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Learning Direct Response Marketing (Strategies/Book Summaries/Case Studies)

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Andy Black

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Because of the topic. It's associated with gurus, scammers, and on forums, with people who want to take advantage of the community. So it makes me uncomfortable as I don't want to be portrayed as such.
I often wrestle with this.


1) When I'm stuck I ask myself "What best serves the people I can help?"

Does me worrying about coming across as a wannabe guru help them? Or do I serve them better posting that video to YouTube?

Should I worry about the occasional forum member complaining that I'm trying to build my personal brand in the forum, or should I not gaf and just keep helping people?


2) Also... you're documenting your journey learning Direct Response Marketing, you're not saying "Signup here to learn the direct response secrets the gurus don't tell you".


3) Finally, what if people wanted to subscribe so they receive your issues hot off the press, *and* direct to their inbox?

Think of it as *allowing* people to signup.

Heck, I'd signup to follow along. Your writing and summaries are great. More importantly, they save me time. I might have Expert Secrets somewhere, but I've no interest in reading it. I'd rather skim your summary.

The same can be said for your "Learning Web3.0" thread on the inside. There's value in allowing people to follow-along as you figure stuff out. Not least because you're doing a lot of the grunt work for them, but also because of how well you analyse things and write it up.
 
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I'm about to finish Expert Secrets and I have mixed feelings whether I should post my notes...

The more pages I read, the more... sleazy (?) I feel. Russell emphasizes that if you have stuff you know can help your clients, you have a moral obligation to sell it to them. But I can't help but feel he's extremely pushy in that 80s car salesman style. He brags about how many people he sold to and doesn't really seem to be that interested in helping people but more about squeezing as much as he can from the funnels he has.

This is also in response to that discussion above, @Speed112, @Black_Dragon43 and @Andy Black. This is a great example of a person I wouldn't want to become and why I don't feel comfortable doing anything more than simply leaving some notes here on the forum.

I know that this will sound illogical but I don't feel comfortable recommending books where the author is so pushy I'd hate to be around him. He's so focused on selling that he says outright that, for example, if you have a webinar, you shouldn't teach anything useful, just the "what" (without any "how") because that will increase your conversion rates. Okay, maybe it will, but you wasted time of people who expected to learn something actionable from the webinar alone.

The best business relationships I've had so far (these are usually coach-student where I am the student) the coach was never salesy. In fact, sometimes they even tell me NOT to buy something or are okay rescheduling/postponing our sessions if for some reason they or I am not in the best shape/state to benefit the most from the class. This makes me trust them more instead of feeling like they only want to push me through their funnel and make as much money as possible.

I don't think I'll be reading other Brunson's books as I don't want to become such a marketer, even if on paper it's so "sexy" (stuff like making a million dollars in an hour from a stage presentation). As far as I remember, Jay Abraham never felt me this way and he's very invested into his strategy of preeminence and being the client's most trusted advisor (this also means telling people when NOT to buy).
 

Andy Black

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I'm about to finish Expert Secrets and I have mixed feelings whether I should post my notes...

The more pages I read, the more... sleazy (?) I feel. Russell emphasizes that if you have stuff you know can help your clients, you have a moral obligation to sell it to them. But I can't help but feel he's extremely pushy in that 80s car salesman style. He brags about how many people he sold to and doesn't really seem to be that interested in helping people but more about squeezing as much as he can from the funnels he has.

This is also in response to that discussion above, @Speed112, @Black_Dragon43 and @Andy Black. This is a great example of a person I wouldn't want to become and why I don't feel comfortable doing anything more than simply leaving some notes here on the forum.

I know that this will sound illogical but I don't feel comfortable recommending books where the author is so pushy I'd hate to be around him. He's so focused on selling that he says outright that, for example, if you have a webinar, you shouldn't teach anything useful, just the "what" (without any "how") because that will increase your conversion rates. Okay, maybe it will, but you wasted time of people who expected to learn something actionable from the webinar alone.

The best business relationships I've had so far (these are usually coach-student where I am the student) the coach was never salesy. In fact, sometimes they even tell me NOT to buy something or are okay rescheduling/postponing our sessions if for some reason they or I am not in the best shape/state to benefit the most from the class. This makes me trust them more instead of feeling like they only want to push me through their funnel and make as much money as possible.

I don't think I'll be reading other Brunson's books as I don't want to become such a marketer, even if on paper it's so "sexy" (stuff like making a million dollars in an hour from a stage presentation). As far as I remember, Jay Abraham never felt me this way and he's very invested into his strategy of preeminence and being the client's most trusted advisor (this also means telling people when NOT to buy).
Interesting you say that. I didn’t finish Russell’s books for that reason. He’s smart, but not a role model for me. I listened to his podcasts for a while but zoned out he talked about creating a cult-ure.

I did a bit of coaching recently and one of the coachees said he’d been told to look for someone with the heart of a teacher. I think that’s a good litmus test.

I don’t think you’re automatically a sleazy marketer just because you give people the option to signup to get updates though.
 

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Interesting you say that. I didn’t finish Russell’s books for that reason. He’s smart, but not a role model for me. I listened to his podcasts for a while but zoned out he talked about creating a cult-ure.

I did a bit of coaching recently and one of the coachees said he’d been told to look for someone with the heart of a teacher. I think that’s a good litmus test.

Interesting observation. Russell is definitely not a teacher. He's a salesman through and through.

I have deep, deep respect for excellent teachers and have a fair amount of experience working with different coaches of varying abilities. I wonder if there's any way I could help them teach better.

I don’t think you’re automatically a sleazy marketer just because you give people the option to signup to get updates though.

Fair point :) We'll see where this thread takes me and maybe I'll reconsider then.
 
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Andy Black

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For me, direct response is all about getting someone who wants to take action to the right page, then making it super easy for them to take action.

i.e. I focus on getting the right person to the page in the first place.

Someone searches “blacksmiths dublin”.

The ad headline says “Dublin Blacksmith”.

The landing page says

Looking for a blacksmith in Dublin?
  • We’re blacksmiths.
  • We serve Dublin.
  • Contact us today to see how we can help your army.
<Tap-to-Call>
<Request-a-Callback>


Red flags for me are when people talk about traffic, and about landing page conversion rates.

When they do that they’re forgetting it’s all about the visitor.

(Oh, and another red flag for me is when someone talks about “secrets”.)

I don’t know if you ever read this thread @MTF:
 

Speed112

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Over here, over there.
Love this stuff.

If you saw the masterclasses I ran with @Black_Dragon43 they were initially supposed to be that type of webinar:
you shouldn't teach anything useful, just the "what" (without any "how") because that will increase your conversion rates

but we decided that no, that's not what we're trying to do... we're trying to teach people how to solve their problem and make this a valuable experience whether or not they end up buying something after.

I absolutely loathe those webinars where you're constantly teased with the solution, have to go through a million pieces of social proof and aggrandizing "authority-building", and then get aggressively sold to for half an hour when the actual information they share could be condensed in a 2 minute Youtube video.

Yes, they convert like crazy, and it's clear how, but I really don't understand why! Are people so desperate for the secret sauce?

