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March 8, 2022

154. Get Different with Your Marketing - Mike Michalowicz

Stand out from your marketplace competitors by communicating, presenting, & delivering differently.

Stand out from your marketplace competitors by communicating, presenting, & delivering differently.



By his 35th birthday MIKE MICHALOWICZ had founded and sold two multi-million-dollar companies.

Mike is the creator of Profit First, which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit.

He’s a multiple time best-selling author on a mission to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.

His latest book Get Different will give you the tools to stand out in any market.










Differentiate means to observe what your contemporaries are doing, your competition and don't do what they're doing. I'm a huge fan of best practices in all facets, except for marketing. You got a hiring best practice, Wade. I want to use that. You got an operational best practice. I want that. But when it comes to distinguishing myself, the way you're doing is not what I want to replicate. Because to the prospect, it becomes habituated. Meaning we're familiar with it. We ignore it.


Welcome, everybody. Today I am super stoked to have Mike Michalowicz with us. He is an author whose work has just been following me. He's everywhere you may be have known. He's everywhere. And I've just gotten to hear about him. Really excited to have him here today to talk about getting different with your marketing. Thanks so much for joining us today.


Wade. Is this way to be here? It's is funny. Phrasing. Yeah. My work is chasing you down.


It is it's following me.


So I come in the morning. My books sitting here like, oh, yes, exactly.


Well, again, Rockwell Lalvani told me about you than Susanne Mariaga, then Amber Vilhauer and Loving. I'm going deeper into it. I'm into the second reading some of your books, so thank you.




So thank you so real quick. About Mike Buy his 35th birthday, Mike had founded and sold two multi million dollar companies. He's the creator of Profit first, which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit. He's a multiple time bestselling author on a mission to eradicate entreprenurial poverty. I absolutely love that. And his latest book, Get Different. We'll give you the tools to stand out in any market. So what I want to first do is go right into it first for you.


Why is it so important for you to eradicate entreprenurial property? That was something that just struck me when I saw your books.


Oh, yeah. That's a visceral experience for me. And I defined as a calling for myself when I started my first business when I was right after College and had some success and started another had some success, which means I built them and sold them. But the problem was, I started, my ego exploded. I was like, oh, my God, I'm so smart. I'm a genius. And then that triggered my downfall. Deserved. I lost all my money. I Wade myself out trying to be an angel investor. I call myself the angel of death because every business I started was collapsing.


And I lost everything, including my house, my possessions, and my daughter felt compelled to save me. She was nine years all the time by volunteering her piggy bank as my financial savior. And that is the most humbling moment of my life that turned me around to start studying what makes entrepreneurship successful. What can I do to fix my financial misunderstandings? Lack of time management. I was working like an animal and as I started studying this things, I started writing the writing turned into books, and I discovered I'm not the only entrepreneur experiencing this.


Almost law.


Entrepreneurs are experiencing elements of time, poverty, cash, poverty. And I'm like, okay, this is why I'm on this planet. I got fix this for myself. I got to fix it for anyone that is interested in learning what I've discovered. And that's why that's my life's mention.


That's awesome. And I've seen some of the theme of your books, and I don't know if I call you an abundance multiplier. I see your clock work is focused on time and freedom. Profit first is on money and get different is really about getting people's attention. Now, with all the stuff that's going on. And I'm a little older. I'm not a millennial. And I joke with my kids about their need for attention. And so sometimes we almost think, like, I don't want too much attention. Why is it dangerous for small business owners and enter to not get attention?


Well, because attention, of course, is how we sell. That's the face kind of level value or skin deep analysis. But we can go deeper than that. What's interesting is if you look at most small businesses. And I've had the privilege of surveying tens of thousands because they're informal surveys are formal hands raised in an audience or actual surveys. And I ask people what's your primary source of lead flow. And for most small businesses, it's client referral. 30% is common, but for many businesses, it's like and some of them.


