If your inbox is anything like mine, you have no shortage of people offering you the latest, greatest “make easy money” or “get rich in 5 clicks” plan.
Some of them sound incredibly easy and awfully enticing.
Yet, somehow they never seem to quite pan out. It can be frustrating and make a person just wanna give up.
I remember way back when I GOT FASCINATED with the direct response marketing business. I’d bought a book from one of those ads in a magazine that showed how this dude made $72,000 filling out simple forms in his RV while travelling.
It sounded so exciting and intriguing to me. You’d run these ads, people would respond and, in the end, you had a whole bunch of money! How awesome.
That book introduced me to what I call direct response marketing business. However, it was a LONG ROAD for me to actually learn HOW to do the business.
Let’s see, about 5,000 books later, maybe $100,000 or more invested in my personal education, literally years learning to write sales letters, running ads that flopped horribly, buying really crappy products with almost no redeeming value — it was a long road to where I am today.
That book gave met his vision. This desire.
So I bought one of those big cardboard squares and wrote my goals on it, so I could read them daily like the book Think and Grow Rich told me I needed to.
I wrote that I wanted to publish my own newsletter, have my own book, do writing, speaking and consulting.
I’d stare at those goals and visualize them.
Problem was, even in those days, the information you could buy was pretty pathetic. Trying to learn HOW to do those things was tough. The ad would sound so good, so enticing.
Then I’d get the little manual or whatever it was only to find whole massive chunks were left out of it! How disappointing.
I started buying these little ads and trying to sell little info products I cooked up.
I was absolutely entranced with this idea of trading PRODUCTS for dollars instead of TIME. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you only can work so many hours in a day, even if you’re a workaholic.
You only have so many hours you can trade for dollars. You gotta eat and shower some time. Even if you make big bucks per hour, you’re STILL in the time trap, swapping hours for dollars.
The ONLY WAY to escape the time for dollars trap is to trade products for dollars. When a person learns how to do that, it’s like you REMOVE the lid off your income and how high you go depends on you, nothing else. And that is what I was determined to learn how to do.
One of my first ones was called “How to Avoid TV Repair Ripoff.” Here was the ad I ran for it:
The booklet I wrote was a thing of beauty. I spent 6 months on it:
As you can see from the picture below, I NEVER finished the ad!
That one I was doing with my friend Robert. He’d allowed me to hang out at his apartment in Dallas when I escaped Oklahoma City when the oil market crashed. There were at least some jobs in Dallas. In OKC there were none. People were laying off right and left.
Later when AOL and Compuserve came long, I’d run my classified ads on there! That was so exciting BECAUSE you didn’t have to wait 2 or 3 months for your ad to come out!
You could run it and have responses that DAY. Boy, did THAT ever speed up the learning curve.
But man, it was frustrating. I could get people to respond. And I KNEW they had interest.
But somehow, I could only get an order here or there.
There was NO FLOOD to be found!
And worse than that, even in those days I’d read about people like Sheila Danzig and Michael Enlow who were raking it in! And there I was just eaking out an order or two.
I don’t know if you’ve ever wanted something so bad you could taste it. But that’s how I was.
I wasn’t the kind to easily give up. I was determined. I spent everything I could on books and courses to educate myself about direct response. Because I realized even then that the path to success HAD to be learning HOW to do direct response, write ad copy and sales letters – and having the SKILLS.
Now I did buy several of those distributorships and things where it was all “done for you” and you just had to do a few things yourself.
I remember I bought one of those on 900 numbers from this dude at a hotel. I think I still have those manuals I bought down in the garage. I even bought one of those nothing down real estate things.
I realized pretty quickly the person making all the money there was the dude selling the stuff.
I wanted the REAL DEAL. The REAL learning, the real information, the real skills.
I didn’t want to chase some fake pipe dream.
The thing is, I did NOT see it as “Well, I haven’t made any money yet. This must not work.”
I saw direct response as a learning curve. I knew it worked for others and would work for me if I just got it right. Got all the pieces in place.
I found it really exciting to run ads, even though they didn’t work that well. And yeah, it did get frustrating at times. But I just kept DOING things.
To make ends meet I had this job working deep nights placing stock trades at an investment firm. I could look at my desk and see hair on it. MY HAIR literally falling out from the stress of the job.
Here I was slumped over my desk taking calls. You can see it looked kinda dark. That’s because it WAS. 2 a.m. 3 a.m. Whew. Deep nights.
There I was CHAINED to that desk by that WIRE you see going out of my ear to the computer.
