Six ways to use Comedy in Business

Six ways to use Comedy in Business

I just can’t switch off.

Every now and then, I like to have a little break from business books, and the world of personal development. I’m all “learned out”, and feel the need to just read some fiction, or listen to some audiobooks from people outside of the business world.

I’m done with learning for now, and so I’ll pick up Peter Crouch’s autobiography, listen to Robert Webb’s brilliant “How not to be a boy”, or, my latest holiday listen, “We need to talk about Kevin Bridges” by.. erm.. Kevin Bridges.

Now, I’m not a huge Kevin Bridges fanboy – I quite like him on Mock the Week, and have probably seen a few of his sets on Live at the Apollo, but that’s about as far as it goes.

So what better way to switch off the entrepreneurial brain whilst on holiday than to sit by the pool, listening to almost 12 hours of stories about the childhood of someone I would struggle to recognise in the street.

But I just can’t switch off.

Whilst listening to Kevin spend several minutes telling a story about nicking a cardboard cut-out of Hugh Grant from his local cinema, my copywriter brain kicks in.

“This is bloody good copy. If Kevin hadn’t made it as a comedian, he’d have made one hell of a copywriter.”

And the more I listened to the council-estate lad from Clydebank, who was “encouraged” to leave school, the more business lessons I picked up.

Six things you can learn about business from Stand Up Comedians.

1. Comedians are REALLY good copywriters. They get a line, or a joke – and it works quite well. But then they tweak it, change a few different words; move the line to a different segment; increase/decrease the tempo; test it on different audiences – and ultimately keep the winning version. They’re split-testers, and they don’t even know it. They just have a simple rule – If it gets more laughs, it stays in.

2. Comedians tell stories, not jokes. Once upon a time… we’re all hard-wired to digest stories much easier than any other format. The objective of the comedian may well be to get you to the punchline, but he or she knows that the best way to ensure you’ve stuck around long enough to hear the punchline without disappearing to the bar, is to tell a story. The very first thing a comedian, a copywriter, and a business owner ALL have to do is get your attention. Starting to tell a story is a foolproof way of doing just that.

3. Comedians use analogies. How do you keep a room full of 1,500 engaged with your story? Or explain a complex business problem? You use analogies. How do we explain the 300+ hours of video content that we’ve created for the One Percent Club? “It’s like Netflix for business owners”. How does Kevin explain being made to go to church as a boy? “It’s like the elderly relative that you don’t really like, but have to visit once a week.” Analogies use what you DO know to explain what you don’t.

4. They build rapport. How many times have I said something along the lines of “Market, Message, Media”? You’ve got to know your target market first. Comedians can’t just stand on stage and rattle off one-liner after one-liner (Milton Jones and Tim Vine aside) – they have to take their audience on a journey with them. They have to build the energy levels in the room, and once the audience are “on side”, then you deliver your best gags. It’s the same as my “one size fits all” marketing advice for business owners – 1. Build a list. 2. Make friends with the list. 3. Ask for the sale. You’ve gotta have the rapport first before you ask for the belly-laughs.

5. They persevere. Kevin Bridges was told “don’t call us, we’ll call you” by every club promoter in the country when he was trying to break through. But he called them anyway. Twice a week. He didn’t take no for an answer. He just kept on writing, and kept on gigging. And when he wasn’t writing or gigging, he was on the phone, putting on his best posh voice, trying to get more gigs.

6. They “level up”. Kevin was funny in school. He told a few jokes to his older brother. Then he managed to get a 5 minute unpaid set on the bottom of the bill on a Tuesday night at his local comedy club. Then a Saturday night 5-minute slot. Then a 10-minute routine. Then 20 minutes. Then a paid gig. Then a headline gig. Then a headline gig on a Saturday. Then a gig in London. Then a paid gig in London. Then a headline gig in London. Then a Saturday night headline gig in London. Then a 10 minute slot on Live at the Apollo. Then a sell-out tour. Then a DVD recording. Then a sell-out stadium tour. Next? As Gary Lineker said when talking about his football career “I just kept going up to the next level, waiting to be found out. But I wasn’t” – If you’re not constantly levelling up, how do you know how far you could go?

So there you go – next time you’d like to switch off, and not think about business in the slightest – DON’T read a book by a comedian!

ps. You can see Kevin retelling the “Hugh Grant” story here…

Using comedy in business

Some more Big ideas

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Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

Marketing for Restaurants: A cautionary tale

Marketing for Restaurants: A cautionary tale

I’ve not long come back from a family holiday in Tenerife.

We love Tenerife – the weather’s (usually) hot and sunny, the beaches are great, and the kids love racing each other up and down the long seaside promenades.

