in 1978 I bought a really great book about making money in the direct response marketing business. I still have the ad somewhere. It showed Benjamin Suarez in his RV vehicle with his wife and kids. And he could fill out these forms while he travelled and have up to $70,000 come in.
I BOUGHT! Oh my gosh. I need those forms! Wow. This is amazing.
And that’s how I got introduced to direct response marketing and learned about Gary Halbert. I also learned a LOT more was involved than just filling out a few pleasant forms whilst traveling in an RV! I still have the book. Loved it.
I think everyone comes into this business with a DREAM. And the cool part is for most of my life I really HAVE lived the dream. It just didn’t happen overnight.
There are a number of moving pieces to assemble a money machine that can run largely on autopilot. Someone has to create products, promotions and do customer support. Someone has to come up with winning product ideas.
The TRUTH about the business is the MAIN THING is the product idea. After that it’s the sales copy.
Those two things you can do at Starbucks, in an RV or on the toilet for that matter. There just isn’t a big market for products on how to get rich whilst sitting on the can! I can hear the sales letter now….
If you can spend only 20 pleasant minutes on the can a day, you too have the potential to get rich.
If you KNOW the winning elements to put in product and the OUTLINE of a letter that will sell, you can literally write up money on 1 sheet of paper and outsource everything else. You really can.
But it’s strange.
To get to that point of creating money by filling out a few sheets of paper takes a lot more than you’d think. It’s an irony. AFTER you master it, and learn how to line up all the pieces and get them in places, it’s pretty simple.
Some people get to that point faster than others. Some never see it or get it. They never get to that point. Their own thoughts, illusions and fantasies keep them from SEEING reality.
They stick to ideas and beliefs that hold their money back from them. That is I think the message of The Secret. People think what my friend Joe Vitale teaches about blocks is b.s. I have friends who HATE that stuff.
I see it a bit differently. The BLOCK between you and money is all in your head. It’s what you THINK you know that you don’t know.
It’s not having REAL KNOWLEDGE of what offers will sell RIGHT NOW today. If an offer sells, affiliates will promote it.
The SADISTIC thing is it’s a checklist you could write on an index card. It’s worth a million dollars at least. But if you sold it not more than 2 or 3 people would pay even $500 for it. And it’d be stupid to sell for $500 anyways. Really, it’s worth 10k, 20k or more. I mean, how much would you pay for the key to magic? Most people wouldn’t pay more than $7 for 20 words you could write on an index card. Which only shows they don’t know what they don’t know.
This is because virtually no one understands the value of knowledge. They really don’t get that the ONLY advantage you really have is knowledge others don’t have. And the most important knowledge you can have is that of what people will buy.
You write up those 15 or 20 points, create the outline for a product. Hire out the sales letter.
It’s like MAGIC.
Then again, magic doesn’t exist.
I think this is what Zen is about. I”m gonna go philosophical here for a moment. You can skim this part if you don’t enjoy that sort of thing..I’ll get to brass tacks in the black subhead below that SAYS “brass tacks”.
The way you GET where you are GOING is NOT by getting there.
It’s by removing the ILLUSION or ILLUSIONS, removing the false knowledge, the things you think you know that you don’t know. When you remove THOSE things, THEN you get there. And yet, in a weird twist of irony, I’m also the biggest fan of the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. Go figure. Anyway…
The PROBLEM with Zen is I don’t believe meditation gets you there. It only reveals that you don’t know. You know nothing. That’s what you know.
In the end the TRUTH is what sets you free. Once you have the TRUTH, the Game slows down. It’s all simple. It’s all so common sense you bang your head for not having seen it before. It’s all about getting rid of your illusions about what people buy and really knowing what they buy. Because people don’t buy what you want to sell them.
What do people buy?
People buy what they want to buy. It’s no more complicated than that. They know what they want to buy. They could really care less what you think.
Most of the stuff in our business is aimed at newbies. If you’re a newbie, welcome. This issue will be a little advanced for you.
Most newbies don’t want to invest in their business. They don’t want a learning curve. They don’t want to learn things. For the most part, those things have an inverse correlation to success. But that is how you GET STARTED in the business.
