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Greedy honey badger hoarding badges

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I just stumbled on an email that irritated me.

No, scared me. Here it goes…

So long story short, I’m in this membership/course for copywriters and it’s great, don’t get me wrong.

I’ve gotten immense value out of it.

So, what’s my problem with this message?

It’s a classic case of “honey badgering”.

For the uninitiated, here’s my definition:

Honey badger: someone who consumes info products and courses for the sole purpose of accumulating badges and awards, but never really puts the stuff into practice.

It’s an expensive habit.

Some of these courses and groups charge 1,2k a year, recurring.

I’d be willing to bet that once this person gets his hard earned badge, she will be back on the honey badger hamster wheel.

And the whole cycle begins again.

So, what’s the good way to go about it instead?

Study from the masters, yes.

But don’t wait for other people’s approval or recognition to get started using what you’ve learned.

I could tell you exactly, down to the dollar, how much each course I’ve taken was worth to me.

Because I wasn’t looking for badges.

I was looking for immediate application.

For example:

Knowing I needed to fill in the gaps before a potential client call, watching a quick video to get more context on that topic I wasn’t an expert at (I knew my shit, but wasn’t an expert)…

…And applying the learnings on that same call. After 15 minutes from expanding my knowledge.

And pay attention, I’m not advocating you pretend you know something when you just learned about it.

I say be honest about what you don’t know and communicate to the client or customer that you’ll do everything you can to fill in the gaps where needed.

It’s about assurance and good communication.

Badges are worthless. Especially when the online landscape makes them a commodity.

Now, an interesting meta lesson from this though. And you can apply it to your product or business.

What the course owners knew and did well here was incentivizing consumption.

They know the more their customers engage and feel part of a community, the more they will retain them and sell more memberships.

So kudos to them.

All of this requires a broad view of your customer experience and journey.

Something I can help you with. Let’s talk.

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