I just finished outlining the marketing strategy for a client today. Some people might tell me that I should keep as much knowledge hidden as I can get away with, so that I can upsell them consulting for $300/hour to hold their hands and drip-feed them information while they go through the process. Sure, I do that, but only when it's necessary. I very much prefer teaching them why I recommend what I recommend and how it works, and making their decision to work directly with me an informed, consensual decision, rather than one based on hope and a "just trust me bro, I got this" promise.

Here's what I had to say about Conversion:

"Once people are satisfied with the project and trust in the fulfillment of its promise, all they need to do is make the leap. This is when and where the purchase happens. Great nurturing can naturally lead the conversion event to happen, which is why it is very important as a preamble, but is often insufficient. A good portion of the prospects need a helping hand. The promise that you'll be there to catch them when they jump...

Which is an offer that they cannot refuse.

The goal of this stage is to instill another emotional state where the person is ready to take action, and then focus it on a particular call to action which leads to the desired response. You accomplish this by reducing any friction you can between the buying decision and the action, and then asking for the obvious. To act.

The strength of the offer is the vehicle of conversion, and a bit of sales effort is the driver."

This is my impression of direct response and its purpose. Notice the attitude there... "strong offer, and a bit of sales". Many people convert on their own without any need of a sales effort at all, just from previous nurturing, brand authority/trust, and social proof.

And what you are really trying to accomplish here is simply to reduce or eliminate friction.

@Andy Black is totally right.

It's all about the visitor, and how easy it is for them to act. Your goal is not to push them towards acting, but to lift the barriers leading to it. Sometimes those are limiting beliefs. Other times it's a lack of information.

And sometimes all they need is a button with a call to action. Don't overthink it.

What you should see from Russel's book and approach is not necessarily his technique, but the steps and experiences through which he takes the prospect, from acquisition to conversion. You don't have to be salesy and pushy to fulfill the conversion requirements and perform direct response.

You just need to make acting feel easier and more attractive than not acting.

Russel seems to be very good at doing that, but maybe not at teaching it to others.

Let us know what you think anyway! Your insight is valuable.
 

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The more pages I read, the more... sleazy (?) I feel. Russell emphasizes that if you have stuff you know can help your clients, you have a moral obligation to sell it to them. But I can't help but feel he's extremely pushy in that 80s car salesman style. He brags about how many people he sold to and doesn't really seem to be that interested in helping people but more about squeezing as much as he can from the funnels he has.

This is also in response to that discussion above, @Speed112, @Black_Dragon43 and @Andy Black. This is a great example of a person I wouldn't want to become and why I don't feel comfortable doing anything more than simply leaving some notes here on the forum.
I think if we are to look at direct response, at least as traditionally understood, it IS sleazy in the sense of insistent and self-confident, no ifs or buts. Those people want you to buy what they’re selling - 100%, no shame about it.

I think Russell is just continuing the tradition from Halbert, Carlton, Kennedy and so on. The more you squeeze out of the funnel, the better your marketing is… that is the very criteria of judgement for direct response. Objectively when you’re in selling mode, if people are happy, but you barely made any money, your advertising failed - no ifs or buts.

He's so focused on selling that he says outright that, for example, if you have a webinar, you shouldn't teach anything useful, just the "what" (without any "how") because that will increase your conversion rates. Okay, maybe it will, but you wasted time of people who expected to learn something actionable from the webinar alone.
Yes - and Halbert, Kennedy and so on did exactly the same thing. Tell people WHAT they’re going to get and WHY it’s important for them, but don’t give them any hows. If you read Halbert, for example, he tells you stuff similar to “You’ll discover inside 3 simple steps to take advantage of new loopholes so that you can pay $0 in tax (you heard that right) if you’re making over $300,000 in income every year! (Page 7 of the report)”

Imo, that is valuable by itself. At least you know that a solution exists to your problem, and what that solution will involve, and if it would be right for you. You don’t need to know what it is to figure out the above.

And to be honest, when I’m selling I do the same. Why would I give the how away for free? I’m an expert. My knowledge is valuable. I spent years discovering these things. You gotta pay up to get the inside scoop, no? If you don’t believe me, F*ck YOU, let those who believe me benefit.

So I can inform you about what the said knowledge contains and what it will help you do - that’s copywriting, but not give it away to you for free if I’m in selling mode.

The Masterclass @Speed112 mentioned above was initially paid. People got the full details they were looking for IF they paid. Now that we’ve made it free, those who didn’t pay first see that it was worth it and would have saved them 1 year of trial and error. for those who didnt initially buy, they just had the details of the ad… what they will get and why it matters.

So I actually had the opposite reaction to Russell’s book. I loved that he was telling you to stop being an unpaid consultant. Yes, you’re helping people, but not yourself. There’s no value in self-laceration to help others. It needs to be win-win.

When I speak with a client I sometimes tell them… “where’s the money? I want to smell the leather first!”

People need to stop being afraid of selling. What you have is valuable, you DESERVE the cash. And someone who wants to get your knowledge without giving you the cash, and is emotionally manipulating you, they’re just a prick. They need to man up, pay up, and then get the help they need. Or just go figure it out themselves if they’re so smart.

Also, I didn’t get the sense that Russell was lying inside the book. Yes, he wants you to buy, but he was saying the truth - if you pay for it, you’ll be more committed, take more action, and get more out of it. Free knowledge never helped the large majority - maybe you are a self-starter, most are not. They need a bootcamp style committment to learn, apply and make it work.

I have no shame about selling. I’d take all your money and give you what you want most if I could. But I wouldn’t give you what you want for free. The exchange needs to be win-win.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t help for free. That is marketing, not selling. Providing free value. But make no mistake about it, when you’re selling, oh boy, you need to sell the damn thing!

So sure, separate your marketing from your selling. Now you’re providing value… just provide value without even thinking about selling. But make no mistake about it - that’s not selling. That’s building an audience, helping people, building credibility, etc. In other words, that’s marketing. And marketing is good, but sometimes you do need to sell.

“Ohhh but the knowledge you provide is all free, it’s on YouTube!”

Sure bro - good luck with that. The stuff a Tesla is made out of is also freely available… in the ground. Just go ahead and build your own, wtf! You’re paying for how information is organised - that’s what makes it into a valuable product.

I think leftist and communist thinking is spreading - people these days are ashamed to sell. If I tell someone I’m a marketer they look at me as if I told them I’m a thief. In my opinion, we shouldn’t give in to it. It’s just manipulation aimed to drag you in the mud.

Anyway, my 2 cents and how I approach these things for what that’s worth
 
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For me, direct response is all about getting someone who wants to take action to the right page, then making it super easy for them to take action.

i.e. I focus on getting the right person to the page in the first place.

Someone searches “blacksmiths dublin”.

The ad headline says “Dublin Blacksmith”.

The landing page says

Looking for a blacksmith in Dublin?
  • We’re blacksmiths.
  • We serve Dublin.
  • Contact us today to see how we can help your army.
<Tap-to-Call>
<Request-a-Callback>


Red flags for me are when people talk about traffic, and about landing page conversion rates.

