Over the last few weeks I have been lurking on a bunch of MLM forums and checking out what people are saying about Dani. It has been very interesting to say the least. One of the first things I noticed was that there were almost no negative comments, which really surprised me. Not because there should be negative comments but because, if you have ever heard Dani speak, she doesn’t hold many punches and this can ruffle a few feathers. I guess those people don’t hang out on these boards. :-)

But what I really found surprising was that Dani is considered “old school” on almost every forum. I had to sit back and think about what people were saying because that is not at all how I see Dani. What I realized is that these people see Dani this way because she doesn’t teach “new school” online techniques like SEO, PPC and all the online marketing stuff some people are attracted to. One person was even lamenting about the irony of Dani’s online marketing (new school) of her old school training.

Now having been to over 50 Dani Johnson events I understand what they are getting at and I am really thankful Dani doesn’t teach how to get a better click through rate without talking to a human, that would not be in her wheelhouse (although she would crush it). Dani teaches PEOPLE SKILLS which are somehow now seen as “old school” by some online marketers. This got me thinking about the value of people skills when used in online marketing- Do they have as much value?

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an online marketing summit in Santa Barbara and, being from the “old school” myself, I was kind of expecting to see a bunch of pale, overweight introverts pouring over internet statistics. That couldn’t be farther from reality. These guys had incredible PEOPLE SKILLS! They could relate with any personality type, they were generally great presenters and they had one thing in common. Of the ten, or so, speakers at this event, every one of them spoke about relationship building. In fact, they all spoke about the importance of a long term relationship with your audience and how to create trust in that relationship. Sound familiar?

What is so amazing about the best online marketers is that they have such a thorough understanding of how people think and behave that they can get us to do something just by seeing a few words or a picture. Think about the ads that you click on and the ones that you don’t. One of them, in just a few words, connects with you better than the other. Why do you buy from one online company and not the other? One company built enough trust that you clicked on “Add to Cart”. People skills.

Dani talks about the 98% and the 2% all the time, the amateurs and the professionals of any industry. The amateurs of the online world are convinced that all they need is more traffic to their amazing offer and more people will buy. The pros know they must build a relationship to succeed. People skills.

To me, online marketing is actually much harder than talking to people face-to-face. Dani talks about how most communication is non-verbal. Most of us, especially when we are just getting started, rely on that non-verbal communication to overcome our inabilities in our verbal communication. Imagine taking away your smile, your tone, and your enthusiasm, and see how well you do. That is the challenge an online marketer has to overcome and that can be pretty tough if you don’t really understand people.

So, I guess the “new school” 2%er’s are “old school”.

Brian