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How to Avoid the 7 Deadly Marketing Mistakes & Scale Your Business Transcript

John Jantsch (00:01): Today we are gonna talk about the seven deadly marketing mistakes. Sounds pretty ominous, doesn't it? really what we're gonna talk about is marketing strategy, but nobody wants to hear about strategy, but we all know that maybe there's something holding us back. Maybe there's a mistake we're making that if we clarified that fix that, then maybe some things would happen in the right direction. So I'm just gonna show you or hopefully demonstrate today what solving some of these mistakes that, that linking them to actually not having a full marketing strategy is really costing you. Before we get started, if you want to do the, the chat thing and tell me where you're calling in from, that would be awesome. everybody knows how to do that these days. I will go for, I don't know, 30 minutes-ish. I'll stick around and answer questions for just as long as you would like me to. So where are you calling in from today? Just put it in chat.

(01:02): Florida, Cincinnati, Chattanooga ne Nevada, sorry. Costa Rica, San Antonio, New Jersey, Kuwait. All right. Got some hotspots around the country around the world. actually going on this July, don't we? All right. Ontario, Canada, Southern California. Thanks for playing along. All right, here we go. All right, so the real goal, of course, of all of this is correcting these mistakes I'm gonna share today. And really here's what you'll have. I mean, here's the promise. I think of having an effective marketing strategy of correcting some of these mistakes. If you ever feel like you're not really sure that you have clarity around, you know, how you're different. Understand who you can serve and why you can serve them better than anyone else. Today, you know, with so many new things coming along, I hear from a lot of folks that they just don't feel like they have confidence.

(02:06): a good marketing strategy will help, you know, finally see how marketing works and what's working control. Again. there's more to do in the day than you can get done. I think if you could have some control over what your, what your plan is, for your marketing, no more like tactic of the week. and then ultimately customers, right? We, that's what we all say we want, but I think if we have got clarity, confidence, control over your marketing you're gonna not only attract customers, but in my view, you're gonna attract the right ones. So I wanna play a little game. As I said, I'm going to share seven mistakes, one through seven. and if you wanna just play along with me, take a little mental note, a pen or a mental note and you can just tick like one when I get to one and two, when I get to two, if it resonates with you or if

(02:58): You think, wow, yeah, that's a mistake I'm probably making there's no shame, there's no blame here. But I'd like to at the end, kind of take score like seven this bingo, unfortunately, in this particular case. So I'll ask you at the end, how many did you get? so we'll just play a little game to, to keep this interesting. So keep that pen handy as I get into 'em. All right. Number one, no vision for the business. Now, this is one that gets, I mean, probably every business book, certainly every book on leadership or starting a business, you know, talks about this idea of you have to create a vision or vision, mission, values, you know, is something that, that, you know, consultants banter around quite a bit. And I think what's happened with this is it's become sort of meaningless. , you know, people are creating these vision statements that are a lot of cases, just hopeful wishes.

(03:56): in some cases, they get done as an exercise and then put away to, to me, vision can, can mean a lot of things. It could simply mean a set of goals. I mean, where do we want to go? I, and I dunno about you, but darn, if I'm trying to achieve a goal, if I set a goal and say, I'm gonna get here and it's gonna look like this, by this time, I am more apt to achieve it. And so, you know, just having a set of goals, but a mission or a vision can also be like, what's the impact I want to have or we want to have? I mean, who do we want to impact and how do we want to impact them? A vision can just be a story. It's like, here's what I see in the world, here's why I do what I'm doing.

(04:39): th this is, you know, how we attract customers and team. A lot of people are very attracted to somebody's personal story as, as to why they're doing what they're doing. From a team standpoint, I think a vision provides a, a tremendous amount of inspiration. I mean, why are we working so hard on this? You know, we, we need that inspiration. a vision can actually believe here's what we stand for our beliefs. Now, any and all of those could actually make one, you know, large vision for an organization. I'll just put this in chat. give you guys a, a second to guess. Do you know what the second most visited webpage on almost every website I've ever seen or ever worked with? tell me what you think that page is. Just put it in chat. Too bad. It's not the Buy Now page or the, or even the contact us.

