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The typical advice you’ll get from reading blogs about self development as a business owner is to watch less television and read more books.
Not bad advice but I love movies and television and can’t avoid watching a new show or two. The key is to find a balance – you know what they say about Jack – all work, no play.
One of my favorite television shows currently on Netflix is Better Call Saul, a prequel to one of the best television shows that ever aired called Breaking Bad.
Better Call Saul follows a struggling lawyer Jimmy McGill before he reinvents himself as Saul Goodman, the morally-challenged lawyer from Breaking Bad.
The critically-acclaimed show is an example of great television that not only entertains but also teaches and has many lessons you can learn from particularly as an entrepreneur.
The Inc has a really good run-down of these lessons in one of their latest articles.
While the article on Inc. offers some tips on how entrepreneurs in general can benefit from watching the show, I’ve summarized below some of the lessons to be learned and how they can apply to online marketers.
1. Focus on ‘not so obvious’ markets
Jimmy McGill doesn’t get a lot of respect from his peers but he loves what he does and can find opportunity in every situation. He struggles to compete with the bigger firms who would often get his ideal clients.
So he focuses on helping people in markets that these firms would often neglect. He helps the elderly and later finds success helping low-level criminals who would usually use a public defender.
While on suspension from the bar for a year, McGill sells phones to earn a living and finds a market – burner phones for people who want to avoid being tracked (usually people involved in crime).
Online marketers can learn from this by not always targeting the obvious markets (where the competition is tight) and try to find unique angles they can target.
Affiliates promoting dating offers for example, can target persons transitioning from a relationship where they’ve been cheated on by pointing them to offers where they can complete a compatibility test. Sometimes, you can earn a CPA commission just for getting people to complete these tests – no purchase necessary.
2. Create a Memorable Brand Name
In the earlier days of optimizing your website for Google, website owners would try to get the domain matching the exact keyword they were trying to target. So they created websites like “MakeMoneyOnline4U.com” and “BestDietPrograms.com” if they were targeting “make money online” and “best diet programs” respectively.
Google has now been focusing on giving brands names exposure in the search engines instead of keyword focused domains. Having a brand is more likely to get you a bigger social following as people mention your business across the web. Your brand is more memorable and more appealing if you plan to sell your business.
Jimmy McGill can be just about anyone and using his personal name isn’t going to be all that memorable. Not as much as his brand name Saul Goodman – which is a play on the saying “it’s all good, man”. His brand name says to someone looking for his service that things are going to be alright and that Saul is the man for the job. It’s memorable and lends itself well to referral traffic.
3. Resist The Urge to “Get a Job”
Saul’s former boss Howard tries to offer him a job after recognizing his resourcefulness and entrepreneurial mindset. Saul declines because he knows that he is trying to build something for himself and that he has what it takes to be very successful. He is a true entrepreneur.
Many times in your quest to be successful at online marketing, people will doubt you and say things like “get a regular job”. They don’t quite understand what you’re doing and think you’re wasting your time.
When I quit my day job back in 2009 to do affiliate marketing full time, people told me that I should have just continued doing the online business on the side. Or that I’m making a mistake and that getting another job would be tough to find.
I quit because I didn’t want a job. I wanted my own business and I’ve been making a full time income online since 2009. It’s because I have a different mindset – an entrepreneurial mindset – than most of the people who doubted me.
If you’re building an online business, you need to focus on doing that one thing and making it bigger. Don’t go build someone else’s business. If things aren’t going well, get a temporary job so that you can pay the bills but keep your focus on what you’re building. If you’re doing this as a side hustle, make sure to save up enough for when you’re ready to go full time and quit that job when the time is right.
These are just three lessons you can learn from watching Better Call Saul as an online marketer.
You can find even more lessons watching the show and for entrepreneurs you can read more takeaways by checking out the Inc. article. Some of the other lessons include.
- Treat every customer with respect
- Advertise creatively and at low cost (very important for affiliates too).
- Create a differentiated public persona
- Don’t take “no” for an answer
Check out the article on Inc – Watching “Better Call Saul” Is Like Getting An MBA in Entrepreneurism.
Have you seen Better Call Saul? What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from watching the show?