Ep. 34: Hard Lessons I Learned About Pre-Framing This Past Week

Hey everyone, this is Julie and I so fired up and I’m not usually fired up. In fact, that is my friend Stephen Larsen’s job. We are both coaches in the One Funnel Away Challenge. So his job is to be all fired up and kick people in the butt and my job is to be kind of like Mary Poppins. You know, that kind, warm, nurturing teacher that everyone loves.


But today I’m fired up. I have been sitting on this podcast about pre-framing, so now I’m just going to jump in because something happened today and it was really, really interesting.
Alright, so last week I had a great conversation with Russell and we were talking about pre-framing and how critical it is in conversation. So let me give you a really dramatic example about pre-framing, and this happens in interpersonal relationships, in emails, in sales pages, everything. Let’s say that you have cancer, and that’s a terrible thing to have. And if you have this idea in your head that you’re healthy and then you go to the doctor and they tell you that you have cancer, all the sudden that’s really, really bad news, it’s very sad, it’s very hard. It’s horrible.

Now let’s say that you already know you have cancer and you go to the doctor and the doctor tells you you’re going to have to have this really complicated surgery, but if it works you’re going to live. That surgery now is the best news ever, even though if you went in not knowing you had cancer and he told you, “You have cancer and this surgery…” it would feel like the worst news ever.

So it’s always about the pre-frame of how you set that person up. And so every single situation in life has multiple perspectives. There’s like that old Indian proverb about how there’s an elephant in the middle of the room and everybody’s blindfolded and they’re all around the elephant, but someone grabs the tusk and someone grabs the tail, and someone grabs the leg and the back or whatever. And they all give you a different perspective of the exact same animal.

So the reality is that there are multiple pre-frames for anything in life. Anything in life, if you just sit, it’s like a marriage counselor and you listen to a couple fight, you’re going to hear the pre-frame from either side.

So I had this conversation with Russell last week, and I was having a moment. It’s sometimes tricky because I don’t work in Boise so I can feel like I’m far away from the hub of everything. So I can get in my own head, like “What am I missing out on?” you know. And it’s this ongoing joke about FOMO, FOMO, FOMO, which is fear of missing out. So I can get in my own head, so I have a pre-frame that’s a belief that’s making me see what’s happening through a different lens.

So if I’m coming at it from a lens of “I’m being left out.” And then something happens, I’m going to see that and be like, “See, I’m left out. Oh, I missed it. Blah, blah, blah.” And I’ll just end up, you know, being upset.

And yet, if I talk, and I did, I told Russell, I was like, “Oh, I feel left out.” And he showed me his frame, his perspective and I was like, “Oh, I see it now from a completely different angle.” Now I see it’s a totally different frame that I’m looking at the same situation in.

We had this happen with a project we were working on. And the project, you know the person that was in charge of the project, had a frame for the project, so that frame included stress and frustration and all that kind of stuff, and it was so funny because once we took that project out from under that person and put it under somebody else who didn’t have that frame, their frame was completely different. They were so excited, thought it was super cool.

And Russell and I were talking about how interesting it is that that same project, one that’s associated with frustration and hardship, when given to somebody else with a different frame, now all the sudden it becomes exciting and cool.

So pre-frame is everything in marketing you guys. It is everything in your relationships, in communication. I can’t explain how important it is. And today it happened again. A lot of you know that I’m running the One Funnel Away Challenge and the first time we ran it, we ran it without giving anybody the content ahead of time. So it was literally day one, boom, we dropped it. Day two, boom, we dropped it.

In fact, we did this because we didn’t have the content built out the first time, we were building it as we went. So we knew it would be important to give everybody just what they needed that day, what Stephen would call just in time learning. Everybody loved it. 7,000 people went through it. It was like our greatest course of all time.

Well for a couple of reasons, this time around because we’re working One Funnel Away into a lot of our different funnels, we thought maybe we should pre-load a member’s area with the content just in case people don’t make it to the Facebook group or they don’t realize that it’s a challenge and they feel like they didn’t get their purchase. So we thought we would front load the member’s area with the content.

So we’re on day one, so we’ve done the pre-training week, we’re on day one and we quickly are realizing this is a terrible idea, because what’s happening is people are jumping ahead. They’re’ getting confused, they’re getting off track and we know the best way to learn is just in time learning. And we designed it that way.

So we’re like, okay it’s only day one. We got 29 days left, let’s just take that content away and then we’ll drip it out. So we took everything away but today’s so that it would just like mitigate overwhelm. And basically the entire Facebook group blew up and most people were totally cool with it, but there were a few people that were so angry and they were so upset. They were ready to ask for refunds because they were looking at it from the frame of, we took their content away. The irony being that not one person in that 7,000 group the first time had the pre-frame of the content and they loved the drip.

The drip was the most amazing thing ever becaes it was bite size, it was actionable, it was exactly what they needed, nothing that they didn’t. They could complete it. That’s what made it so successful. So the very thing that everybody loved that drove all kinds of success, because we set up a pre-frame that was different because we were testing something, caused people to have a completely different experience.

So pre-frames and managing expectations are very similar. So when you are out there and you are sending emails and you are doing sales pages, and you are getting on discovery calls with clients, and you are posting on Facebook and you’re talking to your husband or your spouse about entrepreneurship, keep in mind that every situation no matter how benign or regular it seems, will have multiple different pre-frames, multiple different doors at which you can enter that situation and have a reaction to it.

Pick the right door, make sure you are super intentional about which pre-frame door you want to go into, because I guarantee for every positive door there’s a negative one, because will just find every possible perspective.

So I hope that helps. I hope that helps you think differently about the way you talk to your people, your customers, your team members, even your family members and people who don’t necessarily understand business, because the pre-frame is everything. Thanks so much guys, talk to you soon.