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-   -   My all day rant. County fairs, human beings and nothing new, just adjusted. (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11016)

GordonJ June 11, 2021 09:27 AM

My all day rant. County fairs, human beings and nothing new, just adjusted.
 
June 11. Friday. 2021. For posterity, after all we could be here another 20 years eh?

Begin....random thoughts:
Marlon Sanders, one of the main reasons I quit Suarez Corporation Industries and came online full time in 1997, although, I'd been selling stuff online since 1986.

Marlon has MY favorite "funnel" explanation, he goes back to his youth in being taught lessons of ministry, which is how he learned how to speak in public (he would have been a dynamic evangelist, and he is evangelical about information marketing).

OH. I have to type this is short segments, fat little fingers sometimes delete the thread before I post, so. POST.

So Marlon uses the Carnival Metaphor. A ticket to get in, then the midway and the backends.

He calls his front ends the CANDY STICK. Lower priced information products which get people on his list, or into his midway, where he offers (metaphorically speaking)...cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples and then a 3 ticket attraction, like the FUN HOUSE, where he gets 500 bux for, and some super rides, where he commands 1k or more.

AN aside...Jim Straw called his candy sticks, peanuts on a bar, where you just keep eating them, and buying more drinks.

I like this Carnival much better than the typical funnel, which to me, sometimes feels like a trap, or being tossed down a muddy hill. POST.

The guy has scores of products too and more in the pipeline. I find him to be the best ROLE MODEL of Information Marketing out there, although I don't follow his advice (I do and I don't).

My carnival is more underground, or under a moving big top tent...rather than a big public billboard, more of an invitational postcard. But that's just me. I think anyone who wants to make money online, especially writers, will find Marlon to have all the keys to the vaults one needs.

The so-called funnel has been around for ever. And in the Mail Order/Remote Direct Marketing game, it has been tried, tested and time proven.

Front end. Upsells. Cross sells, Downsells. Backends. LIST. More offers, and more offers and then some more offers.

Cull the list. Rinse and repeat. POST.

That is the nutshell version of it all. And of course the MATH. When did Maths COME into the mainstream, always sound so 3rd world to me (or British), but...

Many FRONT ENDS or tickets to get into the Carnival are sold at a loss, or with very little profit. Suarez changed a lot of that idea and felt front end profits were/are a good thing. I, too, like a profit on the front end, albeit, times where I went in the hole to acquire a customer. It is not uncommon to lose a little on customer acquisition.

But, you need to understand the math of LIFETIME VALUE of your customer. I have no idea whatsoever, but I'd bet Marlon's customer LTV is four figures and significant. POST.

In my youth, I loved the carnivals, the county fair, the state fair. Somewhere after my kids left their teen years, I no longer liked going there. I am not now a market for the "fun" things at the Carnival. Gene Schwartz would call this stages of awareness, my stage being NO interest. NO, I'm not going to the County fair, you're not the boss of me, and you can't make me.

You don't want to try to sell to those kinds of people. So, one of the big lessons I gained from being RECRUITED by Ben Suarez (I never asked to work there, never applied for a job)...was:

TARGETS. Customers first. OR, if a product is being developed, WHO to send the invitation to (promotion). During the mid 90's SCI was hosting big events: The Legends of Country Music, The Legends of NASCAR and the TITANIC Cruises, which did phenomenal business. BIG ticket items, thousands of dollars each.

SCI did not send their TITANIC promotions to the 19.95 Zircon list.

Although, they may have tested the TITANIC COAL promotion...Coal was the only thing from the TITANIC which was allowed to be sold, everything else recovered was sent to the museum. Who would have thought people would buy a piece of coal?

Well decades earlier, they bought ant farms, spud guns, and thanks to Paul Hartunian the Brooklyn Bridge (I think he bought it from George Parker, HA!) POST.

I was asked to attend a 6 day, spread over 3 months, seminar known as the Walsh College seminar. The promotion was featured in WHO'S MAILING WHAT when Axel Andersson was at the helm. It was a certificate, and if you attended the seminar, you got it signed by Ben and others...later on, my name was added to the "diploma", me being the first NON SCI employee designated as one of their CREATIVE MARKETING PROFESSIONALS.

That signed Certificate and a buck 25 bought me a small McDonald's coffee. He he.

When they finally made me an offer I couldn't refuse (made by then COO Rod Napier), I succumbed and went inside. I had two offices, which made me unique in the company. One downstairs and a cubicle upstairs in the Special Projects division, which was basically Ben, Tom and a very part-time me, where I worked on some minor TITANIC and future events promotions.

