Eric the Car Guy: The Power of Honest Flaws

Eric the Car Guy: The Power of Honest Flaws

[Transcribe]

Hey there YouTube. It’s Jack Heald with Cult Your Brand. When I had originally planned tonight’s episode, I was going to be doing a critique of various social media influencers, looking at how well or how poorly they use the loyalty triggers to create the types of emotional connections in their audience that powerful loyalty triggers will create.

But I do something else besides just write about loyalty and psychology. I occasionally like to fix my own car. In fact, four years ago I stumbled onto a guy who calls himself “Eric the Car Guy.”

And he did such a great job of explaining to me how to change the timing belt on my 2007 Honda Ridgeline, that I became a subscriber to his channel, and have been a supporter and a follower ever since.

So when I looked at his January newsletter today – I think he sent it out two or three days ago, but I just got into it today – he does something in here that I felt like I had to share with you. And that’s what we’re gonna look at today: Eric the Car Guy and how incredibly well he uses one of the most powerful loyalty reflex triggers: The Persona.

[Music]

So this is Eric the Car Guy’s January 2019 newsletter. This only goes to people who are actually his subscribers. He gets really personal in here. It’s kind of amazing. I’d like to just highlight some things in here.

Eric says “I don’t feel the same way I did when I started 10 years ago. I don’t feel the same hunger, (or maybe “desperation” is a better word.) I think that’s what attracted people to my channel in the first place: the desperation and the way I overcame it.”

“I think they saw the same desperation in themselves and my videos helped them overcome it. Let’s face it: if you’ve got a broken vehicle and you can’t get it to work, you might be feeling pretty desperate.”

Eric’s right about all of that. But what he’s telling us here in this newsletter is that his youtube views over the last couple of years are lower than he wanted them to be. And he thinks the reason is because he’s no longer as relatable as he used to be.

Eric is one of the most I suspect one of the most successful guys on YouTube and he says he’s not relatable. Now he rightly diagnoses that part of the reason for his success was that he was extremely relatable, What he fails to recognize is that as he shares what’s going on with himself, he continues to be relatable.

So let’s take a moment real quick and review the the elements of a powerful emotionally compelling persona.

Now a powerful persona – in fact this comes from my training course How to Craft an Irresistible Persona – a powerful persona does something to us as individuals. It creates in us a desire to follow that person.

A well-crafted persona will inevitably provoke emotions in the follower and give the followers confidence that the person that they’re relating to is worth following and is trustworthy.

When we see Hollywood create powerful movies – movies that really connect with their audience – they’re doing a couple of things.

They’re creating positive emotions in their audience. And they’re doing it by creating heroes who are actually believable.

We see the important components of creating a powerful, emotionally resonant persona in the person of Steve Jobs.

Now Steve Jobs had a reputation as being a narcissistic asshole. And a lot of folks think that that narcissism – that assholery that he was so famous for – actually weakened him in terms of his ability to lead Apple and in his terms of his ability to persuade people.

But in fact it was his well-kn own asshole or his well-known narcissism that made him human.

One of the things that human beings love to do is put someone up on a pedestal. But when we put someone up on a pedestal, one of the things that happens is we stop relating to them because we know ourselves. We know we are not perfect.

One of the things that Steve Jobs narcissism did was it brought him off of his pedestal. As brilliant as he was, as visionary as he was, as charismatic as he was, we all knew he was also an asshole, And we also knew that he was he was very much like us.

And in a strange way that humanity – that Steve Jobs exhibited for decades in front of the entire world – is what is a great part of what made him so compelling and so persuasive.

He had flaws and he didn’t hide those flaws.

If we have a modern Steve Jobs, it’s probably Elon Musk. He’s every bit as visionary – in fact possibly even more visionary – than Steve Jobs.

Where Steve Jobs was fundamentally an artist who was concerned about the style and aesthetics of things, Elon Musk is fundamentally an engineer. And there are some of those very common engineering quirks that we see in Elon Musk. But those don’t make him relatable.

It is his flaws that make him relatable. And he’s got a couple of doozies. We’ve seen them exhibited here in the last several months.

He tends to be a little bit morose sometimes. In fact I think it is his deep fear and concern about the future of the human race that drives his creativity. But it also sucks him down into a black hole of depression sometimes. And because he displays that for the world, it humanizes him for us.

Yes, he’s on a pedestal in many ways, (to us – the normal humans around the world.) But he’s also human. And because we see those flaws in him. it makes us feel like, “oh he’s one of us!”

