How We Accidentally Created A Cult

This blog has been re-posted with permission from Glen Carlson and the team at www.keypersonofinfluence.com.au.

How We Accidentally Created A Cult

Just last week I was asked for the millionth time whether or not my business was a cult.
My answer has become YES, which tends to get funny looks.
So here’s the question: If people refer to your business as a CULT, is that a bad thing?
I don’t think so.

Firstly, let’s agree we’re not talking about evil death cults. We’re talking about the kind of vibe that gets thrown off when your clients are really enthusiastic about supporting what you do.
Take a look at brands like Harley Davidson. I mean, loads of their customers get tattoos of their logo down their leather clad arms. No one I know has KPI ink yet, but give us time…
GoPro has a cult following, so does Linux, Reddit, Apple (maybe less so now?), Alcoholics Anonymous… the list goes on.

We’re talking about groups of people so invested, they instinctively want to spread the message and ‘convert’ new users for you.

So I reverse engineered what I think we’ve done well.

Firstly, some context for those of you who are not in fact in the KPI cult. We run a 40 week business growth accelerator. We have over 2000 alumni in seven cities around the world. We’re the ninth fastest growing company in Australia, we’ve won a Guinness World Record and, our private forums are hyper engaged and for the most part, our clients are fans.

What gets people asking us, “ARE YOU A CULT?”

Here’s what I came up with, plus some #protips:

1. HAVE A COMPELLING VISION FOR YOUR CLIENTS
It’s one thing to have a company vision. It’s another to have a clear vision for your customer’s future. Our vision for our clients is that they become recognised and respected in their industry as Key People of Influence. In their future, they’re more visible, valuable and connected in their field. They’re highly paid, they love what they do and they give back in meaningful ways.

We want that for our clients more than anything, our entire business is about reverse engineering those exact outcomes.
Harley Davidson doesn’t sell boats because that wouldn’t deliver the vision Harley knows his customers have for themselves. GoPro isn’t moving into the digital SLR space for the same reason.

#Protip: Know, care and communicate the dream your customers fantasise about.

2. INVEST IN COMMUNITY
We spend a lot of time, money and energy in fostering community and connections amongst our Alumni. From fortnightly accountability group meetings to regular social gatherings to snow trips to sky-diving adventures and bridge climbs to Christmas parties to bonus VIP events – that’s just the stuff we do in the real world. Our private online community is also hyper engaged because we lean in. We make no direct profit from any of these activities. And yet, we grow through the good word of our clients.

#Protip: Stop reading right now and ask yourself and your team – What could you do that doesn’t cost the world, but would go a long way in fostering a sense of community between your customers?

3. SHARE AND DEFEND YOUR VALUES
Our leadership team is publically opinionated, and we’re not scared of taking a position one way or another. I publically expressed that our last Prime Minister was an idiot. Someone had a go at me, telling me that as the leader of a business I should keep my opinions to myself. Ha! Not likely. We’re not a theatre company trying to please an audience; we’re building a business that’s an authentic expression of who we are. Sometimes we (I) piss people off, but it also means everyone else knows where we stand. If they don’t align with those values, we encourage them to opt out.

#Protip:Tell the world what you think. Pick a fight with an ideology you oppose and encourage people who don’t like it to take a walk. They won’t like you (and you shouldn’t care), but those who agree with you will respect you for taking a stand.

4. NICHE
By definition, cults are made up of a small group of people who think differently than the majority.
If you’re trying to help everyone, you’ll end up helping no one. Harley Davidson isn’t for everyone. Nor is Reddit. At scale however, a cult becomes the culture.

#Protip: Niche. Pick a really specific demography, geography and psychographic and build something especially for them. If you’re an accountant, be an accountant for restaurateurs in the CBD or something equally specific and go crazy giving them what no other accountant can. Understanding.

5. HAVE A COMMON LANGUAGE
A culture is determined by the social norms, the ways of doing things and is underpinned by language. Acronyms like GSD and ATM are two terms that everyone in our community gets and uses all the time. So are sayings like ‘You get what you pitch for, and you’re always pitching’.

