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What does Barbizon have to do with Internet Marketing?

This post was most recently updated on February 22nd, 2014

Recently I attended a Barbizon seminar with my niece. 


I knew walking in it was going to be a talk about attending the Barbizon school.  No way was I going to shell out thousands of dollars I said to myself going in.  But my niece was “chosen” to attend what she thought would be an interview with her, and I knew would be a sales presentation aimed at ME.  I made it clear that she could go to the seminar, but we weren’t going to jump in and spend money.  Guess what I did?



I was focused on the presentation and said to myself, “hey, it is worth the knowledge to see how they recruit.” Of course all that was in my mind was how we, as internet marketers use our own system to attract business.  It was the very same approach only in a live presentation.



STEP ONE:  The speaker told the audience about her own life.


She started the seminar telling us about her childhood experiences, and the terrible stuff she went through.  She proceeded to tell us that she found her way in business and worked in the fashion industry.  She wasn’t a model, but she found her niche in the industry.

Isn’t that our rule Number One?  We tell people who we are, where we have been and connect through honesty and transparency.  Voila…there was the personal branding portion of her speech.  I instantly found myself attracted to her story: her life and kids, etc.  I found it interesting. A real life 60 year old woman, (yes she did say her age) with grace and beauty, being herself.  Nothing about the opportunity at hand… just a long, detailed… and interesting… story about herself.

We try to do all these same things that we call Branding and Attraction.



STEP TWO:  The speaker then proceeded to talk about the benefits of the school



Here was the part where I moved to edge of my seat.  She captured my interest because she honestly told us the whole deal.  How joining this school is not only for modeling, but for self improvement.  Then she addressed the kids… they must have good grades, go to college, not do drugs, etc. 


If a child could not adhere to these rules, they’d never be chosen to do any modeling jobs.  She made the point that Barbizon has been in the business since 1939 and has established a spotless reputation.  They were not about to compromise that reputation by offering models who would not live up to these expectations.



She grasped the attention of us parents concerning the benefits of the school by telling us the TRUTH…Not everyone will be a runway model, or actress.  Everyone’s goals and talents are different. But they will all benefit from this basic training by gaining improved self-esteem, developing good posture and body language, learning to make powerful and sincere impressions on people, so that when they go for a college or job interview later in their lives, they might walk in with heightened confidence and a better presence of Self.



This presentation seemed so familiar.  Isn’t this what we do?  Of course.  We blog valuable information and give it to people for free.  We show them the benefits they could have if they opted into our system, or other things we are representing.  This is why we need good content on our blog and write it so others could benefit from the information.





Each child had to wait for their name to be called to receive a private interview.  We waited an hour.  During that time I was sold on the product, but hesitant to spend $2,000.  While I sat and thought about it, I realized it was worth the knowledge my niece would be receiving.  There were so many benefits to it.  She wouldn’t get this from school.



I stopped thinking about the end result of her actually becoming a model, and re-focused on the importance of the means to this end.  She would benefit from a different kind of school where they teach personal development and good values.  No diets, but good nutrition, proper skin care, no piercings. 


This meant she has to take out her piercings and funky hair colors.  No more pink streaks.  To my amazement, not only did she agree to these “strict” rules of conduct, she welcomed them… enthusiastically!



So were were finally called in for a brief consultation.  They accepted her and yes, I spent the $2,000.  But in order to attend the school we only had two days to actually sign the contract and make payment.



Is that how we clinch our deals?  Certainly!   People opt in, we get their emails and send auto-responders.



So here we are in our living rooms, doing the same thing, but with one big difference.  We don’t have to travel all over the place, stay in hotels and have grueling 14-hour work days.  We employ the exact same method, but we can enjoy our lives in the process.  And this my friends is why I am an Internet Marketer.

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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19 Responses to What does Barbizon have to do with Internet Marketing?

  1. Yossi Steinblatt May 8, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Interesting analogy.
    Nice to see marketing ideas from another industry and
    how they reflect to ours.

    Good article Donna and
    Good luck for your Niece… 🙂


    Yossi Steinblatt
    .-= Yossi Steinblatt´s last blog ..How to add Facebook Like button to your blog =-.

    • admin May 15, 2010 at 2:45 am #

      Yossi, I always have my eye out. Internet marketing is so much a part of me, I see it everywhere! Sometimes I analyze the coffee shop I’m in. But it is the state of mind I am in.

  2. David A Haines May 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Donna, very nice analogy of the two sales systems. It goes to show you that we can learn something from everything.

    The most important thing I received from your post is that real value is unmistakable, and even though you closed your mind to one possibility, you opened it to another, and ended up seeing the real value in the opportunity.

    Think about all the people there who heard the sum of $2000 and immediately closed their mind to the value because of the cost.

    Your Niece is a very lucky woman to have a great aunt like you in her life.

    Great article!


    David Haines
    .-= David A Haines´s last blog ..Why Are All of My Prospects Broke? =-.

  3. Dona Merrill May 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Thank you Cristy and Raisa for your kind words. Omar….I love your sense of humor! I am still laughing. That’s the greatest comment!!!
    Thanks all
    .-= Dona Merrill´s last blog ..What does Barbizon have to do with Internet Marketing? =-.