It makes him relatable. And because he’s relatable to us, it makes us much more willing to listen to and believe and most importantly follow him.

He’s got flaws that he doesn’t hide.

I’m gonna go back to Eric the Car Guy’s videos now. He says this, “Just about every one of my dreams in life has come true, thanks to the success of Eric the Car Guy. So why am I not happy? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately.”

I want to pause here folks. Do you realize this is one of the most successful youtubers on the planet sending out a newsletter to his subscribers saying “I don’t feel happy. I’m struggling with depression “?

Eric, I’m going to talk directly to you now, man.

You could not have done anything more powerful to improve the strength of your brand, to increase the emotional resonance that you have with your audience, than by sharing this fear, this flaw, this weakness that you have.

One of the most powerful things that any brand persona can do is prove that they are human. I talked about Steve Jobs. I talked about Elon Musk, And we see the same thing here now with Eric the Car Guy.

These people who have great success, we look up to them. But we also want to relate to them.

Why do we want to relate to our heroes?

Well, because if we see that someone who is just like us has achieved great success, then that means that someone just like me can achieve great success. That creates the type of emotion that creates in us is hope. And there is almost no emotion in the world stronger than hope.

So, as you create your brand’s persona, if you want to create that kind of incredibly powerful emotional connection with your audience, then you’ve got to share with them that you’re human. And the way you do that is the way Eric the Car Guy did it: by sharing a fear or a flaw that everyone can relate to.

This is Jack Heald for Cult Your Brand. Thanks for watching.

How to Get More Sales From Existing Customers

If you’ve ever wondered how to get more sales from existing clients, maybe ask yourself this question: What is my most valuable asset? Noah Fleming wrote an article titled “Don’t Tell Me Your People Are Your Most Valuable Asset.” He’s one of very few people who is laser-focused on the issue of customer loyalty. And he asks a terrific question:
What’s the most valuable asset you have in this business right now? I don’t mean this in a hippy dippy way, but as an actual, concrete question.
What would be your answer? Do your actions match your words? Fleming follows up with an observation:
…we often spend more time nurturing, training and developing the talent than cultivating the customers that make having people possible.

The Common (and Wrong) Answer

Almost anywhere you go in the modern world, HR directors mouth the same tired platitude: “our people are our most valuable asset.” Fleming calls B.S. on this. And I agree. I see a huge disconnect between words and actions. When I talk to business owners about the importance of loyal customers, they always agree with me. Yes, of course it’s more profitable to keep existing customers than to find new ones. But when push comes to shove – in business after business – actions and words don’t line up. They design sophisticated marketing plans to find new customers. And yet they have no coherent plan for how to keep them once they find them. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me, and it doesn’t make sense to Noah Fleming. Let’s think a moment: Why do we spend money on marketing?
  1. To find people who want what we sell
  2. To persuade those people that we can be trusted
  3. To sell something to those people
So, in light of that list, listen to Fleming again:
With very few exceptions, there is no asset more valuable than your customer list, and specifically their purchase history & contact info.
That bears repeating: there is no asset more valuable than your customer list. Why? Because these are people we have already found. These are people who already trust us. These are people who have already bought from us.. In other words, existing customers don’t need your marketing dollars. They need your loyalty dollars.

Are You the Exception?

Now, maybe this doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you’re the only game in town. Maybe you have an ad budget that would make Proctor & Gamble salivate. Maybe you dominate your market. If so, I’m sorry I wasted your time. But if you’re none of those, then let me ask another question: How much do you spend on customer loyalty? A recent Bain & Co study found that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can nearly double profits. That should be sufficient motivation to invest in customer loyalty. Noah Fleming one last time:
“…you can’t afford to ignore your list. Ever. It’s the most valuable thing you’ve got.”
So how do you get more sales from existing customers? Make ’em more loyal. One way to boost loyalty is to give them a persona to love.
1 Powerful Way to Command Customer Loyalty

1 Powerful Way to Command Customer Loyalty

“Customer Retention” is just a business-specific term that means loyalty. But can you command customer loyalty? In this short video, Jack Heald explains how to reverse the Customer Retention problem.

Do not try to manipulate the relationship with your customers. Instead, learn to command customer loyalty by a different approach – trigger their loyalty reflexes. When you do that, your customers will hold themselves accountable for being loyal to you.

That creates a much more powerful and persistent form of loyalty.

(2 minutes)


What are the scientifically sound ways to make an impact on your audience? Learn How to Craft an Irresistible Persona.