(05:32): Well, there's a couple contacts, but most of you get it. It's the About Us page that is the second most visited page. Most people come in through the homepage, but guess where they go first to the About Us page, if nothing else. Craft, vision that makes an awesome About Us page with some of these elements. and you will be a long way towards to, towards really honing in on attracting the right clients. Okay? you can take a look at our About Us page. We share our values on those. We hope that, that everybody that we do business with everybody who's on our team experiences these values. we, we collectively created these and, and we believe that they, that there are people out there that will come to that page and read these and go, wow, you know, those resonate.

(06:21): and, and that may actually do a great deal, quite frankly, towards us building the trust for somebody to want to go a little deeper. All right? Number two, trying to be all things to all people. Now, I know nobody wakes up and says, I'm gonna create a business, and we're gonna be all things to all people. I mean, nobody tries to do that. But the fact of the matter is that quite often if we start a, an accounting business or we start a plumbing business or a legal business, I mean, we, you know, the, the, the narrowing is basically anybody who needs accounting, anybody who needs their taxes done. Anybody who's got a house that needs plumbing. And, and in some degree it, you know, that may be true, but if you want to attract that ideal client that one, that, that, that, you know, you can help, that, that, you know, values what you do that's willing to pay you a premium, then you've got to start narrowing some things.

(07:20): And the good news is, if you've got clients today I, here's the little four box exercise, think in terms of your best clients, your most profitable clients who also refer business to you. Those that go in the upper right. Then think of some of those clients that you have that, yeah, they're profitable, but they don't seem, they're not champions. I mean, we don't really connect with them or anything. Those that go in the up upper left, I think I said upper left before, your best customers going upper right , upper left is profitable, then that down below axis, you probably have some of those customers that they're not really very profitable, they're really not the right fit, but hey, they said they'd pay you. So you took 'em. They're nice people. They refer business to you, but guess who they refer?

(08:06): Also not so ideal customers. And then of course, in the bottom left is, is the detractors. They were not a good fit. you took them when you knew you shouldn't , you don't really want to serve them. And so consequently, you don't very well, and they become detractors. They actually are out there telling, they're actually out there doing one star reviews, and they're telling all their friends, oh, don't ever do business with them. But that's somewhat our fault, right? Because we were willing to say, Hey, anybody who needs X, we do that. So if you take that box on the upper right and, and you think through your customer base today, your most profitable customers who also refer you, what is it about them? Can, what can, you know, what are all the common characteristics in that group? It might be they're in a certain industry or have certain challenges, but there's a really good bet that they also have certain beliefs and ideals and behaviors that make them profitable.

(09:02): And here's the point of all this. I'm not suggesting you're never, ever going to take any work from anybody that doesn't fit in that upper right box, but I am gonna say, you should be focused on that group. The Pareto principle. Everybody's heard it. 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results. I've seen this time and time again with the folks we've worked with, 20% of their customer base, their best customers produce 80%, if not revenue profit quite often because they're the most profitable ones who also refer the right types of customers. So what if we, what if we identified that group and we started to focus almost all of our messaging and our lead generation around attracting more of that group and further focusing even more effort on figuring out what more could we do for that group? It is so much easier to sell.

(09:54): We all know this, to sell more to somebody you've already established trust with than it is to go out there and find new customers. Many businesses that we've worked with can take that top 20% and they can 10 x their business just with that group, rather than driving themselves crazy, trying to serve everyone. All right? We have a couple tools. This is one you might wanna take a picture of. Take some notes on just as you're thinking about that top 20%, then start thinking about what they think. V O C is voice of customer. what are they saying to themselves? so write some statements. Who are you attracting? What do you want them to do? what do they see? What do they say? What do they hear? What do they do? You know, what are the pain points that they feel?

(10:38): What are the gains that they would like to accomplish? Having a clearest picture possible of who that top 20% is, is how you're going to go attracting more of them. All right, number three, and I hate to have any favorites of the seven , but this is the one that I tell people all the time. This is probably the most important because quite frankly, it leads to many. It, it is so connected to many of the other mistakes, that this is a place we often start and, and really don't pass, go until we nail. If there's no way for, for your ideal target market to differentiate you from everybody else who says that they do what you do, they're gonna default to one thing to tell the difference. Know what it is. Of course you do. I'm not even gonna stop and ask you it's price, because if they can't tell any other difference they're just going to default to price. And, you know, price as I will talk about is, you know, is a tough place to compete. Nobody wants what we sell. They want their problems solved, period. I know that that sounds sort of cold , but it's the truth. I mean, there are a lot of us that sell products and services. People would rather not buy, but they know that it

