is if you refuse to live introspectively.

So do we wait until we die before asking questions of ourselves?

Funny thing is, death doesn’t even scare me.

However, yut you see dementia? Chills my bone marrow.

How To Understand Your Audience

So, my girlfriend sent me a message yesterday asking about a laptop she wanted to buy.

Here’s the message:

I asked her what colour the laptop was. Lol

Now, if you noticed the ensuing conversation, you’d see she took my reply seriously, whereas I was making a joke and just messing with her.

Now the thing is I could have started going down into talking about specifications and blah blah blah about the laptop. Even going as far as sounding like a laptop salesman.

But what’s cute is I could finish talking about everything I knew about laptops and she might end up buying another laptop because it’s pink in colour.

Or because it’s cute.

Now, no disrespect to my woman who is smart as hell, as she shows here.

But the truth is that it’s important to know and understand your audience before selling to them.

My woman doesn’t work in tech, but she writes and makes videos so that laptop should be good enough.

But as someone who cares about form and aesthetics, does it also catch her eye?

This is why I teach students in my sales and marketing community that other things can sell a product other than functionality or features.

People buy because of benefits.

But they also buy because of how they feel about it in the present.

Or how they would feel about the product in future.

Does it tap into an emotion?

Does it elicit or tap into a certain desire?

Does it catch their eye?

Does it make them fulfilled?

Peace of mind? Freedom? Vanity? Prestige?

There’s a reason why religious groups spend so much money designing and building their places of worship.

Aren’t you awed when you see those magnificent churches and mosques and temples?

Grandeur – that is it.

That’s how King Solomon stole God’s heart overnight.

Even God who created all things was moved by the splendour on display. Talk less of humans.

What else does your product give your customers apart from function?

Those are questions you should ask when trying to sell.

It Always Gets Better

Every day, I have to continually remind myself that prosperity is a process, not an event.

And that’s because of the phenomenon of the snowball effect.

The snowball effect is used to describe how a small ball of snow at the top of a snow-covered peak grows in size as it rolls downhill.

It becomes so big that sometimes it’s 20, 50, 100, and even thousands of times bigger than the initial ball of snow.

This is how most growth in life is.

An example of a snowball effect that happened to me recently was in February.

So, in February, I decided to write every day.

Not just write every day, but write and also publish.

So, I wasn’t just taking notes and jots, but I was also editing, proofreading, writing and rewriting.

Think blog posts, articles, tweets and whatnot.

And the thing about writing every day is having to read every day + sometimes for hours on end.

The downside of all this was I fell sick.

But the upside was I made the most money I’d ever made at a single point the next month.

That single push in February snowballed into me taking more risks going forward.

The reason I’m sharing this is just to tell someone out there that growth isn’t linear.

And that sometimes it feels like you’re not even growing at all.

For someone like me who’s obsessed with constant growth, it can even be depressing when you hit a plateau.

The key is just to pick yourself up, dust yourself and keep going.

If it means you need to slow down, then please do.

The bamboo takes around 10 years to grow, but once it does it just keeps growing like it’s on steroids.

So, wherever you are right now, just keep going.

It gets better.

This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

Was in Ibadan over the weekend, my second time in almost 2 years since I left there.

We had an event to attend, so we had to drive past NTA and memories came flooding back.

You see, 2 years ago I was on one of the sets for my friend Juli-Ann Agorye’s show talking about digital marketing.

The show was so good I was invited back more than once.

But what’s funny was that before getting on that show I didn’t even know anything about digital marketing.

What’s even funnier is that most of the stuff I eventually talked about on the show was what I pinched from reading tweets from @ronaldnzimora, @toyinomotoso and @akinalabi.

2 years ago I was on my khaki trekking from Sango to Agodi on Thursdays.

And I had no idea where my life was headed.

2 years later, I work directly or indirectly with some of the guys whose tweets I used to front.

I also have a small community where I teach digital marketing with a few other guys.

I have a thriving blog where I write regularly about sales and marketing.

I’ve collaborated with and will still collaborate with these guys killing it out here in direct response.

Pure stuff of dreams.

And I swear, I’m not trying to motivate any of you.

I just wanted to let you know that it’s okay if you’re uncertain about what next to do with your life or you have no idea how to go about it.

It’s okay to be confused.

It’s okay to not know where next your life is headed.

I was in this same place 2 years ago and thank God for NYSC (the one reason why I’m sentimental about it).

I used that entire year to just read lots and lots of books, meet people, make friends, get my shit together, and figure my life out.

You might not have the luxury of an entire year but it’s okay to just go slow while you try your hands at different things to know what works for you.

Like I said before I’m not trying to motivate you, I guess I’ve just been lucky enough to get here.

But I just hope this helps you.

– Uche

PS: If you are interested in learning more about my journey into digital marketing, you can read up on it here.

https://www.ucheokoro.live/2021/02/18/19-things-i-learned-from-working-with-toyin-omotoso-in-2020/

The Most Unusual Marketing Stories of All Time IV: Christianity

As at the time of Jesus’ death, even after walking the length and breadth of Israel for 3 and a half years, he mostly had just a small core following – 11 disciples and a few friends here and there, like Lazarus, and his sisters.

Even the affluent ones like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were low key.

So, how did one of the greatest group explosions occur?

How did the early Christians get up to 3,000 & 5,000 people to join them at once on two different days?

What Made It Work?