And I was one of them brackets. I got 100% of my leads from climate referrals. I don't even need to market. Here's the problem. If you're going to hear leads from clients, that isn't awesome. Acknowledgement of the quality of your service. But it also means you're at the whim of those customers marketing you if they decide to stop, you're screwed. But also, it means they're carrying the marketing responsibility on their back. They believe in you so much that they're doing it for you. It's not helicopter parents, helicopter clients.


We need to take that responsibility over if our customers believe in us that much, and we are that good. Well, damn it, we have a responsibility to market accordingly. We must get noticed. And if we don't market, that means our prospects are discovering alternatives that are inferior. And that's a disservice to get noticed to provide something, make something available at superior is of service. I believe marketing is the ultimate act of kindness.


Yeah, that's something I heard somebody say years ago to Jeff Walker workshop, and it sounded kind of cheesy. It's my job to get my products in your hands and help you. And at first I was like, okay, that's a really good line. But as I've done this more and more and like, you, you'll have those clients like, wow, you made a huge impact. And like I said, your work it's getting everywhere. Then you realize it's kind of bigger. How do you say from even a maturity standpoint a self esteem standpoint?


That's something that's kind of odd. Sometimes again, we're told, don't be too flash. You don't be too showy. But you're sharing the, like, the cost of that, then also the cost of the team members. You might help. What else have you seen that it costs people when they're not willing to stand out when they're too shy?


Yeah, if you're too shy, we depend on a few clients, and there's a financial consequence. It's like, oh, I need more business. And so we actually start pressing into our existing clients, say, hey, what else can I do for you? We actually Wade press clients to do things that are not service to them because we need the money. Is that saying that many of a person lives their lives in quiet desperation? They were talking about the entrepreneurs. We are desperate for better financials. We are desperate for more time, and we're not getting either because we're leaning to existing customers, trying to eat out more money and trying to be of extraordinary service by working our butts off.


So by marketing and discovering new customers, first of all, you are of services customers. They now find something superior. But now it offers the opportunity to replicate your core competencies. Listen, if I'm a heart surgeon and I do a real good job, I should find more patients that need heart surge, not go to my existing patient and say, hey, do you also need some try podiatry work? I can work on your foot. We start to actually dilute our ability. So by expanding the awareness, we get to actually concentrate our ability.


That's what the goal is.


Yeah, I love that. And I love one of the things you said in the book, which is that paid advertising is the fine for not being different. And anybody who's thrown money at stuff or bought a course that maybe didn't work out or especially even more bought paid ads and realize, okay, the ads are all gone now, and they delivered what they said. Now I have nothing. How does that play out?


Paid advertising means that you aren't noticeable enough for whatever reason. And the idea of being different is not to be outrageous. I'm not saying address like yellow the clown and walk around. It's actually leaning into your authenticity. You mentioned Jeff Walker. He and I were going to get together on Sunday a couple of days from now. We're meeting with an our guy, Don Miller, and Jeff is. He texted me yesterday. He goes, Dude, I can't come. And he goes, because I missed my wife. Like, I've been traveling a lot.


I just want to be home for my wife. That's authenticity. So he's like, I'm really sorry to ruin it. You know what a lot of people would do in a situation like this? I can't make it because and then formulate some excuse. You know, in marketing, the paid advertising is like a formulated excuse. It's like, hey, this is. But when you do genuine, authentic marketing of who you your brand, your company truly is the right people. I say I get that. That was my response to Jeff, my dude, I would do the same thing to be with my wife.


I totally get there's a certain point where we're out too much in our marketing. We have to put our authentic selves out there and just expose the truth. Some people are going to say, I don't like that and be repelled by, but there's a certain community that's going to revel in it and say, thank God I found my person. So excellent marketing doesn't require you to pay your way into play. Excellent marketing just requires you to be authentically your brand and lean into it.


Yeah. I love the example you gave about the red suits and the Gray suits and trying to find your soul mate. Would you mind sharing that? I think it's in the book.


I love that.


I thought it was so brilliant of a way to explain this.