(11:52): Solves a problem. And so they know that in some ways they're better off if they do purchase that. But until they understand that, we understand the problem they're trying to solve, we're simply just saying the same thing. Everyone else is saying the is the real website. I hope it's nobody on the call today, but, but this is something that I encounter all the time. this is a tax preparation and resolution service. They serve individual and small business tax preparation. They do small business consulting. They do accounting and payroll. Nobody wants any of those things. . They, they want their problem solved. So we have to start with addressing what somebody's deep problem is, the problem we really solve, which quite frankly likely is not the product or service that we sell. I gave you a couple examples of clients. This was an architect that worked with general contractors, and we went on and talked to some of their customers, and their customers kept saying, yeah, they, they're good architects, but what we really love is they, they, they actually help us get paid faster.

(12:53): So when we dug into that, we discovered that they actually had one of the senior accountants was a city councilman in a local suburb. They had people on zoning boards. Consequently, they actually knew the priorities and where the red tape was going to be. And so they were able to get their plans approved faster, which got the contractor paid faster. And, and the problem that the contractor has, it's not only, I mean, we all want to get paid faster, but in this case, if a contractor won a job, they would actually have to go out and hire people and get equipment and, and supplies before they really ever got paid. So getting paid faster was a sign significant problem. They were trying to get solved. So we turned the message from this architect to, we help contractors get paid faster. Now, you for that contractor, all of a sudden, you got my attention.

(13:41): You understand the problem I'm trying to solve? Yes, the work has to be good, but, but I'm actually going to maybe pay you more because this is so valuable to me. Another example this is a, a company that produces software for universities. You imagine all the scheduling and, and you know, what a nightmare that is for all the buildings and courses and, and events and things that go on. So we interviewed this customer's customers and what we kept hearing was, yeah, the software works fine, but it actually helps us graduate our students faster. It helps us make our tuition more affordable. So all of a sudden we were not just being compared to the other softwares that maybe kept the operations people happy. we make your tuition more affordable, was a message that the provost and eventually even state legislatures could, could resonate with. So all of a sudden, you know, this company is not even, they, they've made themselves incomparable, quite frankly, to the competition. And that's what having an amazing core message can do for you. A couple old school ways we go about finding this out. I ask my clients all the time, and they don't really know what makes them different, or

(14:50): They believe that it's their products and services. We get their customers on the phone and we learn something quite different. quite you know, we under, we start to understand that the problems that this company solves, and a lot of times it's the little stuff. It's not stuff that we're gonna brag about because we just think that's what everybody does. Google reviews today have become a goldmine for finding this information. If you've got 105 star Google reviews, meaning these were happy customers that really on their own volition went to Google and wrote a paragraph about how awesome you are, they will almost always talk about the problem you solve that other people are not. Scan through every word of your Google reviews and start looking for themes. All right, number four. So we're at the halfway point.

(15:40): I don't know if anybody's three for three yet, , but we'll we'll check in in a minute. Wasting precious marketing resources, this is such a frustrating one today, right? I mean, there's always more to do than you can ever get done in a day or at least more you wanna do than you can ever get done in a day. You started this business not because you wanted to figure out all the marketing platforms that were out there. It's because you wanted to serve the world. Maybe you actually wanted to make a difference, and you're bogged down now in, in just not knowing what's working, what's, you know, what you should be doing, which direction, who do I listen to today? Still, people are selling kind of the funnel mentality, right? We just need to get on this platform, generate more leads, shove 'em down the funnel turn 'em into customers.

(16:28): and that mentality, unfortunately is, is serving so many businesses incorrectly because, you know, the thing that's changed, it's, it's not really all the platforms, the platforms have changed, but the thing that's changed the most is how people decide to become customers today. they really are in charge. And, you know, couple statistics. we all get so focused on generating the leads, making the phone ring. 80% of buyers have have admitted in this survey from pwc PricewaterhouseCooper that they'll pay more for a better experience. I mean, I know I have, I mean, 86 is probably most of us. So maybe there's some money to be made in focusing on what happens when somebody becomes a customer. 83% of businesses in this survey claim that they have a business they love so much, they'd be happy to refer them to others. I will play another guessing game with you just to make sure you're paying attention.

