The Comedian and Our Marketing

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

Author Seth Godin in his book “This is Marketing” wrote, One of the greatest comics of our time is booked for a gig in New York City. His agent isn’t paying attention, though.

The comic shows up at the club; he’s in a good mood. He brings his best material. He’s up there, working the room, and no one is laughing.

Not a peep.

He’s bombing.

After the show, he’s beating himself up, thinking of quitting comedy altogether.

Then he discovers that the audience is an Italian tour group, and no one understands English.

‘It’s not for you.’

It’s entirely possible that your work isn’t as good as it needs to be. But it’s also possible that you failed to be clear about who it was for in the first place.”

This is exactly what happens with our marketing.

We market to everyone and anyone…We don’t seem to pay attention to who our audience really is. Instead of first answering the 2 foundational questions (given below) of marketing, we hide behind marketing tactics – IAPs, Social Media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or LinkedIn), and so on.

1.Who are we for (or who is our ideal customer)? And

2.What is our unique offering (or what is our value proposition)?

We all know the truth that we will never be able to serve everyone. We also know that we are not for everyone. Despite knowing these truths, we worry about saying this aloud even to ourselves. But we must say the truth This is not for you as it does us two things. First it tells people that we respect their time enough not to waste it or try to change their beliefs. Second, we tell our real customers that we are specifically for them and not for everyone (there is a second order effect of this on other key marketing things such as referrals, centres of influence and so on).

And the best part is we don’t even have the bandwidth or scale to serve everyone. No one has. The truth is depending on who you are and what scale your practice/business is, you cannot effectively serve more than a few hundred clients. If this is true, why is your marketing not focused on acquiring these hundred or even a few hundred ideal clients. Read “What’s your Dunbar Number?And “The Hidden Iceberg” posts to jog your memory for some key insights.

More importantly, if you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing no one…This happens because you become like everyone else…you look the same…you don’t take a position as you are afraid of offending someone or excluding a certain category of clients. You worry if you say that you cater to tech entrepreneurs or orthopaedic surgeons, you will lose prospective clients from other segments. Therefore, your marketing ends up being generic…average or boring at best…but it feels safe.

Real (Financial) Marketing on the other hand is courageous.

It’s all about your Minimum Viable Audience (MVA).

In our Real Financial Professional (RFP) program, Carl Richards wrote, “The key to real marketing is to start small.

The way to have a massive impact is to start with the smallest audience. This is the opposite of what you’ve learned. We are all taught to think big. Scale. Find the biggest market. I’ve read all those books and listened to those speakers at the conferences, too. 

But BIG is a big lie. If we believe it, we will never change the world. Real Financial Professionals change the world by solving one problem at a time. That work, compounds. If we’re busy thinking about scale, big, and everyone we might feel like we’re solving problems, we can point to big important things we’re thinking about doing. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to actually making an impact on anyone. 

Real impact comes not from big and broad, but small and focused. The key is to find the smallest possible audience (your minimum viable audience) with a shared, meaningful problem that we are interested in and able to solve. Learn to do that, and word will spread.”

But this is easier said than done.


Because we get in our way.

The most important thing about marketing is to transform our mindset. Getting really clear about how you think about marketing can transform your results from it.

Seth adds further, “The goal of the smallest viable audience is to find people who will understand you and will fall in love with where you hope to take them.

Loving you is a way of expressing themselves. Becoming part of your movement is an expression of who they are. That love leads to traction, to engagement and to evangelism.”

As Airbnb Founder Brian Chesky said, “Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”

Do you have customers who love you? Do you know why they love you? If you haven’t thought about this, here is your chance to reflect and write down your answers.

As you are reflecting on the above questions, here are 16 Marketing Questions that you need to think through and discuss with your team before you embark on any marketing initiative or tactic.

  • Who is your Ideal Customer?
  • What is your Value Proposition?
  • How are you communicating this value?
  • Does the client really understand this value? Have you quantified this value? How are you making sure the client understands this value?
  • What is the client hiring you to do?
  • What are the problems they are looking to solve? Or What change will you make in the client’s life?
  • What is so special about you and your firm? How are you different?
  • Who are you in your client’s life?
  • How will you reach your initial 50 Ideal Clients?
  • How do you want your clients to feel about you?
  • Why will your prospects and clients talk about you?
  • What will they tell their friends about you? What do you want them to tell their friends about you?
  • How are you creating virality within your prospect and client base? How can you?
  • What’s your biggest marketing asset?
  • What’s your Marketing Strategy?
  • Do you have a 1 Page Marketing Plan? What does your Marketing Plan look like?