Turn Up Your Marketing B.S. Filter by Bob Bly

Posted December 20th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

When I started as a copywriter in the late 1970s, there were almost no gurus offering training of any kind in copywriting, freelancing, or marketing.

Now the Internet is lousy with people offering you expensive courses in how to write killer copy, how to make six figures as a freelance copywriter, and how to make a million dollars in Internet marketing.

My concern is that because many of these teachers are unqualified and their programs worthless and overpriced, you will waste a lot of time and money on them unless I stop you.

So with that goal in mind, here are some guidelines for evaluating gurus and their programs in copywriting, freelancing, and Internet marketing.

1. Ask what products he or she has sold.

If the Internet teacher has only sold information and worse, only information on how to make money selling information online, run.

You want a teacher who has experience selling real, physical products as well as electrons.

2. Is he or she active in the field?

I talk to a lot of hotshot young copywriters who run coaching groups where they teach their followers to write “killer” copy.

When I ask these young pseudo-gurus who they write for, they invariably reply, “Oh, I don’t work with clients any more. I just write for my own products.”

You get and stay good as a copywriter by constantly writing for a wide range of clients, products, and offers. If the guru no longer writes for clients, I submit that he is becoming stale and losing value.

Ask the copy guru to name some of his current clients and promotions. If they say “I don’t write for clients,” move on.

3. Does he or she offer low-cost/no-cost advice and materials?

If the only product available is a $3,000 big box course or a $2,000 a month coaching club with a 6-month minimum, this guru’s primary passion is extracting as much money as he can from unwary newbies, not education.

There’s nothing wrong with selling expensive info products; I recently did a $2,500-a-head weekend seminar and plan a couple more for 2015. But you can buy my 350-page paperback book on copywriting for $15 and read dozens of my marketing articles for free on my site.

A good strategy for you if you are on a shoestring budget is to go to the websites of multiple gurus and download and read the ton of content that awaits you there. Often the free stuff is as good or better than the paid stuff.

4. Is he an egomaniac…and would that bother you?

One copy and marketing guru stares angrily from the screen wearing dark glasses and a do-wrap, looking tediously groovy. He also brags about using the f-word in his writing and speeches, which apparently he thinks makes him look like a cool rebel.

A lot of gurus today cultivate a deliberate image, usually one of rebellious hipster, and if you like that, fine, but if you don’t, steer clear.

“I sometimes wonder where this whole notion of marketing rebel, kick-ass copywriting, take-no-prisoners copy, killer, ninja, guerilla, warrior foolishness began in the first place,” says ace copywriter Rich Armstrong.

“Some of these Internet guys have put together a small community who seem to like this writing, and if they can make a living doing this, more power to them.

“But if they aspire to be a freelance copywriter working for the nation’s biggest and best direct-response marketing clients…well, that’s my world, and I can tell you for a fact these guys wouldn’t survive 5 minutes there.”

5. Is he or she accessible?

If you send me an e-mail, I respond. If you call, I pick up my own phone.

This is in sharp contrast to many Internet and copy gurus who have an impenetrable wall of caller ID and autoresponders to keep their fans at a distance.

I would be very hesitant to spend a lot of money with a teacher who makes me jump through hoops to ask him a simple question or two.

6. What is the guarantee?

Do not buy from gurus with conditional guarantees on their products.

A conditional guarantee is one where you have to demonstrate that you used the system correctly before the seller will grant you a refund.

The problem with conditional guarantees is the seller invariably says you didn’t do something correctly and therefore cannot get a refund.

Only buy from gurus who offer unconditional guarantees, meaning you can return the product for any reason or even no reason at all and get a full and prompt refund, no questions asked.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.


99% of your business revenue will eventually emerge from focusing on just 2 activities (If it hasn’t already, it will):

Activity #1 – Attracting a Visitor to your Offer
Activity #2 – Enticing that Visitor to take Action.

ALL of the other ‘stuff’ is unfortunately pretty meaningless unless you’ve got both of these activities dialed in.

Yeah, it doesn’t matter how good it is without Visitors and Action—your e-book, your training program, your podcast, your software, services, boot camps, seminars, webinars…in other words, the things you’re probably spending MOST of your precious TIME on—it’s just an exercise unless you’ve got a warm-blooded CONSUMER to make an offer to.

“The Biggest Mistake?”: Yeah, I thought about making the subject line of this post “The Biggest Mistake Online Marketers Always Make”.  But that would have been cliche. PLUS it would be fundamentally untrue…

It’s NOT a mistake to create your product, or generate free content that builds your brand. It’s not even a bad thing that you’ve got a blog with clever and pithy content that frames you as an authority, or even (gasp) and expert in your field.

BUT you may have your priorities inverted.

Here’s how to tell:  Are you happy with your financial situation?

If you are, keep doing what you’re doing.

If you’re not, you’ve got an Activity #1 and Activity #2 Problem.

This is fundamental: “Without Visitors who are enticed to take action when presented with your offers, all you have is a hobby.”

This is fundamental, too: Control Traffic and Conversion, and EVERYTHING ELSE is simple.

Looking Back To Look Ahead

I write this because, well…It’s THAT time of year.

It’s where we reflect, examine, evaluate, codify, resolve.  It’s where we draw conclusions about what we liked doing this year, and highlight the activities that produced results.

And we say to ourselves: “Lets do MORE of the thing that we liked, and LESS of the thing that didn’t work”.

As you’re looking back, ask yourself this, too: “Can you attribute the biggest gains and wins to having something to do with having an audience to see what you’ve got?”

I’ll save you the suspense:  YES. Every year that I review, since the year 2000, the biggest achievements in my business have come from earning a bigger audience.

And we Dwellers Of The InterNetz live in THE MOST EXCITING TIME. Virtually every few months a new technology emerges that allows us to touch more people faster and more effectively than ever before.

