“Zig while everyone else zags” is a power tool for earning attention, and creating true fans.
You can use this idea in many ways, but here’s a specific application that works across domains.
Find obnoxious norms and best practices that everyone in your niche has bought into, then flagrantly subvert them.
Bad ideas have a way of spreading memetically, and implanting themselves into a culture.
If you, as a creator, are bold enough to call bullshit, you can snap people out of a trance, earn true fans, and perhaps even change your culture for the better.
For instance, I detest the way products are priced online.
Somewhere along the way, it became a “best practice” to end all of our prices in a 7 or 9. This is all based on the assumption that, by obscuring the actual price, you will improve conversion rates.
Do we really think we’re fooling people with this nonsense? Do we have that little faith in our offer? Do we think that little of our customers?
When you price this way, you’re basically saying to prospects, “I think you’re a rube, a simpleton, a bag of emotional impulses, and not an autonomous clear-headed adult.”
Seriously, that’s the subtext when you price this way.
That’s not to say every marketer who uses this is a cynical assclown. This pricing structure is a cultural meme. Marketers see other marketers doing it, assume it’s a best practice, and implement it themselves. And so it keeps propagating itself, down through the generations.
But still, I hate it. And it’s why the Ungated membership is $100 a year.
Not $99. Not $97. And sure as shit not $94.99.
But my beef with pricing “best practices” goes one layer deeper.
Have you ever noticed that when something comes with a payment plan, there’s always an extra 10-20% tacked onto the price?
There’s a logical reason for doing this. Payment plans come with inherent risk. If the customer defaults, the business owner is left holding the bag.
But again, the reality here is that the business owner is imposing an additional tax because they don’t trust you. You’re not as financially secure as they’d prefer, so they’re making you pay extra for the privilege of doing business with them.
I’m sorry, but I don’t believe the people who can afford my products least should be charged the most.
That’s fucking lunacy. It’s borderline sociopathic.
And it’s why the Ungated lifetime membership, which is $400, also comes with the option to split that cost up over four months (with no additional tax). Because it’s the right thing to do.
These are small things. And the majority of people who come into my world likely don’t notice.
But they’re signals that I respect my customers, that I trust them, and that I don’t view our relationship as some antagonistic, zero-sum power game.
I’m in it to build relationships, make friends, and have a true fan business that lasts decades.
So get out there, find some obnoxious best practices, and subvert them. Your fans will thank you.