Since I was hired as a Creative Marketing Professional, my contracts were different from all the other writers. They had some very good copywriters and video copy writers but I was more or less like an utility infielder on a baseball team. I went where they needed me at the time. POST

This rant is historical, but, I hope to sprinkle it with lessons I learned along the way.

Gary Halbert called me and told me I was dumbAZZ for not accepting Ben's invitation, told me I could be paid for a world class education and he was right. By the way, going back to the 60's, dumbAZZ was probably the nicest thing Gary ever called me.

While I was at SCI, I worked 80 hour weeks. I was the first one in, even beating Ben's father, who came in and turned on the lights. Although I left at 5, I then went to one of their Call Centers and worked til 10 on the phone. This gave me an advantage in writing telesales letters. Nothing beats time on the phone trying to sell people stuff to give you an education in tele marketing.

One assignment I got was a revision of 7 Steps to Freedom II, and had to edit certain words out of it and insert more "weasel" words, so instead of You can, it became You could, that sort of thing. No one in the world knows that book better than I do, it still has some gold in it, if you know what to look for. POST.

My opinion is nothing has come along to beat the NPGS, NET PROFIT GENERATOR SYSTEM with its four parts: Product, Prospect, Promotion and Media. Fortunes have been made APPLYING it.

Another project was bringing the Walsh Seminar videos together for a training series for new SCI employees. I spent several months, a few hours a day, down the street at Ben's brother-in-laws video center, where a full studio existed. I had to learn how to shoot, edit, and insert slides into the videos.

The final product was to be used for training, but after I had written a promotion for it, it was decided to TEST it and see if we could sell it. It was a so-so test, and I think just too expensive at the time and actually competed with the book and the Newsletters. A few years ago, Dan Kennedy wrote the POPE promotion and offered a few scattered editions for sale.

I did the introduction on the video series.

It was dry, factual, the speakers were experts at what they did, but not on camera. Some (and I wouldn't argue) say it is the most boring series of its kind.

But for me, personally, it provided so much new skill, new ideas, and a complete education in video production, I call it a success. POST.

I worked for every division except Golf, because we had a huge disagreement about my golf club, the Winged Wedge 222, so I refused to work for them, although that is how I was initially introduced to SCI. My golf teaching business, although part time, was very popular in the area.

Because I wasn't locked into one division or had just one office to sit in all day long, I got to get to know scores of people, from worker bees (as some execs called them, not me, they were my peeps) to some genius Executives, a few of the biggest Aholes I've ever met. One person I grew really fond of, and in fact everyone in her office, was THE BUYER.

She had dozens and dozens of catalogs spread around, and scores of sample products, so if anyone had an idea for a product (any of the Creatives and EDs could create a promotion for whatever they could think of, rather unique I suppose in most direct marketing businesses) SHE would be the person who could tell if you could get it, have it made, the costs and THE TIME it would take to get it.

If you've never worked with an experienced buyer, make it your job to get to know one. POST.

I had been taught astrology years earlier by Annie Hershey and was a weekly shopper at the local new agey bookstore on Main Street; THE ACORN GROWS, where they sold crystals, jewelry all things off the wall.

Well, although he might like to forget, Ben actually made his first real money from Gary Halbert's advice to sell ASTROLOGY stuff, I believe, much to Ben's chagrin. But it worked. Had breakthough PROMOTIONS and was the foundation he built SCI on.

I had been selling so-called "Arcane" jewelry for a long time and written many promotions, which mostly appeared in newsletters and a handful of magazines, like FATE. These small fringe groups, although their numbers can be huge, but out of the mainstream eye...have been bread and butter for my writing services for decades.

I was able to find some unique pieces and suppliers from this, and my little side line hustle was added too. By this time I had given up my golf business, a passion I had fallen out of love with, no matter how much money I made with it.
Ran out of room. Con't.

GordonJ June 11, 2021 11:17 AM

Lessons learned up to SCI and while there.
 
Golf. In 1976 I got 15 bux for a one hour lesson at the range. By 1990 that was 25 for half an hour.

Then I did group lessons, 20 bux times 5 at a time. Or LEVERAGE.

Then, I did workshops and seminars, 50 bux for 5 or 7 people MORE LEVERAGE.

Then I put those workshops on cassettes, started selling locally, regionally, and then nationally. More leverage = less work, one time...more money could be sold for a long time. Then to CD when it became the thing.