Yeah. So the scenario I gave it, I just wanted it to be visceral. I want people to say, oh, wow. I get it. Imagine you're looking for your soul mate. This is your life's mission on this planet, and you're putting in a room, and there's 500 people all in Gray suits. Now how they're competing to gardener your attention? Your soul mate is, well, they try to be the the Gray or Gray or the tighter fitting Gray or the loser, but they're all Gray. Imagine all of a sudden, one person walks in and they're in a red suit.


They are so distinct. You identify them immediately. Now, here's the funny thing about consumer behavior. You're looking for your soul mate. Are you gonna spend to find or somebody? You got to talk to him for a couple of hours, 1000 hours of interviewing to see if that's the one. And where do you start? If someone walks in the red suit, it's like, oh, that's my starting point. And they may not even be your soul mate, but because you started there in the red, you notice them.


You're like, they probably are the people who are noticeable. We have an immediate affinity toward. We're willing to investigate the relationship further with the people we notice, even if they're not our soul mate. So the point here is this is, I suspect, for the right prospect, you are the sole mate of a company. But if you're wearing the Gray suit, if you're simply doing what everyone else is doing, you're noticeable, and your client is going to get exhausted trying to find you. But the second someone walks in, even if they're not, the sole mate is wearing the red suit, they're gonna get the customer's attention.


So you are this homemade Wade, the damn red suit. Put it on now and stand out.


Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the points you start out, the book with which I think is so critical is the better isn't necessarily better. I know I've grown my business for years off of referrals and word of mouth. And just like you said, then I'll have a LinkedIn post and five of them, ten of them. And it's the same one or two people commenting. It almost becomes embarrassing for me. Like, Wait, doesn't anybody else know you than these two people? And it's great that they're super fans, but it's putting so much on them.




Awesome. So there's another framework you share, which I think is so basic and yet, in a good way, so simple. The dad framework differentiate attract, direct. How can somebody look at in a real practical sense? So somebody says, okay, my website, my marketing piece, my email. What's an example of somebody being able to use that framework to say, am I differentiating? Am I attracting? And then am I directing the person to the correct behavior?


Yeah. In the context of those three things, it's a checklist. If your marketing be the website or whatever can't check off all three elements you're crippled in your marketing is going to be less effective. But if you check off all three, I'm not guaranteeing a massive flow of leads by am guaranteeing you the advantage. Differentiate means to observe what your contemporaries are doing, your competition and don't do what they're doing. I'm a huge fan of best practices in all facets, except for marketing. You got a hiring best practice, Wade.


I want to use that. You got an operational best practice. I want that. But when it comes to distinguishing myself, the way you're doing is not what I want to replicate, because to the prospect, it becomes habituated. Meaning we're familiar with it and we ignore it. Classic example is the hey friend email. The first time I got an email that started off the words hey friend. I was like, well, as in France, who's this friend that calls me friend? They don't even use my first name.


And there's, like, smart marketing. I've never read a hey Friend since I probably gotten hundreds, probably thousands. They go into the delete box instantly. That's habituation. Well, I don't care how you're marketing if you're marketing the same way as everyone else and the customers deem that marketing not relevant to them, they won't even give your marketing a second glance. You must stand out. So do what no one else does. The attractor factor is you need to speak to the audience interested. They must say this is for me or this resonates with me.


Or at least this is my people. I could become this interview dressed like a clown and compared to assume to your other guests on the first guy dressed like Bozo, the clown with that squirting lapel and that walk walk a Horn that's different guarantee attention but is attractive. And the answer is no because we all know clowns are murderers. You know, they think this guy's a weirdo. I'll lose them. So the key is first to differentiate to Garner attention, but then attract to retain attention, speak to a problem or a need, or simply entertain and educate.


But keep us engaged. But engagement only goes for so long before you need to give me direction. And we can do a 48 hours podcast at a certain point. Everyone's off so it can only go for selling along until we have to give direction. Direction is giving specific and explicit direction telling what the customers should do next. And this is the key. It must be reasonable. I can't say, hey, you come to my website. The five is $100,000 for my consultation and wall a conversation. You make no way, but on the other side, for God forbid, stop doing the learn more buttons.