When they do that they’re forgetting it’s all about the visitor.

(Oh, and another red flag for me is when someone talks about “secrets”.)

I don’t know if you ever read this thread @MTF:

Thank you for sharing that, I enjoyed reading your landing page thread and I love how simply you described the goal of a landing page.

I absolutely loathe those webinars where you're constantly teased with the solution, have to go through a million pieces of social proof and aggrandizing "authority-building", and then get aggressively sold to for half an hour when the actual information they share could be condensed in a 2 minute Youtube video.

Yeah that's my point. I mean, I don't mind good ads but it feels like those webinars only work for sketchy niches where you're selling BS products for desperate people (so most of fitness, weight loss, spirituality, make money, etc.)

What you should see from Russel's book and approach is not necessarily his technique, but the steps and experiences through which he takes the prospect, from acquisition to conversion. You don't have to be salesy and pushy to fulfill the conversion requirements and perform direct response.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that his book gets way too dense. There's one framework, then five steps, then five steps of one of the steps, then another framework, then that framework fits into another. It gets super confusing and complicated quickly. So I, for example, wasn't actually sold to try ClickFunnels (I tried it a few years ago and found it complicated). His process didn't actually take me from acquisition to conversion but the other way lol.

This, plus then he completely lost me when he said he runs live webinars weekly (or at least used to). It feels like the success of his business is dependent on him performing a key, active role. That's not what I personally aspire to.

Yes - and Halbert, Kennedy and so on did exactly the same thing. Tell people WHAT they’re going to get and WHY it’s important for them, but don’t give them any hows. If you read Halbert, for example, he tells you stuff similar to “You’ll discover inside 3 simple steps to take advantage of new loopholes so that you can pay $0 in tax (you heard that right) if you’re making over $300,000 in income every year! (Page 7 of the report)”

I enjoyed Gary Halbert's letters a lot and I don't think he was that pushy. Also, in his newsletters he provided a ton of "how to" value (and they were equivalent to Russell's book in that they were a paid product).

I need to review some Jay Abraham stuff and see how he approaches it but as far as I remember, he approaches this in a very different manner (in a way that maybe you'll describe as being a sucker), yet is still extremely successful. He has tons of free "how to" stuff and sells in addition to that. Russell seems to have a lot of free stuff but all of this is just selling masquerading as something useful (while he has NO intention to teach a non-client anything).

Of course, it depends on what you personally prefer. My approach might be different.

And to be honest, when I’m selling I do the same. Why would I give the how away for free? I’m an expert. My knowledge is valuable. I spent years discovering these things. You gotta pay up to get the inside scoop, no? If you don’t believe me, f*ck YOU, let those who believe me benefit.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough but I don't oppose selling. I oppose selling masquerading as teaching.

Imagine if I were to go to a kickboxing gym for a free session (the equivalent of a free webinar) or an initial session for a reduced price (lead magnet/tripwire offer). I'd expect to receive actual instructions, practice with the coach, and take something from the class I can possibly use myself. If the class only espoused the benefits of kickboxing but never gave me any specific "how to," then I would feel misled. If the coach said "pay me to learn anything useful from me" I'd be like "well, I'm not interested then." Not because I don't value his knowledge but because of his unhelpful attitude.

Again, I understand your approach, too but it personally puts me off.

My question to all of you guys is:

Should you sell in a way that doesn't work on you and/or that you don't like? Even if these tactics really work well on anyone, should every marketer use them, even when they feel it's incongruent with them?

I think my thoughts are rather clear in this matter :)
 

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On second thought, can this be a cultural difference, too?

I can't help but feel that the common pushy and salesy approach is American style of selling. It's relatively rare in Europe. I absolutely hate it when a sales clerk follows me and keeps trying to sell me stuff even when I repeatedly say I'm fine and just want to check what they have without anyone bothering me.

Another thought - can this be a personality thing, too? I'm automatically on guard when someone is too loud, too friendly, and too extrovert. This is also pretty common on Instagram these days and feels incredibly cheesy and cheap.
 

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Should you sell in a way that doesn't work on you and/or that you don't like? Even if these tactics really work well on anyone, should every marketer use them, even when they feel it's incongruent with them?
There’s so many ways to skin a cat that I’d rather find a way that works that I also personally like.

I don’t do “webinars”. I even have a friend who sends any email mentioning “webinar” to spam.

I absolutely will not do one of those fake live webinars.

I have a free course though, and it’s a video replay of a 90 minute workshop. Semantics? Maybe. Or maybe me preferring to avoid being tarred with the same brush.

In that 90 minute course I gave away my best thinking on what to do and why. I didn’t get into how. The course was for business owners who don’t need to know how and shouldn’t distract themselves with how.
 
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Over here, over there.
Should you sell in a way that doesn't work on you and/or that you don't like? Even if these tactics really work well on anyone, should every marketer use them, even when they feel it's incongruent with them?

I don't think so. You can do it if you feel it's necessary, but if they make you miserable it's only going to make you less effective in the long run. Also, they don't work well on anyone. They might work well on a larger proportion of your audience, but it can also mean the smaller proportion that it doesn't work on has their needs unfulfilled and you could be losing out. It's hard to say and it depends on the product, market, and salesman.

There are different salesperson archetypes and ways of doing things. And, while a master salesman might be able to emulate multiple of them to better mold themselves to the person they're talking to, you don't need to do that to be successful. Focusing on the type you have most affinity with is perfectly fine.

@Andy Black for example, is most definitely a relationship-builder. You seem to fit that archetype as well, judging from your attitude on educating.

@Black_Dragon43 is the challenger type, most likely, which you could equate with being "pushy".

You've also got the problem-solver type, the hustler, and whatever else. There are many ways of looking at it, but there are clearly stark differences in approach, and usually, it's hard for the intuitive types to relate with the more cerebral ones. Same with the prospects.

Some people need time and space to process. Others will never act unless they are put under enough pressure to commit. Some need hand-holding and tutorials. Others need concepts and reasoning.

I think the key here is to realize that you will only ever resonate with about 15% of your niche. That's your audience. Unless you're a sales god, in which case you can maybe reach 50% and speak to millions.

"An above average market penetration rate for consumer goods is estimated to be between 2% and 6%. A good penetration rate for business products is between 10% and 40%."

Those numbers are most likely the same for salesmen. 2-6% B2C, 10-40% B2B.

So those really skilled pushy aggressive salesmen who go balls to the walls with their selling and convert like crazy... still only convert 20-30% of people, fail to close 20-30% and completely alienate 40-60% of people. Same for the non-pushy roundabout approach.

I think it's important to be aware of, and understand all the different types so you can mix and match things based on the situation. But focus on the stuff that works for you.
 

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I don't think so. You can do it if you feel it's necessary, but if they make you miserable it's only going to make you less effective in the long run. Also, they don't work well on anyone. They might work well on a larger proportion of your audience, but it can also mean the smaller proportion that it doesn't work on has their needs unfulfilled and you could be losing out. It's hard to say and it depends on the product, market, and salesman.

