Case Study: Personal Development Company

by Tim Francis on November 29, 2012

Peel back the curtain and peer inside the marketing of a Personal Development company.

I am a huge fan of this company –  I’ve been a client of theirs on many occasions.  Their programs have brought me to new heights, in all areas of my life including money, relationships, and living a fulfilled life.

They are based in Florida and recently one of their leaders wrote me for marketing help (was interesting to be on the “other side of the table”, but was honoured to serve them).

Satvatove has outstanding programs but are feeling challenged that they aren’t reaching more people.

Here’s what I said…


Tim :)

P.S. …yes they gave me permission to publish this.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Hi Marie,

Generally speaking…. a sale is only possible when someone feels they have a problem (which is different than whether they actually have a problem or not – they have to feel it).  You get to make a sale when they believe that you can solve the problem they feel.

In fact I think I heard someone once say:

Until there’s a problem on the table, there’s no sale to be made (credit: Dr. Glenn Livingston).

(…and “sale” could be getting their email for a free report, or a cash transaction for a program or whatever)

I’ve often thought that Satvatove has outstanding value to offer, but has a challenge in packaging that value into understandable bite-size chunks that people can easily understand…. in the first 10 seconds a person needs to understand enough of what you do… to determine if you can solve a problem for them or not.  (and part of that is speaking in plain-enough language that a 9-year-old could understand.)

This reminds me of a case study I once heard about…

I once heard about a book that had 101 valuable car ownership lessons, yet the author was struggling to sell any copies of the book.  This was baffling for the author – if a reader implemented even one lesson from the book, the cost of the book would repay for itself many times over.  Logically it was a no-brainer.

Yet no one was buying the book.

Upon examining the market, turns out the most popular lesson (by far) amongst readers was “how to negotiate your car purchase and buy for 10% – 50% below market value” (I’m not quoting properly, but that was the essence).  So the author tried marketing the book as “Learn how to buy your car for 10% – 50% discount, and 100 other car ownership tips too” (again, not verbatim).

As soon as the author switched to this approach – discussing the aspect people were most conscious and eager for – book sales dramatically increased.  This was baffling for the author.  Especially seeing as there were other tips in the book that were actually *more* financially valuable, that had a far greater financial upside…. yet the problem that people were most conscious and eager/emotional to solve was to negotiate a good deal on their car purchase.

(If I were to guess, the language book-buyers were telling themselves was probably along the lines of “I hate getting screwed by sleazy, dirt-bag car salesmen… now it’s time to turn the tables and get the better of THEM!!!”)

(That’s a fired-up emotional state eager to find a solution! …and willing to spend money to do it.)

I’ve often heard this marketing expression:

“Meet people where there at, then deliver to them what they need.”

Using a Satvatove-related example, maybe a person’s true upset is an unresolved issue from childhood.  That resolution is truly what they “need” per se.

But they may not be aware of the childhood upset, how it’s affecting their relationships today.  In fact, they may subconsciously feel defensive about it and would immediately shut you out if you started asking them about it.

BUT… what they *do* know is that they fight all the time with their spouse, are on the verge of divorce, and are desperate for some kind of communication training to gain new skills.

In this example, that (fighting with spouse, fear of divorce) would be the point of entry – the “pain point” – that a person is aware of, and is actively seeking to remedy.  Because they are aware and actively seeking, all we need to do is put our solution in front of them and say “we can fix that” in a believable way.  Perhaps they are seeking on Google for:

[assertive communication]
[interpersonal communication skills]
[communication skills training]
[how to save my marriage]
[save my marriage]
[how to save a marriage]
[how to save your marriage]
[communication strategies]
[marriage advice]
[good communication skills]
[communication barriers]
[how to improve communication skills]
[couples therapy]
[listening skills]
[effective communication]
[relationship advice]
[communication skills]

(…just did a quick, 30-second keyword search using Google’s keyword tool… not saying these are the best – when I do this research work for clients, it can take an entire day to systematically focus their marketing on one narrow set of keywords…. I think you get my point, though.)

If the above marriage example was a focus for something Satvatove wanted to sell, you would make sure that the landing page for this online search was related to the keyword you advertised on.  A landing page for “marriage advice” would look, sound, feel different than “assertive communication”, or “good listening skills”.

It’s about intercepting people who are already in motion.  By far they are the easiest and quickest sale.  Just like when you coach someone… they have to be self-motivated to make a change, or else it feels like pushing a rope up-hill.  “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  The client must be willing to have their breakthrough for it to happen.