I was like a SLAVE to that DESK and the phone. Every second I was OFF the phone was counted by the computer and watched like a hawk by my manager (nice guy by the way).
Every job chains you or binds you down in some way.
I’d look at the clock to see if I was off work yet. ONE HOUR had passed! It seemed like a freaking eternity.
But from that job, I had some money.
At the time $5,000 seemed like all the money in the world to me. All I knew was that things weren’t working. And I HAD to upgrade my knowledge from someone credible. And this was the one guy I felt had the real deal and not just b.s. stuff.
I’d first ordered his $500 course from the mailer below several years before. I was SO freaking broke when I bought that thing.
Good grief. At that time, I was making $18,000 as a writer for an mlm company in Arlington, Texas. I had a girlfriend with a broken out headlight in her car and she couldn’t afford to fix it!
Jeannie. Yeah, she worked at a beauty salon.
I think my lack of money caused that to be a short lived relationship! But I ordered the $500 thingy. If you really, really want and need it, you’ll find a way to get the money. That’s what I’ve found out.
People normally find a way to get the money they need.
That course made me know he had some really good info. It wasn’t everything I needed. For $500 I didn’t expect that. I didn’t figure a world class marketer would give me everything for $500.
He wouldn’t exactly be world class if he did. But it was a really great education that proved he was “for real.”
I knew that direct response worked.
I knew I wasn’t making money at it.
I knew what I was doing wasn’t working.
I wanted it so bad I could taste it.
I didn’t have $5,000 laying around. I lived in a 650 square foot apartment with cheap furniture my dad had bought for me, so I didn’t have an empty apartment.
But one day, I got a mailing from this marketer for the FULL DEAL – his $5000 big course. And I jumped at it. Because I knew I had to learn. And that was the only way out.
Now, it wasn’t organized at all.
It was a bunch of things, manuals, tapes – all in a big box. But I ate it up like it was candy. I’d come home from work at 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. and listen to tapes or read. And do the same thing before going to work at 11 p.m.
I dug and dug. I realized not everything would be given to me on a silver platter. But I wanted to learn the REAL SECRETS and not just have someone spoon feed me some crap they cobbled together into an alluring sounding but illusionary business opportunity that would never pan out in the real world.
Out of that box, the pieces came together.
I assembled slowly but surely a formula I later called The Amazing Formula because it was. In retrospect, it all looks so obvious.
But when your puzzle is missing a gigantic piece, you can’t see it. You know a piece is missing but you don’t know what the piece is.
After that I had my first big breakthrough.
I wrote a mailer for a seminar that sold 47 seats @ $200 each. That was my first successful mailer.
Then I sold a kit of hypnosis tapes through an ad in a bowler’s magazine to bowlers. We only sold one for $495 but the ad cost a lot less than that.
Those were my first tastes of turning failure into success.
And boy were they SWEET!
Later, using the Amazing Formula, I’d start selling $5,000, $10,000, even $25,000 in one day.
And it happened over and over. I'll spare you the pictures of the checks and so forth. I have documented them in other places.
But there was one fly in the ointment.
While I taught my formulas to students in 120 seminars around the world, my Formulas were a bit too many steps for some students. You can see two of my speeches at marlonsanders.com
Over the years, I’ve worked hard to refine them down.
And I’ve finally come up with the simplest, most-streamlined, most doable formula EVER.
And if there’s just one person out there who I can reach out a hand to, and say, “Hey, the path to success is this way,” – and if in that way I can make a contribution to a few lives, then it has made all the difference in the world to me.
Part of my mission is to reach out to people with amazing abilities and futures and say “Hey, there IS another path. There is another way. There is a bright future over here if you’re willing to study your tail off, work really hard at it to learn the ropes – then you CAN break through to the other side, the side your dreams are on.”
I did things the normal human being would never do to learn this business.
I knocked on doors at 12 and 1 a.m. trying to sell stuff.
I banged the phones in smoke-drenched telemarketing rooms.
I lived on $9500 in one year trying to make a success of a retail business.
I bought, studied and read thousands of books and courses spending as much as $30,000 or $35,000 in a year just learning.
All to extract the secrets and boil down the ESSENCE of what really works. All so I can reach out to people and lend a helping hand.
Yes I make money doing what I do. Yes, the money is good. And yes, there IS a mission that drives me far beyond those things. Money never has been my primary motivation. It’s much deeper and more complex than that.
See, most people get into this business because they see money in it or quick money. They don’t LOVE marketing. They aren’t passionate about it.