When I got started, I bought a software program with 3 buttons. In button one you collected emails. In button two you wrote your email. In button 3 you clicked send. That was way back in 1996 or 1997. It was simple, FREE and provided immediate results. GREAT!
Well, you can’t do that anymore. The thing is, a lot of times by taking the cheap, fast way out, you really keep yourself from getting results.
This is why I ask everyone to read the 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. If you want to be an entrepreneur, make money online or just dabble a little, in ALL cases reading this book is the best thing you can do.
As a heads up, in this issues I’m going beyond the newbie mindset to what it really takes.
Why bother to read this? Because by following the NARROW path in the end you get a lot FASTER results and save a ton of money. That’s right. By taking longer and spending money, you get there faster and save money.
It’s called a paradox.
THE HARD CORE TOOLS (BRASS TACKS!)
1. You don’t need a ton of tools but you need a few GREAT tools
There ARE lots of new ideas, tools and things that can help you, give you an edge. But here I want to talk ONLY about what I consider to be the ESSENTIALS. I’ll give you free alternatives, then the paid tools for the hard core, serious marketer.
a. Web Hosting
If you’re a newbie, yes, you CAN use Weebly or Wix to get started. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re going to be serious about the business, you need web hosting. I have dedicated hosting because it’s faster and you have more control. You don’t need that to start. You can get dedicated hosting for $100 a month or so and have what is called Web Hosting Manger access or WHM, which is awesome.
There is a huge company buying up hosting companies like Hostgator and Dreamhost. I think their name is EIG. I don’t recommend you go with any hosting company owned by them.
b. Video software
There ARE free software programs you can use like Cam Studio or http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/. And there are others. Truly, if you’re broker than dog’s breath, then those can make you plenty of money.
The tool that is a standard of this industry is Camtasia. I love it. MOST online marketers use it. You don’t HAVE to have it. But it’s a very, very good investment along with hosting. Camtasia works on PC’s and Mac’s. To edit live video, I have a greenscreen, tripod, dslr camera and Sony Vegas Pro. You don’t need to or have to do live video. I enjoy it personally. But I’m a bit of an artist. My grandfather was an amateur photographer before he went blind. I use Amazon S3 to deliver my videos. It’s relatively inexpensive and I love it. I’ve seen people do awesome videos with a smartphone. You don’t have to buy a dslr camera, although I love owning and using one. A great invention!
There are other cool software programs for video. I won’t go into those here as they are cool but not essential.
This is what I take all my screen caps with. I love it. There ARE free alternative. But I love snagit.
d. Shopping Cart / Ecommerce
For many years I’ve recommended THIS for beginners, because it’s all in one. Other popular services obviously include Aweber and Getresponse and others. The latest to make noise is Active Campaign.
e. Power Point
I love it . You CAN use Open Office or other alternatives. I love Power Point. You could get by with Open Office or even a free mindmap program like FreeMind.
f. Website Building Software
We use Dreamweaver. The free alternative is Kompozer (and other new ones all the time). I have also used Optimize Press. I just tried out WP Profit Builder and will report on it son. The good news is these new tools you use with WordPress are drop dead amazing and produce gorgeous pages and designs.
That pretty much wraps up what I consider must have tools for the serious person.
THE HARD CORE APPROACH TO MAKING SALES AND MONEY
There are tons of differing attitudes about making money online.
I’m going to make several recommendations for hard core, serious marketers?
1. Focus on producing and promoting products, even though I know it doesn’t sound easy, you think you don’t know anything, and you don’t believe you’ll be able to sell what you create. Do it ANYWAY.
I believe in making and selling products. Why? Because it’s the TRUTH about what works and makes money. Having said that, it’s a realy difficult topic to sell info products on. The disappointing truth is MOST don’t wanna hear it.
They don’t wanna hear they need to think of ideas, learn how to do something, and teach it.