I go to websites all the time. They say Learn more is the action button. The whole reason I went to the website wants to learn more. Don't keep me in this circuits loop. Tell me what the next step is and the next step is always a transaction. Maybe it's not monetary, but maybe I give you my cell number so you can text me information or my email address so you can send me information. And your job is to move that relationship to the final transaction as efficiently as possible.


If you load dollar transaction, I sell books, maybe it's appropriate. Sometimes your website says, Buy the book a specific and explicit direction to take the next action. Find. If it's a more expensive option, it may be, hey, let's have a consultative call, but move them quickly and reasonably for that final transaction. That's the dad model.


Awesome. I love that. And I'm going back through a lot of my things right now and finding that certain things I'm faulting on one of those steps. So working on that one of the other things you dress, which is talked about a lot is the lifetime value of a customer and understanding that. And I find there's a lot of people that either really market really well and don't know their numbers or vice versa. How do you do that? And you use example of even bookmarking because I know some people authors say, Well, I'll just throw way the book.


I don't care if I make money off the book. I just say, Why wouldn't you? How do you do that?


So how I track it? So one of the techniques is keying strategy. This is taken from direct marketers. It's brilliant. Any marking you do be able to track back that source. So a real rudimentary example is say I send out a direct mail campaign. I send out a letter to prospects and letter. One says, Buy my book and get a second one half off. And the other one says, Buy my book and get off the next book or whatever. So the wording is different. Well, on each one, I'd have a different key.


So one says, to benefit from this offer, go to Mike site one, and the other one says, Go to Mic sites two when they're landing there. Now I know what source, what marketing source they came from, and I can deem which one's serving you better. It's split testing done on a kind of a real world example. But you can do this in anything you can do live events this way. Like, hey, there was a meet up gathering, and what this event did is for one kind of marketing.


They said, Go to the gazebo. The other one said, Meet the flag pole. And they were just simply seeing where they got the gathering. What was working. Well, you can measure all elements of this, and sometimes your sales leads to subsequent sales. So when you sell something, track that customer where they are. When people buy a book, I track the marketing and see how effective we are converting to buying the book. But once they have a book, I want to see how engaged they are. There's a key in every one of my books, which is simply email me to tell your progress.


I can see definitively that profit first is the number one most engaging book. Get different is right behind it. Now they're kind of duking it out. But I can see where people are most engaged. And then I can see how many of those people are moving forward to the next transaction, which maybe work with one of our service companies behind the books. So each step is keyed so I can measure it. It's kind of like I mean, it's not the best example, but if I was a security guard, I see the different televisions of all the different aspects of my business.


I can see where the people are walking through and flowing through. But if you're not measuring, you know, cameras, you're the security guard is sitting at the interesting. I don't know, wher people are in the building, but I guess people are here. And that's really dangerous position to be in, especially if it's lethal weapon. It's a real dangerous position to be.


Yes, it is one of the things I love about that. And maybe you speak to this how that makes things easier, because before you do split test, and before I learned about split testing, it was all on me to figure out to be the genius and to be the sort of story, the mythic hero that knows everything that's going to sell in the marketplace, as opposed to the juts that just says, okay, I'm going to try. I'm going to try B and whatever says, I'm going with that.


And I'm going to try A and C. And how does that make running your business and your marketing easier? And in fact make it less work.


Yeah. So being a genius is a real precarious position because there ain't such a thing. I thought it was a genius. I call myself the superhero. I could swoop in and save everything. Now I realized, oh, my God. I was bringing in more damage than anything. It was all guessing and assuming like, oh, yeah. Feels like this is wrong. My gut and instinct says this, and I was curtailing the growth of my business. I was harming it. The data doesn't lie. The numbers are factual, and I was less often.