(17:24): how many of that 83% do you think actually do 83% say they have a business they love so much, they would refer them? What percentage of that 83% do you think actually refer? Just throw a number in. I love playing this game because as a whole, , small business owners are a terribly pessimistic lot . 5%, 10%, 10%, 25, 10. It's the actual number is 29. I've do, I've asked this question in dozens of, of rooms, and I've never had anybody. I mean, I have so many fives and tens percent, and I think that what that really is, is a realization that there is so much more we can do. We're not getting those referrals that we know that we deserve. So maybe there's some money in closing this 50% gap as part of, of what we should focus on in marketing instead of chasing the idea of the week.

(18:16): The customer journey looks a lot more like this these days than it does look like that straight linear funnel, you know, marketing today, it's less about demand creation and more about organizing behaviors. Any of you who've heard me talk before know I talk all the time about this framework that I created called The Marketing Hourglass. And to me, it's the full end to end customer journey that's going to keep us focused on the right things. The idea behind the hourglass is that there are seven stages, or I like to call 'em behaviors. No, like trust, try by repeat and refer. And our job as marketers is to d determine how we can actually gently move people through all seven of these stages in the way that they want to perform. How can we close the gaps in moving people through these stages?

(19:04): Just to give you a little and I'll go through these pretty quickly because this is an hour long presentation by itself. The first three stages of no, like, and trust. This is how we create the relationship. Certainly, you know, everybody, almost everybody on this call, if I asked you to, could plug in a bunch of these things. This is how people come to know about my business. Maybe there's a couple on here that you think, oh, I, you know, I should be doing more than that, but I don't. but, but ultimately, most people realize they have to get people to know about their business. They have to attract people. But unfortunately, after that, they quite often jump to how do I sell to them by missing these critical steps of like, and trust spending the time on the message and the brand elements and the story, and the visual cues, and getting reviews and testimonials and case studies.

(19:50): This is how you actually charge a premium for your products and services. I mean, in many cases, if, if we go to a website, we don't like what we see, we're out of there in two seconds. But if we go to a website and, and we, they seem to understand our problem, they have a great story. Other people seem to like what they do. They've got case studies where they've, they can actually prove they've gotten the result that they're promising me. That is what it's going to take anymore for us to actually want to invest the time in knowing more. But we will almost always pay more for a company that we trust more. That's why referrals are actually so important, because a lot of that trust is borrowed. We don't have to worry now, is this gonna work or not? No, John said it was gonna work.

(20:34): I trust John, so I'm gonna now trust that company. The next two stages are really the bridge to long-term success. A lot of times people think, oh, you do good work, you get referrals. In my view, you create a better experience as somebody is becoming a customer. That's how you start getting referrals. So all of your processes around how somebody can try you, certainly once they buy from you, I mean, we've all been let down, right? you know, having a very solid set of processes that keep the experience high there. And then really the easiest way to build momentum in a business is to do more with your existing clients and to get those existing clients and strategic partners to actually refer other great ideal clients to you. This is, this is sadly the, the most neglected area for most businesses, and it's really the place where you can actually make the most long-term impact over time.

(21:33): Alright, number five already mentioned this, competing on price. It's a terrible place unless you're Walmart. I don't think anybody's Walmart, Walmart on here. if you can't compete on price, meaning you can't be, you can't undercut everybody and still be significantly profitable then you need to figure this one out, for sure, because, you know, without, and that's why I talked about that point of differentiation, you know, without a point of differentiation, people will default to price. And, you know, if you're, if you're just gonna lower your price or you're, you're going to believe, well, I can't charge what my work is worth. It's because you don't have the right message. You don't have the right package, you don't have the, the, you're not talking about the right problem that you solve. You don't have the processes to guide them on a customer journey. There's always gonna be somebody willing to go out of business faster than you. and that's why price is a terrible place to compete. I shared the marketing hourglass a bit ago. this is what most people's customer journey looks like. Try to get people to know about us, so they will buy. and that is the surest. Well, it does two things. it's gonna attract the wrong client, and it's gonna attract price shoppers almost guaranteed.