So, this is OUR calling: Activity #1 and Activity #2 are the Gluten-Free Bread and Grass-Fed Butter of any business where survival, growth, and prosperity are directly proportional to the number of customers generated during a given period of time.

And here’s a little trick…Don’t wait until the end of every year to re-realize (That’s not a word at ALL!) that truth.

Remind your business that every day is a chance to reach another person, to improve another person’s life, to solve another person’s problem.  Every day is a chance to help, more.  And you do that by getting your message in front of as many people as possible.

Focus on that and the other stuff will sort itself out prettily…


5 Ways To Make Money As A Speaker by Bob Bly

Posted December 11th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

Do you want to speak and get paid for it?

There are 5 basic ways to make money as a speaker.

The first is to speak for free in exchange for the opportunity to market your consulting or professional services.

You speak at groups whose members are potential clients for what you sell in the hopes that one or more members of the audience will become interested enough in you to hire you.

I have done this many times with great success. The downside is that it is possible no one will want to hire you.

But, if your talk is videotaped and your terms include getting a free copy of the master, then the time is never wasted, because you can use the video in your marketing—on your website, on YouTube, or as a DVD lead magnet.

The second way to make money as a speaker is to get paid a flat fee in exchange for giving a talk, workshop, or class.

This is my favorite business model for speaking, because it guarantees me income. I am a mid-range speaker, not a superstar, and I get $5,500 a day for a corporate presentation, more if I have to travel further than a couple of hours by plane.

So I earn more in a day than the average American makes working an entire month. Not a bad deal.

Corporate clients pay flat fees to speakers who do training classes on site, and associations pay flat fees to speakers at their national conferences.

The most I ever got paid on a flat-fee basis for a day of corporate training was $9,800 to teach copywriting to a software company but I had to go to Milan to do it.

The third way is to speak at events put on by entrepreneurial seminar and conference promoters.

These promoters do not pay speakers a fee. Instead, they let you sell your products from the platform, and you make your money from these sales.

Since I do not sell from the platform, this model does not work for me, and I will not participate in such events.

Amazing to me, these promoters not only expect the speaker to pay his own expenses, but also want a cut of up to 50% of the speaker’s product sales. Insane!

The fourth business model for speaking is to produce your own public seminar or boot camp, either by yourself or with a joint venture (JV) partner.

The risk is that if few or no people attend, you make no money or even lose a lot of money.

The reward is potentially high profits. On such JV deals, I have earned fees ranging from $5,000 a day to over $25,000 a day.

The fifth business model is to do webinars. There are two variations. The first is to charge a fee to attend the webinar.

The second is to allow your prospects to attend for free, and then upsell them on buying an expensive information product or coaching service.

Full disclosure: I do not consider myself primarily a professional speaker. I am a copywriter who also does some speaking. I do not proactively market myself as a speaker. And, because of my full copywriting project schedule, I accept very few speaking engagements per year, though I am asked to do many.

As a result, I am not even close to the top of the speaking pay scale, and many of my readers earn more as a speaker than I do…again, because I do not pursue it.

On the other hand, I have done public speaking for money for 35 years, so I know a little something about it, and on occasion have been paid as much as $55,000 to give a seminar.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

How To Price Your Info-Products by Bob Bly

Posted November 29th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

The other day subscriber KS asked me if I would sell his info-product, which is on a specific niche of freelance copywriting, to my list—you guys.

When I asked the price, KS dropped the bomb: he is charging $1,495 for his program.

Now, I wrote one of the best-selling books of all time on freelance copywriting, “Secrets of a Freelance Writer”. It’s a 358-page paperback book, and it sells for $17 in bookstores and on Amazon.

Which makes me wonder, “What would make KS’s freelance copywriting advice worth almost 88 times what mine costs?”

One answer, which I suspect might be the real one, is that it isn’t worth 88 times more than mine or even anywhere close to that…and his program is grossly overpriced.

But say you are an info-marketer and you want to sell a product for $1,495 like KS is. How can you command such a premium price?

There are several options available to you.

The first way to is to publish info in a multimedia format.

Years before the Internet, we info-marketers discovered that customers will pay more for “mixed media” info-products.

For instance, we might only be able to get $25 for a paperback book.

But print it on 8 ½ X 11″ pages, put them in a 3-ring binder, and add a couple of audio CDs and a DVD, and you can get $100 to $200 or more for essentially the same content.

Second, the narrower the topic, the more you can charge.

Dozens of infopreneurs have published and sold books on marketing priced at $10 to $29 or so.

FG sells a marketing book priced at $100. He can get that for his marketing book because it covers a narrow topic: marketing for owners of self-storage facilities.

The narrower the niche, the more specialized the topic, the more you can charge. And not many marketing advisors specialize in or even serve the self-storage niche.

Third, add a service element to the product; e.g. coaching, webinars, consulting, or other customized help for the buyer.

KS explained to me that his program is “a 15-module ‘live’ course, with a Portfolio Builder component—I’ll be working with students 1-on-1 to help them develop their writing/copywriting portfolios—and includes 6 months of personalized e-mail-based coaching along with a monthly coaching webinar.”

Yes, that’s quite a package, and considering some consultants charge $4,000 a day or more for their time, this package could actually be almost a bargain at $1,500.

One last point…

My Internet marketing JV partner Fred Gleeck says your info-product should be worth at least ten times more than the list price.

I know from the testimonials I have received for “Secrets of a Freelance Writer” that it is worth way more than $170 which is ten times the cover price. Several readers have told me they used the book to build six-figure careers and total earnings in the seven figures.

I question whether KS’s new info-product is worth fifteen grand, 10X its cover price. But maybe it is.

Question: If you are reading this and you are a writer or copywriter, let me ask you: would you pay $1,500 for a program on how to make more money as a freelancer—from KS or anyone else? If maybe, what would the seller have to offer to get you to part with that much dough?

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

The Value Of Making Up Your Mind by Bob Bly

Posted November 21st, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

One of the most unappreciated and valuable business skills you can possess is the ability to make quick decisions, and the smaller the decision, the quicker you should make it.