How did they carry out one of the greatest marketing strategies the world has ever known and yet hasn’t been able to figure out?

Mind you, I’m not about to say anything spiritual.

I just want to explain in marketing terms how a small business can be grown using the early Christian church growth strategy.

1. Minimum Viable Audience

According to Seth Godin, here’s how it works: β€œIf you can find an audience of people who, if they were to care about you, if they were to embrace you, if they were to dance with you, it would be sufficient to propel you to the next step, begin there.  And if what you make and share with them is amazing, they will tell the others.”

In the creator economy, it is said you need just 1,000 core fans to earn and sustain a living.

1,000 core fans that can go to war for you.

1,000 core fans that can buy everything you put out.

Jesus needed just 11.

This also ties in with the next point.

2. Word Of Mouth Marketing

“In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Probably the most powerful and most spoken 6 words in the history of religion and mankind.

After the death of Jesus, his disciples preached and carried out works in his name.

Note that last part – in his name.

There is nothing as powerful as someone recommending your product or service to someone else who hasn’t met you or knows you. Or hasn’t used your stuff.

Or even if they’ve heard of you before, a recommendation further lends more credibility to your product/service offering.

Imagine people who had already heard of the eccentric preacher but never met him? Then going out and hearing people preach in his name.

Even get beaten, dragged and ridiculed for his name.

Crazy!

You need people to talk about the awesomeness of your products. That’s why Apple is regarded as a cult.

3. Be Different

Jesus was eccentric. He spoke truth to power. He dined with tax collectors and politicians. He talked the scriptures flawlessly. He was friends with sinners. He walked around with a ragtag band of loyal followers.

But in all of this, he was different.

The Bible says a couple of times “they’d never seen anyone or heard anyone speak like this man.”

You can be a white or black or brown cow and nobody will notice you. But imagine being a purple cow.

Your prospect sees a lot of people trying to sell the same thing you’re trying to sell to them, so why should they listen to you?

Why should they give you their time?

Because they think you’re worth it because you’re different.

4. Testimonials/Proof

I tell my students this all the time that first people will ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they ask you how you do it, then they become fans of your work and then you win.

But you have to prove it first.

That’s why proof is important. It’s your biggest weapon against doubters and naysayers.

It’s how you turn them into fans.

5. Relatability

Jesus’ disciples were mostly laymen with no formal education or scriptural training.

Some were fishermen.

One was a zealot or protester.

Others were almost obscure people.

But that’s one thing that worked in their favour – you could relate with them.

This is something that your customers need – they want to be able to relate with either you the product or service creator, or the product or service you’re offering.

Think about Eminem. Think about Coca-Cola.

Is your brand relatable?

6. Authority/Conviction

Remember these were laymen with little or no formal education or scriptural training.

But one thing marketing has proven time and over again is that when you believe in your product, it shows in how you talk about it.

The Bible says, “they spoke with authority and power.”

How much conviction do you speak with when describing your product?

Do you talk about your craft with passion?

How knowledgeable are you about your audience and product?

If someone stops you in the middle of nowhere, can you have a conversation with them about your business without needing any help or guides?

7. Value

How much value are you giving away? Free stuff? Discounts? Quality Help?

This was what the disciples did with their miracles and acts of kindness.

And it further proves that people don’t necessarily care about you.

But they care about what you can do for them.

This is the root of human relationships.

It’s how you build bridges – by giving something away.

And the law of reciprocity always works for generous people and businesses – as long as you ensure it doesn’t hurt your business.

Your customers will give you something back.

I hope this helps you.

– Uche

PS: You should also follow me on www.twitter.com/ucheokorolive where I tweet things I’d naturally not say here.

4 Business, Sales & Marketing Lessons I Learned From Crazy Rich Asians.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is one of the few books I’ve read that I couldn’t keep down.

I read it at a low point in my life. So, I can say it was one of the highlights for me that year.

I read it the whole night and up to the next morning.

It felt like listening to Watch The Throne the first time.

The opulence. The drip. A front-seat view into the hidden lives of rich people.

What’s funny is how I couldn’t even stand the movie. That’s gist for another day though.

But aside from how entertaining the book was, I also learned a few things about business, sales and marketing.

1. Understand your business and your audience.

These two go hand in hand together because it’s in completely understanding your business, product or service offering that you gain insight into how it can help your customer.

It’s also in understanding the needs of your customer that you know how to position yourself in a way that helps them & makes it profitable for you both.

Don’t sleep on it.

2. Function is not the only reason people buy.

People advertising their products or services blindly focus on features 90% of the time.

They forget that people don’t only buy something because of what it can do for them, they also buy because of what the product/service makes them feel.

There’s sentiment, sex appeal, power, luxury, jealousy, envy, exclusivity etc. All these and more are some of the reasons why people buy.

3. Today’s buyers are more sophisticated than ever. But yet, they still have a monkey brain like their ancestors.

In simpler terms, there’s an emotional reason why people buy or love your product. Target it.

4. Marketing is mostly about perception and less about reality.

Whoever told you a book isn’t judged by its cover or appearance or title lied to you.

There’s a reason why branding and packaging make your stuff more ‘buyable’.

Think of how to improve your product/service. But also think of how to improve how your product/service is offered.

Don’t serve delicious food on a dirty table.

I hope this helps you.

If you liked this article, you should be following me too on twitter.com/ucheokorolive

I tweet about business, sales, books, investing, marketing and occasional Thomas Tuchel agenda 😁