(22:48): This is a a a little framework that I share all the time is, particularly for service businesses, you've gotta have the right message to solve a specific problem for a specific person in a specific way that will allow you to charge enough to have a, and, and not worry about being the low price le leader to have maybe a 67% margin. Because today, that's gonna be the only way you're gonna be able to hire, right? Or to delegate or to work with third parties so that you can actually scale. And then of course, excuse me, you have to have a repeatable fulfillment system. You know, this is the part that really kills a lot of people. If you don't have all three of these things you're gonna drown. because if you don't have an ability, I tell a lot of folks that they, they wanna build million or $2 million businesses. Well, the reality is that means you're gonna have to have enough capacity to fulfill a hundred to 250,000

(23:45): A month in services. So can you do that with a repeatable s Do you have a repeatable system that that's teachable to others? Because the only way to scale if you just have, if you just have those first two, you're basically gonna run up against selling your, you know, running out of time. if you don't have that right message, that right package, you're not gonna be able to charge enough that's gonna allow you to, to, to hire or, or to delegate. So the sweet spot is in getting all three of these, right? And I'm just gonna tell you, all right now, , most of you need to raise your prices. and in fact, without me working with you at all, , I would suggest if you raised your prices today, 25 to 30%, you would not see a dropoff in, in customers.

(24:31): We just are, are not confident enough in what we're doing sometimes to feel like we can get that, you know, a lack of profit, which is what being the low price leader will guarantee. , you can't invest in building your business. Sometimes if you wanna create some sort of new product or new innovation, you've gotta invest. If you, you quite often need to hire or delegate before you feel like you can. And if you're razor thin margins, you're not going to do that. and, and frankly, what ha what's gonna happen is if you can't delegate you're gonna do all the work, and so then you're gonna run out of time to sell, and we all know what happens, then it all dries up and we have start all over again. All right, number six, I've only got two more left chasing the idea of the week.

(25:25): Now, come on, honestly, , we've all fallen, pray to this. I mean, let's let's, let's name today's culprit ai, right? , I mean, you get an email every single day with somebody saying become a billionaire, you know, using these two AI prompts. And we, you know, we go chasing after that, you know, used to be social media. Social media is so passe now, right? But, but again, the next thing will come, and then the next thing, and then the next thing. And what that really does, of course, is it just scatters any momentum that we, we could ever build. we don't stick with something long enough to know it works. We're trying to do 10 things poorly, , instead of two things. Well, here's something that we do and have done for many, many years. Every quarter we create a a list of two, no more than three priorities.

(26:22): Each of those priorities has objectives. Meaning, you know, here, here is, you know, here's what we've said as a priority objective, and here's how we're going to measure it. Now, stuff comes up all the time, and, and that's fine, you know, the world's changing rapidly, . But the trick becomes to not say, should we do this or shouldn't we do this? It becomes, does this help us achieve one of our objectives? If the answer is yes, great, let's see if we can squeeze it in. If the answer is no, put it in the parking lot or whatever you want to call it. Maybe you'll revisit, maybe it's a brilliant idea, but don't lose focus every single time. The idea of the week comes up, have some discipline to stay structured, and over the course of a year, you'll build momentum, you'll make more confident decisions, and this, this tool will become a filter for what to say no to, frankly, . If if you do nothing else, find, hire somebody, who can tell you what to say no to. and you will buy back probably 75 to 80% of your time.

(27:31): These are just examples of, of this is actually for, for an existing client. You know, where we will, we do this not only for our own business, but we do it for every client so that, that they have you know, an idea of where we're going. And this happens to be kind of an annual set of objectives that were much higher level than what was gonna be accomplished at the quarter. But then we break 'em down by the quarter. Okay? Number seven, and this one's about the numbers. I would say that this is the, you, you're either a numbers person or you're not. And I think the numbers people are about 20% and the rest of us are not. and so measuring things like key performance in indicators and, and, you know, taking a look at what's working when not what's not working, it may not be your favorite thing to do.

(28:19): It's, like I said, it's probably not the favorite thing of 80% of us , but there is no question that if you are measuring, if you are are monitoring things are not only gonna get done, they're gonna get fixed or they're gonna get eliminated. Sometimes you, you try something and you think, this is an awesome idea, let's go do this. And if you're not monitoring it, you might even be tricked into believing it's working. but then you monitor it and you're like, well, no, this isn't working at all for us. You know, it's true of, of, you know, a great example is like AdWord campaigns. for whatever reason, you can create all these amazing search terms that you're bidding on, and you think, well, yeah, this is it. This is it. Dead it, but, but you're not mind, you're, you're getting clicks, for those, right?