So from golf, I learned how to get paid for my time face to face. Low money.

How to leverage my time with groups. More money.

How to let products do the work, Lots more money.

SEE anything there you might be able to use today?

I added consulting, and helped a dozen or more pros set up their golf businesses, something that could be done in your back yard. POST (yes, I still have those fat little fingers and a fear of deleting my work).

SCI had a collectibles division and I was somewhat knowledgeable with both numismatics and philatelists, having been a stamp/coin collector in my youth.

Now, real coin collectors or stamp collectors, are NOT the market for these "Mint" type things, like the State Quarters and such.

These are hobbyists, but they are a great market. A huge market. I don't know the baseball card market these days, but my guess is, they have lost a lot of value over the years.

But creating a collectible line, like say, porcelain birds, can be a very lucrative thing. These can be fads, so if you get in quick and be the early bird, you can get the moolah worm.

More in a minute. POST.

GordonJ June 11, 2021 12:45 PM

Cont. from ran out of room.
 
I also had to organize and contact those people who had submitted a SGS, a sales generation system, product to us for consideration, what an education talking to inventors. Most inventors just don't get how the market works. It is not about the invention, it is All about how to market it.

Multiple streams of income, under the radar, is a choice you can make.

Maybe YOUR takeaway from all this could be:

There is a lot of opportunity, once you commit to DOING it.

I was hesitant about committing to work for Ben Suarez and SCI, I had to be persuaded, goaded and pushed...but I did it and it was one of the best decisions of my life. A goldmine of education came from that.

We often look at things and THINK we don't want to do it, and learning new things, which look like a mountain of TIME a huge deadman's curve to learn...that if we just commit to it, we get so much more out of it than imagined. POST

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...SCI

We got a letter from Marlon Sanders, a subscriber and book buyer. Marlon told about his exploits with gang testing and using AOL and, I believe it was CompuServe. And how he was getting good results, this in the infancy of the Internet.

In 1994 Ben wrote about selling electrons in 7 Steps, although they have never been able to do it. Then along comes Marlon who is doing it. About this time I interviewed Melvin Powers, whom I met when I was a student at Golden West College via Joe Karbo, and he told me his plan was to get online and get to selling books.

I often think, Melvin could have been Amazon. But he did plenty well for himself. Melvin introduced to me the Balloon Baron, Charles Prosper who told me to lock myself away and learn html, so I did. One of those things I hated to do, but was very glad once I did it. I was not dependent on anyone else to build my early web sites.

Between 1994 and 97, the Internet exploded, but it was either the wild west or just a super Shooit show. Maybe both. Forums popped all over, and having been active on Usenet and the old bulletin boards, these were familiar and good places to hang out. Very early successes were guys from Mail Order who built very simple sales pages for real products which had to be sent.

Guys like Dan Kennedy and Gary Halbert were telling marketers you wanted/needed to get your customers OFF LINE, in the real world. I did that too, but I felt Marlon and his SELLING ELECTRONS was and should be in the mix too. At the time, one of my offline products, the original Chattel Report, The Sprint to Freedom was selling well and I still had sales from my Inner Circular pubs, which are alive and well today.

What a world. YOU can create a product in a day. Maybe less. YOU can have other people sell it and deliver it for you. YOU can live whatever dream life you want with all the tools available,

YOU could.

But at the end of the day, you still need a PRODUCT to offer to a PROSPECT through a PROMOTION and via your media choice. POST.

Well it is lunch time, so I'll close off the rant (for now) and leave you with:

Some thoughts.

Finished is better than not finished. Finished is better than PERFECT TOO.

One of five stumbling blocks for many people is trying to have a perfect product before you enter the market...and that delay is costing you TIME and money. Sell something.

Let me repeat that. SELL SOMETHING.

Sell a ring, sell a necklace, sell a belt. Sell a HOTSHEET, sell a report, a manual a how to guide. Find something to sell to

sell to people most likely to buy it.

So many people don't get started, and still so many others take EXIT 7 on the POA, so close, but not all the way.

What are you selling?

Gordon

Dien Rice June 12, 2021 10:52 AM

Getting rich at the (direct-response) carnival...!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonJ (Post 42004)
So Marlon uses the Carnival Metaphor. A ticket to get in, then the midway and the backends.

