Alex Vonderhaar, Tracy Brinkmann

Tracy Brinkmann  00:00

How can chasing a sensation lead to an awesome business generating millions? Stay tuned to find out. Okay, here’s the question. How are we dark horses? You know, the ones everyone is betting against the ones they don’t expect to win place or even show on the track. And they’ll even laugh on us when we talk about trying. How do we show the world our greatness and triumph? Come on? Well, that’s the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. This is the Dark Horse entrepreneur. My name is Tracy Brinkmann. What is up my dark horse friends and family. Welcome back to your weekly dose of neuro marketing learning. I’m the Dark Horse host Tracy Brinkmann and you Well, that’s infinitely more important. You are a driven entrepreneur or one in the making. Either way, you’re here because you’re ready to start or restart kickstart. Just start leveling up with some great marketing, personal or business wrote results in order to build that beautiful business of yours into the Empire. It absolutely deserves to be from man and we’re pulling out all the stops and another big episode today. Today, Alex vonderhaar shares the power behind neural marketing how he got into this field and even drops an amazing way you can use this power right now. Plus, I’m gonna let you in on next week’s interview episode Guess whose childhood and life choices led him down a path where he now feels it’s his duty to call men to a higher standard of living. Now as per usual, the Dark Horse corrals are chock full of personal business and marketing, g o l d spilling from every corner of the Dark Horse entrepreneur HQ. So let’s get to the starting gates and go Alright, my dark horse, friends and family. Today’s guest is Alex vonderhaar. And you know how to even ask, that’s how you pronounce it.

Alex Vonderhaar  01:56

You nailed it.

Tracy Brinkmann  01:56

I’m gonna use my German history to do that. Now, Alex is the co founder and lead neural marketer for hidden falls media. Now he has helped hundreds of business owners take their game online. And in his spare time, check this. He’s a guitarist who’s constantly learning new songs. You can’t see it behind me. I’ll show it to you in a minute. Got my little drum set back here. We may have to get online and jam sometime. Welcome to the Dark Horse entrepreneur man,

Alex Vonderhaar  02:25

Tracy. Man, thanks for having me so much. This is gonna be awesome.

Tracy Brinkmann  02:28

Yeah, my pleasure, actually. And like I was telling you earlier, I want to take a minute and step back from the mic. And just let you tell your story. Like I said, I know I heard a bit of it when you were sharing on clubhouse. So you know, share as little or as much of that that journey that you’ve taken you to where you’ve been to where you are today and why you like doing what you do so much.

Alex Vonderhaar  02:49

Totally. So mentioning clubhouse real fast, if anybody wants to connect, that’s where we’ve been spending the majority of our time every last day or so. So you can find me at Alex dot vonderhaar there just a real quick plug. But a little bit about who I am where I got started from never ever in my wildest dreams that I imagined being a CEO or a business owner or anything along those lines. Starting out I was I wanted to go to school for art. And I was gonna focus on CGI. So looking at computer generated imaging for movies. And I love the idea of the idea that we could fool the eye with computer technology to do all these really, really cool things and produce these really cool movies. I was dating a girl at the time. And you know, she really got into my head and gotten my parents here about that saying like, oh, like there’s really not that much of an industry port, it’s really not going to drive that much like Avatar and just come out and choose like avatars of blue. Nobody’s going to want to watch movies with CGI, and it’s not going to take authors. It’s a one and done thing. So you know, my parents and my grandparents were like, you know what, you’re getting science you’re get at school, just go through the traditional route and you’ll be okay. So I, you know, out of spite being an 18 year old boy, young, dumb and full of calm, I said, Okay, what is the hardest science route I can find them. And at the time, it was neuroscience and I actually really enjoyed it. So I always loved ironically enough, I love magic. Growing up and watching people like David Blaine and Criss Angel and David Copperfield do what they do, and understanding that, you know, what we see in our reality and how we perceive life around us isn’t necessarily what it is. And then I started reading a lot about, you know, neuroscience and psychopharmacology and how drugs affect our behavior, how plants affect our behavior, how food, how meditation, running exercise, all the things that surround us on a day to day basis, affect our brain chemistry. And I was like, wow, this is actually really cool and fascinating. Like, it dictates our psychology it dictates our behavior. it dictates how we live our lives like this seems to be a key pillar of knowledge that you know, if I’m going to get an education something it’s better than getting an English degree that I may or may not use, right just out of spite right. So I was like, Alright, like, well, like well Let’s do it. I buckled in, got down to it for four years got done, got my degrees, and I did the traditional good boy route. And it didn’t pan out. It didn’t, you know, nobody’s really jumping for where neuroscience majors coming out of college they want. They want MDS, they want PhDs, they want all the letters and alphabet soup to come after it. But what was really an eye opening experience for me was that when I was a senior in high or senior in college, I didn’t near death experience from anaphylaxis shock. And it’s unknown airborne allergy I have no idea still to this day what it is I get it, maybe about once a year, we’re all going to full blown shock. But that was the first time it had happened. So now I’m you know, now I’m prepared. I’ve the epi pens and everything else. But back then I had no idea. I never experienced that. No idea what to do. So I was meeting some bandmates down at a Starbucks walking there, it started to happen at the Starbucks, we got back to their apartment. And by the time we got back to their apartment, by the time she could open up the Benadryl container to try to give some to me, I was gone and on the floor, and I couldn’t breathe anymore. So I was out cold, no breathing, no heart rate for about two and a half minutes EMTs were able to bring me back and you know, I was back on my feet within a few days. But after that experience, I really started chasing what that sensation I felt was and that just that different altered state that I had experienced through that transition and through that process. So I started to find different ways to chase that. But at the same time I’m coming out of college on don’t have a job, I can’t even get hired at a temp agency to be able to find a job for no reason not knowing why I can pass drug tests. I’m smart, I can read I can I can do all the things that they want you to do, right? I can’t even get a job sweeping floors. It’s like What the hell’s going on, man? Like, this is not what all my college professors and guidance counselors and parents and grandparents told me was on the other side of this, right, right. So I get through and I ended up training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because I was just filled with just rage and just upsetting just negative emotions. So a good buddy of mine, I’m still best friends with To this day, he’s like, dude, you need to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you need to go roll, let out some of this energy and frustration. But they’ll teach you how to control a lot of these just like emotions that you’re feeling and direct them in positive ways. So I started training, and then I started pick up a little bit of muy Thai in there too. And I met somebody training, because the guy that ran the gym said, Hey, you guys are about the same build. I’m about six, five to 20 to 31. At that time, now I’m a little bit less, but he’s like, you guys would be great sparring partners, your same build same size. But he’s got about 10 years on you. So he’s really going to put you in your place. I’m like, Yes. Go like I need

