Before Michael Jordon was a multi-millionaire basketball megastar, he was a poor kid living in the slums of Brooklyn, New York. One day his father handed him an item of used clothing and asked what it was worth.
“Maybe one dollar”, replied Michael.
“Ok, I want you to go and sell it for two dollars”, said Michael’s father.
So Michael washed the item, pressed it by putting it under a load of other clothes, because the family did not have an iron, and sold it at a crowded train station for $2.
Michael was happy, and so was his father.
But Michael’s father wasn’t finished yet. A few days later, he again handed Michael a piece of clothing and told him to sell it for $20.
“But how?” questioned Michael. “It’s only worth $2.”
“Find a way”, replied Michael’s dad.
After a bit of thought, Michael got an idea. With help from his cousin, he painted Donald Duck on the t-shirt. Then he waited outside a rich kids’ school. Eventually a young kid walked past, fell in love with the t-shirt and refused to leave unless his carer bought him the t-shirt. The carer not only bought the shirt for $20 but also gave him a $5 tip.
Michael was chuffed!
But it wasn’t over. A week later, his father again handed him a piece of clothing and said “you think you could sell this for $200?”
This time, Michael didn’t scoff. Instead he set upon finding a way to achieve his goal. It just so happened to be that the famous movie actress, Farah Fawcett, was coming to New York to promote her new movie.
After the press conference, Michael wiggled his way past security to ask Farah to sign his piece of clothing. She did.
Michael then brandished the signed cloth and shouted excitedly that he had an autographed item from Farah for sale. He auctioned it for a handsome $1,200!
Upon hearing of his son’s success, his father was in tears. He held Michael in his arms, and explained the point of his teaching – the value of anything can be improved including that of people. So we might be poor today but you can figure out a way to improve your value and you can have anything you want.
Michael sure did.
The web design and online marketing lesson
Michael Jordon’s story shows that the perceived value of something can be significantly increased using a number of techniques. These techniques apply to selling clothes as much as they do to marketing your business online.
Lesson 1 – The Power of Presentation
How can you improve your presentation to be more appealing to your customers? By creating a professional image.
If you are a service based business then engaging a professional graphic and web design firm to create a professional image for you firm is one of the best marketing activities you can undertake. At the very least, you should have the following:
- Get a professional logo and business cards
- Get a professional email@example.com email address
- Get a professional looking website which looks good and has relevant content
- Get professional shopfront / vehicle signage
Lesson 2 – The Power of Association
Associating your product or service with an existing brand / entity that is desirable or trustworthy, increases the value of your product or service.
In Michael’s case, associating Donald Duck with his piece of clothing increased its value from $2 to $25, and associating Farah Fawcett’s name with his item of clothing increased it from $2 to $1,250.
Can you find any of the following to include on your website that will increase the desirability / trustworthiness / professionalism of your business?
- Testimonial(s) / endorsement from a well-known person / brand / business
- Logos of industry bodies / regulators to which you belong
- Awards that you have won
- Logos of magazines / sites that have featured your business / product
- Photos of your office / team demonstrating that you are an established brand