The longer you agonize over decisions, the more likely it becomes that you will never make them at all, and so you won’t move forward and progress toward your goal.

As the saying goes: money loves speed. Successful people are able to make quick decisions and take action swiftly.

Those who agonize over every little move rarely get much done, make much money, or accomplish more than a tiny fraction of their goals and dreams.

I see this often in my online info-marketing business.

Recently, GP sent me a long, dense e-mail ask me all sort of questions about one of my e-books—a book that sells for the princely sum of $29.

When I answered GP’s questions, he said he would think it over and let me know as if I’d be sitting there holding my breath.

GP could not pull the trigger on a $29 investment that could show him how to be much more successful in the business he wanted to get into, in this case online marketing.

This is particularly pitiful for two reasons. First, GP probably spent more than $29 on dinner when he ate out with his friends at TGIs that Friday night.

Second, he would risk nothing to examine the book, because it is sold with a 3-month money-back guarantee: If he didn’t find it valuable, and he let me know within 90 days, he would get a full refund. And—get this—he could still keep the book free!

And yet, despite that, he couldn’t pull the trigger.

If GP agonizes over the decision to look at an e-book risk-free for 90 days, how is he going to make really important and bigger decisions?

Too many people I hear from are held back by “analysis paralysis”.

It’s like me vs. my wife.

If I need a pair of brown shoes, I go online and the first pair I see that I like and are my size, I buy.

She, on the other hand, goes to the biggest shoe store in the area. If she likes the first pair she sees, she will then look at every other pair in the store to make sure there is not something she likes better.

Busy and successful people don’t spend hours making minor decisions, because they have other things to do and the decisions are just not that difficult or important.

They just aren’t.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Beware the customer who asks the price right away.

Posted November 16th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

Watch out for prospects who ask about price right up front. Sometimes, even before saying hello, buyers ask about price. Often this is a sign that the prospect is a price shopper and the primary factor in her purchase decision is getting the lowest price. Not the kind of client you want to have.

Talking about price too soon puts the entire focus on money. While salespeople can’t ignore the question, most buyers—other than price shoppers—will accept the explanation that more has to be learned about their specific needs before price can be discussed.

Source: Customer Experience Insight, 7/8/14.

10 marketing tactics Americans say they despise

Posted November 15th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

1. Direct mail that looks like it has a bill, fake check, or is otherwise official-looking.

2. Pop-up ads on websites.

3. Ads for nutritional supplements with exaggerated claims.

4. Videos you have to sit through before reaching web content.

5. Products advertised as “made in America” that are not.

6. Free offers with strings attached.

7. TV ads louder than the program.

8. Ads targeted based on purchases, demographics, or behavior.

9. Product placement in movies and TV.

10. Billboards.

Source: Consumer Reports, 6/14, p. 11

Qualify your prospects with BANT

Posted November 14th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

1. Budget: what are they willing to spend to buy the product or service?

2. Authority: who needs to be involved in the purchase decision?

3. Need: what needs or conditions must exist before your product would be of value to the potential customer?

4. Timing: How soon will the buying decision be made?

Source: John Coe, The Fundamentals of B2B Sales and Marketing, McGraw-Hill, p. 127

Freelancers, Put Your Clients First! by Bob Bly

Posted November 9th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

A couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from HG, a freelancer I hired to write an e-book for my info-marketing business.

HG complained, “Bob, this project has just taken a lot more time and energy than expected. I need to move onto other things. I just want to finish and get paid at this time.”

I must tell you that this is a piss-poor attitude and I would hesitate to use HG for another project.

Here’s my reply to HG: “As I said in a recent talk at the AWAI Boot Camp, you must always put the client first. You always do the best job you can no matter what you are getting paid.

“I am not happy to hear you just want to finish and be done with it. If you want to get paid, I expect your entire manuscript to be excellent, as was the first chapter of your first draft.”

Here’s the thing I have discovered in 35 years of freelancing…

You rarely feel that the fee you are getting is perfect for the amount of work and degree of difficulty in any assignment.

Either you are working too hard for too little money, or the project is easier than you expected and you are being paid perhaps too well.

My experience is that it all balances out, and my rule is: it doesn’t matter.

Whichever the case, I always do the very best job I can on every assignment, no matter how much or how little I am getting paid.

And I would never tell a client “I have to move on.” You move on when you have completed the project to the customer’s satisfaction. Not when you are tired of it or have other things to do.

Can you imagine hiring a contractor for an agreed-upon fee to remodel your kitchen, and when you are not satisfied, having him tell you he incorrectly estimated the time and labor…and therefore will not finish the job to your satisfaction because he has to “move on”?

The only way to succeed in business is to put the client first.

In fact, the real secret to outrageous business success is not to give the client his money’s worth…but to give him more than his money’s worth, more than he has any right to expect.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Coaching is an incredibly rewarding business. But it’s also one of the most frustrating, if you don’t have a solid plan for your business to generate some serious profits. Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown has seen so many coaches struggle and never reach their potential, because they get stuck in the mud of financial worries.

They want to do what they love, and help others, but they just aren’t making the profits to take off and REALLY soar. But according to Ali, it absolutely does not have to be that way! That’s why she’s inviting you to her free webinar, called “9 Steps to Growing a Wildly Profitable Coaching Business” on Wednesday, November 12, at 3pm ET.

Co-leading this webinar will be Joy Chudacoff, Ali’s colleague who has also built her own very profitable coaching business from the ground up. So you’ll be learning from not just one but TWO successful coaches who have powerful expertise to share, and the profits to prove it!

Here are just a FEW of the juicy bits they will be covering during this webinar:

* Your coaching prescription for reaching $100,000+ revenues a year with one part-time assistant…and NO ‘live’ events. (You can also choose to go smaller…or aim much, much higher…but $100-200K is a very happy goal for most folks. Ali and Joy will explain why, and lay out a plan for you on the spot.)