  4. Christy Dutilly May 7, 2010 at 3:20 am #

    Like your analogy:). Certainly the basics are the same in sales from one industry to another. I heard Dan Kennedy say recently that the trick is to adapt marketing ideas from another industry and be the first in yours.
    I’m so glad you were willing and able to give your neice the opportunity for experience, self development and self confidence she will undoubtly gain. What a grand gift! Priceless!
    .-= Christy Dutilly´s last blog ..The Ultimate Success Secret! =-.

  5. Raisa Garrido May 7, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    Hi Donna,
    A great parallelism, and the most important lesson “to add value”
    and follow the rules, they are already invented!
    Thanks for sharing
    .-= Raisa Garrido´s last blog ..Invertir en Educación ¿Crecer o no Crecer? =-.

  6. Omar Estrada May 7, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Poor woman, Donna! You totally psycho-Analise her…. step by step, cruelly, with dedication… like a sniper studying a target 🙂

    Great comparison! For sure, that´s pretty much the way a sales funnel functions.

    .-= Omar Estrada´s last blog ..Notas sobre el genio y el método. =-.

    • admin May 22, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

      I am the sniper! Actually once at a pow-wow with Native Americans. Someone told me I was the porcupine. What? A fat wabbling thing in the woods? Can’t I be something more sexy?
      No…A porcupine bothers no one unless it’s young are endangered, then they shoot their deadly quills out. OK So I’m a porcupine.
      And yes in our sales funnels we must be like the fox in the woods. You rarely see them, (what we sell) but they pounce on every opportunity!
      Thank you my friend

  7. Sharon Hartman May 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    This is a great connection you make between the two.

    It just goes to show us that people do business with people they…

    …know, like and trust!

    And I ditto what Joe say’s, ‘People shouldn’t try to re-invent the wheel’. They should follow what works.

    It seems like a win win for your niece!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    .-= Sharon Hartman ´s last blog ..Book Smart or Street Smart, Which Way is Better in Business? =-.

  8. Dona Merrill May 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Personal development and values are exactly what we are doing as bloggers. I wrote this because it “hit me” while I was watching the presentation. It sucked me in because there was value to the school, just like our blogs, we give value. Then there was that short time limit to join. That reminded me of our way of marketing. “join the webinar now…we only have room for a certain number of people” This makes people take action.
    Bottom line is that we must pretend we are giving an opportunity “LIVE”
    when we write. Just food for thought.
    .-= Dona Merrill´s last blog ..What does Barbizon have to do with Internet Marketing? =-.

  9. Teresa Ivory May 5, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    Awesome comparison, Donna! I think it’s significant to notice how the school focused on the benefits of “personal development and good values” – things any young person would benefit from. This changes their target market from a few potential models to just about every youth in the U.S.
    .-= Teresa Ivory´s last blog ..Tying Up Loose Ends =-.

  10. Jaden Daniels May 5, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    Great Comparison, Donna. I think it is great you could see the value for your niece, too. A school that actually teaches self improvement is really unheard of.

    .-= Jaden Daniels´s last blog ..Raising Your Frequency To Manifest Your Dreams =-.

    • admin May 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

      It’s like anything we do in life. We always have to grow and improve ourselves.

  11. admin May 5, 2010 at 2:54 am #

    Danielle, thanks for you comment. Yes, the “closing the sale” really works. We all have to be on it. We must jump on ever opportunity like a cat and not let a day go by or we run the risk of losing a prospect.

  12. Danielle Zack May 5, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    Great Information Donna!

    I love how you were going at first to get their version of ‘closing the sale’. What’s funny(yet not surprising) is that they do it the same way as us! It goes to show that when you have the right formula, all you have to do is stick to it.

    What a wonderful opportunity for your niece! A valuable education and valuable life lessons are priceless. Thanks for the wonderful story and lesson!

    Danielle Zack 🙂
    .-= Danielle Zack´s last blog ..How to Create an Effective Social Media Profile =-.

  13. Dona Merrill May 5, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    Seems lately everything I encounter pertains to the business. It’s a funny thing, when you are so involved with something and real life issues appear, you compare them to what your strategies are.
    Thanks Val for commenting
    Regards, donna
    .-= Dona Merrill´s last blog ..What does Barbizon have to do with Internet Marketing? =-.

  14. Joe Emmet May 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm #


    Ditto what Val said. Additionally, it proves a point about not trying to reinvent the wheel (something I know I’ve been guilty of — oh, maybe just once or twice in my life — LOL).

    What works in one industry (relating, building trust/empathy, and the presenting process you enjoyed at Barbizon), will generally work in many if not most other industries.

    Hopefully, those who find your blog will recognize the rather universal truths you present here, and realize they need go no further to find someone who can help mentor, teach, train and coach them to achieve the same type of success you have.

    Looking forward to your next post.


  15. Venus :) May 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Dear Donna,

    Wow! In your post you masterly weaved an entertaining story, wisdom about network marketing, education on what is valuable about real TRUTH and a pile of gold more. I truly enjoyed being inspired, entertained, educated and charmed by you and your wonderful wisdom and presence! I love your innate ability to enchant!
    Thank you!
    Infinite love and gratitude,
    Venus 🙂
    .-= Venus :)´s last blog ..The Law Of Laws (part 5) =-.

  16. Val Wilcox May 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Great analogy of utilizing what is brought into your life & recognizing the value deep down of an opportunity, not just the surface value. What a great learning experience. Life presents us with our answers in so many varied ways, to be aware of every moment is the only way to receive these gifts of knowledge.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with us. You are sharing tons of valuable life lessons!
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..A Journey into Self- Discovery =-.

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