The goal of creating our own language wasn’t intended to create a cult, it was intended to create shortcuts for communicating ideas to accelerate growth and the flow of both ideas and opportunities from within the community.
Brands that are seen as cults always start off as the minority. It’s a micro-niche that grows because you have a community that believes in your vision and values.

#Protip: How can you embed jargon into your community in a way that serves them while creating a common language for your community?

That’s my best thinking on why we often get described as a cult. We’re hosting a Business Brand Accelerator with best practice on how to unlock more value from the experience, ideas and intellectual property that’s already in your business and create raving fans. Hope you can make it!

Be Brave.
Have Fun.
Make a DENT.

More Information:

KPI Blog: http://keypersonofinfluence.com/aff/au/?p=a3046&w=blog
Our upcoming Business Brand Accelerator: http://keypersonofinfluence.com/aff/au/?p=a3046&w=fof

Glen Carlson is the Co-Founder & MD of Dent Global – www.dent.global

Want to learn more?

KPI are running their accredited 8-hour Business Brand Accelerator event in Early 2017 with some of Australia’s most well respected entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Sydney | 25th February
Brisbane | 11th March

As one of their event partners, KPI has offered our readers a 40% discount on the retail ticket price, with sale ticket prices starting from $87 for general admission.

Book your ticket to ‘One of the top personal branding conferences in the world’ – INC.com

What’s your thoughts on retirement?

I know I know retirement is a long way off, I hear new clients say all the time that they will be working till the day I die which isn’t something to look forward to.

It doesn’t matter how much you love what you do I am certain no one wants to work till the day they die.

I also hear new clients say they can’t think about retirement as their business is in too big of a mess to think to far past the next few weeks.

I believe planning for retirement is something you should do from when you are young and certainly not wait till you are in your 50’s or 60’s to deal with.

The problem I see with clients is that they can’t connect the dots.

They can’t see that the sooner they sort out their bookkeeping and finances the better retirement they will have.

The sooner they get they make a start the sooner they can start enjoying life more.

What’s stopping you from planning for your amazing retirement now?

Contact Katie today to start your planning  today.

 

Has your financial year been fun?

Has your financial year been fun-

Yes fun.

Did you love doing your invoicing?

Did you love sorting out your receipts?

Did you spend your nights/weekends doing the things you loved?

or

Did you spend hours at night and on the weekend slaving away in your office, trying to get invoices out, trying to find time to chase payments owed to you and generally just not having any fun in your business at all.

Whilst I would like to say I speak to Tradies all the time who have so much spare time and amazing cash flow, the reality is their business is slowly sucking the life out of them.

Technology has advanced so quickly over the recents years and many of my Tradies have the latest TV and sound system but are still using antiquated bookkeeping systems which are time consuming and they are pulling their hair out wondering how this will ever be any different.

The thing is it can be very different.

My two favourite tools are Xero and Receipt Bank and just like you I prefer these over other options because I believe these provide the biggest benefit to my clients and they are fun and easy to use.

Just like you might prefer you Makita over Milwaukee, or your Ford over your Holden or your Honda over your Suzuki, Xero and Receipt Bank are our prefered tools

Efficient Tradie can help you set up Xero so you can invoice any time any place you have internet, on your phone, ipad or computer.

Imagine how much easier it would be to be able to invoice when you are stuck on site waiting for a delivery or another trade.

Imagine having that time at night to do something you love rather than invoicing.

Receipt Bank is another program which means you never have to deal with finding that box of receipts again as with Receipt Bank you will take a photo of your receipt and it uploads it straight to Xero without having to do any data entry.

Imagine instead of searching your truck for receipts you are sure you put in there somewhere, to being able to claim everything you should in your business without worrying about not having copies of all your receipts when you get audited by the ATO.

Find the fun in your business today. Contact Katie to discuss how we can work to streamline your bookkeeping so that you can start having fun again.