* “Toto…We’re not in Kansas anymore!” How the coaching industry has changed dramatically over the last few years (there are pros and cons), and what you need to know NOW in order to be profitable and grow.

* How to plan for profit from the start, including getting your first $$$ clients. (Ali and Joy both “accidentally” discovered coaching as a business in the beginning, and they’ll share what you can learn from their mistakes with price points, timelines, and promises.)

* Why you DON’T need 10 or 20 different marketing strategies, but you do need to know YOUR best 3. (Don’t worry, they will help you figure this out!)

And of course, Ali and Joy will give everyone their complete “9 Steps to Growing a Wildly Profitable Coaching Business!” Have your paper and pen ready, because they’ll be covering a LOT of information.

Reserve your spot here now.

How to make $10,000/mth in the next 6 months?

Posted November 6th, 2014 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

In today’s awesome Q&A from Quora: How can I make $10,000/month for next 6 months?

Rizwan Aseem:

WARNING! There isn’t no easy way to do this.

But there is a simple way.

The simple was is this.

A) Goal

Your goal is to make $10k per month for 6 months so you can pay for higher education.

Which can be broken down to a simpler make $350 per day, every day. So in 30 days you will make $10k.

Which can be further broken down to selling something that will net you a profit of $350 per day.

Let’s call this ‘thing’ the product.

Let say we’ll sell the product for $697. Which means we will have $347 to make the product, to advertise the product, to find someone to buy the product, and to pay for the merchant account processing fees.

The best thing for us to do is that we reduce the costs of producing the product as much as possible. So we have the most amount of money to finding the customer and selling to the customer.

B) The Plan

Now that we know the price and the advertising budget available to use, we can go ahead and talk about the product.

The best products that fit our requirements are information products. Products that are created using intellectual property.

The business plan is as follows.

1. Find something you are good at doing, that you can regularly do, that you don’t even consider a problem doing (it helps if what you are good at is related to ‘health’, ‘money’, ‘relationships’, ‘hobbies’ or ‘sports’).

So for health, if in your life you had been overweight and had successfully lost weight and kept it off, this is an expertise.

Or if you’ve even been able to find a girlfriend for yourself while your friends struggled to find one, than you’ve got an expertise too.

Or if you’ve discovered a quick way of making more gold in World of Warcraft, then you’ve got an expertise, etc.

2. Find a group of people who are having a problem, that your expertise can solve. These people are all probably like you, or belong to an association that you belong to.

So if you are a real estate agent, then the association of real estate agents can be a group of people who could benefit from your expertise of losing weight fast. Or if you are a welder, than there is an association of welders or mechanics who you might be able to serve by helping them find a girlfriend, etc.

Then ask 3 people if you would buy a product on how to solve this problem. You haven’t created the solution just yet, you’re just validating your idea. Ask them how much they would pay for this solution.

Keep doing this until you find at least 3 people willing to pay for your product. This will validate the idea for you. (This is an excellent tip shared by David Francis in the comments.)

3. You create a product that solves a problem that they are having.

What this means is that you write a book, create an audio program, record video tutorials solving a problem, or a software program that we can sell for $197.

Depending on your expertise and personal preference you can create each of these products overnight.

For now we’ll take the video tutorials because they are the simplest thing to create. You can use your computer camera and speak into the camera to record your tutorials.

Once you create the video tutorials teaching your audience how to do what you have an expertise in, then you can go ahead and sell it to them.

4. Create a Sales Letter

What this sales letter does is share your story with your audience about how you solved the problem for yourself.

You can write this a number of way. But as a start just share you entire story about how you discovered the solution.

Answer the following questions.

1. Who you are and what you are going to share with them?

2. How you tried everything and failed?

3. What were some methods that you tried but did not work for you?

4. How you were finally able to figure out what you were doing wrong and fix it?

5. How you made this into a system?

6. Why you are sharing this system with them?

7. What the system is and what it will do for them, what are the benefits they will get, what problems will they solve?

8. What they will get in this system, what is the product that you are giving them?

9. What is your guarantee? (Make this an unconditional 100% 90 day money back guarantee)

10. How much money would it cost them if they spent the time in their life to figure it out themselves?

11. How much time they can save by investing in your solution?

12. What is the investment that they can get this solution for? (Try one payment of $697 and 4 Payments of $177 per month.

13. Why they should buy immediately?

14. Reiterate what results they will get, how much they will pay today, and the guarantee that you are providing them.

5. Test The Marketing

Once you’ve created the sales letter test it out with $100 on Facebook marketing or Google AdWords and test out the marketing.

What testing it out means is that you spend the $100 on marketing and see how many people buy from you.

Then you take the money and re-invest it in marketing and try to;

1. Improve the marketing

2. Show your offer to more people by increasing your advertising budget.

The testing means that you keep improving the marketing. You test out different headlines to improve your conversions and get better results on your marketing.

C) The Timeline

You’ve got the goal and you’ve got the plan. Now comes the timeline.

Spend the 1st week to create the product. This product has to be good enough. It should deliver the results that you promise. Don’t worry about making this flashy or anything.

This is the basic product. You can make it flashier once you’ve got the first $10k in your bank. Right now, you want to get it done and get it out to your customers.

This way you can test it out in the real world. The marketing is the most important thing.

Spend the 2nd week creating the sales letter. This is more important than the product itself. If your sales letter sucks, no one will buy your product no matter how good the product actually is.

If your sales letter is good, you can get your customers to at least try the product.

Spend the 3rd week creating the ads. The Google ads, the Facebook ads or whatever you are using. The ads are what will get the sales letter read. This is more important than the sales letter itself.

But a note of warning. Don’t get stuck. Having a bad ad is better than no ad at all. Get it done and test it online.

Spend the 4th week creating better headlines and testing them. The headlines on the ads and on the sales letters will increase your conversions.