I’m NOT that way. Marketing is my life.
How To Reverse Engineeer The Income You Want
I call it the TLO Formula. And using it, you can REVERSE ENGINEER the income you want to make.
Let’s say you want to make $100,000 in 12 months.
That’s roughly $10,000 a month.
You need $2500 a week.
You figure 5% will buy your bigger ticket of a $500 something or the other. Which means you need 100 sales or opt ins per week.
That could be 100 people on a webinar where you sell 5% your $500 kit. Or it could be 100 who buy a $37 product.
Now you have your weekly target.
But how do you MEET that target?
And how do you get the $500?
That’s where the TLO formula makes it all so much simpler to understand.
What’s more, what I’ve found is as incredibly simple as this formula is, SO MANY TEACHERS IN OUR MARKET TEACH IT WRONG.
They lead people on a goose chase after the hottest, newest thing that sounds exciting EVEN THOUGH they know darned well it’s a dead end and won’t really produce much.
I can give you a whole bunch of steps. But what you NEED are these 3 steps and that’s all you need.
T = TARGET people who are already BUYING
You need buyers not Looky Loos.
You don’t want to have to promise the moon to get people to buy. You want people who see and understand almost INSTANTLY the value you’re offering and will APPRECIATE it and show that appreciation by buying multiple products from you, attending your webinars, reading your emails, and participating in your Facebook group or other activities.
So you target buyers. People with MONEY and the willingness to spend it on something they are passionate about or have an intense interest in.
This is REALLY, really important.
And the reason is that you can deliver the absolute most powerful sales message in the world to NON buyers and you’re going to starve. You’ll be eating minute 30 second microwave corndogs like I did.
Not to mention the 2:30 second burritos and the $1.97 burger drive through.
There are a few common mistakes you absolutely want to STOP doing if you’re doing them now. Or avoid doing them if you aren’t.
If you avoid these mistakes, you can get on the RIGHT track and speed up your progress and success many times over!
What I’ve found is THIS is the step almost everyone stumbles on. They don’t know WHERE there buyers are, how to REACH them with a message — OR they make one of the following mistakes….
Mistake 1: Targeting people who are serial refunders
There are some markets where people are so oversold they see the products being sold as a commodity. They don’t value the people selling them. They refund like crazy.
Just avoid those marketers. You want appreciative customers who will make your business a delight.
Mistake 2: Targeting people who penny pinch and save every penny humanly possible
Again, you can’t pay your bills selling to broke people. Actually, I know people who DO. But it’s not a business I want to be in.
Just find people who are already spending money without making an enormous fuss about it.
Mistake 3: Targeting people who only buy ONCE
Normally, you spend about all your initial profit making the first sale. The money is in the repeat business.
If you have a “one-and-done” market, unless you have can buy traffic really cheap or have a really big ticket sale, you don’t have a business.
Remember my “how to avoid TV repair ripoff” report? What was I going to sell them AFTER they fixed their TV?
I didn’t think about that!
Also, avoidance is a tricky thing to sell. People want instant gratification. There ARE some types of avoidance you can sell. But I can consider it a game for advanced marketers.
Mistake 4: Targeting people you can’t easily reach with your sales message
I’ve heard it a million times: I can’t target my market!
Well, if you can’t TARGET them, you don’t have a TARGET market. You have a market without the ability to target them with sales messages or ads.
So you HAVE to avoid those 4 extremely costly mistakes. If you DO, then you can be on the right track a LOT faster.
If you don’t, you could cost yourself months or years of wasted effort. Very important.
I see a lot of people teaching TRAFFIC just as I do in Traffic Dashboard. However, the problem is that is often MISunderstood as people to your website.
What you want are BUYERS or potential BUYERS. Don’t get that wrong. If people aren’t buying from you, it’s likely because they aren’t buyers to START with.
Take This Quick Self Test
a. Do you know WHERE your buyers are right now?
b. Do you know HOW to get your sales message to them?
c. Do you have a way to get them to CLICK that is predictable?
d. Do you know what their hot topics are that excite them?
e. Do you have a SYSTEM for reaching your buyers on Youtube? Facebook? In their email box? Via paid solo ads?
These are things you DO in targeting.
You find out where your BUYERS are. Then you get an attractive message right in front of their nose where they can’t miss it!
LIST –YOU GOTTA GETT’EM GET ON A LIST
I think I was probably the first one to teach “the money is in the list” way back in the Amazing Formula ebook.