(29:07): but they're not converting. They're, so, you're spending money and it looks like everything's going well, but you're not tracking it to the end. Did I get a customer outta that? And then sometimes you get these, these surprises that you think, oh, I'll throw that one in there, you know, and that's the one that's converting. You put all your money back in that one now, and all of a sudden, you know, you, you've got something that's going to be far more effective. We create, this is kind of blurry because it's, it's a real live dashboard. But you know, creating a tool where you say, look, here are the things that matter every month, or maybe it's weekly for you, maybe some people it's daily, but here are the things that matter. here's who's responsible for monitoring of that and, and tracking that.

(29:50): And here's who's responsible for, you know, saying if we're in range, you know, red, green, yellow type of thing. this kind of tool, once you decide what we wanna pay attention to, what we're trying to accomplish, what our objectives are for the quarter or maybe for the year having a tool, building a tool like this and monitoring it and having it at your fingertips will get everybody working on the same page. It'll also point out where you've got issues. It might even point out where you've got issues with people who are accountable for certain areas. So just, this is, again, it was just a simple example to show you how important I think this tool is, and really all seven of these tools are. So I'm gonna pause now and just ask you, and you don't have to play this game if you don't want. Hopefully you're keeping score if anybody got bingo, so put it in there, one number one through seven, I'd just love to hear your self-assessment on, and, and doesn't, you, you, you know, you're not saying I make these mistakes, I just much more around, gosh, that, that idea or that thought resonates with me. So I'd love to see a number one through seven, for those of you that were playing along Uhoh first one ends a bingo . Now they're bing, fours and fives.

(31:25): So the reason I guess that we are, we were able to get scores that are high, which obviously is the negative aspect of this, is we've been doing this for a long time. I mean, we, we know what the challenges are. we know what fixing these challenges looks like. and so we've actually created a product or an assessment, an analysis that I'd love to share with you today because I think this could be a way for those of you that are, that are in the high numbers and really four and above is pretty high to, to maybe get a handle on some of this.

(32:04): So we've created something we call the marketing gap analysis that would allow you to, to effectively go through all of these areas. And the way it works is we'll give you an intake form.

(32:17): We analyze all of your inputs, we'll schedule a coaching call with you. And what we're gonna do is we're going to give you advice on filling these gaps, and we're gonna actually give you five to 10 action items that, that you can come away with and, and do, and we'll tell you how to do 'em. So we just feel like this is a great way to get people kind of dipping their toe in the water for strategy. We do custom strategies for people but we feel like this is a great way to get people to dip their toe in the water and start to understand really what some of the things they could be doing around strategy for their business. So, as I said, what'll happen is if you decide to take us up on this offer, and you guys are the first people to hear about this you'll be given a form.

(33:03): You'll be sent a page where you'll answer questions in a, a variety of areas that we talked many of related to the things we talked about today. will happen is your answers will come into this what we call close the gaps plan. we will analyze it with, we will put a whole series of notes here. We'll put a whole series of action steps here. We'll meet with you to go over this document, and you'll, you'll own this document. You'll, you'll take this away from from the meeting. So, so that you'll have something you can reference, you know, long term, you know, we'll leave, these are all the areas that we'll cover, you know, vision, revenue, ideal client, core message, customer journey, competitive analysis, your website content, social email, paid sales referrals, tracking and KPIs. So many of the things we talked about today.

(33:51): You'll be able to score yourself, and then you'll be able to, because you'll own this, you'll be able to come back and, and tick off some of the items the action items and, and maybe change what your wheel looks like. Maybe you'll, you'll strengthen areas that that you feel like, you know, when you took the initial assessment weren't necessarily areas of, of strength for you. So again, you'll complete that intake form. We'll analyze the inputs. We'll schedule a, a one-on-one coaching call with you where we'll go over the gaps. And, and the action items from this list. It's 799. again, as I said you know, we, we do full-blown custom strategies for, for people for about 10 to 12 times that . So this is a great way for you to get kind of a starter if you like. So if you wanna go look at the page where you could sign up for that it's put in the chat, but it'sworld/gap.

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