Clone Yourself, or Do This: How Thought Leaders and Experts Scale Impact and Wealth

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"Begin nurturing and converting leads into valued customers, using values-based marketing strategies, to see greater return on investment and to grow greater relationships with your customers."

- The Elements of an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign, Harvard Business Review

"Validate them. 'I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.' "  - Oprah Winfrey.

You are in the business of changing lives.

In today’s world, the degree to which you attract, retain and convert the attention of your audience is what sets the limits of your impact.

Because you change lives, you could even say you have a responsibility to help as many people as possible.

But how? How do they find you? And when they do, what do they find? 

This is the promise of the online business model - to create leverage and impact thousands more people in one lifetime than we ever could before. More about how to do that in a sec.

Let's stay top level for a minute.

When you are in the business of changing people’s lives, you could say that is a form of cause marketing. 

We can adapt ideas from smart resources like Joe Panepinto's Harvard Business Review's article The Elements of an Effective Cause Marketing Campaign (link at end of post)

Below is a table I made that lists their findings of what works in cause marketing, on the left, and the adaptation for you - coaches, consultants, thought leaders, influencers..aka  people changing lives, on the right. Apologies if the formatting is wonky. #betterdonethanperfect



Simple inspiring message



One values-based theme and one CTA per piece of content.


A physical element or exhibit

Downloadable resource, webinar, live zoom meeting, etc.


Strong emphasis on social sharing and earned media. Diverse formats for storytelling


Tailor content where the prospect is in their journey with you, create a campaign timeline and distribute critical mass of content around A, above. 

Focus on big issue + request for small personal action.


Paint the picture of their transformation, include your image, and invite them to take a small easy action to learn more. Include a simple CTA in every asset from C, above. 

My answer for how to do the above, rinse and repeat style, to attract new people who don't know you yet: 

Create simple inspiring message video about A -  wrapped in different values-soaked imagery, edited to 60, 30 and 15 seconds, tailored to different social platforms, yielding dozens of different videos to flood your social media. 

Our Superfan Magnet Video packages do this like clockwork.

Considering ads? These videos are ready to rock your A/B testing world.  I ran this package by my colleague, Digital Marketing and FB / Google Ads expert Andrew Byrne. He was impressed (go ahead, ask him!)  He said, "The first sign that a client is serious about maximizing ROI with their ads is with video and A/B testing." 

ack to HBR one last time: 

"If you can better market your brand to … align with values they hold dear, there would be a higher likelihood of successfully gaining their business. Begin nurturing and converting leads into valued customers, using values-based marketing strategies, to see greater return on investment and to grow greater relationships with your customers."

Oprah, who knows a thing or two about building community, says that after thousands of interviews over the years, the one thing that everyone had in common was that this: 

People want to be seen, heard and validated. 

The sooner you show people that you see and hear them, that they and their experiences matter, the sooner you will have a Superfan for life.

The Strategy

 For thought leaders, coaches, consultants to truly break out of the “dollars for hours”  revenue model, one practical tool is a large, engaged online community and email list. 

Why? Because you need to create a strategic path (or funnel) to market to many people at once.

From that group, your Superfans will emerge as new clients. 

If the only way they can sign up for your programs is via time spent on a sales call with you, then no matter how good a salesperson you are, eventually you are the bottleneck, throttling the opportunity to scale. 

You see, sales calls to enroll people into group programs is a great strategy, especially for higher ticket items. 

But to truly leverage your influence, you need a journey that begins with a large enthusiastic crowd and leads people to your programs at 2 - 3 different paid levels. 

So how do you attract that large crowd? 

I love focusing on the new audience - the people who don’t know you yet. Why? 

One: None of your funnel matters if the top doesn’t work.

Two: I’m a visual creative - and the cold audience is the one that is most responsive to emotion and imagery. 

Third: The quality of the first impression can make the next steps easier when they do engage. With video, we can shorten the distance from know >> like >>  trust >>  paying client.  

Every superfan started out as a stranger that was happy with your first impression and agreed to a second date, and then a third, and so on until you formed a relationship with them. 

As you likely know, we call this the customer journey. 

How do you do this from the start, with a completely new audience ? 

Ask yourself - Why should they care - Make it about them. 

Keep it Short - use short video to earn the right to take up their time.

Love at First Sight - what are you saying in the first 3 - 5 seconds?

Use a mirror - do they see themselves in your content?

Any questions? Feel free to reach out for a chat. 


Joe Panepinto is a senior vice president and strategy director at Jack Morton and an adjunct professor at Boston University’s School of Communication.


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