There’s just one thing that niggles me about Tenerife.

The restaurant owners.

Now, we’ve not had any Basil Fawlty style stand-up rows with any of them, they’ve not given me food poisoning, or really caused me distress in any way.

No, what gets my goat about the bar and restaurant owners in Tenerife is the way they market themselves.

Or, more correctly – the way they DON’T market themselves.

It would appear that the only weapon they have in their “marketing for restaurants” arsenal is desperately trying to drag people into the bar against their will.

“Hungry sir?”

“No, thanks mate – we’re All-Inclusive at the hotel just there.”

“Maybe just a burger then?”

“No thanks mate.”

“Beer? Cocktail? Coffee? Ice Cream?”

“No thank you.”

“Come back tonight! We have best steaks in town!” he shouts at me, as I’m now several feet away, having kept walking the entire time.

Three seconds later, and I have the next bar owner waving a menu in my face like a high street Chugger…

“Welcome family.. something to eat? Lunch? Beer?”

Grrr…

When working with One Percent Club members to market their business effectively, we often come back to the concept of being “Oversubscribed” – this stems from Daniel Priestley’s book of the same name.

Think Apple, having queues of customers snaking outside their stores for the launch of a new iPhone.

Think Glastonbury – selling 120,000 tickets to a music festival in minutes… Without telling any of the ticket buyers WHO they’re going to see!

Think of limited edition chocolate bars, and “one of a kind” supercars.

People REALLY want what they can’t have. FOMO plays a big part in being oversubscribed.

When you’re oversubscribed, you can name your price.

When you’re undersubscribed (like our Tenerifian Restaurant owning friends), you join the race to the bottom, with “€1 pint of beer” being the blunt object you try and force customers into your business with.

And if you’ve ever walked down “the strip” in Playa de Las Americas, you’ll know just how many bars and restaurants are taking part in that race to the bottom.

Marketing for restaurants isn’t difficult. Most of it can be systemised. It requires a little thought, and a little careful planning.

A little more thought than simply “how can I try and force some of these people who are walking past to come into my restaurant?”

One day whilst walking along the strip, I was stopped in my tracks – initially by a bar owner desperately trying to manhandle me into his empty restaurant, but then subsequently by the bar next door, which had no “Chugger” outside. Yet it was full.

What did this establishment have that the desperate owner in the bar next door didn’t?

They had a welcoming atmosphere.

They had a good online presence (Google Local, Trip Advisor, etc)

They had lots of repeat custom.

They had good branding.

They had a marketing plan.

We considered stopping there for a coffee. But we couldn’t.

They were full. Oversubscribed. Not a spare seat in the house.

And not a “€1 pint of beer” in sight.

marketing for restaurants

Some more Big ideas

Hula Hooping for self confidence!

Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

The 64/4 rule explained – with examples

The 64/4 rule explained – with examples

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 principle – the notion that 80% of your results are driven by 20% of your actions.

Known also as the Pareto principle, it was explained in great detail in Richard Koch’s book “The 80/20 principle”.

  • 80% of your nutritional needs are met by 20% of the food you eat.
    80% of your income comes from 20% of your work.
    20% of your customers provide you with 80% of your turnover.

This can be applied to pricing too – 20% of your customers would happily pay more for a premium product, if only you’d make one available to them.

80% of your referrals probably come from the same 20% of referrers.

But what happens when you apply the Parento Principle to itself?

Does 80% of the 80% come from just 20% of the 20%?

Yes, it does.

The Parento Principle compounds – and you can square it (the 64/4 rule), cube it (the 51/1 rule), or take things even further.

If 80% of the output comes from 20% of the input, then 64% of the output comes from just 4% of the input.

20% of your customers would happily pay more for a premium product.

20% of them (4% of your total customers) would pay even more for an ultra-premium product.

And 20% of the 20% of the 20% (1% of your total customers.. yes there’s some rounding going on here!) would pay yet more for an uber-luxurious level.

But why stop there? Of those 1%, a fifth of them would pay even more, for an even better product or service if you were able to provide it.

People think about the 80/20 rule all the time – but they always stop at that level. They never compound things further, and talk about the 64/4 rule, or the 51/1 rule.

If you knew that 51% of your turnover came from just 1% of what you do, wouldn’t you make absolutely damn sure that you worked on that 1% every single day?

That’s what our One Percent Club is all about – getting you working on the 1% gains that actually make a difference in your business. The doors aren’t open right now, but you can join the waiting list for our next intake here.

64/4 rule explained

Some more Big ideas

Hula Hooping for self confidence!

Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

Apple’s EvangeList REALLY saved the company

Apple’s EvangeList REALLY saved the company

In the mid 1990’s, tech giant Apple was on its knees.

It was trying to compete with Microsoft, and losing. It was trying to compete with Dell, Toshiba, and HP – and losing.

Apple came close to folding, until in 1995, some guy returned to Apple, having previously left the company under somewhat of a cloud in the mid-eighties.

No, not THAT guy.

Sure, we all know what happened when Steve Jobs returned in 1997 – the iPod. The iPhone. The iPad.

But without some other guy laying the foundations two years earlier, there may not have been a company for Jobs to return to.

That guy was Guy Kawasaki.

What did he do?

He created a mailing list.

As “Chief Evangelist”, Guy knew that he had to convince existing Mac users to keep buying Apple products, even if the financial press, and industry naysayers were predicting Apple was about to collapse.

He did this by creating a simple mailing list, to keep Apple fanboys and fangirls “in the loop” about Apple and its products. The EvangeList reached 40,000 subscribers – which doesn’t sound much these days (I’ve got more than 100,000 subscribers on one of my lists!), but remember this was the mid 1990’s – the Internet (and email) hadn’t gone mainstream yet.

Sure, it was Steve Jobs’s triumphant return in 1997 that ultimately propelled the company to become one of the most valuable brands in the world. However without Guy Kawasaki’s retention of their core fanbase, it’s entirely possible that you wouldn’t be able to read this on an iPhone or an iPad today.

And it all started with a mailing list.

1. Create a list.
2. Make friends with them.
3. Ask for the sale.

If it’s good enough for Apple, surely it’s good enough for you?

Evangelist Apple

Some more Big ideas

Hula Hooping for self confidence!

Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

Why segmenting your email list REALLY matters

Why segmenting your email list REALLY matters

“CONGRATULATIONS! You’re going to the Champions League Final”

What an email to receive – especially if you’re a Spurs or Liverpool fan.

With tickets for the all-English final being re-sold on eBay for up to £5,500, “low cost” Easyjet flights to Madrid costing upwards of £3,000 a seat, and hotel rooms in the Spanish capital booked out unless you fancy splurging £17,000 on a bed for the night, you’d be overjoyed to have received this email from online retailer Zavvi, wouldn’t you?

Zavvi ran the competition in conjunction with Champions League sponsor Mastercard, offering two adults an all-expenses paid trip to to the final – flights, hotel, tickets, food and drink, the works – all paid for.

So imagine the unbridled joy on the faces of the Spurs or Liverpool fan that received the following email:

” We here at Zavvi would like to wish you a huge congratulations as you have been chosen as the winner of our Mastercard competition, winning a VIP trip for two adults to attend the UEFA Champions League Final Madrid 2019.”

There was just one slight problem.

Some bright spark at Zavvi forgot to do one simple thing when sending the email out.

They forgot to segment their email list.

Rather than sending the email to the ONE person who had won the competition, they sent it to their ENTIRE database.

Oops.

That’s a schoolboy error.

You would never make a mistake like that, would you?

If you’re like most business owners I see, then yes – you probably would. Business owner after business owner get lazy when marketing to their list, and don’t bother segmenting them.

I get emails asking me to buy products or services that I’ve already bought.

I get emails to my sports betting business trying to get me to sell flowery dresses.

I get emails to my property investment business, trying to get me to sign up to the latest cryptocurrency MLM scam.

I get emails addressed to “Dear NAME”.

I get emails that make no sense whatsoever.

segment your email lists

Why you should ALWAYS segment your email lists

Not segmenting your email list properly is the second biggest mistake I see business owners make when it comes to email marketing. It’s lazy, easily fixed, and if you’re not doing it, you’re leaving easy money on the table.

So what’s the biggest mistake?

Not having an email list full stop. (or “having” a list, but never emailing it.)

Time and time again, my advice to business owners is simple:

1. Build a list.
2. Make friends with the list.
3. Ask for the sale.

And time and time again, we don’t get past first base. “Building a list” just seems like hard work.

But it really isn’t – and it doesn’t have to be.

Using an email marketing list builder like Aweber (who I’ve used personally for the last 10+ years) makes building an email list (and segmenting it!) a piece of cake.

Cheers,

John
ps. I’m so unlucky, I’m the only person who DIDN’T “win” the Zavvi competition..

Some more Big ideas

Hula Hooping for self confidence!

Introducing the O’Shitometer

#ALB37 How Neville Wright turned 37p and his Dad’s ladder into a £100 million empire

#ALB49 ThreeSixty Mortgages podcast

How Jon Monks doubled his sales whilst working half as hard

“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

PO Box 74,
Plymouth, PL7 1ZN

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