Tracy Brinkmann  07:40

Sign me up.

Alex Vonderhaar  07:41

Yeah, I need something. Right. Right. So we got through, we got training a little bit, and I found out that he ran a floatation therapy tank center. And I he was like, you know, just just come float. Just see what it’s about. See if you like it, you know, might help you. So I went in and I floated and I finally found that thing again, I found that sensation that I’ve been chasing for all those years, I couldn’t find it in psychedelics, I couldn’t find it in meditation. But float tanks were the closest thing I could get to it. So I came out I was like, dude, like, I got to whatever this is I need to I need to have more of it in my life. And he was like, you know, I’m I’m hiring, it’s minimum wage, you’re working at a desk, you’re cleaning salt tanks, you’re essentially a spouse, a spa boy, coming in and cleaning up after people and making sure that after they piss in the pods that it doesn’t smell like pee anymore. So I’m getting through and I after a few conversations with them. He’s like, you know, I hate to do this to you, bro. But finances aren’t looking good. We need to figure out a way to turn this around. And I said, Well, what have you tried? He was like, Well, you know, I heard Facebook marketing is good. I heard Instagram marketing can really do some good stuff. Not really tried it. I tried a few Google Ads first, and it really didn’t work well. And I’m getting ready to hire this marketing agency to try to resurrect our business. I said, Well, let me let me learn a little bit about this before we go and do that, see if I can save you some money and see if I can learn something too in the process. So I went out and found a few digital marketers back in the influence days of when they actually meant something online. And it wasn’t, you know, everybody in there, brother.

Tracy Brinkmann  09:15


Alex Vonderhaar  09:15

So I found everybody out there and I started doing the research on him like holy shit like this is this is all my psychology and neuroscience classes about reward behavior, about social identity about how we accumulate tribes, and how we, how we connect with bonds on different people what our human needs are at deep emotional and psychological levels. And what we look for out of people in order to fulfill these needs, the more I was doing research on digital marketing, I started to realize, Oh, that’s the same shit that we’re talking about and all these other classes. And then I started figuring out through a lot of research, well, there’s actually a field of this called neuro marketing. And they put people inside of fMRI scanners and show them and have them go through all these different pathways and brands. Look at all these websites and figure out what actually works. So I started digging into that research and figured out Well, there’s really only, you know, maybe 100 or 200 people in the world with this job title. So I started doing research as to like, what actually gives you as job title. And from what I’ve found, it was, well, there’s really nothing. It’s just how much knowledge Do you know about this? Right? There’s no certification. It’s not like I have to go pass a bar exam somewhere. I’m like, Okay, well, this seems to make a lot of sense. And with the psych and neuroscience background, I’m already way further ahead than all these digital marketers, I just have to learn the digital marketing component, right? They’re trying to learn all the psychology and stuff that I got formally educated on, I’m trying to pick up the 100. Yeah, I’m trying to pick up the couple $100 course off of you know, somebody click funnel account, that’s going to show me how to actually build this stuff out. So within about 18 months, I was able to bring them to a $2.2 million business after being in debt by over $100 million, or not 100 million 100,000. So we took them from 100,000, up to 2.2 million and about a year and a half, almost two years. And we were able to open up to brick and mortar locations. And we were able to really grow a thriving online business that had a brick and mortar component to it. And at the time, I was still making minimum wage, I was managing both brick and mortar locations, I was managing a staff of about 15 people, all while making 8 12 8 15 an hour. So him and I had to come to Jesus moment and said, Look, man,

Tracy Brinkmann  11:20

Yeah right.