But I was surprised by how often my hunch was absolutely wrong. I did wrote another book called Fix Is Next, and I was studying the behavior of business versus the behavior of humanity. And there's this Maslow's hierarchy. It shows that our gut instinct services very well in self survival. You know, when you're thirsty or hungry and when your instincts feel that you're in a dangerous and precarious position, that's all your sensory inputs calculating things together, and you probably aren't a dangerous situation. The thing is, we're not hardwired into our business.


We're hardwired into ourselves. My site doesn't check to my business. My hearing doesn't check my business. So components are the data. So we need to look at those sensory inputs of the business. The data interpret that, and that will give us a real sense of what's going on. And inevitably, our gut is a pretty risky thing to trust. I'm not saying ignore it. It could be a harbinger of something to investigate, but I'm not saying it's the fact of source by any stretch of imagination.


Yeah, absolutely. I know. I said if you let me trust my gut on brains Hurd, you which I have no idea how to do.


Then give you that.


I've got an idea, but we really don't want to go with that. A lot of times when marketing campaigns aren't working, people get told. Well, you're not trying hard enough. You need to put more money into it. You need to work harder. You need to grind all the other stuff. And the grind in the hustle used to be fun dances in the 70s and 80s, and now they're like, it's really bad. It's completely different. Why doesn't it work when we just throw more? And the marketing gods don't bless us with more results if things aren't working.


Yeah, something that's not working. Doing more of it. It's insane to expect that to bring a result. But the pundits do say that. And I'm not disparaging marketing companies or marketing agencies, but we do have to realize that their motivation is to keep you engaged in moving forward. So there could be kind of bipolar goals here when we are told to do more because it's not working. Who's really benefiting from that? That's the first question we should ask ourselves. But also, this is an adage that kind of spreads around.


You got to run Facebook ads longer. Everyone knows that that ad ran the paper. You got to just run five ads, not one ad, but that is is a derivative of a concept of what's called market planning or market plans. We all come up with these marketing plans and what a marketing plan is inherently is a commitment. This is my marketing commitment for a certain period of time. And that's why this kind of belief of fictious, where I explore in teaching and get different is not to focus on marketing plans yet, but to start off with marketing experiments inherent to marketing experiment that interprets into an expectation for failure.


It's really an expectation for learning is to learn through trial and error. That's what experiment means. Plan means commitment. Experiment means troun error. And so what I invite people to do is test out your marketing at low or no cost as best you can to get to a sample size where we know we have enough data where there's significance into this is working or not? If it's not working, what can we learn from it and maybe improve if it is working, what can we tweak and change?


And when we're nailing it, that's when that's something, we should amplify into a marketing plan. So don't start off with commitment and just kind of Bull dog way through it. We got to know if this stuff is working in the first place, when something is working, that's when you do more and more of it until stocks not working. Yeah.


And I think that's the whole vicious cycle is if you're mimicking what's working for other people. Well, first of all, nine times out of ten, they're not telling you that what their secret sauce is until it's not quite so secret, because if it was completely secret, no events that wouldn't tell you for the most part. But then when it starts mimicking people and I think you refer to this just then. Now you start mimicking the people. So now you have no experiments. So there's such a fear of losing money, you end up losing a lot more money because you're unwilling to take that little loss of that little hit of the experiments, hoping everything would be right.


Is that kind of how it plays out?


Yeah. We you guys hear a business is a big Petry dish, because the essence of marketing that's effective is that it starts off with the dad model. You must differentiate any marketing will expire. There's a shelf life for it. I just can't tell you how long it's going to be. And, for example, with Facebook ads, the very first person that ran Facebook ads, they had a massive community and they were coming in, and it was new to this community. The new way of advertising Garner attention. It was a windfall for that person kudos for them.


But over time, it's become saturated. Now, I don't know if we're at the saturation point because people move into more verticals. It may still be effective, but it's going to be harder and harder over time. And this isn't a Facebook problem. This is true for any marketing over time on that gold mines discovered, there's a gold run, and it will deplete the goal that's available. And we have to find the next source. So the key here for us is create different marketing. Once you find somebody who's working, milk it for all it is worth.