I see people teaching all kinds of methods that do NOT involve getting people on a list. I really caution you to think twice about those methods.
Your list is your cash cow.
Suppose Google, Facebook or whoever shuts down your ads. You STILL have your list.
Say that you have to go into the hospital.
If you have a laptop, you can STILL send an email to your list in 5 or 10 minutes and bring in money.
Say you have an EMERGENCY bill due. You can STLL send an email to your list.
Your list is so valuable I know people who CARRY around their list on a thumb drive on their keychain.
When you HAVE a list, life gets a lot EASIER. When you don’t have a list, you’re at the whim of things that happen to you that you have no control over.
The thing is. I have Formulas. I’ve bought and read literally thousands of books, thousands and thousands of dollars of courses and spent years and years testing, trying and tweaking things to find the few that work.
You do NOT have to do it my way….if you don’t mind wasting years of your life chasing rabbits.
Now, I DO consider selling a really low-priced product with virtually no price resistance the same as getting them on your list.
A little $7 or $10 report you sell with a 100% commission to affiliates is a great little way to build a list. As is the more traditional squeeze page.
Every day you should wake up. Check your stats. And SEE that overnight you had a number of people join your email list.
If you don’t have that, you do NOT have what I call STEADY FLOW marketing.
Many people teach the launch method. There’s nothing wrong with it and it does work.
However, I can’t STAND things happening in big spurts with nothing in between. It’s very stressful and hard to build a business that way.
I developed what I call the “Steady Flow System” where everything happens daily like clockwork.
People come to your sites.
People join your list.
People get emails.
All like clockwork.
Once you HAVE people on your list, you can send them offers. This is how you make money.
To make bigger money, you come out with a $100/month program or a $500 or $1,000 something or the other, or more.
And a way to SELL it to them.
I can’t STAND the feast or famine cycle. Boom or bust. I hate it. What is HEAVENLY is when you have your systems in place to target your buyers, get ‘em on your list and like clockwork your offers go out.
This is STEADY FLOW.
This is Cash Like Clockwork.
This is the way to run a successful, prosperous business that stands the test of time. I’ve been doing this since 1997 and it absolutely works.
There are DEVICES and mechanisms you use on your blog, on Facebook, on Youtube videos to FUNNEL PEOPLE onto your list.
Get people on your list regularly and consistently, and you’ll escape the feast or famine cycle. And you’ll pave the way for where the real money is via sending offers to your list.
OFFERS – MAKE OFFERS TO YOUR LIST
So far you’ve avoided the big mistakes and found your buyers.
You’ve put systems in place, devices and mechanisms to GET THEM on your list on a daily, steady flow basis that escapes the feast or famine cycle, and voids the dangers of product launch addiction.
Step three is to extract the cash.
That sounds kind of crass to say.
So I call this make offers to your list.
If you know how to make effective offers to your list, you’ll ALWAYS be able to make income on demand, no matter what happens in the world economy.
If you don’t learn how to do this, you’ll ALWAYS struggle, even if you have a list.
The ability to make potent offers that people RESPOND to and buy from is the one ability that separates the successes from the failures in a BIG way. It’s the difference between a small or average income online and exceptional income.
There are 3 secrets:
Secret one: Making offers for things that are perceived as valuable and unique and, as a result, people are willing to spend more money for.
It’s not that the sales pitch is “harder.”
It’s that the item is perceived as UNIQUE and VALUABLE.
There are ways to come up with these things. For now know that if you aren’t getting the money you want, you’re probably being perceived as the SAME as everyone else, as offering the SAME as everyone else, as having no UNIQUE value.
Secret two: You have to know how to POSITION your offer so people VALUE it
There’s a big difference between offering something valuable and having people PERCEIVE it as valuable.
Positioning can be EVERYTHING.
Without it, you can be sitting on the greatest product in the world and people will treat you and your product like dirt. They’ll act like what you have is no better than the next guy or gal.
They won’t appreciate or value it.
All because you didn’t have the skill and knowledge to POSITION IT properly. This is a skill you learn.
It’s a set of knowledge you must possess or you’ll be like a hamster on a treadmill.
Secret three: The money is in the big tickets
I didn’t STOP at paying my original mentor $500. I upped the ante to $5,000 to get the real value. The real deal.
You can sell bigger tickets like that. Or you can have multiple $500 items where the total a customer spends with you is $2500 or $5000 or more.
Secret four: The key to selling big tickets is the sales message
It takes a special sales message to get people to see the value in something for $2500 or $5,000.