Spend the 2nd Month improving your conversions, and increasing your reach. Track everything. Track the number of people who click on your ads, read your sales letter  and buy the products. Track everything and then see whether you are moving up, or down.

Increase your reach by creating a short report, or audio that you can give away for free to your customers. This is where you will start creating a list of people who are interested in the topic that you are teaching them.

Spend the 3rd & 4th Month improving your sales letter, and creating a connection. Use the feedback that you get from the tracking and improve your sales letter.

You can increase your connection with the people who came to your website and got the free download by writing a newsletter to them. This newsletter is an e-mail that you send out to your audience every other day with tips, tricks and other questions that they’ve asked you in the last few months.

You answer their questions and give them free answers to the questions that they are thinking or asking to you.

Spend the 5th & 6th Month improving your product. By now you will have a number of customers giving you feedback about what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Improve your product based on this feedback.

D) The Payment Processing

The first month, or until you have your first 10 customers use PayPal. You can keep using them for as long as you want, but once you have more customers then you might want to think about using ClickBank, e-Junkie, or other payment processors.

You now have a simple 4-step plan that you can print, learn, and implement right now and have an $10k income in the next 6 months.

Is it easy? Probably not, nothing good in life is easy.

But it is simple. Go ahead and do it right now—this is for your freedom.

Recently copywriter AL complained to me that another copywriter we know, FH, was selling a course on how to become a successful six-figure copywriter in a particular niche market…for the eye-popping price of $4,000.

This raises the question: How high can you, or should you, price your info-products?

Some info-marketers believe the answer is: charge as much as the market will pay.

And I get that. After all, it’s a free market. No one is forcing the buyer to buy. So if the buyer doesn’t like your price, he doesn’t have to buy.

Consumers complain when drug companies charge outrageous prices for medications.

But the patient has to have the medication and in some cases, cannot live without it. So to price a drug out of reach of sick people seems unfair and even cruel.

Info-products, on the other hand, are “nice to have” products, not “must have” products. They are luxuries, not necessities. So it’s not equivalent to a heart medication.

That being said, what is the maximum price you should charge for your information product?

My colleague, Internet marketing master Fred Gleeck, has this rule: The product price should be such that the buyers, after reviewing it, feel it is worth 10X what they paid for it.

By that measure, if I charge $29 for an e-book, I have to believe it is worth at least $290.

Interestingly, buyers also want and expect more than their money’s worth and have for decades.

Recently a buyer who asked for a refund on one of my e-books complained, “It is worth the $29 you charge for it…but not more than that.”

By the same 10X yardstick, a $4,000 product should deliver a value of $40,000. And not many do.

FH says that his product is worth the 4 grand price, because what it teaches has helped him personally make far more than 40K in his career.

But AL objects. He says the price is only justified if actual buyers of the product have achieved the same results as the author by using what the course teaches and are willing to attest to it in a testimonial.

It’s not enough for the author of an info-product to say his product can help you do X simply because the author has done X.

That’s because the authors often possess personalities, skills, intelligence, guts, or other attributes the average buyer will likely not.

Only if past buyers have already achieved the results the author promises can he justify a price in the stratosphere.

At least that’s what AL and I think. FH, purveyor of the $4,000 training, likely disagrees.

Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.

Whatever business you are in, there are 4 levels of productivity you need to conquer. Explained in 4 pages. So you can quickly look at one page, get something different to try in your everyday business, and once you’ve mastered that, whip open the book and try the next level.

But becoming more productive isn’t enough, you need tasks to DO with that productivity. So instead of trying to write copy, create videos, market those videos, create blog posts, write follow-ups, or write articles without a plan, you use one of the included checklists in “Time Management On Crack” and knock it out in half the time, or faster!

Many Internet Marketing products are sold from a “make money” angle, but time is just as much a precious commodity. If you know how to maximize your time doing the right kind of work to fulfill the most important of priorities, you get more money (for sure), and also free up more time to do the fun stuff like go on trips with your family.

Here’s the “Time Management On Crack” report that will make all that possible for you.

B2B Guerilla Marketing Explained.

Posted March 7th, 2007 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales PeopleIn the 21st century, we still get cold calls from financial advisers and hotel promoters. This is unbelievable when all the experts have declared the practice is dead. If you are like these 2 categories of salespeople who spend all day dialing for dollars, you are chasing away prospects as they back away from you, driving away deals instead of closing them.

Meanwhile, most companies spend all kinds of money on advertising and don’t get nearly enough bang for their buck. The fundamental problem is that the approach is still some form of cold prospecting instead of attraction/build-up marketing.

Here’s a solution. Perry Marshall’s “Guerilla Marketing for Hi-Tech Sales People” is a FREE information-packed audio CD that discusses 21 principles that you can use to eliminate cold prospecting and wasted advertising dollars in today’s fiercely competitive B2B marketplace. Get your free copy today!

Note: The strategies explained are applicable strictly in business-to-business context, not business-to-consumer.

The other side of the "Gold Rush"…

Posted February 2nd, 2007 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business


I had a discussion with a friend, “The One Who Looks Intelligent”, and somehow we came to talk about “The One Who Sells Templates” and sort of laughed over why “so many people are rushing to buy templates”.

(We are not pinpointing particularly anyone and you can replace the word ‘templates’ with any products.)

Then the friend said something that jolted me for weeks. I quote him, “Remember the time during the Gold Rush, when everyone was rushing to pan for gold. They were not the ones who got rich. The real guys who made it rich are those who sold jeans and shovels.

Money, as a resultant, lags behind effort.

Posted January 4th, 2007 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

“If you can count all your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.” – J. Paul Getty

Profits…wealth…money in the bank…however you want to look at it, your income is always a “lagging indicator” to your success.

According to Wikipedia: “A lagging indicator is an economic indicator that reacts slowly to economic changes, and therefore has little predictive value. Generally these types of indicators follow an event; they are historical in nature. For example, in a performance measuring system, profit earned by a business is a lagging indicator as it reflects a historical performance.”