Alex Vonderhaar  11:23

Yeah, it was a come to Jesus moment with Tito’s and soda and trying to figure out what was actually going to work well. And he was like, look like, it’s just not part of my business model to ever have somebody full time no matter what you do, like, it’s never going to be that way. So I ended up saying Adios. And January one of 2018, we started our agency. So we’re coming up in two days on the three year mark, nice, which has been really thrilling for me and really, really exciting. So that’s where I’ve been in the last, you know, two and a half, three years at this point of just helping and serving business owners by teaching them that marketing and advertising is all based on human psychology, right? And the faster we are able to get past the tools and the tactics of how to do that and understand the underlying principles of human psychology and how we interact with this highly addictive device that we all carry and out of our pocket every day, right faster, we’ll be able to get real results for your business, it’s not going to be a flash in the pan result, it’s going to be a strategy, there’s going to be plans and no growth towards that, you know, we might get kicked in the face a few times. But we’re going to get there because we’re using principles of human behavior. So it’s in a nutshell of two and a half, three minutes. That’s how we got there.

Tracy Brinkmann  12:39

No, that’s, that’s actually money. Because, you know, you sit there and I think about all the folks I’ve listened to, you know, obviously, I’m, I’m a little longer in the tooth than you are. But you know, even if I think about the past decade of all the people I’ve listened to in the marketing industry, and I spent 12 years at Coca Cola in the marketing field. And so you know, those are the guys that are that’s all they do. And then coke cola is like that marketing engine. And they’re all like, Okay, well, people are going to go after because of this, because of that, because this because that it sounds like you’ve taken that, that that magic right there. Oh, the reason they do it is and you said, Okay, I’m gonna start there, and move it into the marketing field and say, Now, I already know why they do it. Now let’s apply those principles as a core rather than doing the reverse and say, Okay, I’m gonna learn how to do the marketing. Oh, and I know why they clicked on this one. Because ABC, right? Yeah. I can’t imagine why people haven’t gone this route, like, more aggressively before. I mean, you were you were mentioning like, 100 folks out there that kind of have this, this neuro marketing title?

Alex Vonderhaar  13:51

Yeah, I, I don’t know why either. I think a lot of it’s still in academia. And people aren’t willing to read academic articles.

Tracy Brinkmann  14:00


Alex Vonderhaar  14:01

And that’s, I mean, I don’t blame them. Like, it’s not something I necessarily enjoy to sit down and read either. But I made it a goal to read at least one a week for a really long time. And it adds up to a lot of knowledge.

Tracy Brinkmann  14:11

Yeah, and it may be incorrect in check me on this one. Yeah, if you think about it, of course, it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to the collegiate path. But I imagined the marketing channel is a lot more exciting, right? You get out of there. And you can land the job at some big company doing their marketing or something or start your own agency. Whereas if you follow the, the, the psychological path, it’s a little drier, right? And then it’s like now Now I know that now, how do I turn that into marketing?

Alex Vonderhaar  14:42

You mean, I could take neuro anatomy classes to understand marketing.

Tracy Brinkmann  14:46

Oh, right. What is up with that?

Alex Vonderhaar  14:48

I have to memorize all the parts of the brain and the systems and structures and functions. Look,

Tracy Brinkmann  14:53

heaven forbid I be educated in what I’m trying to learn.

Alex Vonderhaar  14:57

Yeah, no, I mean, there at the end of the day, you’re just trying to manipulate a system in the brain. So why would you not take the ethical route and try to learn the right way to do that. So you’re not frying somebody’s brain or causing them to have identity issues in the process,

Tracy Brinkmann  15:10

right? or doing one thing and one part of your ad or marketing that moves you forward. But then two steps later, you do something, you’ll realize why you did it, that steps them back to where they were, and you’re like, what happened? Right?

Alex Vonderhaar  15:23

Oh, yeah, my favorite example is like on a website, they’ll be like, it’s overwhelming. But they’ll show lady smiling. must not be very overwhelming. Like that’s

Tracy Brinkmann  15:34

not congruent, right? The brain is going Hmm, yeah. And there, I think there’s a magic piece in that, right? Because our brains will pick up that even if it’s not conscious, our brains pick up on those things and start telling us, you know, I don’t know why, but some reason I don’t like this guy, something’s off. Yeah, something’s off. Okay, moving on. Until the next guy. Yeah, right. I get it. That’s cool. All right. So I want to step back. Alright. So I think I know what neuroscience is. And I think you did a great job of giving us the the, you know, the 10,000 foot high level, okay, here’s what it’s all about. But how are you taking? Maybe you can synopsize it for myself and the listeners how you taking that knowledge you have in using it to actually market something or, or make someone market better? That makes sense?


