96 years old…
That’s a long time to build up knowledge. Especially if you’re wise enough to be Warren Buffet’s partner.
While Warren Buffet gets the lion’s share of media attention, it’s his partner’s brain power which unlocks the secret to building your audience.
When I say audience, I mean:
- Your social media presence
- Your mentions
- Your connections
- Your business buzz
- Your personal brand
Decision Making Tools of Legends
You see, Warren and Charlie read voraciously. They spend a part of every day reading books, annual reports, and news. As they build knowledge on a potential investment, they run their decision making process through systems called mental models.
Mental models give you a way to think. And if you want to go meta, meta models give you a way to think about thinking. How powerful are mental models? Well consider these names... Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, and Ray Dalio to name a few. They all use mental models and credit them for helping them reach the top of their game.
Mental models help you avoid snap judgements and decision by analogy. Instead, you run your choices through filters. I know of 60+ mental models, but if I had to pick one, I’d choose Inversion. I credit Inversion with the following:
- 3,810,000 website visitors in 2019
- 609,000 monthly visitors in April 2020
- 22,000 LinkedIn connections as of May 2020
I don’t tell you this to brag. I tell you this because I stumbled and struggled for years. I had no clue how to attract an audience. I had no clue how to build traffic. Yet when I found inversion, my world changed.
Addition By Subtraction
Inversion works backwards. Suppose you want to learn and master a new skill. Instead of finding how to do it like most people do, you work backwards. You start from what you wouldn’t do. You avoid stupidity.
Let’s start with website traffic. Suppose you knew nothing about SEO. Instead of reading books and blogs about SEO algorithms, you’d start from a failure point of view. For your very first visitor, why wouldn’t they visit your website? Well, for starters, your website repellant would be things like:
- Boring content driving them elsewhere
- Slow page load making them wait
- Clunky navigation making it hard to find things
- Lots of distractions to pull their eyes away from the main page features
Next, you find ways to eliminate the mistakes. You evaporate the stupidity. The beauty of inversion comes from groping your way to success. If you continually remove mistakes, you’re left with nothing but the good stuff. Instead of seeking greatness, you avoid stupidity as Charlie Munger says.
“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” — Charlie Munger
The best inversion example to show you comes from ping-pong or tennis. Statistician Simon Ramo wrote a book called Extraordinary Tennis, Ordinary Players.The best players let their opponents make unforced errors. These errors give them free points. Ramo sums inversion up perfectly:
if you choose to win at tennis — as opposed to having a good time — the strategy for winning is to avoid mistakes. The way to avoid mistakes is to be conservative and keep the ball in play, letting the other fellow have plenty of room in which to blunder his way to defeat
Inversion helps you work from the end assuming you failed. What would you do wrong? What silly mistakes would you make. Identifying errors comes much easier than figuring out success markers.
And think about it…
A website visitor is a non-rejection — somebody you managed not to drive away.
Marketing Success via Stupidity Avoidance
Inversion works magic for you on social media. Let’s take LinkedIn. Suppose you wanted more connections. Instead of finding the secret success recipe, let’s look at what not to do. Think about reasons people would blow off your connection request:
- No profile picture
- Blurry profile picture
- Creepy profile picture
- Boring headline
- Scarce details about you and your work history
- Little to nothing in common
Using inversion, you’ve identified failure points. Start by eradicating the failures. Tighten up your LinkedIn photo. Fill out your profile. Update with personal details as well so people find more in common with you.
And here’s the beauty of inversion in marketing…you can go back to offers you’ve seen, websites you’ve visited, and people you’ve interacted with. Now think about the ones you passed over and rejected. And ask yourself why?
Write them down. When you compile your list, congratulations, you’ve built your inversion sheet. Now build your profile and your brand to avoid all those blunders. Sit back and watch what happens.
Start evaluating the world through the eyes of the inversion lens:
- Every sale is the avoidance of a non-sale
- Every website visit is the opposite of a skip or a bounce
- Every connection is the avoidance of a non-connection
Now the ball is in your court. Build your stupidity list. Then create your remedies. Then watch your marketing victories rack up.