What if you could generate about $1.6 million in sales every year by filling a room with people that pay you to stare at them? Meet “Braco” (pronounced Braht-zo), a “gentle man from Croatia” who apparently has a remarkable gift that has helped countless lives. Each year, 200,000 people pay $8 each to stare at Braco for 30 minutes. In silence. He tours the U.S. and Europe to reach people who are “seeking help from life’s difficulties, health problems, relationship issues, and more.”
I can’t make this stuff up. His website is www.braco.net.
Braco’s silent gaze “offers extraordinary interaction with his visitors.” Braco does not speak in public, offer any philosophies, or claim to be a healer. (I’m a public speaker, which takes A LOT of prep and practice. Clearly I missed something here. But that’s another story.).
During group sessions, participants “describe being touched by an invisible and silent power which opens them.” As they “assimilate this power, it results in healings, life transformations, and even miraculous experiences.”
Now, I am a very spiritual person. I know first-hand the transformative power of meditation. I practice daily, and I am a Reiki healer. It’s an integral part of my life, and my success. I’m not questioning the power of community-based meditation, and that seems to be very similar to the experience Braco is offering. But I’ve never heard of a “gazer” – someone who goes onto a stage and just looks at people for 30 minutes.
Braco fills hotel ballrooms. In an era when there are so many people looking for answers, he has a HUGE market. Divorce is at an all-time high, unemployment is at an all-time high, our country is engaged in multiple wars, our education system is antiquated, and our political system is divided. Those are just some of the “big” issues. There is a lot of hopelessness out there – which means there is a tremendous market opportunity for those that promise transformation. People are desperate for something to believe in. It’s no wonder that the psychic industry is a $2 billion industry.
Braco’s success hinges upon his credibility. He has a fanatical fan base, and people feel transformed after being with him. How does one create such credibility? How does a person – or a business – create a culture of what I call blind followership the way Braco has done – when the results aren’t even quantifiable??
Community Driven Marketing
The expert on how to create what is known as Community Driven Marketing is Jeremy Epstein, founder of Never Stop Marketing (www.jer979.com). Jeremy has mastered the art of creating “Raving Fans.”
In sports, Raving Fans are the people who go to a game with their faces and chests painted with the team colors.
In the business world, these are the people (and you are probably one of them for at least one product or service), who will talk about their favorite product to anyone at anytime.
Raving fans are one of the greatest marketing tools because they are spreading an evangelical message of love about you – from their heart. They have nothing to gain by spreading your message. And they do it for free.
Community Driven Marketing “combines the most cost-effective customer acquisition and retention strategy with the immense reach and power of the individual… It is the process for identifying, cultivating, and activating Raving Fans who willingly and freely share your story with their trusted, highly-scalable, and permission-based social networks.
There are three phases to creating a Community Driven Marketing Engine:
- Identify your raving fans (This is easy for Braco. He’s staring at them).I learned about Braco when I was at the register of one of my favorite meditation stores. His flier for his programs was sitting at the register. He knows exactly who his market is, and how to get to them.
- Cultivateyour raving fans (Much like a courtship, you need to earn their trust based on an authentic and genuine concern. Again, easy for Braco, because his whole reason for being comes from a place of wanting to transform lives.)There are four ways to cultivate your fan base: advocacy, participation, offering scarcity, and connecting the raving fans with one another. All of this happens at his event. Braco prohibits participation from people under the age of 18, and women who are more than three months pregnant “due to the energy which could overburden children.”
- Activateyour raving fans to help them spread the word.The employees at the store were ready to sign over the children in exchange for me believing in the transformative power of Braco. I basically had to promise to go experience Braco to get out of the store.
Maybe I’m being cynical, but I’m a little skeptical of the transformative effect of gazing. However, I am in total awe of Braco for his brilliant marketing.
To learn more about Community Driven Marketing and Raven Fans, check out Jeremy’s white paper: http://jer979.com/files/media/Community%20Driven%20Marketing%20-%20The%20Power%20of%20the%20Raving%20Fan.pdf
Now THAT is transformative.
Thoughts? Share with us! I’m loving the interaction!