Yeah, totally. So a lot of what we see with in marketing, let me start with where we walk, where 95% of marketers walk on their approach. Sure. They’re just assuming that the market wants that product. We haven’t poked at a need, we haven’t talked about it, we haven’t really laid the framework to see if any of this is actually one a viable product or service and when they actually need or even if they did need it, did something scare them out of that need, right? We can have any view and I can have a need for this pen. But if somebody came along and shoved it in their eyes, you know, now we’re gonna look at it and be like, okay, now, is it this dude being crazy? Or did that pen have some, like craziness to it that we don’t want? Right? Okay, right. So there’s, there’s different levels as to how we can start with this, but understanding where the markets at not necessarily just knowing the market, but what’s their current mental state. There’s an amazing, amazing book that I recommend to everybody that’s interested in marketing. It’s called breakthrough advertising by Eugene Schwartz. He is the Oji marketer when it comes to copywriting. And copywriting is one of those fields of marketing that it’s very rarely talked about, but it’s one of the most critical pieces, which is the written word. But he also talks about understanding your market sophistication level on a scale of one to five, how, how aware is your market of what the product or service is? And does. And at what Pinnacle point, do we reach a point where it’s just so saturated, that you almost need an entire flip of the brain in order for it to become effective again, when we reach that Pinnacle point, most of the time, we’re comparing brands, so it’s Coke or Pepsi, McDonald’s or Burger King, okay? Right. But at the top of the line awareness, it’s, hey, we’ve got people like Elon Musk talking about they’re about his digging program that he’s digging underneath cities. Right? So this concept that’s kind of out there, like when the Hyperloop came out, something that nobody really talks about, he’s great at that level one market sophistication, nobody really knows about it, but we don’t see him be great at is the levels four and five, where we’re talking about, you know, distinguishing features or attributes between products that work well or don’t work well. So looking at how we start to approach neuro marketing from this, it’s let’s look at the psychology of the user. What are they truly going through without their daily lives? What are their habits? What are their rituals?

Tracy Brinkmann  18:53

You’re now listen to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast?


What? How do they live their life? And where can we intersect our brand or a product into their daily lives, the best brands and products don’t try to add something to a habit, we’re trying to intersect them in between habits, because that’s how we start to change. It’s really hard to change a habit. If you’re if you’ve smoked camels for 20 years. For me to be able to pitch you a marble is going to be damn near impossible, right. But what I can do though, is I can pitch you an alternative product that fits into your life around that. So that’s where we start looking at, okay, if we can’t beat them, how do we join them? And how do we join them at different habit levels throughout their day? So Coca Cola is really great at this when they talk about their midday slump, right? It’s not reaching for another cup of coffee, it’s reaching for a coke, right? Right. So it’s, I can’t beat the coffee industry, but I can join them throughout a habit of if I know at two o’clock you’re going to hit that slump. I’m going to give you just enough sugar and just enough caffeine to get you another three to four hours out of your day. So you’re like Wow, that actually worked. Yeah, I’m home now I’m allowed to feel like shit, but I couldn’t feel it should it work. And now that we’re able to start to do this, we can see Oh, well, that makes sense as to how I’m stacking a product or service into a habit that already exists.

Tracy Brinkmann  20:14

Nice. I can I there was one other I have one other example for that, that Coke, not being able to beat something. So when I was part of coke, they actually bought the barks root beer brand. And they put it under what they call a spicy cherry category, right. And as they were reintroducing the barks brand across the United States, there were markets that were, you know, very a and W in very, you know, spruikers. And depending on where you’re at those little, will call the the corn star market brands that are more local, until they got down to Texas. And when they got down to Texas, they found that the spicy cherry brand was completely dominated by the Dr. Pepper. And they they figured it there’s no way we’re dislodging Dr. Pepper from this market. So they actually flipped it on its ear. And they did. They did some studies and found that a lot of the folks that were drinking Dr. Pepper straight, were also drinking mixed drinks. And so they started going after this pushing the sprite market as a mixed drink component into that in that market at the same time. I’m like, okay, it was some of the early education, I got into some things like Well, why don’t we just push harder and like it won’t work. You just you won’t be able to just displace like you said their habit, but they introduce them into another part of their lifestyle, which was their, their after hours a drink in use the mix there?


Yeah, there’s a guy named niryeyal N I R E Y A L. And he has a book called Hooked. And it talks about how some of these big brands have created habit forming products. And what essentially we’re getting at is that in order to create a habit, there has to be certain key barriers or certain key milestones in that journey. And where most businesses and most marketers fail is that they’re trying to ride that loop all the way around. Instead of understanding that we’re not trying to ride the loop all the way around. We’re just trying to ride from habit to habit.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:15

Yeah, got point A to point B. All


right. It’s not It’s not rocket science. It’s just neuroscience.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:23

That was a good one.


Thank you.

Tracy Brinkmann  22:25

I like that one. So yours, you actually mentioned that a lot of the a lot of the mistakes that their folks are are making in their marketing is some of the things you’ve talked about. So tell me maybe one or two awesome tips from your your core set of knowledge that someone listening can go, I could do that, and start putting into play?

