It’s often said there is a fine line between success and failure, and the same goes for hope and despair, or the glamorous and the seedy. This thought was weighing on my mind as I approached the number 8 Club, right in the heart of the City, yet hidden almost apologetically down a narrow side alley.
In truth this was a fun and well-chosen venue for the monthly meeting of the GKIC club, London. Amidst elegant surroundings, yet buried deep within the bowels of the famous and well-trodden streets above, part theatre and part traditional London club, with a soupcon of dark glamour; I have often wondered what the underground of the City looks like, now at least I have an inkling.
GKIC stands for Glazer Kennedy Insider Circle, and refers to 2 long-time gurus of Direct Marketing, although only Kennedy remains, after Glazer left the circle some time ago. If that initially sounds somewhat disappointing, it is at least refreshingly honest, and self-deprecating in a way that should not in any way be taken as a negative.
Dan Kennedy sits atop a pyramid of several thousand members in the US, all entrepreneurs in their own right with a passion for marketing, and a desire to help others achieve their business goals across a diverse range of industries.
The network in London is headed up by the impressive David White, who has an easy going and engaging presenting style that makes you feel both welcome and involved. David is witty and doesn’t stand on ceremony, so, without further ado, let’s review the meet and see what conclusions we can draw.
After a brief introduction, Tim Coe bounded down the steps like a long lost gameshow host, immediately grabbing the audience’s attention, via his passionate plea for all of us to focus, focus, focus(!) on the one factor that will decide if our business will sink or swim, the USP. Tim’s USP? His USP of course, that is to say his Utterly Seductive Proposal.
Tim, an entrepreneur of 30 years who has enjoyed success in many different fields, describes a business without an Utterly Seductive Proposal as “dead in the water”; how can your clients like, trust and buy from you if you are not telling them what it is you do? The theory is a compelling one, and Tim made his points concisely and with an entertaining use of visuals that bombarded the audience with insight and original ideas.
I cannot do it justice in this column, so I would urge you to buy his book; it’s all about distilling the essence of your business into 15 simple words: a slogan that can communicate to a client exactly what your Company is about, why it is different from the rest, and why your client needs it.
Tim’s writing matches his personality; bombastic, challenging, eye opening. Valuable stuff.
After a short break, David showed us a video in which he interviews the mythical, mercurial Dan Kennedy. Admittedly, the sound wasn’t great, which only added to the great man’s mystique!
In his irrepressible way David guided us through his latest “special report”, which included analysis of some of his work, including badassbusinesswomen.org, a great example of how to win business by selling your attitude at least as much as you sell your product.
The talk was gratefully received and the group discussions were a chance to get to know other members and discover more about their business aims. There was also a marketer of the month award, won by Graham Rowan, founder of Wealth Invest.
Finally, after I had indulged myself in a sweaty trip up and down who knows how many flights of stairs before emerging into the sunlight for a quick cigarette break, Sarada Chaudhuri, gave us our final presentation.
Demonstrating how she entices her clients to engage in 1-1 sessions with her, via some ingenious marketing tactics, Sarada was clear and concise, and did I mention ingenious? This felt like direct marketing at its best. Kudos to you, Sarada, I signed up to her mailing list straight away, and I’ve no doubt many others did too.
There was still time for long-time member, voice coach, and freelance audio recorder Fergus to wow us with a bit of coaching. Apparently the brain thinks at up to 25,000 words per minute. The fastest speed reader? 250 words per minute. It takes just a quarter of a second before we begin to emotionally respond to the voice we are hearing.
Well, I’m still mulling over yesterday’s meet-up, and my emotions must be retarded because I’m still deciding whether to pay the £35 membership fee which will allow me to attend more meetings going forward, and leverage the connections within the group. Since I’m new to freelancing every penny counts right now, but can I afford to turn down this opportunity?
What I will say is that I have been to a lot of events in the past month, and this was the most inclusive, plain speaking, and oddly, given the initially imposing surroundings, friendly group I have visited. It was easy to feel a bond with my fellow group members, and I wish I had had time to stay for an informal chat and drink afterwards. Next time? It’s a seductive thought. Meanwhile, let me see if I can put what I have learnt into action.
Join this group if you love marketing, like people, and want to do pretty well. 15 words on the nose!
David White – GKIC London – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Coe – author, “Your Utterly Seductive Proposal” – email@example.com, www.myusp.biz
Graham Rowan – marketer of the month – www.grahamrowan.com
Sarada Chaudhuri – founder, Your Event Marketing Partner – http://www.youreventmarketingpartner.com