I don’t really know how to respond to this. In my value system I can’t sit here and lie and tell you I think you’re better off with PLR. Nothing wrong with PLR or whatever. I just don’t think it’s the route to go.
a. You do NOT need to be an expert at everything to make a product. You need to be able to deliver ONE specific result people want. I’m convinced ANYONE can do this if they set their mind to it and focus longer than a New York minute.
b. It’s a LOT less about the “how to” than it is the WANT TO. That’s really true.
c. Your first products probably won’t sell that well. If that makes you feel like a loser and quit, (and it does a lot of people), then you need to re-adjust your expectations of super fast success.
d. Keep meeting people, making FRIENDS, being personable and likeable and producing products. I’ve known people do it without networking or being particularly friendly. But I believe you get there FASTER if you can meet others successfully. Especially if they are list owners. If you can’t do that, you better learn to buy paid ads! I have a friend who did that. He is NOT a people person. So he got really good at paid ads and also promoting an affiliate program.
2. The door to opportunity is to hustle, meet lots of people with lists, make lots of friends.
You need to get out of your shell and make FRIENDS. As shocking as that sounds, it really is a BIG KEY to success. You build up a network. I have written before about sending out newsletters, personal postcards and such.
3. Be a list builder now and forever
Many years ago I taught the money is in the list. It was and still is. You will hear about so many people who violate this rule and regret it later.
4. Be prolific
Your personal productivity IS important and is probably the single most challenging thing about the business. Just staying focused and being productive. That is why I produced Overwhelm Cure to present my solutions for folks. Whatever system you use and however you do it, you gotta stay focused and be very prolific.
5. Basic common sense and people skills
Don’t criticize others publicly if you can avoid it. Don’t make enemies. Don’t be a jerk. Try to be courteous even though it’s sometimes hard with the pace of modern life. There are certain things you’d ASSUME like having a valid customer support email and preferably a support desk. Giving refunds within the promised time frame or if there is no refund stating so. Doing your best to deliver what you promise.
6. Avoid seeking the quick, easy buck if you can possibly restrain yourself
In the OLD days the big turn on was getting RICH. Today, I don’t see that so much. What REALLY brings out the response is FAST, easy money for free with very little effort. People will like crawl over broken glass to get that solution as ironic as it sounds.
The odd thing is, you CAN make relatively easy money WHEN you have your machine rolling correctly. I talked to Reed Floren yesterday. He is a solo ad buyer. He has about 20 vendors for solo ads he has found through a lot of buying and testing that he can rely on for opt ins and profits.
NOW that he has tested and found these vendors and offers that make money, it literally does take maybe 15 minutes to send an email that will be profitable. But he had to test vendors and offers considerably to assemble this MACHINE.
My friend Desmond Ong does something like 20k a month JUST that way. But he knows the offers that work, the lists that work and so forth. He didn’t just wake up, click a button and have money roll in.
Mentors can only take you so far. You STILL will need to learn things yourself, test, try things out. That’s just the way of the world. There ARE shortcuts. But nothing is as easy as it seems or sounds on the surface. Again simple doesn’t equate to easy. Dunking a basketball is simple: You fly through the air above the basket and insert the ball into the basket! SIMPLE!
THE SIMPLE PATH TO MONEY
This business is very, very simple. Not always easy. But simple.
You get new customers. They buy from you over and over.
The variables are the # of new customers per month and the $ purchases average per customer per month.
Keep those 2 things always increasing and you’ll have a very good career. Lose focus on those two things and it’ll suck.
THINGS TO AVOID
1. Buying one thing and expecting that one thing alone to bring you fast, easy money for free without learning jack.
Don’t do it. It’s fine to buy those things, try them out. Learn from them. But don’t expect the magical cure to your money ills. There IS a magical cure.
You want to know what it’s called?
Being a great MARKETER, promoter and product / offer / service creator and seller.
Yes, I know that sounds like work. Actually, it IS. Hopefully, you get your business to the point where YOU aren’t the one that has to do the work. But SOMEONE does!
Success is the result of the accumulation of skills and knowledge that allow you to meet unmet needs and wants in the marketplace and get paid well for doing so. There is no premium on lack of knowledge and lack of skills. The law of supply and demand says there is a low demand for the large supply of people with little specialized knowledge or skill. Your best investment is in your brain and your skills.