Alex Vonderhaar  22:48

Totally. So I’ll go over what I love to talk about this, because it’s it’s really eye opening. And I haven’t heard a lot of other people talk around this topic, because one of the most common problems that we see, as as I see as a business owner is I see as some I interact with a ton of eecom owners and a ton of brick and mortar owners that face ruggle. With How do I produce content? Right? It seems like whatever I talk about just gets lost in the noise it gets glossed over, there’s really nothing to and I don’t get the results off of social media. So I stop. So one of the things we’ve started to really talk about and talk more about is how do we how do we get better at social media content? First one is go out and buy that book, I talked about breakthrough advertising and just read it, a lot of it’s probably going to go over your head the first time if you’re not used to some of these things. But really start to understand how he did this. He was the number one copywriter in the world and sold the most amount of dollars through mailer ads, the thing that everybody threw away the thing that nobody wanted, he was able through a written word on it, note car and literally an index size, no card, sell billions of dollars worth of product and services on a note card. So to wrap your mind around that think about somebody’s attention on a mailer card, you probably have about the same amount of time from the time they opened it out of their mailbox to the time they threw it away in the garbage can that you get from somebody scrolling right through, you don’t just stare at it the whole time you’re walking up to the house, right? Look at it, but done, it’s the same amount of time. So looking at that one of the things that we look at is what are the human needs that really drive or motivate people and there’s only six of them, which is awesome to think about Holy crap, but all I can think about six things around psychology. Yeah, there’s only six. And what’s nice is that a few of them are actually like the same side of the different coin or different sides of the same coin. Okay, so we have certainty. So I really need certainty around this product, you know, is the fabric quality is it going to stain my skin if I wear it right, I need certainty around certain objects or certain components of the product or service. Then there’s the uncertainty component also called novelty. So I need something new. Think about this within fashion fashion, we see businesses, especially especially on the e commerce space, they’ll come out with 100 different designs a season because they understand that market Ace needs a high level of uncertainty and novelty around something new. Then we have significance does your product or service give the person that ego bump on the chest to make them feel like top chimp? and tough? So if so, right, we’re hitting certain dopamine receptors of saying, Wow, like, I’m important, I feel valued in this brain. We talked about how do you add value to a brand, make them feel significant? Make the person feel like they matter? There’s a bunch of ways to do that, too. So so far, we have three of them, we have certainty and uncertainty, same coin, different side, we have significance, we have growth. So how does this product or service make me grow as an individual, it feeds into the idea of significance says when we grow, we feel better about ourselves. Right? Learning is a massive part of our brain, it takes up almost a third of our total brain from the learning and memory centers. And then we start to look at loving connections. So what type of deep emotional connection do I feel to your business or brain, right? Just like Coca Cola, they’re loyalists, they will bleed and die on that color of red before they dare drink a Pepsi from somebody. And then we have the last one, which is contribution. So how do you how does it make you feel we see this with movement based brains, brands like tongs, or there’s a sock company that said any anytime you buy a sock, we donate one to the homeless, right? I can’t remember the brand name. But I remember the contribution that the brand is making gotcha, right? Nice. This works really well. So as we start looking at those six, independent human needs, understand that your marketing should have all of those included, if I go to your website, I should feel each one of those to some level. If I’m interacting with your social media content, I should feel each of those at some different point. Because the reason that Tracy may come and drink a Coca Cola for the loyalty and the contribution and the significance of how I feel when I drink, it might be totally different for me, because I don’t drink soda. So for me, if I’m drinking, it’s novelty, it’s uncertainty about the flavors that I’m going to get because I haven’t tasted it in probably four or five years. When I go to taste it again, it’s a new and novel experience for me. Right? So But with that, there’s also certainty, right? If I open up that coat, can I expect to hear taste and smell certain things? Mm hmm. Right. And there’s been a lot of money spent researching what each one of those components are. And I’m sure you know much more about that side of it than I do. But as we look at those six human needs, Alright, so what now I was like, what does that actually mean that I know these six human needs, we need to look at this through the three forms of content that actually are worth anything on social media, which are education, entertainment, and impact. So by basic multiplication, we have 18 different ways as to how we can actually communicate with our core audience, right, and impact them in different ways, communicate with them differently, educate them differently, inspire them. So now that we’ve got this, we can lay out a chart, it’s real basic, you can either do it on a pad of paper, or in an Excel sheet is how I do it. And I lay out day one, I’m talking about certainty. And I’m talking about entertainment. And I just go down the list of the all six and I alternate the three as I go. So I’m not talking about the same thing for a full week, right now got 18 different forms of content. Now that we can start to test this, and look at this at a bigger scale, let’s say we run this cycle three times, that’s three months worth of content, that you can post original things that are new and novel for your business or brand, that you’re able to start elevating your content to push past the noise. And now that we know we can look back at the Facebook research and data set, we can look at Instagram data, all these platforms have their data and analytics section. Yeah, go in and see these posts crushed it, we got the most shares off of these types of posts. These posts got us the most engagement, this type of post drove the most sales, this one drove the most brand awareness now that we can see that we can scrap the other ones and say, well, we can come back to them. But the primary messages we need to be hitting and drumming on because that’s what our core audience is coming to us for. We now have scientific data and research based on key psychological principles that say we can pull on these levers and we’re going to get these types of responses predictably.

