Can breakfast cereal promote physical and mental purity?
Well, believe it or not, that’s the notion that inspired the creation of one of the world's most recognizable, multi-billion dollar brands…
It all started in the mid-1890s, at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, when two brothers by the names of Will Keith (W.K.) and John Harvey endeavored to create the blandest food EVER conceived to keep their patients’ bodies nourished and, above all, abstaining from any indecent thoughts or behavior.
Devout vegetarians, the brothers promoted a low-protein diet based largely on whole grains, nuts, and yogurt, as well as strict abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and any caffeinated beverages.
They accidentally discovered a process of turning stale wheat into flakes of “toasted porridge” and decided it was a perfect, unstimulating snack for their patients.
In time, wheat was replaced with corn and, lo and behold…
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was born!
Unfortunately, a dispute over the recipe would soon irreparably sever the Kellogg brother's relationship…
W.K. correctly assumed that adding a bit of sugar was the only way to mass-market the product to a wider consumer base.
Because, let’s face it, what kid doesn't want sugary cereal instead of bland, soggy flakes?
This infuriated John, who rightly believed that adding sugar to the cereal defeated their initial purpose of creating a non-exciting, healthy food that would keep people’s bodies and souls pristine.
Sadly, the Kellogg brothers would remain estranged for the rest of their lives over this quarrel.
But it would also become the cornerstone of the Kellogg Company’s breakfast cereal empire.
Indeed, without W.K.'s insistence on adding a bit of sugar to an otherwise bland breakfast cereal, Kellogg's would NEVER have become an internationally recognized brand.
What's important about this story is that adding sugar to the recipe was perhaps the easiest aspect of the entire manufacturing process…and also the single most important.
This simple modification added tremendous “value” to what would otherwise be considered a boring, unappetizing food.
And as an entrepreneur…
Adding value is your primary concern
First it's important to know exactly how to identify value, which is NOT to be confused with price.
In fact, if a consumer makes a purchase, that implies more value is placed on the goods acquired than the market price—i.e. whatever they purchased is worth more than their money.
Makes sense, right?
Okay, so have a listen to how YOU can add value to your affiliate offer or opportunity right here…
Now read on and let's ask the question…
“What exactly IS value?”
Think about what it takes to cultivate a field of wheat, corn, or whatever produce comes to mind.
You need the proper equipment and specialized machinery; the seeds need to be fertilized and watered; and you need to get rid of any plagues or pests that could prevent the crops from growing to their full potential.
In the case of cereal, once it’s matured, the crop needs to be harvested, then stored, and refined before even thinking about distributing it to manufacturers.
The manufacturers then take the grains through another set of processes, cooking the kernels to grind them afterwards; then drying them and driving them through a press to mold the actual flakes before cooking, and, well…you get the idea.
Ultimately, you’ll find the product at a local supermarket.
This entire process, from growing the seed and taking it from the field, all the way to the store is called the…
“Economic Value Chain”
Every single link in this chain is adding value to the raw, base materials.
“Value” is an enhancement or modification added to a product or service before it reaches the end consumer.
W.K. Kellogg saw the value of adding sugar to their cereals to make them more appealing to the public.
“Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff.”
– Arjun Basu, author
“Value added” is used to describe instances where a firm takes a product that may be considered a homogeneous product, with few differences (if any) from that of a competitor, and provides potential customers with a feature or add-on that gives it a greater perception of value.
Value can be added or destroyed
Think about companies like Apple and Microsoft.
If you took an Apple product and stamped it with the Windows logo, you’d actually be devaluing that product.
Yup, ‘fraid so.
You would absolutely be destroying value, simply because Apple products are regarded by the marketplace as “premium” – meaning people are willing to pay more for this brand than its competitors, even though they may or may not necessarily be “better.”
Conversely, you can take a Windows product and stamp it with the Apple logo and you would be adding value to that specific item.
Kinda crazy, right?
Now, as an online marketer, you’re probably wondering…
How can YOU add value to your offer or opportunity?
As an online entrepreneur…
The CONTENT you create IS your opportunity to add value.
Whichever product or opportunity you may be promoting…every piece of content you create to promote your offer needs to add value in the eyes of potential customers.
This goes for any ads, blog posts, social media updates, videos, and any other type of content you produce in order to drive traffic to your website and channel leads into your sales funnel.
CONTENT is your link within the economic value chain.
Importantly, your advertising is the “packaging” in which the product you’re promoting is delivered.
You want your offer to be seen as the “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes,” rather than the generic brand; you essentially want the prestigious brand’s stamp on your product to add more value in your potential customers’ eyes.
You want people to regard you as the “specialized” solution to their problems; a trusted resource, rather than just another “generic” online marketer, desperately reaching for their wallets.
“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.”
– Bill Bernbach, co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach Worldwide
So, now that you know what value is, let's get specific.
To flesh out how to add value online, there is a little thing I like to call the…
“Quadripartite Value Ladder”
This is an informal model, which will help anyone add value to their content.
This ladder is comprised of four different “levels”:
Each level adds a certain value to the content produced, and they can all be combined to maximize its effects.
It's true, there is a certain amount of value to news.
You’ve probably been in a position when you were the first to hear something, and couldn’t wait to tell someone about it, right?
This type of value add goes back all the way to ancient times, when people used to hang out at crossroads for travelers to pass by so they could hear about what's happening in other parts of the world.
However…news is still closer to a commodity than an actual value add.
If we go back to the economic value chain and Corn Flakes, news would be the raw material:
Kellogg's doesn't really care where they get their corn; there isn't a big difference in value between one farmer’s corn or another.
In the affiliate marketing world, implementing news to add value would be like announcing an event, a webinar, a new “secret to success,” or the “next big thing.”