The alternative (in coaching *and* selling) is way too expensive, exhausting, and generally ineffective… to continually take 10 minutes to explain what you do, before you can even begin a conversation about their problem or your ability to solve it.  People are long gone before you even have a shot at selling them.

This really hit home for me eariler this year when I was at a party.  A stranger asked me what I did for work.  I told him “internet marketing, including things like Google Adwords”.  We didn’t even know each other’s name, and had been in conversation for all of 10 seconds…. but he pulled out a business card and told me to call him on Monday because he needed my services.  It was so insanely fast and easy to speak with him!!!

The next week I was taking a fitness class at my gym.  While stretching at the end of class, a classmate asked me what I did for work.  Again, I said “internet marketing, including things like Google Adwords”.  She said – “Oh!  My boss is looking for someone like you.  Do you have a card?”


Now that I’ve had those experiences… that business can (and *does*) happen that way – with so little convincing and cajoling because I’m on-target and easy to understand – I look back on my past efforts and wonder how I ever survived.  The old way way soooooo tiring!

Using the Google Keyword Tool, I researched a few keywords I thought would be good for Satvatove.  This is what I came up with.  Again – only a really quick, 30-second search.  Normally it would take me a whole day to get things narrowed down when I work with clients.  I have an extensive, step-by-step process I go through.  But hopefully this is helpful…

Keyword / Global Monthly Searches / Local Monthly Searches(United States)

[listening skills], 22200,6600 <— would have never guessed this keyword got this many searches!
[communication skills], 74000,14800
[interpersonal skills], 60500,18100
[effective communication], 27100,8100
[verbal communication], 18100,2900
[how to improve communication skills], 9900,1300
[effective communication skills], 9900,2900
[oral communication], 6600,1000
[people skills], 6600,2400
[good communication skills], 5400,1600
[assertiveness training], 5400,1900
[assertive communication], 4400,1900
[communication skills training], 4400,1000
[interpersonal communication skills], 3600,1900
[how to communicate effectively], 3600,1600
[communication strategies], 3600,1000

When uncovering the winning set of keywords for my clients, I begin with searching for keywords (similar to above).  Then I would then go deep on promising keywords… figure out the searcher’s mindset when they were typing in the keyword in question (and I repeat this for all promising keywords).

For example, “listening skills” – at first glance – I think would be *perfect* for Satvatove.  However, that’s just my opinion, my assumption… not supported by research findings.  Who knows – maybe I would discover that “listening skills” is usually school teachers trying to get their students to listen.  Or maybe it’s parents who are frustrated with defiant children.  Or maybe it’s people trying to avoid getting hearing aids – their sense of hearing is weak so they are trying to strengthen their hearing and think they can do so with exercises.

Or maybe it’s perfect for Satvatove… I don’t know – I haven’t researched further.

(When I did find the winning, small set of keywords, I would take that narrow group of keywords and search the internet to see how those services are currently being sold…. figure out what is working in the market, who the top sellers are, what strategies are making money, what language and angles people are using to make sales…. establish *how* they sell it [ is it an eBook first, then eCourse, then in-person?  or is it email marketing, then group coaching, then 1-on-1?]… what are their price points?  …what is their sales pitch? etc. etc. etc…..  Very revealing…. other people have spent tens of thousands of dollars, and YEARS figuring out how to sell in your space / industry, so it’s wisest to follow what works instead of trying to reinvent the wheel per se.)

In closing, this is the way to go…. research deeply into keywords and discover how people are discussing different topics… establish what path ideal customers are going down…. and then stand in that path (which could be online, offline, or both) and intercept these people who are already looking for your services… we want people who have already decided that they are going to spend money on a solution, so now they are just figuring out WHO they will engage…. it will either be you or one of your competitors.

So anyways, I hope that helps.  Once you are speaking with a person who is motivated for a solution, and you speak their language in easy-to-understand terms, and you give them reason to believe that YES, you can deliver the solution, the sales process is infinitely easier.  I’ve personally experienced this on many occasions in the marketing of my own business, and that of my clients too.

It’s like a relaxing breath of fresh air flows through my body!

Tim :)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pete November 29, 2012 at 2:10 am

Another great post Tim. Satvatove is lucky to have you help them with their marketing. I would definitely be interested in taking one of their courses if they ever decide to hold another one in Edmonton.


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