Tracy Brinkmann  29:33

The whoa money okay, Mike drop right there. I mean, that’s, that’s magic right there. I mean, that’s what everyone is out there trying to get to right. How do I find out how to create that, that post that does this or that post that does that and he just laid it all right out there for you. You’re going to want to go back and re listen to that one. I made myself a note of the time Sam so I think that was awesome. You know, I listened to so many so many folks. Talk about that very topic of, you know, creating more content. And actually, I discussed it myself and I do a different variation of it. I do my three top values. Of course, I’m focused on myself and I try to identify with my avatar, I call it the avatar, I just use just a word. As, as my audience, my avatar is, is me a year ago, right? So my, my three top values, and then, you know, the four top topics inside my arena, you know, so Okay, let’s say email marketing, podcasting, you know, digital course creator, whatever. And then it’s an A now I do do the same thing you were talking about, I think the value with the topic and the value and then just roll those out. So we’re going to talk about integrity, email, marketing, integrity, Diigo, whatever it is, and it does the same principle. Now taking that one layer deeper using those, those six human needs. I’m like, I’m over here wringing my hands.  have you? I just, I was thinking of something while you were talking. And there’s this book, I was not read as much as I used to, but I do. I burned through audible books like nobody’s business. And I’m I was started this one. And it really, it hooked me right, right out of the gate. It’s called Trust me. I’m lying. Who wrote that? I’ve heard of that one. Oh, my goodness. In here. I got I gotta bring it back up here. But the the guy that wrote this, I guess used to be in the advertising game, right. And he’s like, revealing all these secrets about, you know, they’re using this to manipulate you and all this stuff. And he tells us a story where he was trying to get some attention for this movie that he was hired on to get the attention for me. There’s this cliche, I didn’t ask, Where are you at in the United States,

Alex Vonderhaar  31:56

I’m in Cincinnati.

Tracy Brinkmann  31:57

Okay, I used to live in Cincinnati. There’s this cliche billboard, on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, right by this one band. So you can’t help but look at this sign for about a half a mile. So it’s probably one of the most expensive billboards in Hollywood to rent where he rented that sign. And he put up this, I want to call this invoking statement on there. And it really got everybody riled up about this movie that was coming out, and it was very negative. And all this negative emotion started stirring, and it started rippling through and the press got ahold of it. He’s got all this free advertisement of this movie. And when this movie hit the streets, everyone had to go see it, because they’re like, What are they talking about? I don’t I don’t get it. You know. So you had the folks that were there, like, don’t go see this movie, because it’s awful. You You saw that Billboard. And then the other folks that were just like, literally, what what’s going on? I don’t get it, you know. So it turned out through that manipulation. So there’s the bad side of this right? Through that manipulation of that he was able to get that movie to be a charter at that at that launch. You see, and I led all that up to say, do you see folks out there being ethical in this set of knowledge that you’re sharing here?

Alex Vonderhaar  33:17

It’s just like anything, man, a gun can be ethical of hammer can be ethical, a knife can be ethical. It’s all about the hands in the mind that are using it.

Tracy Brinkmann  33:25

Right? No, that’s that’s a great point. That’s absolutely right.

Alex Vonderhaar  33:28

And I think context matters. I think intent matters even more. That you know, we’re talking about clubhouse earlier. And I think what will make that platform so successful, compared to a Facebook or a Instagram, I mean, Instagram kind of has it. But the audio feature of any platform has superiority over text, hand and foot. Because there’s so much that gets lost in communication when we diluted down to one dimension and photo. Right? If you and I were having that conversation, and any part of that could be taken out of context and a one dimensional set sure. But I have I’ve tonality I have volume. And being an orator. We have the ability to lean and close and really pull attention closer exam we can get really loud and boisterous with them. The only difference on that on text is why put a caps or I put dot, dot dot. Yeah, and it’s like, Well, shit, like we’re losing all the communication that we’re good at is humans. Writing was invented, right as a way to take what was coming out of the mouth and document it so we didn’t lose it. We’re meant and biologically wired for story and for oration witness and taste and touch and talk about the world around us. We’re not wired to write about the world around us.

Tracy Brinkmann  34:52

Yeah. And I think there’s a there’s a great point too, if you think about some of the first writings that were actually what pictures on a wall, right. So there were two Telling the story through a different mode rather, and I’m sure they were sharing those stories like the druids of yesteryear, sharing those stories by word of mouth, and then also drawing them on the wall as they’re telling the stories. You’re absolutely right. The stories are, are huge, and the different modes to get all that all that data across, right, I can tell the story and add my flair to it. I can lean into the microphone and really have fun with it. But you’re absolutely right. I know. Sometimes if I don’t know the person to like, I’m emailing for email is just notorious for this. You’re like, okay, Is he mad at me? prick? Is he right? All right, what kind of asshole am I talking to you right here, right? And you get them on the phone and you realize that’s just their style of communication. They’re blunt and foreign. You’re like, I’m cool with that. And then what’s funny is the next time you read that email from that same person, you can hear them in your head. So you’re not you’re not taking that offense anymore. You’re like, I get it. I can joke back. That’s cool.