He calls his front ends the CANDY STICK. Lower priced information products which get people on his list, or into his midway, where he offers (metaphorically speaking)...cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples and then a 3 ticket attraction, like the FUN HOUSE, where he gets 500 bux for, and some super rides, where he commands 1k or more.

AN aside...Jim Straw called his candy sticks, peanuts on a bar, where you just keep eating them, and buying more drinks.

I like this Carnival much better than the typical funnel, which to me, sometimes feels like a trap, or being tossed down a muddy hill.

Hi Gordon,

So much great stuff here...! It's a very rich smorgasbord... :)

I like Marlon's "carnival" metaphor, somehow I'd never come across that... Or maybe I did and I forgot... (Happens more often than I'd like to admit!)

Looking at that, I think maybe the most important thing is getting qualified people on your email list or mailing list... whatever you use, you need a way to contact them!

Getting them to "Like" your Facebook page or something like that isn't exactly the same, because even if you post on your Facebook page, not everyone will see it unless you pay Facebook to promote it to them... (That's part of Facebook's business model.)

You also don't want just anybody, you want qualified people... people who are interested in what it is you're selling.

That, in my opinion, is maybe the most important thing...

Why is it the most important thing?

Once you've got them on your email list, as long as you're keeping them happy and they keep wanting to read your emails, you can sell to them over and over and over in a way that, of course, keeps them happy and they're happy to get your stuff. It's win/win!

I always try to make every single email I send out be valuable to the reader...

(Email is different from direct mail, because with email, people legally have to have the choice to "opt out." That's not the case with direct mail... While you can just send out sales letter after sales letter with direct mail... If you just send continuous pure sales emails, many people will either opt out or block you...)

I know other people have a different model for sending out emails...

For example, I've come across some online marketers who have the model where they'll put out three valuable emails with great information, then they'll put out a pure sales email and then they'll do it again with another three great emails, then another pure sales email.

Jim Straw had a similar way of doing it. He'd send out just pure sales emails, but then he'd have his monthly newsletter where you get a lot of great info and he'd answer people's questions.

So those are a few different ways of doing it.

Great stuff here, Gordon, I'll be writing more soonish!

- Dien

GordonJ June 12, 2021 03:17 PM

What would it cost starting from scratch?
 
OK. Can you assume for a minute, I'm a total newb online, however, I have a successful conferring business offline.

So, what do I need to come on the Internet and start getting people on my mailing list?

I assume a website. What would you do today?

Also, some email software, like Aweber or such, what do you suggest?

I'm thinking out loud here Dien, but say I want to start a mailing list, brand new, folks never heard of me, you or us.

I want to bring my mystical, magical, miraculous conferring business online. To confer is different from consult, basically, in TIME. I confer for minutes, not consult for hours/days/weeks.

I want my minutes, however, to be paid as if they were hours.

So, maybe you can help me (all of us, and new people here especially).

What are the costs of getting a website up?
What does it cost for the Aweber or other list management services?

HOW fast can I build a list of responsive people?

Anyone can feel free to answer these questions, maybe we'll create a SowPub fast start HOTSHEET or a mini report from your answers, fair enough?

Gordon


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dien Rice (Post 42008)
Hi Gordon,

So much great stuff here...! It's a very rich smorgasbord... :)

I like Marlon's "carnival" metaphor, somehow I'd never come across that... Or maybe I did and I forgot... (Happens more often than I'd like to admit!)

Looking at that, I think maybe the most important thing is getting qualified people on your email list or mailing list... whatever you use, you need a way to contact them!

Getting them to "Like" your Facebook page or something like that isn't exactly the same, because even if you post on your Facebook page, not everyone will see it unless you pay Facebook to promote it to them... (That's part of Facebook's business model.)

You also don't want just anybody, you want qualified people... people who are interested in what it is you're selling.

That, in my opinion, is maybe the most important thing...

Why is it the most important thing?

Once you've got them on your email list, as long as you're keeping them happy and they keep wanting to read your emails, you can sell to them over and over and over in a way that, of course, keeps them happy and they're happy to get your stuff. It's win/win!

I always try to make every single email I send out be valuable to the reader...

(Email is different from direct mail, because with email, people legally have to have the choice to "opt out." That's not the case with direct mail... While you can just send out sales letter after sales letter with direct mail... If you just send continuous pure sales emails, many people will either opt out or block you...)

I know other people have a different model for sending out emails...

For example, I've come across some online marketers who have the model where they'll put out three valuable emails with great information, then they'll put out a pure sales email and then they'll do it again with another three great emails, then another pure sales email.