In other words, if all your goals are money-driven, they won’t actually HELP YOU achieve success because the amount of money you make only reflects the things you’ve done in the past. It doesn’t actually tell you what you NEED TO DO to achieve those goals.

So, instead of setting goals based on the amount of money you want to make, set goals based on the specific Action Items that need to be completed and when they need to be completed by.

As long as you hit these targets and meet these goals, the money WILL follow. It’s simple cause-and-effect…

For example, if I say I want to create an online business that makes $10k a month, there are a certain number of steps I need to take:

1. Choose a market and a product that lends itself to monthly continuity (i.e. recurring income).

2. Setup a website to sell the product/membership site.

3. Find a source (or sources) of traffic that will deliver 50,000 unique visitors. (If you convert 1% of your visitors into customers and your membership site costs $20 per month, this should generate the necessary 500 sales to get your business up to $10k per month.)

So those are the steps. Now your “goals” need to be to finish each one of them by a certain deadline. If you hit your deadline and meet your goals, success is virtually guaranteed.

If you DON’T hit your deadlines, you’ll know exactly why you haven’t made the money you want to make.

I realize this seems simple, but I bet very few Internet Marketers look at their own business in such a systematized manner. Instead, each day they just REACT to one thing or another, get nothing done and then wonder why they aren’t successful.

If you follow my advice, and set goals that are ACTION and TIME-oriented you’ll never wonder again.

In fact, you may just achieve the level of success you’ve been wanting for such a long time.

So right now, while all of this is still fresh in your mind, write out a detailed list of all the steps you need to take to achieve your primary goal. Next, attach a date by which you will finish each step, and commit yourself to this endeavor for 2007.

Doing this will focus your efforts and keep you from hopping from one opportunity to the next. It will also limit the amount of spending you do on Internet Marketing junk, because unless a particular product will help you achieve a specific goal…there’s no reason to buy it now, is there? :o)

Once again, I sincerely hope my “gift” helps make 2007 your best year ever!

This article is written by Ryan Deiss.

From Baby To Man.

Posted January 3rd, 2007 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

A surefire way to succeed at something new (especially in business) is to use a systematic ramping-up process of “crawl – walk – run”.

CRAWL – Understanding how “one thing” works and how it could work for you.

WALK – Getting that one thing to work and produce results for you through direct measured effort.

RUN – Making the one thing work hands-free, independent of you to put the results on autopilot.

Small successes from crawling inspire and motivate you to move forward to experience success from walking which build further momentum that allows you to experience even greater success from running.

Trying to do too much too fast is like trying to boil the ocean, and more times than not, it sets you up for failure.

So jumpstart 2007 with Crawl – Walk – Run!

Crawling is about “understanding” ONE specific thing out of the many you can do, to grow your business or change your life.

Walking is about gaining “knowledge” in that specific thing so you can actively apply it to your business or life and measure results to see if it works for you.

Running is about having the “wisdom” from crawling and walking and putting what you have tested and proven to work, on autopilot so you can repeat the the “crawl – walk – run” system on something else to grow your business or change your life.

So, crawl – walk – run yourself into amazing success in 2007 and beyond.

Another dose of inspiration from Stephen Pierce.

This time, it’s WAR…in 2007.

Posted January 3rd, 2007 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business

John Reese revealed 5 tips on maximizing your productivity in 2007 on December 27th. Allow me to add in my own input:

#1: Prepare a WAR plan.

John wrote about having a dedicated “War Room” in his house that’s set up just for planning. It is a dedicated space in which to plan out what his next moves will be. One main reason is to resist against a temptation which most of us have: of simply treating activities as they come “day by day” and doing whatever comes to mind, like dealing with non-essential or minor stuff…like checking e-mails. And then when it comes to making decisions on what to do next, these tend to be short-lived because if you start every new work day by having to make a decision about what to work on next you’re seriously missing out on focusing on building longevity of your business, its brand and its identity.

In all our time serving out military obligations in Singapore (which all men here do), I found the word “mobilization” strangely attractive in business context. In exercises, I observed men of every rank moving non-stop here, there, everywhere trying to get things done (whether anything gets done at all is another matter, haha. Usually it does), all in the name of fulfilling the larger goals of what the exercise was all about. I also tend to associate the word with Hollywood war films in which you hear the commanders shout, “Now move!” or “Go go go!” (getting more cliché yeah?)

The beauty is machines and manpower get activated and mobilized for something at a snap.

It is the same with business. Without the definition of the larger goals and directions, you couldn’t have felt more motivated to go go go…go where?

For seasoned marketers, it is bound to come to mind that setting up site after site to no end is pointless if they don’t make much of an impact via product and service offerings. Take a good amount of time to backtrack a bit, go back to the drawing board, take out a piece of paper, and really visualize and pictorialize a flowchart, Gantt chart, cause and effect chart, fishbone chart whatever; decide how to create a larger network of sites that complement one another, and how this network can promote and reinforce the business identity which is your X-Factor, and how visitor traffic will flow within this network. At what point do they subscribe and at what point do they get sold?

(I last heard that a formal alliance is forged between Virgin Airways, EasyJet and AirAsia to operate long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to China, India and the UK. If these airlines operate on their own, their impact and outreach would have been much limited. But now travellers can travel further into more corners of the world as if they were flying with a regular airline, and still at budget rates. It’s the same analogy with websites.)

Once you can define a business system, the business infrastructure becomes more apparent. It combines business modeling and strategies into a whole function that drives the business to work. The more automated the system is, the better (clue: autoresponder).

#2: Set a WAR routine.

Create a set schedule of time to work only on your business.

No distractions. No TV breaks. No running errands. No playing games. No downloading music. No surfing the Net. JUST 100% PRODUCTIVE WORK.

The mind is a very good expert at one thing: distracting itself with easy options when it comes to the crunch. Some friends admire my lifestyle and my work but they don’t seem to understand I also have to pay my own bills and earn my own living. I am only answerable and accountable to MY LIFE!