Alex Vonderhaar  35:59


Tracy Brinkmann  36:00

absolutely. All right. I want to be mindful of your time you’ve just been hanging out here and I’m I’m hooked on this. This is stuff I can geek out on for a while but I want everyone to know how they can get ahold of you if they want to, you know, dive deeper into Mr. Vonderhaar and all his goodness at hidden falls media. Let them know what all the all the details as well as where to hook up with you.

Alex Vonderhaar  36:24

Totally. Thank you for the opportunity to be on here today. I’m super gracious port. I love getting to connect with you and with your audience. The best place is anywhere else in mind to be fully honest Instagrams, great for me, I dropped a ton of content out there. Same thing with clubhouse I’m in there daily while it’s still poppin. But we dive deep into a lot of these neuro marketing topics on our podcast. And thanks to a mutual friend of ours, we got our podcast ranked within a few weeks of it being launched. It’s been an incredible launch. The fans have been phenomenal. It’s the hidden falls media experience. It’s got my beautiful mug with a big brain behind it. So it’s it’s not hard to miss. But we bring in all types of different guests. We talked about business development, marketing, advertising, neuro marketing, anything that’s here to promote your life and get you to a better spot. We don’t run ads. I don’t try to sell you some bullshit course you don’t need on marketing. There’s enough of them out there. We’re here to just provide you value and help elevate your business in your life.

Tracy Brinkmann  37:21

Absolutely. That’s gold. And I know there’s also have the hidden falls media website. I was checking that out earlier today. So there’s some there’s some goodness to be had there. So be sure to cruise on over there. We’ll we’ll drop the links in the show notes so people can just catch you on all those platforms.

Alex Vonderhaar  37:37

Awesome. Tracy, thank you so much for allowing me to be here today, man. I really appreciate it.