Jim Straw had a similar way of doing it. He'd send out just pure sales emails, but then he'd have his monthly newsletter where you get a lot of great info and he'd answer people's questions.

So those are a few different ways of doing it.

Great stuff here, Gordon, I'll be writing more soonish!

- Dien


Dien Rice June 13, 2021 10:00 AM

A few ways to start an email list...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GordonJ (Post 42009)
OK. Can you assume for a minute, I'm a total newb online, however, I have a successful conferring business offline.

So, what do I need to come on the Internet and start getting people on my mailing list?

I assume a website. What would you do today?

Hi Gordon,

I can think of quite a lot of techniques...

One way is you can advertise on Facebook, offering some kind of opt-in offer, like a free report, a free instructional video, or a free webinar...

Advertising on Facebook is not always straightforward. It can be a little bit complicated to optimize it... Facebook is different from "traditional" advertising because it has "artificial intelligence" which is meant to optimize your results...

A second way is a free way. You can tout your expertise and get interviewed as a guest on podcasts, or do free guest posts on blogs. The goal is to try to get their audiences to come to your website and opt-in for your free offer...

A third way is through an affiliate program where, if you have a product, people can promote your product as an affiliate of yours. Of course, for anyone who buys the product, you'll get their email address, because they're buying it from you and therefore become your customer...

Those are three ways! But there are more... :)

I need to do more with these myself...!

Best wishes,

Dien

GordonJ June 13, 2021 10:25 AM

My fault, I wasn't clear.
 
Maybe one exists.

I haven't found it, and I'm not actually new at this.

But a comprehensive step-by-step guide written in plain English on how to get online, and make money by building a list.

Your advice is good. But, you say to try to get people (by whatever means) to come to your website.

So, I think step one is (of course), knowing what you want {build a list to make offers to}.

You need a website. Even in the DUMMIES books on building a website, there really isn't a step by step HOW TO. I've been testing as many FREE website builders as I can over the last months. They all have upgrades and one of the first stumbling blocks is HOSTING.

A couple, and I'm liking strikingly.com and at 20 bux a month, they eliminate a lot of the slop and mess, one doesn't need to know about such things as transferring a domain. If I were advising a newb, I would tell them this:

You want to make money online, by building a list, and making offers to them.
There are several ways to make offers to this list.

You need to have something to offer them. Either your own product/service or one you've acquired.

THINK about who you want on your list, the most likely suspects to buy things. You can start with what you do, know, or have an interest in.

You need a website. Keep it simple. To build a website, you should have some images, photos to use to make it look nice. Look for Drag and Drop simple site builders.

You can use a FREE offer to get them on your list, which means you need some sort of a list manager, I would suggest Aweber and their free 30 days to get it tested. See, there is a lot of DAUNTING set up.

To start a business online, what I've found is most books and courses and reports ASSUME a level of knowledge and understanding, and yet, even someone who has been online doing Facebook, social media, email...they may not have an understanding of Internet Marketing.

I see many people take 5 years to reach a substantial amount of income, a living if you will of maybe 5-7k a month...and most of those people could have saved 3 years of time, if they followed a plan of action BUILT from the ground up with INTENTION.

Even now, after 50 years working with computers, I sometimes can't figure out what they refer to, because things either change or an assumption is made I know what something means.

Just my opinion, from the last 25 years online, but the majority get stuck in the mud right out of the gate.

There is a gap. Or maybe I don't know where to look.

But I don't see a complete, detailed, comprehensive but simple guide to take people from first website to building a sustainable list of happy customers.

If you (or anyone else) knows of one, please post it up.

Gordon

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dien Rice (Post 42012)
Hi Gordon,

I can think of quite a lot of techniques...

One way is you can advertise on Facebook, offering some kind of opt-in offer, like a free report, a free instructional video, or a free webinar...

Advertising on Facebook is not always straightforward. It can be a little bit complicated to optimize it... Facebook is different from "traditional" advertising because it has "artificial intelligence" which is meant to optimize your results...

A second way is a free way. You can tout your expertise and get interviewed as a guest on podcasts, or do free guest posts on blogs. The goal is to try to get their audiences to come to your website and opt-in for your free offer...

A third way is through an affiliate program where, if you have a product, people can promote your product as an affiliate of yours. Of course, for anyone who buys the product, you'll get their email address, because they're buying it from you and therefore become your customer...

Those are three ways! But there are more... :)

I need to do more with these myself...!

Best wishes,

Dien



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