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The History of the B-School Promotion Flood (And What You Can Learn from It)

The flood of “B-School is open” emails have gone out and some people are super excited to jump in and get started and others are pissed that their inboxes are overloaded with promotion for the same program again and again.

After talking with some of you on Facebook about it, I figured I’d share more widely about how I understand this came to be and you can use what I am sharing to make non-emotional decisions about whether B-School is the right next step for you.

No need to get pissed, annoyed, or upset about it — and, if you do, a good opportunity to look at how what’s coming up for you may be the exact medicine you need for your own next level of growth.

The strategy that is being used by Marie Forleo to sell B-School is one that was first used most successfully online by a group of guys originally known as the Syndicate. (They may not have called themselves the Syndicate, but that’s how I always referred to them in my own mind.)

These guys got together and collaborated to cross-promote each other and inspire their audiences (email subscribers) to buy each other’s products and programs.

The way it worked was this:

Imagine that there were 12 guys in the Syndicate. Each of them would claim a promotional period and during that promotional period each of the other guys in the Syndicate would write about that guy’s promotion and the guy who had his program promoted would pay affiliate commissions on the sales he made to the guys who promoted his campaign.

Over time, the Syndicate members began creating contests in which whoever made the most sales would win outrageous prizes, such as trips, an extra $100,000 and even a Ferrari, Tesla or a Hummer.

In one way, this was collaboration at its best because here were all these guys who would generally be seen as competition for each other working together. In another way, it leveraged the best of competition by using the prizes to ignite the natural competitive spirit of each of the guys to promote and win.

One question that naturally arises is whether these guys were promoting what they actually thought was best for their audience or if they just wanted to win. But, that’s not answerable in this forum.

Back to the issue at hand — the B-School Promotion Flood…

Some years ago, I think it was 2010, Marie and her then partner Laura Roeder came out with one of the most fun, hoppin’, amazing video series we had ever seen to promote an online program.

If you saw it, you’ll remember. It was like a sequence of hip hop music videos. And while Laura and Marie didn’t have many affiliates for their B-School program at that time, they were able to build a tremendous amount of buzz because their promotional/pre-launch videos were so hot.

Suddenly, everyone knew about B-School and the following year Marie leveraged the power of that notoriety to expand B-School sales via affiliate marketing.

And, Marie took a note from the Syndicate playbook and offered $1,000 affiliate commissions to those who wanted to promote B-School. Not only that, but Marie taught her affiliates that one great way to encourage sales would be to offer a bonus of their own to encourage sign-ups and then she added in the contest element.

Now here’s the interesting thing — I’m not even sure what Marie’s affiliate contest is – there’s definitely not some huge prize (like a car or a vacation) for winning – and yet, there’s still a certain cache that exists around being on Marie’s “Leaderboard”.

But more importantly than that, I believe the reason so many people run B-School promotion (including myself) this time of year has nothing at all to do with contests and everything to do with knowing that promoting B-School is going to pay off in a number of ways:

  1. Marie’s B-School Sells. I know that if I invest time writing up emails to my list and spend money on FB ads (in the form of boosting posts since ads are not allowed), that time and money is going to pay off because Marie’s sales materials for B-School are the best I’ve ever seen. So if I invest time marketing B-School, I know that she’ll close the sale.
  2. People Who Take B-School Are Serious About Their Business. I have very specialized knowledge to offer people who are serious about building a sustainable business around their Great Work. Most people aren’t really serious when it comes to building a business. Anyone who takes B-School is serious and will benefit highly from my work. That’s enjoyable for me.
  3. Many of My People Need B-School. People who come through the Money Map program and identify as using the Sage Guide, Star Guide, Star Creator, and Star Connector Archetype models for their business need to learn how to leverage the internet to bring their work online. B-School teaches that and then I can build upon what they’ve learned in my coaching programs rather than having to teach it from scratch. It makes my life as a guide to my clients easier.

So there you have it. No need to get pissed about all the B-School promotion emails, but you certainly can learn from them. And look at what your annoyance is telling you because there’s likely an opportunity for growth there for you.

And if you are interested in joining B-School and would love to see the bonus we are offering when you do (to give you the micro-business JD+++ on top of your B-School micro-business MBA), you can take a peek here (and there’s a link in there to a page with a roundup of the best b-school bonus offers we could find).