Tracy Brinkmann  37:40

Oh man. Thanks for hanging out, man. I definitely appreciate it. Thanks, Alex.  All right, there you have it my dark horse friends and family Alex vonderhaar. dropping some neuro marketing bombs on us who some great stuff in this episode. Some thoughts I walked away with  thought number one, what we see isn’t always what it is right? Alex said those very words, Alex embarked upon his journey into neuroscience, almost, as he said, as a spite to his elders going into his collegiate career. But here’s the thing, he ended up liking it and clearly leverage that knowledge into a pretty darn good career and a business. How many times have you started something maybe even a bit unintentionally, right? Perhaps it was to prove somebody wrong, or you wanted to follow in someone else’s path or direction, and you ended up enjoying the journey? Well, I would urge you to pause and ask why you didn’t consider that path before was because you weren’t looking around enough. So you didn’t even know about it. Right? You just didn’t know what was there, perhaps because you were closed off to other ideas, because you were so focused on this one, whatever that one was, whether it was good or bad, so you weren’t really to truly consider other viable options. Here’s the next question. Are you doing that right now today in your life, in your business, or in your relationships? Seriously? Take a few minutes today and ask yourself what is it that I’m doing? And this really what I see or what I think it is right? Will it be or become what I want it to be and if you get any uncomfortable feelings or answers then it’s time to take a little deeper look my friend serious  thought number two you don’t know what you know until right if here’s where I’m going with this while working as a as a small boy, as he called it for his friends float take myzus Alex offered to help him with his digital marketing. Now he started by researching those digital that digital marketing landscape that was out there just a few years ago. You know, he was getting input from the real influencers. They were having success at the time. Now, to his surprise, he realized that this marketing stuff was all his psychology and neuroscience class all kind of rolled together to create you know, this desired action that the the marketing was trying to get the prospect Do you know, aka was neuro marketing and Alex already had that core knowledge that he needed he just needed to enhance his wealth of knowledge with some digital marketing tactical knowledge. So here’s the question, What information do you know that when added with a few bits of info tactical or otherwise would elevate your ability to serve your tribe, to fold tenfold, 100 fold or beyond, right, you have to take some time to think, you know, do a quick little audit of what it is you already know, and how you can take that to your tribe in a new and enhanced way, then go out there and enhance your core knowledge base with this new or missing skill set that you need, right to make that happen. I mean, like right now, as soon as you’re done listening to the show, go, really, you can possibly take your 100k business and grow it’s 22 times likes Alec, like Alex did for that flotation company.  And thought number three, if you can’t beat them, join them, maybe it should be if you can’t beat them step up alongside them. Alex gave some great examples of engaging your market where they are, you know if like there, he was mentioning, if they’re at 20 year user of a specific brand, and that you’re competing with the odds of you converting them over to your brand. Yeah, probably a little unlikely. So instead, how you can engage with them with that 20 is stepping in engaging with that, that 20 year habit and insert yourself into that daily routine, right? Look, here’s the deal, you’re gonna play help ever trying to get them to change that habit. Heck, you can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself, however, you can step into their lives via that habit in another creative or helpful manner. So stop to always trying to beat your competition. Instead, step up alongside them, and create a complement to them, step up alongside them and say, Hey, here’s an alternative. Or, hey, here’s a complimentary option to something you’re already doing. Not trying to switch you. Just letting you know you’ve got choices in a world trying to slowly erode your options, stack your product or service into a habit that already exists in  thought number four, focus on the six human needs. Now May, man, Alex dropped some major knowledge here, we need to be focused on those six core human needs in our copy, right? They are certainty, novelty, significance, growth, love and connection and contribution, your marketing should have all of these included when someone steps into your website, or cruises through social media, they should feel each one of these needs at some point. And at some level now role these three types role in the three types of online content, which is educational content, entertaining content, and impactful content. Now you stack those together. And you can easily map out a huge amount of purposeful content that you can not only publish, but monitor to see what type of content your audience and your tribe resonates and response to with the most. Now, what you can do is you can take that analysis one step further, and identify which posts or content types or content mixes are the best for say, prospecting, which one drives the best conversion of a prospect, which ones drives those higher ticket sales. So you don’t want to focus on just that surface level, you’re gonna have to dig in a little bit and see which mixes of content at each of the phases of the customer journey. Remember, the customer journey was back in Episode 21, right? Which pieces these content work best at each phase of the customer journey? I bet some of these results are going to surprise you. They’re going to give you some aha moments, but I think they’re really going to give you some oshit moments, right. And let’s take this one step further. So we have our six human needs, and our three content types. And then if you combine that with the value, content mapping exercise they gave you a few a few weeks ago, you could create easily 54 plus pieces of content, you can map that out, that’s like two months worth of content, you could sit down and say, Okay, I’m going to focus on this value, and this human need in this type of content, and then that value, that human need and that type, and you just kind of rotate through them. And again, go back and do the analysis to see which ones your prospects and your tribe are truly resonating with the best throughout that customer journey. Who man this This episode was just chock full of all kinds of ideas and thoughts. So Which ideas are inspiring tips or whatever which ideas or tips resonated best with you, whatever they were, I want you to take some time today and put them into action. Don’t wait till tomorrow that’s, you know, sometimes just smile never come, I want you to get out there, run your race, get your results and comm Let me hear about them. You can email me at Tracy at Dark Horse schooling, share the tips or ideas that you came away with from today’s episode, or any episode of The Dark Horse entrepreneur, and in how you put them in action? And what results that you gain from that right. And you know what I’m looking for the folks that would do that, or take action step up, use the tips or techniques that they’re hearing about and get those results even if they’re bad ones. I’ll bring you on the show. We’ll chat about it. All right, next week’s interview episode guest is Paul beam Nepal is a proud veteran who served in the United States Marine Corps, and now creates an instructs courses for men on vision, identity, purpose in life change. Now we’re going to be going beyond scratching the surface in this one right now. I hope you’re finding value in this podcast and the amazing guests. I’m lucky enough to bring on board. So if you are done, I know you want to keep getting all these valuable tips and inspirational stories in his podcast. So please go on down there, smash that subscribe button. While we’re there. Leave us a five star rating. Leave us some kind words in the reviews, those subscribes, ratings and reviews will tell those podcast platforms to lift us up a little bit in the hierarchy. They’re in on the podcast rankings so that we could reach more driven entrepreneurs just like yourself and Hey, don’t keep all this entrepreneurial, g o l d all to yourself. Share this podcast with other entrepreneurs and business owners. You know, we’ll get value from it. And if one of sitting with you right now, just reach over there, grab their phone, open up their podcast tool that they have on their Spotify, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, whatever it is, and you search for the Dark Horse entrepreneur and you subscribe for them. Because you know, they’re going to give value with that and given their phone back. Yeah. Okay. And with that, I’m gonna leave you as I always do successfully, and take action.  Thank you for listening to the Dark Horse entrepreneur podcast. Thanks for tuning in. Check us out at www dot Dark Horse schooling.com All right. My name is Tracy Brinkmann.

EP 152 Alex Vonderhaar From Cleaning Flotation Pods To Neuromarketing Generating Millions
How can chasing a sensation lead to an awesome business generating millions?

  • What we see isn’t always what it is – Alex embarked upon his journey into neuro-science almost as a spite to his elders during his college career – but ended up liking it and clearly leveraged that knowledge into a pretty darn good career and business.
  • You Don’t Know What You Know Until – While working as the spa boy for his friend’s float tank business, Alex offered to help him with his digital marketing. He started by researching the digital marketing landscape. Getting input from the real influencers that were having success at the time. To his surprise he realized this marketing ‘stuff’ was all his psychology and neuroscience classes rolled together to create a desired action a.k.a. Neuro marketing.
  • If you can’t beat them – join them – Alex gave some great examples of engaging your market where they are. If they are a 20 year user of a specific brand you are competing with, the odds of you converting them over to your brand is highly unlikely. So, instead ask how you can engage with that 20 year habit and insert yourself into that daily routine.
  • Focus on the 6 Human Needs – Alex dropped some major knowledge here. We need to be focused on the 6 human needs in our copy. They are: Certainty, Novelty, Significance, Growth, Love & Connection, Contribution. You marketing should have all of these included.

Alex Vonderhaar’s links

Alex’s Website

Alex’s Podcast




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