There are different salesperson archetypes and ways of doing things. And, while a master salesman might be able to emulate multiple of them to better mold themselves to the person they're talking to, you don't need to do that to be successful. Focusing on the type you have most affinity with is perfectly fine.

@Andy Black for example, is most definitely a relationship-builder. You seem to fit that archetype as well, judging from your attitude on educating.

@Black_Dragon43 is the challenger type, most likely, which you could equate with being "pushy".

You've also got the problem-solver type, the hustler, and whatever else. There are many ways of looking at it, but there are clearly stark differences in approach, and usually, it's hard for the intuitive types to relate with the more cerebral ones. Same with the prospects.

Some people need time and space to process. Others will never act unless they are put under enough pressure to commit. Some need hand-holding and tutorials. Others need concepts and reasoning.

I think the key here is to realize that you will only ever resonate with about 15% of your niche. That's your audience. Unless you're a sales god, in which case you can maybe reach 50% and speak to millions.

"An above average market penetration rate for consumer goods is estimated to be between 2% and 6%. A good penetration rate for business products is between 10% and 40%."

Those numbers are most likely the same for salesmen. 2-6% B2C, 10-40% B2B.

So those really skilled pushy aggressive salesmen who go balls to the walls with their selling and convert like crazy... still only convert 20-30% of people, fail to close 20-30% and completely alienate 40-60% of people. Same for the non-pushy roundabout approach.

I think it's important to be aware of, and understand all the different types so you can mix and match things based on the situation. But focus on the stuff that works for you.

Interesting. I wouldn't guess that even the best copy can capture so little of the audience. Obviously, financially it doesn't matter if it's a big niche. Just interesting that we're working with minority of the target audience.

This also makes it sensible to pick the part of the audience you want to appeal to and write copy in a way that will appeal to them.

I assume that people in more "questionable" niches need to be more pushy but there's no such need if you're in a category of one.
 

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I'll probably post some of the most interesting and least questionable tidbits from Expert Secrets tomorrow as I finished it today.

Now reading How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwab. Enjoying its simplicity and unpretentiousness so far. I'm reading the 1962 edition. The first version is from 1942 which is crazy to think considering what was going on in the world then.
 
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Speed112

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Over here, over there.
Interesting. I wouldn't guess that even the best copy can capture so little of the audience. Obviously, financially it doesn't matter if it's a big niche. Just interesting that we're working with minority of the target audience.

This also makes it sensible to pick the part of the audience you want to appeal to and write copy in a way that will appeal to them.

I assume that people in more "questionable" niches need to be more pushy but there's no such need if you're in a category of one.

I was just looking at a Doberman Dan interview and it went a little bit into this...

Do the top A-listers always write great sales letters that make a great ROI or can they even still sometimes go wrong?

Doberman Dan: Most of the guys that have been positioned as the best of the best and are the copywriting heroes, most of them, their pieces fail more times than work.

A great example is Agora, one of the largest direct marketing companies in the world. They have the sharpest direct marketing minds working for them. They have these nerdy account engineer guys with pocket protectors which have these crazy computer programs which can predict stuff that seems impossible to predict as far as numbers go. Their managers are the best in the world, their marketing directors are the best in the world, they’ve got decades of experience and they hire the best copywriters in the world. Here’s their track record…

Out of every 10 projects they try, on average 7 of them are bombs and are abandoned because they just show no life they’re not even worth pursuing.

Of the remaining 3, to use a baseball term, 2 are base hits. They’re tweakable, they could be improved but nothing to write home about.

One possibly is a home run and is a big hit. That’s out of 10 and that’s with the best talent in the world, with more money than God to work with to test these projects. The best people in the world and the best copywriters in the world that is their average track record. So why should the rest of us expect any better?

You could resurrect Gary Halbert, Gene Schwartz, Robert Collier and Caples and combine their minds with the greatest living copywriters in the world now Jim Rutz, Gary Bencivenga, Clayton Makepeace, Arthur Johnson, David Deutsch, you could combine all of their minds together and write the greatest piece of copy ever written and that can still bomb because the copy is a very small part.

Usually in most freelance arrangements the most important parts are completely outside of the copywriters control. The only thing a copywriter is told to do is to write the copy. The copy really is just a very small percentage of the success of the promotion, maybe 20%.

Out of the great people listed there... they each have vastly different styles. They all do direct response, though.

The importance of copy cannot be understated. But its effectiveness is not guaranteed. The issue is people want and need confidence. They hire an expert because they want to pass on the responsibility. So in order to make them hire you, you have to show absolute confidence in your ability to deliver...

It just takes a while. And you need more than just direct response.

Without positioning, the right product/market fit, and finding the niche and segment you can communicate well with, it's probably going to be very difficult.


Omg. You're the first person I've seen use the correct version of the word in years. Years!

No wonder you publish books.

Edit:

Here's a quote from Kick-a$$ Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel by the great John Carlton.

1642885599460.png

That's the strength of a top-tier ad. It connects the salesman with the buyer like they're soulmates.

You can realize better the marginality of where direct-response works by looking at the high-performing newspaper ads of yore. They're always highly specific and targeted, so most people would just turn the page. But those who don't... hoboi they'll buy.
 
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Without positioning, the right product/market fit, and finding the niche and segment you can communicate well with, it's probably going to be very difficult.

Yeah I think that offer creation is more important than copy. I'm sure I bought a lot of things with terrible copy but that offered something relevant to me and valuable.

In the end, even the best copy won't sell what has no value. Still surprising that so many of their projects fail. But as Gary Halbert said, you're only one sales letter away from striking it rich.

It's also what Alex Hormozi believes (that offer trumps everything else).

Omg. You're the first person I've seen use the correct version of the word in years. Years!
Lol I was sure I wrote "tidbits" but I responded after a series of breath holds so maybe my brain wasn't working correctly lol. I follow American English spelling. Titbits would be in every other dialect so there's no "correct" spelling.

Edit:
Just realized my phone was set to Australian English and it changed tidbits automatically to titbits. To me, the latter looks weird (like many words with non-American spelling).
 
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Issue #4: Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets Part 2: Rest of the Book

As I mentioned in my previous posts, after reading the entire book I have mixed feelings about it. Still, putting aside the stuff that doesn't resonate with me, there are still some valuable insights in the rest of the book that I wanted to share. I'm covering the other 80% of the book but only picked the best of the best thoughts for me personally so this issue is relatively short.

1. When sharing a teaching framework with your students, to make them value it more, tell them how you learned it (mention all the pain, suffering, frustrations, etc.). They need to feel the emotions you felt when you struggled with it.

2. When picking your niche, ask yourself:
  • Would people in this submarket be excited about the new opportunity/frameworks you will be presenting them?
  • Are the people in this market irrationally passionate? > to determine, make sure there are existing communities, inside vocabulary, events, and other experts.
  • Are these people willing and able to spend money on information?
3. The category king usually eats up to 70-80% of the category's profits, so create your own category instead of competing in a red ocean (full of competitors).

4. For proper market positioning, do your homework. Find 20 or 30 other experts who are already in your market, consume everything they have to offer, see what they're teaching, and figure out where you can carve your own unique spot in that ecosystem.

5. Don't sell improvement offers. Create a new opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.

Our goal is not to fix what’s not working. Our goal is to replace what’s not working with something altogether different.

Most often, when people start thinking about the product or service they want to offer, they start by looking around at what is already out there and try to “build a better mousetrap.” When you do that, you are not offering consumers a new opportunity; you are presenting them an improvement offer. When you do this, you are just one of the sharks swimming into someone else’s blue ocean, and your best-case scenario is to fight over the scraps.

People are excited by new opportunities. Improvement offers don't inspire.

6. Value needs to be 10x the price.

If you’re selling a product for $997, then the value needs to be at least $9,997. If your value isn’t 10 times higher than your price, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and figure out other ways you can package your frameworks or make new tools that will increase the value of what you’re offering.

7. Help your customers experience an identity shift. Create a name of your tribe that will make them want to belong, a manifesto they can believe in, and offer awards to give them status in your tribe.

8. Get people to believe only one thing.

The entire presentation is designed to get them to believe just one thing: that your new opportunity is the key to them getting the result they desire the most. That’s it. If you try to get someone to believe in more than one thing, your sales will suffer.

9. Your opportunity has to be the key to what they desire the most.

If I can get someone to truly believe that the new opportunity or category is the key to what they desire the most, and they can get it only through my vehicle or frameworks, then they have no other options but to buy. This is the key to launching your movement. Belief.

Here is what I used for ClickFunnels:

If I can make people believe that funnels are the key to online business success and are attainable only through ClickFunnels, then all other objections and concerns become irrelevant and they have to give me money.

When someone believes they have to have a funnel (and they do), and that I present the only way they can get one, then they have to buy ClickFunnels. There is no other option.
 
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Issue #5: Jay Abraham's Strategy of Preeminence

Jay Abraham is one of the world's most experienced business consultants. He's behind the success of some big names, including Tony Robbins, Daymond John, and Ramit Sethi. His background is in direct response marketing.

One of the key concepts he teaches is his Strategy of Preeminence. Here are my notes on it (one from an interview I found in 50 Shades of Jay and one from a short document describing the strategy for insurance agents).

I personally relate to this strategy way more than to Russell's Brunson's pushy approach. Note how Jay emphasizes the focus on another person and the need for empathy. Very little about money and pushing people, a LOT about serving them regardless if they pay you or not. (@Andy Black, you'll love it).

Strategy of Preeminence in 90 seconds

There is a concept called the “strategy of preeminence” that I teach. It takes about two hours but I will give you the ninety-second version.

First, you establish yourself and your relationship with everybody as their most trusted advisor. As their advisor, your job is to give them the best reason, most heartfelt external perspective on what’s best for them. You have a “you attitude,” “you” meaning “them” and not yourself. Always focus on them.

Number two, you try to put into words the gnawing feelings, the desires, the frustrations they feel that are never verbalized.

Number three, you tell them the truth as you see it.

Number four, you never let them do things that are not in their best interest.

Number five, you tell them what you see life to be in your own words, and you don’t hold back even if they won’t like you for it, because you see yourself as their most trusted advisor.

Number six, I told you, you fall in love with them, not your business or your product.

Number seven, realize that it’s not what you say that makes people buy from you, that makes people hire you, that makes people give you raises, it’s how much more value you can give them that they desire, prize, and really want.

Number eight, you make yourself stand out as the only viable solution they’ve got, to a problem you alone understand and verbalize, or an opportunity you alone see and can really put words to.

In addition, you stop working harder for your business or your job than you let the business and the job work for you. You do that by understanding how to harness the power of geometry. Geometry is harnessed when you let multiple activities work together to produce a geometric or exponential result.

You will find that in order to be successful you have to first want to make other people successful, in order to be loved, you have to first love, in order to be interesting you have to first be interested. The mere opposite of what you want is what you have to give first and then you will get back the desired result or outcome in droves.

And here are my notes from the document for insurance agents:

1. I’m not trying to sell you – I want to serve you

Preeminence means being seen in your market as the most trusted advisor for life. You are there to make a profound and sustaining difference in their lives and you’re there for them, forever, whether they monetarily reward you or not.

Preeminence champions the roles of team members, suppliers and customers. Its focus is on the best interest of the receiver. It boils down to, “I’m not trying to sell you – I want to serve you.” It’s not about buying insurance or an annuity. It’s about having a richer retirement, saving taxes or creating a meaningful legacy. It’s about speaking to what is important down deep.

2. Fall in love with your client

The key is to fall in love with your client. If you can’t live to benefit and protect others, you’ll never achieve preeminence.

3. An important mindset change

At the heart of it all, you also have to believe that what you’re doing is for a greater good, that you’re selfless in your business goal to serve the client better and more fully than anybody else does. The money will follow, but that is just an acknowledgement that you are serving others in ways they value and want to reward.

4. Surpass all others

The definition of preeminence is “surpassing all others.” Here is an important point: this is not dependent on your product – this depends on you and the profound difference you can make.

The difference starts with your intention before the transaction ever occurs. From there, it’s only a matter of time before the people you want to affect most – i.e., your most coveted prospects – will do business with you.

Why? Because you care more, do more, serve better and provide a better outcome. Bottom line? You’re a better choice than anyone else out there.

5. Empathy is the key

The primary basis for the entire preeminence strategy is a keen commitment to empathy. Empathy is understanding how the other side in a transaction feels and sees the situation far beyond that transaction. It is understanding their hopes, dreams, needs and feelings.

Preeminent companies and producers always sell leadership in every communication. They convey, in everything they do and say, that they want to lead others to greater results and greater happiness.

6. Give advice, not information

There is a world of difference between giving information and giving advice. Information is inconclusive. Giving advice is definitive. Advice is converted into action. That’s why those who practice the strategy of preeminence tell people, “Here’s what you should do, here’s why you should do it and here’s how.” Being specific is incredibly powerful.

7. Give your customers clarity

Clarity: it’s important for your customers to define for themselves their biggest frustrations, challenges and opportunities. In most cases, they are paralyzed because they cannot put their dreams into words, and they just have a vague idea of what they really want... so they can’t take action.

You want to give them clarity by asking them, “What would the picture look like if your business were operating the way you really want it to?” (just asking this is a positive change for people.)

8. Give your customers certainty

Certainty: companies that practice the strategy of preeminence always come from a position of hopefulness. They genuinely have a better and higher wish or hope for the client or prospect than they even had for themselves. They have the best wishes for every single prospect with whom they come in contact, even if that person never does business with them in their life.

And it is this hopefulness that gives their customers the courage, the belief, the strength and the desire to establish a long-term, loyal, lifelong relationship with that company.

9. Be trustworthy

Trust: always provide customers and prospects with views and viewpoints they can absolutely trust. Never put your interest ahead of your customer’s. Refuse to sell more or less of what they need. Always provide what is in your customer’s best interest.

10. Lead

If you can go to someone like that and say, “I understand your frustration, and I think I can help. Here’s what I perceive you really want, and I’d like you to tell me, first, it that’s right or wrong. And once you and I agree on your ultimate goals and dreams and wishes, then we can move forward with a plan to make them come true. And I believe that I can do that for you.” But, it all starts with taking the customer’s point of view.

11. Do you want to sell stuff or transform people?

Do you want to spend the rest of your life and career merely selling stuff – or would you rather spend every second... of every hour... of every day of the rest of your life transforming lives and families’ futures?

12. Tell your creation myth

Tom Peters, the author of In Search of Excellence, put it this way: “He who has the best story, wins.” Preeminent business people have a story and a track record with their market. Their success depends upon how well they communicate it.

The term “creation myth,” doesn’t mean that you’re making anything up. The word “myth” is used to evoke the lovely, lyrical notion of a tale as old as time – a story of origin, history, and purpose. Think back to how you found your way into this market in the first place. What drew you to it? If you just stumbled into it, what kept you there? What do you like about your market? What do you dislike? Go even deeper. Think about your greatest achievements in this market. Then think about your greatest failures. Use it as a way to be honest. A truthful “I feel your pain” story can be an incredibly effective tool for connecting with your market. The more honest you are, the more you will gain your market’s trust – and the more trust you have, the more you can ethically advise prospects on what they should buy.

13. Make it easier for your customers

  • Reduce the height of the hurdles. Lower the hurdles they have to jump over.
  • Talk about frustrations or desire they really feel.
  • Let them know you care. People worry about whether they stand out, whether they’re unique, whether people will care.
  • Genuinely help them out – give your customers a chance to buy more often (don’t make them buy less than they want.)
  • Give them an example of how things work. Most concepts are too difficult for most people to buy into the whole cloth on first blush.

14. Always make the client the center of attention

If in the past your business has been “subject” focused, how can you make it “individual” focused? Here are some tips to help you communicate, write, think, and talk, with a “read” focus rather than a “subject” focus:
  • Start each sentence with the word “you” rather than the words “I” or “me.”
  • Talk about the end result, the feelings that your product will bring – not how it will work.
  • Ask your customers what they want.
  • Listen.
 

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Lol I was sure I wrote "tidbits" but I responded after a series of breath holds so maybe my brain wasn't working correctly lol. I follow American English spelling. Titbits would be in every other dialect so there's no "correct" spelling.

Edit:
Just realized my phone was set to Australian English and it changed tidbits automatically to titbits. To me, the latter looks weird (like many words with non-American spelling).
Aww... disappointing.

But... there is a correct version. Titbit means a snippet. Tit means small something, like titmouse. Bit is the something.

What does tid mean? Time.

So tidbit means a portion of time. Clearly you're not referring to time when you use it, and Americans pretty much never do, but oh no tit has multiple etymologies and one of them may refer to a little body part specifically instead of a little anything generally therefore it's forbidden to be used. Think of the children!

So for the sake of absurd prudence, you guys evolved the language to use the wrong words in the wrong context and it's sad.

Sad, I tell you!

And it doesn't even rhyme!

Imagine calling a Great Tit a Tid. What would the poor bird think? That you're making fun of her! It's like calling a guy called Jim, Jib. It's just rude.

Boycott "tidbit"

-----

Getting back on track.

Wow. I am really impressed by how succinct your summary of Brunson's book is. You hit the nail on the head there. The key points brought up are: Differentiate. Differentiate. Differentiate! Emotionally, practically, valuably.

Jay Abraham is a master. Those insights are spot on and they adeptly describe how I approach relationships in general. Romantic, platonic, and business...

But it's quite difficult to implement this in terms of copy. From my experience. Maybe I haven't yet figured out how because I've been refusing to niche down and target a particular subset of people. An ideal individual even.

Heck... this is actually inspiring I'm going to revolutionize my approach right after I'm done with this post.

This is the way.

I've been espousing all of those key points: empathy, showing that you get them and that you care, brutal honesty and selflessness, etc. Because it works. It's the absolute way of getting a prospect to open up and trust you. Why wouldn't they? You're there to help. And if you can and do in fact help... building a business relationship on top is easy.

The struggle is...

How do you get the mutual interest to perform all these points?

That's where I've been struggling. Other types of selling are way easier, since you can perform them autistically (in the literal sense) and get results through brute force. With this approach, however, you need to be genuinely engaged socially which is a mutual thing. You need to either be proactive and immediately hook the prospect, or attractive enough to have the prospects engage you.

In romantic situations it's relatively easy. There's some initial spark of interest which then resonates up to engagement and then the process carries things to fruition or it crumbles due to incompatibilities. It's fast and efficient. I know what I find attractive. I can quickly tell if I can be attractive back.

But how does that work in a business context? How do you identify the "attractive" prospects and how can you quickly test whether you can engage or not?

My current approach, in comparison, is BLIND. I'm literally shooting in the darkness and hoping. Because "it's a numbers game." Except... When I actually want to work with a specific person or business and I go out of my way to prove to them that we can have a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Hm...

So I think the answer to this is to forget about outreach (if using the Abraham approach) except in the cases where you "have a crush" on someone, and focus instead on inbound. You're an expert. An expert doesn't chase after people. People chase after the expert. So you have to put yourself out there, make yourself attractive, interesting, honest, valuable. And get other people to crush on you instead.

Then, simply by being approachable and unintimidating, you get the opportunity to engage and care for people. And turn them into clients you can love and help long-term.

Any further insights on this? @MTF

How does this stuff relate to your past publishing experience?
 
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Wow. Love this @MTF. It’s encouraging and inspiring. Thanks so much for your great notes.

If that’s more your style then this thread might resonate:

Thanks.

I sometimes check new posts in that linked thread. I think you could edit the headline as at least a few times I remember dismissing it as some B2B sales talk irrelevant to me.

But... there is a correct version. Titbit means a snippet. Tit means small something, like titmouse. Bit is the something.

Sorry but no unless you studied the topic more than grammar nerds :)


Americans may spell it “tidbit” because that’s how the term was pronounced when it first appeared in English in the 17th century as “tyd bit.”


The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the term may have originated as a combination of the adjective “tid” (playful, frolicsome, lively, etc.) and the noun “bit” (biting or a bite), though it says “the form tidbit is now chiefly North American.”


The OED, an etymological dictionary based on historical evidence, says the “titbit” spelling in the UK “probably” resulted from the “alteration of the first element after the second”—that is, the British turned “tid” into “tit” to make it rhyme with “bit.”


However, Oxford notes what it apparently considers a less likely explanation—that “titbit” was “perhaps” influenced by “tit” and “tittle” (terms for various small things).


No matter how the first part was spelled, the terms originally meant “a small piece of tasty food; a delicacy, a morsel,” according to the dictionary.


The earliest OED citation is from a collection of proverbs and phrases spoken in Gloucestershire, a county in southwestern England:


“A tyd bit, i.e. a speciall morsell reserved to eat at last.” From A Description of the Hundred of Berkeley in the County of Gloucester and of Its Inhabitants, 1639, by the antiquarian John Smyth. (The “Hundred of Berkeley” refers to a section of the county.)

But it's quite difficult to implement this in terms of copy. From my experience. Maybe I haven't yet figured out how because I've been refusing to niche down and target a particular subset of people. An ideal individual even.

I can imagine how incredibly hard it has to be when you don't niche down. If you're hyper-specific then it should be relatively easy to make the copy sound intimate. Possibly easier in B2C unless in B2B you run the exact same business as your customer.

My current approach, in comparison, is BLIND. I'm literally shooting in the darkness and hoping. Because "it's a numbers game." Except... When I actually want to work with a specific person or business and I go out of my way to prove to them that we can have a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Yeah the problem with a numbers game is that it's often an empty kind of a business. You focus on metrics but aren't really proud of your business or don't feel anything in particular, just numbers.

I mean, I like numbers but I wonder what it would be like to have real impact, real people who are your customers who you put on your website as testimonials, and real long-term relationships with them.

So I think the answer to this is to forget about outreach (if using the Abraham approach) except in the cases where you "have a crush" on someone, and focus instead on inbound. You're an expert. An expert doesn't chase after people. People chase after the expert. So you have to put yourself out there, make yourself attractive, interesting, honest, valuable. And get other people to crush on you instead.

Perry Marshall talks (or used to talk) about it a lot. But I think it's a bit unrealistic to expect that people will come to you just like that when you're new. When you're established and already have some clients and reputation, then perhaps you can switch to word of mouth and referral marketing (like Jay Abraham). But if you're new, nobody will ever hear about you just because you're an expert.

How does this stuff relate to your past publishing experience?

I was shooting in the dark, too. No reader avatar, no real understanding of who I was writing to. But it worked. Many people found my books useful though I wouldn't say I have super loyal readers. I definitely don't have a distinct, unique "category of one" brand (which is also what I believe is the reason why the business eventually stopped growing and I lost interest in it).
 

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Sorry but no unless you studied the topic more than grammar nerds

the British turned “tid” into “tit” to make it rhyme with “bit.”

However, Oxford notes what it apparently considers a less likely explanation—that “titbit” was “perhaps” influenced by “tit” and “tittle” (terms for various small things).

Historical history be damned. 18-century people's use takes precedence over 17-century ones because they knew how to rhyme. Clearly my superior version is the correct version and any explanation supporting it while confirming my biases is the one true explanation!

[Maybe it wasn't obvious, but I was just jokingly shilling for my preferred use of the word. Language evolves and there is no "correct" form of anything, unless you're French/Romanian/Whatever nation and believe in the authority of whatever language institute at the National Academy and think some bureaucrat can dictate language. I'm heavily anti-authoritarian and believe language to be a beautiful form of emergent capitalistic expression, so policing words is but ironic humor.]

Perry Marshall talks (or used to talk) about it a lot. But I think it's a bit unrealistic to expect that people will come to you just like that when you're new. When you're established and already have some clients and reputation, then perhaps you can switch to word of mouth and referral marketing (like Jay Abraham). But if you're new, nobody will ever hear about you just because you're an expert.

Even if you're not new, few people ever hear about you just because you're an expert. Jay Abraham himself has highly developed acquisition systems which generate his leads and interest. His reputation is designed.

My point is not that you should believe you're an expert and sit on your a$$, but that you should position yourself outward to evoke the inbound interest by expressing the things you've mentioned. In other words, you should reach out to people indirectly to attract them, then use direct response to convert them after they've already qualified themselves.

By reaching out to people directly prior to having an existing relationship, you are perceived as not an expert.

So what you can do is build a relationship with people by proxy, through leveraging your existing relationship with other people (for whom it's expected and easy to invest effort with). Then it appears and feels effortless.

That's the power of inbound marketing. You do by not doing. You sell by not selling. This is Dao.

And you can do it with no existing clients, results, or reputation, imo. Although those help a ton.
 

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[Maybe it wasn't obvious, but I was just jokingly shilling for my preferred use of the word. Language evolves and there is no "correct" form of anything, unless you're French/Romanian/Whatever nation and believe in the authority of whatever language institute at the National Academy and think some bureaucrat can dictate language. I'm heavily anti-authoritarian and believe language to be a beautiful form of emergent capitalistic expression, so policing words is but ironic humor.]

Haha okay got it.

My point is not that you should believe you're an expert and sit on your a$$, but that you should position yourself outward to evoke the inbound interest by expressing the things you've mentioned. In other words, you should reach out to people indirectly to attract them, then use direct response to convert them after they've already qualified themselves.

So how do you reach out indirectly? Do you mean content marketing or just hanging out on social media and helping people for free?

That's the power of inbound marketing. You do by not doing. You sell by not selling. This is Dao.

Damn I wish I was smart enough to understand Daoism haha. I once listened to a podcast about it and still didn't get it lol.
 
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I sometimes check new posts in that linked thread. I think you could edit the headline as at least a few times I remember dismissing it as some B2B sales talk irrelevant to me.
I find it interesting you think I could/should rename that thread.

I title my threads for clarity. I want people to know it’s my own braindump. If people don’t like me or my style then they can safely ignore that thread.

It’s in keeping with my philosophy of unexciting but clear headlines (and headlines I can remember so I can redirect people to them).

I know MJ goes around occasionally renaming threads to get them more eyeballs. That’s cool since he owns the forum and wants more activity. I’m a media buyer and am never trying to get as many eyeballs as possible.

I believe sales is a screening process, rather than a convincing process. Ha… That even seeps into the way I create and title threads it seems.
 

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So how do you reach out indirectly? Do you mean content marketing or just hanging out on social media and helping people for free?
One way is to post stuff online and see who raises their hand. You can then message them and it's not a cold outbound message.

One example is me messaging everyone who follows me in the forum (or gave me rep when that was a thing). I've sent over 3,000 messages since 2014. Instead of it being weird, people are often amazed that I've messaged them unexpectedly.

I wrote about that years ago here:

And it inspired this more recent thread:


I wrote about posting on Facebook to get people to raise their hand here:
 

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I enjoyed Gary Halbert's letters a lot and I don't think he was that pushy. Also, in his newsletters he provided a ton of "how to" value (and they were equivalent to Russell's book in that they were a paid product).
But wouldn't you say that Expert Secrets also provides a ton of value? I mean the whole formula for structuring a converting presentation, the double hero's journey, elements of building a movement/brand/audience, persuasion... I think there's quite a lot of value there, and Russell was surprisingly pitching Clickfunnels a lot less than in his first book, DotCom Secrets.
I need to review some Jay Abraham stuff and see how he approaches it but as far as I remember, he approaches this in a very different manner (in a way that maybe you'll describe as being a sucker), yet is still extremely successful. He has tons of free "how to" stuff and sells in addition to that. Russell seems to have a lot of free stuff but all of this is just selling masquerading as something useful (while he has NO intention to teach a non-client anything).
I think Jay is extremely hawkish with his time, and definitely NOT a sucker by any means.