Therefore set a work schedule or timetable and make a commitment to follow it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see the changes that start to happen and how FAST your business starts to grow as a result.

By the way, if you are quite a seasoned marketer and happened to spend less time checking mails in December, why not challenge youself to bulk-delete marketing-related mails from the past 7 days and DO IT AGAIN next week so as to focus yourself into working on the business? You just might enjoy this new momentum.

#3: Learn real lessons of WAR on the battleground.

As more people around the world become more entrepreneurial, they are also signaling their willingness to learn how to apply the tricks of the trade, otherwise we wouldn’t have so many subscribers. People want to get educated, but they are also likely to think twice about investing a huge sum of money in a seminar, wondering if it’s of any worth at all.

Much as you try to make sense of all the free information on the Internet, nothing beats shortening your learning curve by being right there in the midst of experts. Since you pay for it, they gotta dish it, or else ask for a full refund in every right.

So make it a point to attend at least one good Internet Marketing workshop or boot camp and network with fellow graduates. The truth is, you will be surprised to learn new strategies that has never been revealed, because they are not supposed to be revealed freely. That’s how sensitive information is in this age. No doubt, you will also open up more new opportunities for yourself.

#4: Adapt to the ever-changing situation on the battleground.

Setting a fixed work routine in stone is one thing. Adapting it to fit changes with the times is quite another challenge. How much of a change is required without radically replacing the whole method of work? Take traffic generation for example. It used to be article submission, blogging, viral reports and press releases. Now it’s pinging and tagging, social bookmarking, social networking, and videos. How do you squeeze in the time for all these things?

The first billionaire in human history, J. Paul Getty, said, “I would rather make 1% on the efforts of 100 people than 100% on my own efforts.” From the beginning, it is imperative to get hands-on within a business to understand its dynamics, but it’s all about leveraging on other people’s efforts in the long term. Why? Because time is of essence and you can’t handle everything by yourself.

If you don’t know AdWords, partner up with an AdWords expert to sell for you and profit-share.

If you don’t know eBay, partner up with an eBay expert to sell for you and profit-share.

Pay a student to submit articles. It’s just another form of “data entry job”.

Surround yourself with a group of competent web programmers. You never know when you’ll need their talents.

Get a professional e-cover designer under your wings.

Find a way to outsource blogging too. I’ve found that my WordPress pages are indexed by Google more promptly than any other web pages.

Your role is to formulate clear instructions and commands to mobilize them into action.

In summary, create a whole system of business roles for people, and you have a battalion fighting with you.

Tip #5: Don’t just kill. Take prisoners and build that list!

Even one-day millionaire John Reese wrote that one of your most valuable assets in the ‘game’ of Internet Marketing is your list. Once you have a decent list you can create Cash-On-Demand (COD).

You can generate affiliate commissions anytime you want by mailing your list. You can announce a new product you have and make tons of sales instantly simply by hitting “send”. And you can easily send people to any content page that might contain AdSense ads or anything else that makes you money just by mailing your list and telling them to visit.

He knows what he’s talking about. He also makes 5 figures a month from AdSense and uses the opt-in approach rather than SEO…

Brainstorm more creative ways to get more people on your list. Think of some viral marketing ideas that you can execute. Find other list owners in your market that you can JV with.

Think think think!

There are TONS of ways that you can get people on your list. The trick is to append the underlying purpose of building a list with EVERY marketing move you make. Because if you grow your list, you grow your COD income.

Bonus Tip: Identify, locate and conquer a new battlefield.

It’s about tackling new niches. Why stare at a single tree when there’s a forest around you? There’s much, much more money to be made in 1001 niches out there, even if you know nothing about wedding dresses or iguanas. If only I can hold a pencil in front of you and say, “This pencil IS a market.” Not only that, remember to base your niches on your preferred revenue model. If you are very good at AdSense, model your niche sites to earn mainly from there. If you are very good at eBay, model your niche sites to earn mainly from there, because different revenue models requires different strategies, and you don’t want to spend too much time groping and modifying through the nuances. Otherwise, get help from your battalion.

This article is modified from the original by John Reese, the brainchild behind Traffic Secrets.

Pictures taken from Aliens © 1986 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Free Interview Transcripts On Market Research.

Posted December 25th, 2006 by Nelson Tan. Filed under Business Research

Glenn Livingston was a psychologist for suicidal adolescents (that was depressing)…then a research consultant for mega-brands (too much politics). He escaped to the refuge of online niche marketing. He fused his prior skills into an accurate system for doubling your conversion and successfully entering new markets with near-zero risk. The hit rate with this now approaches 100%.

Perry Marshall interviews Glenn Livingston on how he:

– Insulates his markets from the competition (very often, with his method, competition actually increases his sales)

– Distinguishes “price of entry” benefits from true “points of difference” (things people expect in every product before they’ll even consider it vs. things they’ll actually open their wallets for!)

– Mines for hidden gold in existing customer lists

– Identifies hyper-responsiveness and designs campaigns specifically for them

– Figures out whether a market is worth pursuing in the first place

– Scientifically determines the right number of sub-segments in each market so he can dramatically improve on the message-to-market match! (You may think you’re dealing with only one type of prospect, but it’s usually three or four!)

– Figures out his prospects’ & customers’ emotional hot buttons

– Perhaps most importantly, how he identifies the “SEARCH CONTINUUM” and LIFE CYCLE in any market so he can take people through step-by-step and create a strong bond as a trusted adviser

Download transcript

The next audio by Drs. Glenn and Sharon (his wife) Livingston discusses how to minimize risk and maximize profits using surveys to dominate markets. Your prospects will know you are getting to them before your rivals in needs identification. They will also reach a purchasing decision on you faster. In some ways it relates to the recent big idea that is “The Long Tail”:

Download transcript

The 3rd audio, a meaty one, describes Glenn’s “4 Quadrants of Market Research”. You can find out more about your customers than anyone else in your market…even the customers themselves!

