As 2016 is the year of massive action for me, I am rapidly developing myself on all kinds of fields. On a Friday night I was having a YouTube learning session when I started searching for ‘charisma’. Five of the first ten search results where from a source called Charisma on Command, so it was no coincidence I started watching one of its vids. It blew my mind! The content had such a high learning value that I finished most of the videos before the end of the weekend. Shortly after, I joined Charisma on Command University, a 6 week step-by-step program designed to give you all the tools you need to take your charisma to the next level. The university costs $597 and it is totally worth it. Today, I want to share with you why it is such a huge success from a marketing kind of view. Also, I will share one thing they can do to get even more out of their online marketing strategy.
So my journey started on YouTube. The first video I watched was a breakdown of Will Smith’s irresistible smile. Why is it so contagious and how can you develop a similar smile? It turned out that there was a whole ‘charisma breakdown’ series, each of the videos showing one charisma ‘skill’. The content makes one thing very clear: charisma is a skill everyone can learn, master and apply. The content is of very high quality. I learned something in literally every video. What makes the videos even better is that they are both educational and entertaining. I really enjoy watching them. The best example might be the one from comedian Russell Brand on NBC. In the video, Russell takes over a talk show. While the hosts wanted to make a fool out of him, it turned out the other way around. My sister and I watched this video over 10 times. An extra bonus for me is that the videos feature some of my favourite celebrities. How about Bruce Lee and Tony Robbins, for example?!
Entering Charlie and Ben
My next step was to visit the Charisma on Command (CoC) website. Heads of, again! A clean and clear website focused on creating value. Next to a series of articles, Charlie and his best friend Ben (the other founder of CoC) share how they got so disturbed by their personal situations that they quit their jobs, started radically pursuing charisma, moved to Brazil and built their dream business.
‘How had a normal guy, voted shyest person in his graduating class in high school, come to be a leading speaker at one of New York City’s biggest personal development meetups?’ — Charlie
By sharing their personal stories, the guys embrace their vulnerabilities. They were far from being socially awkward before they started rapidly developing charisma. They are just two normal guys with jobs, friends, hopes and fears who one day decided to make their dreams come true. I think these kind of stories — of regular human beings pursuing something great — resonate with a lot of people.
‘Most importantly, you can do it too. Because I’m not special.’ — Charlie
When you spend a little time on their website, one thing becomes clear very soon: you feel welcome. The guys speak to their audience like they would speak to friends. And what makes it even more real is that they are their own students. When you watch the videos, you see for example how Charlie applies body language by using his hands, how he speaks with enthusiasm and how he laughs like Will Smith. I always believe that teaching by example is very persuasive. I think it is the ultimate example that the teacher believes in his lessons himself.
Charisma on Command is a brand, so obviously it wants to make money. Its main product is the ‘Charisma on Command University’. They charge $597 for the online course and all their marketing efforts lead you to it. Charlie and Ben are masters of content marketing. Next to the YouTube videos, they write high-quality articles on their blog. When you opt-in to their mailing list, they send you a carefully drafted sequence of mails with again some great content. They regularly mention their online course, but they rather focus on value than being too pushy. And looking at that content, it makes you desire for more. No wonder I was interested to find out more about the course. There was a landing page waiting for me that would score an 8 out of 10 on a landing page blueprint scale. On the page, they carefully explain why it works. They take away your fears, doubts and uncertainties so that there’s a higher probability you’ll take the step.
The course itself is clearly structured. It has seven modules (first impressions, confidence, expert conversation, storytelling, magnetic presence and leadership) and each takes you a week to complete. Every module has about 20 short educational videos and on every workday, there is an instruction video for the assignment of the day. There are a few bonus modules too. Again, Charlie takes it very personal. He shares a lot of his own experiences and it feels like he’s directly talking to you. In addition, every module has a separate forum where students share their experiences and ask questions. Both Charlie and Ben make sure to be involved; you can sense that they truly want to help their students.
It is obvious that Charisma on Command masters the skill of sharing free high-quality content to drive in customers. If I would give them a tip on how to utilize this strategy even better, I would suggest the following.
Right now, there is a clear distinction between the free content and the online course. The videos, articles and emails refer to the online course, but you do not get to enjoy the free content in the university itself. You are able to visit the university, but without being a member you only get a hint of the look and feel of the online course. I would advice to make a small part of the online course — say the first module — free. It is the equivalent of being offered a free chapter before buying a book. This is very powerful thing to do because of the combination of two things: ‘the need to complete and the need to control.‘
‘People have the urge to finish something.’ — The Zeigarnik effect
The Zeigarnik Effect is about the human tendency to remember uncompleted tasks more than the tasks already completed. When people manage to start something they’re more inclined to finish it. What the Zeigarnik Effect teaches is that one weapon for beating procrastination is starting– something, sometime, somewhere… anything. Don’t start with the hard task, try something easy first. Once you’ve made a start, there’s something drawing you on to complete the task.
Translating this to the online course, people would want to finish the whole course after completing the first module. What you can do is the following: right at the moment the student feels good about accomplishing the goal (e.g. finishing the first module), you ask her to proceed by unlocking the other modules with the paid version. The need to take action is even stronger in this case because of a phenomenon called ‘psychological reactance’: when people feel that their freedom to choose an action is threatened, they get an unpleasant feeling called ‘reactance’. This motivates them to perform the threatened behavior, thus proving that their free will has not been compromised. In this case, when you lock the other modules until the students pay for it, you make the students want to complete the course even more. It’s exactly the same mechanism addictive games implement: you can only unlock a new level if you complete the current level.
Many successful online brands play into the need to complete and the need to control by implementing the so called progress bar. The progress bar informs users of how close they are to completing a set of tasks by showing percentages of completion along the way.
You might think: why do I elaborate in so much detail on just one small aspect of the marketing mix? It is because that is how conversion works: small changes can create massive results.
(Guys like) Ramit Sethi (who earns millions and millions of dollars with his online courses) spend months writing a single sales page. You are never done after you have created your online product and optimization should be an ongoing task on your agenda. I know the guys from Charisma on Command agree with me. Because even though their efforts brought them in thousands of students from all around the world, they are continuously improving their course and they regularly add new content.
Up till now, Charisma on Command is the course that helped me make the most progress in my year of massive action. I could recommend it to anyone. I would recommend you to give them a chance. Not only will you start developing (more) charisma instantly, you will also be able to experience a great online brand.