People have heard all this before. Today. Less than an hour ago.
So while there is still value to be gained from news, it shouldn’t be the primary value add for your content.
There is a distinction that needs to be made between benefits and features, and to illustrate, I’d like to share a little something about me…
Recently, I’ve been getting these really unpleasant headaches, probably a combination of various things like posture, eyestrain, stress, etc.
I started doing my research and discovered there’s a wide variety of computer monitors designed specifically to reduce eyestrain.
However, while digging into this, it was extremely difficult to get some solid, useful information.
I found endless lists of special features and distinctions, such as LCD vs LED, higher contrast ratios, megahertz refresh rates, motion blur reduction, zero flicker backlights, HDMI vs. DVI connections, anti-glare, pixel density, etc., etc.
The thing is…
I DON’T CARE about ANY of that!
All I want are the benefits.
Just give me whatever is going to make my headaches go away so I can get back to work!
Now, this is something critical to keep in mind while crafting your content…
Make sure you’re communicating the benefits of your opportunity to your audience, rather than rambling on and on about the features.
“Good content strives to explain, to make things a bit clearer, to make sense of our world.”
– Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
While some people might appreciate the features of a specific product (car enthusiasts would want to know specifically how many “CCs” are under a Porsche’s hood), most would simply want to know if it can provide a solution to a problem and deliver what they are looking for (like going extra fast and looking extra fancy).
Now, make no mistake, curiosity is HUGE!
I’m sure you’ve seen this all over the Internet these days: you go to a website and at the bottom (sometimes on the side, and sometimes even all over the place) you find these “suggested articles.”
Here are just some of the headlines I found recently:
- Eating at Odd Times Can Make You Fat
- 20 Famous People Who Have No Idea How Reality Works Anymore
- 25 Real Facts That Make Common Fears Way Less Scary
- 7 of the Toughest Baby Animals
- 3 Most Perverted Looking Japanese Movies on Netflix: Tested
- You'll Never Guess Where These Movies Were Filmed
- 20 Famous People Who Have No Idea How Reality Works Anymore
- 35 Popular Songs That Don't Mean What You Think
- 7 Creepy Video Game Easter Eggs We Wish We Never Found
- 11 Weird Movie Hairdos We Love
Note that these are all LOW VALUE articles.
I mean, seriously.
But they kind of make us want to click anyway, right?
These kind of articles are littered all over the Internet and the curiosity sparked by their headlines make people actually want to read them, even if they KNOW at first sight that they will regret spending time reading about “20 Famous People Who Have No Idea How Reality Works Anymore.”
“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what's on the other side?”
– George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
That’s how powerful curiosity can be!
This is the single most powerful rung of the value ladder.
“You are competing with every piece of content ever made for every person’s attention. You need to be entertaining. Don’t outsmart. Out entertain.”
– Dolf van den Brink, President and CEO of Heineken USA
A good story can influence people in more ways than you think…
For instance, when Top Gun came out, EVERYONE wanted to become a pilot.
Recruitment into the navy went through the roof! It got to the point where recruitment officers were hanging outside of movie theaters because viewers would walk out thinking “I want to be that guy!”
When Jaws came out everybody developed a sudden uncontrollable fear of going into the water.
When Indiana Jones came out, there was a massive surge in archaeologists of my generation.
When the Academy Award-nominated documentary Super Size Me came out, it literally ended McDonald's “Super Size.”
It changed the country’s (and probably the world’s) view on McDonald’s and probably the entire fast-food industry forever.
Stories are the most impactful value add you can bring to your network marketing business!
Essentially, you need to be telling stories in ALL the content you create.
If I want you to understand the economic value chain, I tell you a story…
If you want to change people’s lives, you tell them stories…
If you want to change the world, you tell stories…
That’s how you get people engaged.
We are all hardwired for stories because they capture our hearts and minds.
“People need stories more than bread itself. They tell us how to live, and why.”
– The Arabian Nights
There’s even something called the “narrative fallacy,” which means we are so susceptible to stories that we’ll literally be persuaded by a great story; as long as it’s emotionally impactful, we’ll just go with it, whether or not the premises of the story's conclusions are necessarily sound.
It’s part of our emotional nature!
We are biochemically hardwired to respond to stories.
Among other things, stories release dopamine and engage our mirror neurons─the part of your brain that allows you to actually see something that’s happening (like somebody getting hurt) and internalize it.
Our limbic system allows us to learn things by watching people, observing, and listening to stories.
In a sense, we can all physically experience stories.
Learning how to tell profitable stories
At the end of the day, if you want to add tremendous value in your network marketing business, you need to learn how to tell awesome stories.
The kind of stories that will inspire people to follow in your footsteps.
The kind of stories that will persuade people your opportunity is the solution to their problems.
The kind of stories that will help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert in your prospects’ eyes.
However, you could have the strongest, most compelling story in the world…
And still have it fall on deaf ears!
Think about it…
“You can’t sell steaks to a vegetarian!”
Simply put, if you’re not talking to the right people, they will NEVER, EVER take any action!
It's essential to identify a hot, responsive audience for your story…especially if you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste!
And how do you find the right audience?
I'm glad you asked, because it just so happens that you can find out exactly how on day 2 of our free 10-day crash course in online recruiting.
Ferny Ceballos ─ Chief Marketing Officer here at Elite Marketing Pro and 7-figure online earner ─ will reveal how to practically read your prospects' minds and get Google, Facebook, and YouTube to literally tell you who's ready to join your network marketing business and buy your products!
Ferny explains, in detail, precisely how to target your ideal customers from the get-go, saving you boatloads of advertising money, time, and headaches.
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Until next time,
Director of Content
Elite Marketing Pro
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