But also realize there's a point that can be depleted, and we need to start new experiments. So for every time you have a plan rolling out for that experiment that spawns into a plan, start new experiments behind it to find the next thing that you can use going forward.


Awesome. Thank you so much. And just for those listings, there's so much in his books, I'm going back again to make sure I get it and learn it. They really are, like workshops. And that's awesome. I know sometimes I like those books where you just read through. Nobody asks me to do anything.


The other one every set of the way I hire you. Guess that would do. Yeah. Exactly happen to her? Yeah.


Absolutely. So some quick questions for you to kind of round things out. If you could give your entire target audience one skill.


What would that be to really see and know that marketing is kindness? I believe if we if we can get over that fear by crowding it out through seeing the marketing kindness, that skill, that belief turned up the marketing engine. 1000%. Awesome.


What's the costs is business mistake you ever made. And what did you learn?


Well, the cost was the thing that I knew everything, and that cost me literally cost me my life savings. I was a self made millionaire in my early thirties, and I lost it all because I was cocky. I was a day. I was like, no anything. And now I'm like, oh, I know, very, very, very little. And I got to keep on learning that cost me a lot. We don't know everything. We know very little, at least from my case. I know very little, and I'll constantly explore.


I hear your parenting teaches me that, too.




What's the best business decision you've ever made? And how do you execute it?


Putting a present in place for every one of my businesses. So I own two directly. I have four licenses, so collectively, six businesses. There's a present, each company. I am not the implementer. I'm great at the strategy, and perhaps maybe a spokesperson, but that's about it. And getting them was just finding the right person that could work with someone that has wild ideas and can channel into an effective rollout. Awesome.


What's your best tip? To help people get more results in less time?


Actually, to do less? I'm actually in contact with the guys doing a study who's found that a business typically doubles in growth when the owners working half the time in quadruples, when the person works one quarter at a time. So the crazy thing is to get more results, actually seek ways to do less, and you get more awesome.


What's the one thing that most other entrepreneurs do that you find unnecessary?


Well, they're working like animals. They throw the superhero for the business. I believe that 100% until about 1015 years ago, I was like, oh, my gosh. I consider a great awakening for me. If you think you're a superhero, that's crushing you do way less of that. Be the super visionary, for sure, but not the superhero.


Awesome. What are you most excited about in your business right now?


Just the impact we're having. I get feedback by the hour now by the minute. Actually, people email me, so I have read your book. I'm just so thrilled that I've only scratched the surface and serving the number of entrepreneurs I want to serve, but I can see it happening. That's just the ultimate. Yeah, that's awesome.


Congratulate, man. What are you most excited about in life right now?


The freedom I have. So I'm spending more time with my wife and kids and experimenting like this year. I'll take I think it's nine weeks of vacation time, and that's when I say vacation. That's not weekends. I don't have that actual weeks and no access to the office. No active office. It's been amazing. I'm taking four weeks in December and going to Hawaii with my family. I cannot wait. I mean, I never had as a child growing up that opportunity. And I'm just thrilled I can do that with my kids.


Sweet. Congrats. And we'll put the links below. But Where's the best place people to connect with you to learn more about your work.


Go get different. Com. It's the Mecca for this book, but also, there's a hundred tips or ideas that you can use for marketing that are really outside the box. They cost nothing or very little. And at least we'll get you started in this process. That's there for free at go get different. Com.


Awesome. Thank you so much for joining us, Mike. There's so much to this. Really appreciate it for those of you listening, he's a real deal. Check out what he's doing. And as always, look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money in less time doing you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends in your life. Thanks for listening.


Mike MichalowiczProfile Photo

Mike Michalowicz

Author and Speaker

By his 35th birthday MIKE MICHALOWICZ had founded and sold two multi-million-dollar companies.
Mike is the creator of Profit First, which is used by hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe to drive profit.
He’s a multiple time best-selling author on a mission to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty.
His latest book Get Different will give you the tools to stand out in any market.