“Before People Buy from You, They Have to Buy Into You”

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 01/10/21 •  3 min read

Recently I was sitting in my hotel room in New York City reading the latest issue of Fast Company.

There was a really interesting article about the rise of Napster and what it meant for the evolution of the music industry.

In it, there was a quote from rap pioneer, Chuck D.

He said:

“We came up with the philosophy back then that we still use today. Before people buy from you, they have to buy into you.”

This is the single best piece of business advice I’ve heard in a long time.

So many people think you can just throw up a sales page and immediately start making sales.

Sure that might lead to a couple bucks, but if you really want to make legitimate money and build a long standing business and reputation, you need to sell people on you, before selling them a product.

“You finally got me to pull the trigger.”

Over the weekend we welcomed dozens of new Location Rebel Academy members into our community with our New Years promotion (welcome guys!).

I received at least half a dozen emails from people that said different variations of:

“I’ve been on your list for two years, and just now finally pulled the trigger on Location Rebel Academy.”

This is the perfect example of getting people to buy into you, before buying from you.

And that’s how it should be.

How Do You Get People to Buy Into You?

I generally don’t have many hard sells – and I’m not a natural salesman.

However, what I am good at is being myself.

I’m a genuine guy. I’m sarcastic. I like to have fun. I like to help people. And I’m good at teaching others how to build lifestyle businesses.

That’s me – and my primary goal while I’m building a brand is to make sure those things come across.

That’s why if you send me an email, you get a personal response.

That’s why I create videos on YouTube – to show my personality to the people who might be interested.

That’s why I often open up and talk about things on this site that other people might not normally mention.

That’s why I create super in-depth tutorials to help people get going online.

The more real I am with you, the more real you’ll be with me.

That’s how you get people to buy into you.

Be yourself, be authentic, and prove you’re not one of those people just out to make a quick buck.

If you do those things, when you do have something to sell, you’ll have no problem getting people to buy from you.

So think about that. How are you positioning yourself online? More importantly, what is it you’re trying to sell people on? You or your product?

Thanks for the lesson Chuck.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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6 comments on "“Before People Buy from You, They Have to Buy Into You”"

  1. GarinEtch says:

    Great post Sean. I get sick of seeing pitches from people nobody has ever heard of promising overnight fame and fortune. Instagram especially has become the entrepreneurship version of rap music videos. Borrow a sports car or a boat, take a bunch of pictures acting like you’re a successful entrepreneur, then convince people to give you money to teach them how you did it. That’s why I appreciate your step-by-step, skills-based approach. And you’ve been around for a long time!

  2. This was such a timely post for me Sean! I’m working on a course right now and I’ve been really worrying about promoting it, because I don’t have a big list nor am I well-known, but I do have an engaged list and people who reach out to me on a daily basis, thanking me for helping them, because like you, I like to help, and I try to do that first.

    I’m reminded of another quote, this one from the recent movie, Cinderella (I’m a girly girl, give me a break!) “Have courage and be kind”

    Thanks for reminding me that as long as I continue to be myself, be kind and help others, the rest will simply fall into place (nudged along with a little action from moi of course) 🙂

  3. Hey Sean,
    Like you I live in Thailand but in a remote little village way up near the Cambodian border.
    Not exactly on the tourist track mate!

    I really enjoyed your post especially the issue of just being byourself, being authentic and having a mindset to serve people first before you can expect them to buy anything from you.

    As an ancient Aussie marketer (just turned 70!) who is relatively new to this blogging game, I must tell you that I totally relate to your no BS approach to creating an online business.
    Many thanks for sharing your expertise, your honesty and your passion for the truth.

    Best wishes from a remote Thai village entrepreneur


  4. Adam says:

    More than ever today, you must be authentic. There is so much “selling” going on around the internet today to get people to buy a product or give up an email address that people will reject you immediately because defenses pop up quick. The only way to cut through the junk is to be real, honest and offer a lot of value to solve someones problem or give them a delight.

    Patience, consistency, authenticity and value. The power of storytelling is incredible when done right.

  5. Barry says:


    Sounds like you have more of a lifestyle than a business. It’s great to be able to monetize what you would do anyway. Good for you.

    Some great ideas on Location 180 and i appreciate it.


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