The common excuse is not having enough time, but according to Glenn, if not for his market research process, most marketers get stuck in one quadrant (and do you know which one?), and this severely limits their perspective on their customers and prospects (if they’ve done any research on their market at all).

The 1st step to establishing a new growth curve in your business is uncovering insights about your customer you haven’t yet gleaned from your perspective. Discover how:

Download transcript

These are critical insights Glenn has developed over 20 years of doing research for hundreds of companies in his own business experiences. By the end of the audio, you should know how to cover your the needs of your market from all angles.

The 4th audio deals with communicating with your customers and prospects to glean research data through a survey or interview. It’s more than just knowing how to talk to people because apparently it is easy to screw up this part! Dr. Sharon Livingston, a qualitative researcher for more than 20 years, outlines 5 simple rules which can really give you the edge (especially when you use them AFTER using a more structured, quantitative survey method) in this 17-minute interview.

Download transcript

The 5th audio is about a special type of survey processing which happens to be one of the most important ways that you can discover insights in your survey data that will remain hidden to the vast majority of marketers. Learn how to post-code your survey to get maximum conversion leverage and why:

Download transcript

6th audio: David Bullock is the advanced conversion strategist responsible for bringing the “Taguchi” testing method to the public’s general awareness. He’s also responsible for over $100 million in sales, so he’s definitely worth paying attention to!

Dr. Glenn Livingston compares with David the similarities and differences in their conversion methods, which can be implemented with a simple spreadsheet and a page rotator:

Download transcript

7th audio: Many people fail to realize just how easy it can be to motivate purchasing behavior when you link it to raising your prospect’s (or customer’s) self esteem…

But when you DO understand, a whole new world of emotional hot buttons opens up for you…

Here’s a concise, intriguing, and fun-to-listen-to 2-part interview of some of the core concepts to understanding emotional motivation in advertising:

Part 1:

Download transcript

Part 2:

Download transcript

Would it be wonderful for you if you could understand the ENTIRE spectrum of keywords in a market as they come from the conversation, wants, and needs in your customer’s head when they typed in each one (and how they moved from search term to search term)?

Then you’d have the ability to compete on even the most competitive words that everyone knew about.

SO what if you consider yourself bad at keyword research, as in “finding the most keywords with the least competition” if that is your criteria for success? Glenn does. In fact he feels inept at it. That’s why he finds it necessary to record his 8th audio from his perspective…

By the end of the audio you should know how to deconstruct and leverage on the “search continuum” to gain a MUCH higher volume of leads at a MUCH lower cost, take people OUT of the competitive environment EARLY in their search behavior and create a bond with prospects that makes them feel you’re almost psychic.

Download transcript

But perhaps there is a larger picture to the whole truth. No matter how good the keyword tools become, no matter which one you use, and no matter how much time you spend gathering and organizing phrases and analyzing competition/KEI…

All you’ll ever get from KEYWORD research is KEYWORD intelligence, NOT MARKET INTELLIGENCE!

Yes, it’s true that you need a comprehensive keyword picture of your industry.

Yes, it’s true that you need to meaningfully organize them into manageable, related groups.

But it’s also true that, no matter how specific the keyword phrases are that you gather, no matter how voluminous your list is, and no matter how well you organize them…

All you’ll ever get from keyword tools is KEYWORD INTELLIGENCE. And keyword intelligence is a necessary but definitely NOT sufficient step for achieving your business goals.

What you need is MARKET INTELLIGENCE…You need to understand WHO’s searching these keywords, WHAT they’re looking for, WHERE they’ve been looking before they got to those keywords, HOW they’re going to proceed to other words, WHY they’re searching, WHAT their true pain points are, WHEN they’re most likely ready to buy, and WHICH groups of people belong together based upon all the above.

Recently, Russell Wright (quickly emerging as the de facto authority on latent semantic indexing and keyword research in general) and Glenn got together and discussed this distinction in detail.

Download transcript

Here’s another audio Glenn did with Perry Marshall about direct marketing principles you can use to enter new markets and double your business. The interview itself focuses on how psychotherapists can grow their practices but please don’t let this throw you. They just used the hypothetical example of a psychologist to illustrate KEY PRINCIPLES which can be applied to ANY product or service (yes, even yours).

Go have a listen audio No. 10 now. You’ll be happy you did :-)

And you’ll be even happier to listen to this exclusive conversation between Glenn and Jonathan Mizel. To Glenn, Jonathan is his savior who took the thorn out of this lion’s paw when he was on the verge of bankruptcy. Jonathan does not speak publicly anymore, so make the best of your time listening to his way of market research for entering new markets:

Download transcript

Fred Gleeck reviews his take on the power of using laser-precise market research to identify, enter, maximize, and dominate your area.

Download transcript

Have an awesome time listening! More audios on how to double your business soon.

New Nationwide Study Finds Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Eying Their Own Business

The new survey conducted by Harris Interactive was commissioned by Register.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:RCOM), a leading provider of global domain registration and Internet services, in tandem with Small Business Week and the Small Business Administration’s SBA Expo ’05 (April 26-28, 2005). Survey results show the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States.

The survey revealed several interesting results, including:

31% of U.S. adults have crafted a business idea
24% have researched his or her idea online; 26% plan to do so
21% have already formulated a business plan, and 27% anticipate doing so in the future
9% have already built a Web site; 17% plan to in the future
7% have sold product directly through online channels, while 13% plan to do so

“With almost half the nation’s population wanting to start their own business or supplement their income, this study speaks volumes about the health of the entrepreneurial spirit in America,” said Monica Hodges, general manager of Retail for Register.com. “It also underscores what a powerful force the Internet is for today’s aspiring entrepreneurs. Whereas the Web was once the turf of large enterprises, today it can help to level the playing field for small business owners.”

Full article here http://www.dnjournal.com/columns/smallbizboom.htm

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