Secret five: The biggest OBSTACLE to selling big tickets is in between your ears.
I realized recently that I’ve done my own customers a disservice. Out of the desire to help as many people as I could, and to make it affordable, I didn’t offer many big tickets.
I realized recently I was NOT being a good model of an effective marketer to my own customers by doing this.
I was in fact teaching them that big tickets had no value, which is exactly the opposite of the truth.
I wasn’t being a good example to you as one of my original mentors was to me. And that’s wrong.
Needless to say, I’m rectifying this mistake. And my customers will benefit because I’ll model what THEY should do also. And the right way to profit in business.
It’s a LOT harder to get 1,000 people to spend $100. Than it is to get a few to pay $2500 or $5000. Plus, it’s more profitable. The customer service on 1,000 items can really eat into your profits.
If you want to learn SOME of what I know, I have links below to a few of my best products.
If you want to go to another level with 1-on-1 coaching and access to everything, that costs more. But if you’re serious post a note at getyoursupport.com and ask Lisa to pass your note on to me.
Secret six: If you don’t learn to sell big tickets, you’ll STILL be swapping time for dollars because you’ll be in product launch mode non stop.
Here is why: If your income is dependent on small dollar items, you’ll be stuck in product launch mode.
You can hire staff and create systems to do most of it for you. Most people won’t. Therefore they’ll be stuck in product launch mode. Also, it’s not easy to get people talented enough and fast enough working to create products for you profitably.
I’ve done it many years. And I can tell you it’s a challenge. Doable. But a challenge.
It’s MUCH easier to hang a few big tickets onto the backs of those small tickets and rocket your income in multiples.
The Big Summary – Which One Of These
Are You Working On Right Now?
— What you need to DO in order to HAVE the income you want
Start with how much you want to make. Work that back to the week. Then figure out how many BACK END products you need to sell to make the income you want.
Your initial, smaller dollar sales, will NOT work because MOST of that money will go to the cost of getting a new customer. The profit comes from the big ticket or “back end” sale.
— Where to START on your plan
You START with how much you want to make and work all the way back to how many big tickets you need to sell. Then you figure out how many front end opt ins or sales you need to get that many back end sales.
Depending on your sales process, you’ll convert 5% to 10% of front-end people to your back end sales. So if you want 5 sales per week at $500, you need minimum 100 people to ATTEND your webinar (around 300 sign ups), or 100 buyers of a low ticket.
To get 300 webinar sign ups, you have to experiment with your traffic source. From Facebook clicks you’ll get around 6% to sign up from what I’ve heard (this isn’t something I’ve personally tested yet).
From highly qualified solo ad clicks, you can get 15% sign ups or better.
The bottom line here is you have to just run your tests and keep trying to improve your numbers.
— Diagnose which step you're stuck on and how to get on with it
You have 3 possibilities:
a. You aren’t targeting your market with lead generating ads yet. That is, you’re not doing anything in volume to get people onto your list.
b. You don’t have a squeeze page or email capture page or, if you do, if converts LESS than 35% and needs fixing. Again, the percentage depends on the traffic source.
c. You aren’t sending out offers or, if you are, people aren’t buying.
— Never be confused again about what you need to do NEXT to make the income you want to make
You’re either working on your T, your L or your O.
That’s it. That tells you what to work on NOW and what to work on NEXt.
Anything else you’re focusing on is a bright, shiny object.
What’s Your Next Step
Here’s the thing:
In life you either trade time for dollars or products for dollars.
If you trade time for dollars, you’re perpetually stuck because you only have so many hours in a day and regardless of how talented you are, you can only get paid so much per hour.
There’s a limit.
However, when you sell products, there IS NO LIMIT on how many you can sell in a day.
It’s not like you gotta cut it off because the supply of digital eons for ebooks to display have been eaten up or taken.
It isn’t like you’ll ship your CD orders to Kunaki and have them say, “We can’t fulfill this order because we’ve run out of CD’s and won’t have any for 3 months.”
You either take the lid off your income or you don’t.
You either trade products for dollars or you don’t.
If you WANT to trade products for dollars, there are only a few people really doing it and teaching it nowadays.
Most are onto other models like pitching mobile or websites to businesses (STLL trading time for dollars) or have quit teaching IM and are now onto some other easier money niche.
By using the TLO Formula above, avoiding the big mistakes in targeting, setting up a Steady Flow System for list building and extending OFFERS for bigger ticket items that match up the to income you need, you pave the way for a new income and a new future where you are no longer the slave to time, or chained to a desk like I was.