Should you sell in a way that doesn't work on you and/or that you don't like? Even if these tactics really work well on anyone, should every marketer use them, even when they feel it's incongruent with them?
I think you need a way of selling that fits with your personality for sure. That, however, doesn't mean that you shouldn't question it and see if the reason for keeping that method is a personal value you hold, or a limiting belief. Sometimes, and I'm not implying that this is the case for you at all, people keep trying to sell a certain way that doesn't actually work not because of a value, but because they have some errors in judgement, such as thinking that selling is bad, or that you're somehow taking something away from someone else when you sell them and so on.
 
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I find it interesting you think I could/should rename that thread.

I title my threads for clarity. I want people to know it’s my own braindump. If people don’t like me or my style then they can safely ignore that thread.

It’s in keeping with my philosophy of unexciting but clear headlines (and headlines I can remember so I can redirect people to them).

I know MJ goes around occasionally renaming threads to get them more eyeballs. That’s cool since he owns the forum and wants more activity. I’m a media buyer and am never trying to get as many eyeballs as possible.

I believe sales is a screening process, rather than a convincing process. Ha… That even seeps into the way I create and title threads it seems.

Ha that's interesting. For me, it's because of a couple of things:

1. The word "dump" is IMO negative. I know that it's a "brain dump" but still, my initial reaction is seeing the word "dump" and thinking "oh, the guy tells me outright his content is trash."

2. Newbies don't know who you are. So if they see "Andy's Braindump" they don't know why they should check it out. Seems very random. You're losing these people, at least until they stumble upon your other content.

3. "Inbound" is a quite technical word which many people don't get. I think you like simple explanations and short, memorable one-liners. "Inbound" is alienating marketing slang.

One way is to post stuff online and see who raises their hand. You can then message them and it's not a cold outbound message.

Thanks, that's a good example and definitely makes it less cold.
 

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Thanks, that's a good example and definitely makes it less cold.
Which one? Me messaging people in the forum, or that Facebook post?

As for that thread... I deliberately titled it to only appeal to people who want to know *my* thoughts about inbound marketing and sales. I'm only bring this up because it's literally my philosophy on inbound marketing and generating leads. If I'm to run Google Ads campaigns for a local plumber then they don't want as many visitors to their site as possible, and the definitely don't want loads of phone calls and enquiries. They just want to speak to the most motivated people. I only want to get into conversation with people actually interested in reading the content.
 

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Over here, over there.
Ha that's interesting. For me, it's because of a couple of things:

1. The word "dump" is IMO negative. I know that it's a "brain dump" but still, my initial reaction is seeing the word "dump" and thinking "oh, the guy tells me outright his content is trash."

2. Newbies don't know who you are. So if they see "Andy's Braindump" they don't know why they should check it out. Seems very random. You're losing these people, at least until they stumble upon your other content.

3. "Inbound" is a quite technical word which many people don't get. I think you like simple explanations and short, memorable one-liners. "Inbound" is alienating marketing slang.

I agree with this stuff. To me "X's Whatever Braindump" sounds like a disorganized mess that probably takes a lot of effort to process and there's no obvious benefit to doing that. If I wouldn't know that Gold = Most likely great value and that Andy is generally very good at soft sales stuff, or if I didn't know what Inbound meant, I would very easily scroll past that.

It doesn't evoke curiosity or capture attention and it doesn't answer what's in it for me.

But that's fine if you don't want curious eyes, but motivated readers.

So how do you reach out indirectly? Do you mean content marketing or just hanging out on social media and helping people for free?

Here's an example. You're writing a book on a particular topic. You think this book is really valuable to a particular audience. Let's say it's a book on How to Master Trout Fishing. You don't know anyone who likes fishing trout, but you'd love to reach out to them.

Instead of going out of your way to find fishermen at the fish market, yanking on their sleeve, and asking them "hey do you like trout fishing? I've got a book on it!" you find someone who's already got their ear, a lure-seller for example, and teach them how to fish trout. They will then share that knowledge with the fishermen and they'll reach out to you if interested. You can leave the lure-seller some impressive business cards, maybe incentivize them with a commission if they send people to you, and things work themselves out.

In more relevant terms... You can showcase your expertise on podcasts, on other people's platforms, through their own content channels. Joint ventures, collabs, affiliate deals. And, well, simply contributing in certain communities like this forum is a form of it. We're all engaging in this process right now to a certain extent.

"Influencer" has kinda become a bad word, but in the past the real influencers, those who held the keys to influencing your audience, were the other "trusted advisors". Lawyers, accountants, financial planners. By getting good with key holders of influence, you can share their reach with your own expertise.
 
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But wouldn't you say that Expert Secrets also provides a ton of value? I mean the whole formula for structuring a converting presentation, the double hero's journey, elements of building a movement/brand/audience, persuasion... I think there's quite a lot of value there, and Russell was surprisingly pitching Clickfunnels a lot less than in his first book, DotCom Secrets.

There is value in the book though after the first 20% he makes the process too robotic and very "here's the only way you can do it or you'll fail" kind of style. But I understand why ("your new opportunity has to be the only way").

I think you need a way of selling that fits with your personality for sure. That, however, doesn't mean that you shouldn't question it and see if the reason for keeping that method is a personal value you hold, or a limiting belief. Sometimes, and I'm not implying that this is the case for you at all, people keep trying to sell a certain way that doesn't actually work not because of a value, but because they have some errors in judgement, such as thinking that selling is bad, or that you're somehow taking something away from someone else when you sell them and so on.

I can't imagine selling in Brunson's way. To me, it's not only about money and maximizing sales at the expense of everything else.

Imagine two guys freediving in a friendly competition. One guy gets down to, say, 25 meters but he's very tense the entire way and doesn't dive beautifully and in control. The other guy gets to 20 meters but his technique is flawless, his moving body is a joy to look at, and internally, he feels completely relaxed, at peace, and in tune with his surroundings. Okay, the first guy did dive deeper and so he wins the competition judged by depth alone. But which one of these guys is the true winner when we take into account the discipline as a whole?

Same in sales. I think I'd rather sell less but in good style (whatever it is) than sell as much as I can but don't feel well internally. Of course, that's for me personally. Others may feel completely okay with pushy sales techniques. Note that I'm NOT saying it automatically makes you a scammer or something like that.

Which one? Me messaging people in the forum, or that Facebook post?

Interacting in groups and reaching out personally to those who somehow connect with you there, even if they just respond to your thread with a quick answer. I mean, it sounds simple but I wouldn't think of reaching out personally outside of the thread and that does take the relationship further.

In more relevant terms... You can showcase your expertise on podcasts, on other people's platforms, through their own content channels. Joint ventures, collabs, affiliate deals. And, well, simply contributing in certain communities like this forum is a form of it. We're all engaging in this process right now to a certain extent.

Solid advice, thanks! Gotta re-read Jay Abraham's book on JVs.
 

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Gotta re-read Jay Abraham's book on JVs.
My favourite line from Jay Abraham is “Who already has your customers?”

I seem to do well building relationships and creating win-wins with people who already have an audience. Case in point, I’ve helped a guy out with his Google Ads and a couple of years later he invited me onto his podcast last night.
 

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