People Will Pay You to Transform Their Lives

A few years back I came across a promotional piece for a program to learn the piano via a set of DVDs called Piano for Life. At the time I was not thinking about learning to play the piano. But I did have within me a desire to learn how to play. And I had a desire for my kids to learn to play, too, because I believe that knowing how to play an instrument enriches one’s life.

As I recall, the promotional piece did a good job of appealing to that desire for a more enriched life. Besides having good copy, it had that classical feel that makes you aspire to something better.

But there was something else about the program. I saw that the first segment of lessons was entitled, Piano for Quitters. That really got me, because I did quit the piano back when I was in grammar school. I didn’t like seeing myself as a quitter, and with the promotion in hand, here was my chance to redeem myself. So, I bought the program.

The important thing to see is that my reason for buying was really not about learning to play the piano. My reason was that the marketing of this program tapped into the core desire I had to improve myself.

Let me show you what that means for your financial future.

If you’re in business, you obviously want more sales. You want to convert a higher number of your prospects, and you want to retain a higher number of the customers that you already have.

The question is, “How?” How do you accomplish this?

It’s at this point many marketers will slip into thinking about how they can pump up greater desire for their product… which is exactly what you don’t want to try and do, because you can’t create that desire.

As Eugene Schwartz observed in his classic Breakthrough Advertising, “Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears, and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.”

Alright, now that we’ve had that reminder, let’s look at a follow-up question:

What already existing desires are out there that we need to tap into?

There are lots of well-known ones… People want to be healthier. They want to be smarter. They want to be richer… You get the idea. These are desires that marketers seek to tap into all the time.

But underneath the surface there’s a big desire that often goes unnoticed.

It’s a desire that millions think about every day. And it’s a desire people will pay you money to fulfill.

What is that desire? It’s the desire people have to improve themselves. To break free from where they’ve been. To be better than they are today. In short, it’s the desire to be transformed and taken to a new level.

Now if you can tap into that core desire, and connect that desire to your particular product, you will attract customers. Because they will see what you have to offer as a necessary part of their own development.

As you think about your own business, you want to figure out how you can access that same desire for self-improvement. Because when you do, people will want what you’re offering.

It’s important to figure this out. Not just to convert your prospects, but to retain existing customers, too. And here’s why…

There are a lot of similar products and services available in today’s noisy marketplace. That makes it hard to differentiate yourself. And to make things tougher, there’s a lot of good information that’s available for free.

But remember this. There is something that always seems to be in short supply. It’s inspiration and hope. So, if you can develop a relationship with your clients that continually inspires and gives them hope in a way that transforms their lives, they’ll stick with you for a long time.

You can see this makes sense as you think about the newsletters you’ve subscribed to.

Like you, I’ve subscribed to various newsletters over the years. The same for email lists. Some of these I’ve cancelled or opted out of quickly. Others I’ve kept for a quite a while. One subscription I’ve kept for 15 years.

What’s distinguished the newsletters I’ve kept from the ones I dropped?


The keepers have delivered ideas that stimulate my thinking and end up moving me forward.

This is something that Jason Leister, a regular contributor of Early to Rise, does extremely well in his newsletters. I read what Jason writes, because he brings up ideas that make you reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it… which is important for those who are serious about developing themselves.

When it comes to your own customers, consider the kinds of ideas that would captivate them and relate to your product. Develop these ideas in a way that compels your customers to examine their lives and recognize how what you’re offering helps them to further improve themselves.

This is especially important for those with information-based products.

If you’re not challenging assumptions and altering philosophies as an info-marketer, you’re going to be viewed merely as a source of information that in the end is dispensable.

But if you’re providing ideas that shape worldviews and develop people, your clients will see you as a necessary part of their lives… as one who is essential to their ongoing transformation.

Information marketers who get this will especially benefit because it’s what turns the one-time buyer of an introductory product into a devoted follower who wants more, and is willing to pay more.

Here’s something to remember… No matter what your enterprise, you’re in the business of developing people. That’s right. In some form or fashion your business is about shaping people’s lives. The more clearly you can see this and communicate it, the stronger your business will be.

Take time this week to figure out the role your business has in developing people. Doing so will not only bring greater meaning to your work, it will also help you connect with those whose lives can be made better by what you have to offer.

Everyone who is exposed to your business has a story. Find a way to become a part of that story by transforming lives, and you’ll be paid well.

[Ed. Note: David Bostrom is a marketing strategist and Dan Kennedy trained copywriter for info-marketers. You can reach David and find out more about his work at]