I’ve enrolled in the Firearms Marketing Secrets program that Brian Sweeney is running, and it’s an interesting class. Most of it, quite frankly, is stuff that I know (hey, I have a degree in internet marketing, after all), but honestly haven’t had the time/motivation to apply to my training business. Steve Anderson mentioned in his class that most of what he does is tell good shooters that zebras have stripes, and so it is with this marketing class and me.
Now, that’s not to say this marketing program isn’t worth it. Far from it, it’s really quite good. Even though I *know* most of what is being mentioned in the class, finding new ways to apply to my business allows me to put it into practice. After all, I *know* that pressing the trigger well is a vital part of marksmanship, but how often do I do it?
Not as often as I should.
One of the interesting things mentioned in the class is the fact that there are two reasons why people buy stuff: Fear and fun. For the firearms training world, fear is *always* the #1 reason why our students get interested in taking a class. The problem is, they take that class, and their fears are allayed. They’re not as scared as they were when they walked onto the range, because our training has given them a modicum of confidence that calms their fears.
Which is great, that’s just what our training *should* do. The problem then is, if the fear is reduced, so it the desire for training, and we run into Karl Rehn’s “Beyond The 1 Percent” problem. The solution is, of course, to flip the switch and make firearms training fun. People will sign up for fun things, and sign up in droves. Honestly, though, I’m not sure how many of the trainers out there can teach to that paradigm.
This is serious business, after all. Because it’s serious business, we can’t have any fun while teaching a class, because we’re very serious people. Yes, very serious indeed.
But what if it wasn’t serious business? What if firearms training was still done under safe conditions, but it was done with the idea of maximizing fun as a goal, instead of reducing fear? What would that look like? Can we even begin to conceptualize the idea?
If we want to break out beyond the 1%, we’d better find out.