Again. Read 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. Wait. Did I mention that the book will change your life when you read it?
2. Violating the law
Know the laws of the country you live in and the countries you sell to. The U.S. has stringent laws about advertising and selling business opportunities. Ditto with email and email subject lines and content. In the U.S. claiming people are gonna make gobs of money isn’t legal unless the average person does.
3. Spending money you can’t afford to lose
I HATE it when I hear from people on the support desk trying to spend their social security money to make money. Now, if they have the check to burn that is different. Most don’t.
All business, any business, involves taking additional risk of time, money and energy for the potential of gain. Don’t risk what you can’t afford to lose. Learn to test things small. Try things out inexpensively.
There ARE lots of new ideas, tools and things that can help you, give you an edge.
4. Believing in magic
In magic, you utter the words, wave the wand and stuff appears or disappears. No learning curve. No investment. No hard work other than uttering the magic words and waving the wand.
A LOT of what goes down isn’t marketing. It’s the seeking of magical rituals that will make money appear without effort, learning, skill or knowledge.
NO EFFORT. NO LEARNING. NO SKILLS. NO KNOWLEDGE. MONEY APPEARS!
And honest to God, I CAN do that. But I’m a magician or was when I was younger. However, it takes a lot of learning, skill and practice to make that money magically appear.
My FAVORITE is taking a stack of $1 bills and in a FLICK they turn into 100’s! AMAZING STUFF! And quite a bit of preparation and practice. After 10 or 20 hours, you can perform a convincing miracle.
Same thing with a 2 hour webinar that makes 20k, 50k or 100k magically appear. It’s no different. I think that is why a lot of online marketers were ex-magicians.
A lot of Saturdays, I like to go down to my local magic store. I like to see the new tricks, the new DVD’s. In magic, there are only a few things you can do.
Make things appear.
Make things disappear.
Making things change.
That’s about it.
I used to change the color of spheres in a clear cylinder. Make a blog disappear. Make a rabbit appear (along with smelly bullets that really were NOT pleasant to make disappear).
The latest trick I want to buy is the biggest shocker yet. It’s a SINGLE dollar bill. You FLICK it an it turns into a $100! Now THAT is magic! I wonder when I buy the dvd if it’ll work as advertised? Can I do it? Will it be hard? How much work will it take.
I heard a great interview with David Copperfield on a DVD I bought. He explained how he would work sometimes for 2 or 3 years to create the perfect illusion that made people believe in magic.
Like the one where he flies about the crowd. He worked 2 years to perfect that gorgeous and magical experience.
A GREAT entertainer just makes you ENJOY it all. You FEEL so good. Wow. I love it. I love someone like that. It’s like time stands still and you’re just sucked int almost in a trance.
Which is really ironic because a lot of people I found don’t believe in hypnosis. They don’t know what they don’t know, aren’t aware of what they aren’t aware of.
Anyway, after the 10X Rule, after learning the tools, after being prolific, sometime, some day, if you’re lucky the Game slows. You see. You really see.
And you realize you really can write up a few bullet points on a card, piece of paper or even toilet paper whilst you’re sitting on the can. Give it to an outsourcer. Record some notes about the sales message. Give that to a writer. Pitch it all to affiliates who will go GAGA over it.
And money appears. Almost magically. But if I gave you that index card today, you’d throw it away and probably not even bother to read it. That’s why if you ever do sell such things it’s for such an obscene amount of money people will value it.
To sum up, if you get the tools, if you’re a prolific product creator, if you don’t seek magic but let it find you, if you network with list owners, if you’re a relentless promoter, then what you seek finds you. And I reckon that is when magic happens. And if it doesn’t, you made a hecka lot of money along the way for your trouble! So it was all good.
Anyway, I hope you picked up a few things that can help you along your way, along the path.
I close out every newsletter issue with this picture and poem. It symbolizes the heart and soul of people willing to really learn marketing and not just go for the easy way out quick fix.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference