I just checked.
In the last hour hour I have received 19 emails, 52 new status updates on Facebook, and 102 tweets from the people I am following. If that is a representative hour then during the 18 hours I am awake today I will receive 342 emails, 936 Facebook updates, and 1836 tweets.
I will be honest, much of that information is useless (or at least distracting) crap.
BUT, somewhere in that stream of data is really important and useful information. Information that will improve my health, information that will grow my business, and information that will improve the quality of my life.
There might even be something really useful or important that you sent me.
As a business owner you know how hard it is to be heard amid this avalanche of information. Being heard feels like it is somewhere between daunting and impossible.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Most Intoxicating $9.95 Ever
When I created the website for my current business I did it for fun. It was a hobby, not a business. It was a great way to teach, learn, and connect with like-minded people.
About 18 months after creating the site I received an email from out of the blue that read, “Can you please sell stuff so I could buy it.”
I thought that was a novel idea.
So I decided to give this online sales thing a try.
On a Sunday night at about 11pm I had an idea for my first digital product. 23 hours later I received an email informing me that someone in Japan had just sent me $9.95.
In 23 hours I had recorded an audio, written a sales letter, and mailed it to my meager list.
I couldn’t believe it!
It was one of the most intoxicating feelings I have ever experienced. (Yes, $9.95 really felt that good because it felt like it was opening a world of new possibilities.)
I was hooked. That is when I decided to get serious about it.
Over $120,000 In 18 Months
In the last 18 months I have made over $120,000 in online sales.
I have done all this with an ugly to average looking website (depending on the version), a weekly email newsletter, and a podcast.
I have had no real focus on Twitter or Facebook. I don’t spend anytime on SEO and less than 15 minutes a month looking at web and click-through stats.
I spend less than $5 a month on webhosting, my current web theme cost me $99, I spend $160 a year for my newsletter service, I use a admin support less than 4 hours a week, I write almost everything in Google docs in a coffee shop, and I use a $75 microphone.
(I do have a kick-ass editor, but that is because I am dyslexic. Grammar and spelling are my nemeses.)
And with these few tools I have made over $120k from online sales alone. (That doesn’t include other income streams for my business.)
I need to be very clear. I am not saying that you should do things on the cheap or that being unprofessional is the key to success.
What I am saying is that if you are really good at the right things you can overcome your other digital shortcomings to have a highly successful business. It’s not about flashy websites. It’s not about using the latest and greatest social media.
AND if you don’t have these shortcomings you will be positioned for even greater success.
The key is communicating in a very specific way and focusing on the right things.
The Greatest Teacher: Feedback
In the past 10 years I have dedicated more time and money on learning how to write copy, market, and communicate than all the other training I have done combined. One of the reasons I love this type of training is because when you put it into action you receive immediate feedback.
You can track the number times your web page is visited, number of emails opened, number of links clicked in the email, and (most importantly) how many sales you are making.
It doesn’t matter if you think something is a good idea or not. It doesn’t matter which expert is saying is the best way to do something.
What matters is the feedback. It is really simple. Positive feedback means we repeat the action. Negative feedback means we try something new.
It is this feedback that has taught me the right things to concentrate on and which things I can ignore.
I want to share these lessons with you so that you can be heard among all the digital noise!
Warning: Avoid The Pyramid Scheme Of Teaching How To Build A Business
As a side note: One of the (justified) criticisms of the coaching profession is the only business that the people who are teaching how to build and run businesses have ever run is the business of teaching people to build and run a business.
(Translation: They have no real world business experience. They are just teaching what others taught them.)
That is not the case with this class. All of the content in this class I have used and do use in my own business. I have used these tools and techniques to sell everything from digital products to pain relief spray to live performances by jugglers to my own one-on-one sessions. These have ranged in price from $19 to $5000.
(Yes, I have sold lots of packages for $5000 using email alone!)
In putting this class together I went through everything I do and named all the things that work and why. Each lesson is presented with real world examples from my own business which will help you to tailor it to your real world business.
Not Concepts BUT 101 Lessons You Can Implement Right Now
I really love the big picture. I love seeing how things fit together and understanding the underlying principles. Even with that being said I think the biggest shortcoming of most trainings is spending too much time on the idea and concepts and not enough time with pragmatic tools you can put to use.
In this class we are going to cover 111 lessons. The first 10 will help you to understand the big picture so that you can see how everything fits together. The remaining 101 lessons will be tools, techniques, and strategies that you will be able to implement right now.
Each lesson is stand-alone. You don’t have to use all of them to be successful. You will be able to pick and choose those that are most useful right now. With each new tool you implement you will connect and communicate better with your clients and customers.
This will be the one of most pragmatic trainings you ever attend. I would even be willing to bet that you will implement some of the ideas while we are on break.
The training consists of 111 lessons organized into 8 modules.
Module 1 – Big Picture Concepts
Success doesn’t happen by accident. Even when we take action and make good choices if we are not doing things in the right order or in the context of a big picture plan, we will not be successful. In this module I will walk you through my business structure, my work flow, my pricing structures, and my marketing principles.
Understanding this will help you determine what steps need to be taken and decide which are the most valuable steps to be taken first.
Module 2 – Your Work And How You Talk About It
You are an expert at what you do. You have experience, expertise, and training. Your customers have none of these things. They haven’t spent years thinking about the problems you solve in the same way you have. Communicating what you do to your customers can be hard because it is easy to forget what it was like before you had all your experience. In this module you will learn how to talk about your work in a customer-focused way so it is easy for them to understand how your work fits into their life.
Understanding this will help you to communicate clearly about your products and services so that you make buying decisions easier for your customers.
Module 3 – Interaction/Connection With Readers and Clients
We are bombarded with information. There are new tweets, emails, and status updates coming in every moment of the day. In the midst of all this noise it’s really hard to be heard! In this module I will demonstrate how it is not about being the loudest or flashiest in order to stand out. Instead by speaking in a very specific way to your people you will find that they seek out what you are saying and you are not fighting to be heard.
Using these tools will help you to create a client base that is looking forward to hearing from you (and buying from you) because they know when you communicate it will serve them and make their lives better.
Module 4 – Product Creation
It takes time to create new products and services. There are few things in business more frustrating than spending time and money developing a new offering only to have it ignored by your customers. In this module you will learn how to figure out what your customers are really looking for and how to create desirable products, as opposed to having to generate desire for your product.
Using these tools will help you to gain a clear understanding of how to create useful and desirable offerings, which are much easier to sell.
Module 5 – How To Write
Most people who run businesses are really good at what they do, but they don’t feel that they are any good at writing. Writing something as simple as an email telling people about your new product or service can feel crippling. Writing for client cultivation and sales is a skill. In this module I will show you how to create a writing practice that will make it much easier for you to do the writing you need and to do it with confidence.
Using these tools you will learn to write in a way that doesn’t feel painful and time consuming, but instead makes writing an easy and manageable task.
Module 6 – How To Share Your Message
Many times the reason a product doesn’t sell isn’t based on how good or useful the product is, but because it has been presented in a clumsy and confusing way. In this module you will learn how to structure your writing so it communicates what you are offering most effectively.
Using these tools will prevent you from shooting yourself in the foot by avoiding the things that confuse your communications. Instead you will help customers see how your products and services fit into their lives.
Module 7 – What To Write
When we sit down to write about what we do and the products we have to offer two things normally happen. We either feel like we have nothing to say, drawing a complete blank, or we feel like we have way too much to say and don’t know where to start. In this module you will learn how to break your experience and expertise down into usable chunks that are easy to write and easy to read. When we are able to do this every time we write we are training our customers to know that we are a useful expert in their life and that we are to be trusted with their business.
Using these tools will enable you to communicate with your clients in chunks that are easy to understand and will help them develop a craving for wanting more of what you have to offer.
Module 8 – Pushing The Bruise
When we are selling something we can feel like we are being a burden. We are pushing our way into someone’s life and begging them to give us money. That can feel pushy and sleezy. The truth is if we are selling something that we believe in and we know it will make our customers’ lives better, we aren’t being a pushy salesman but instead are being of service. In this module you will learn how to make the sales process an educational one for your clients, helping them to understand more clearly what they are struggling with and how you can help.
Using these tools will help you to communicate more clearly with your potential customers, to educate them on what they are struggling with, and how you can be helpful to them.
Here is just some of what you will learn in the individual lessons:
- Lesson 5: Never feel like a launch is life or death for your business ever again.
- Lesson 7: Do these 4 things with every communication and you will become indispensable to your readers and customers.
- Lesson 8: The biggest mistake people make with their freebies that cost them business.
- Lessons 11 & 12: How to find the most profitable price for your products and services.
- Lesson 15: Why your instinct to talk about what you do will hurt your business (and you will be surprised by the reason).
- Lesson 22: Why I am trying to get 1000 people to unsubscribe from my mailing list this year and why it will be good for business.
- Lesson 23: How overestimating how smart your customers are hurts your business.
- Lessons 25 & 31: Why talking customers out of buying from you is a really good idea.
- Lesson 32: I taught this to one of my clients and she wrote this testimonial: “Gene gave me an idea that resulted in over $82,000 in profits.”
- Lesson 39: The question you should ask yourself before sending out anything (be it a tweet, a post, a status update, a teleclass, a sales letter….anything).
- Lesson 40: Why forcing yourself to complete a writing task is bad for productivity.
- Lesson 47: How Bart Simpson’s punishment can make you a better copywriter.
- Lesson 49: How most people get “being personal” completely wrong in their blog and newsletter.
- Lesson 59: What I added to my newsletter sign-up box that tripled opt-ins.
- Lesson 61: What I spend 50% of my time on when writing an email (and you will never guess what this is in a million years).
- Lesson 62: Why sending an email is like waiting for Santa Claus (hint: it involves cookies).
- Lesson 63: Why being a little bit gross as a marketer isn’t always a bad thing. In some cases it improved my opt-ins 7x.
- Lesson 66: The formula I used to write every sales letter for the first 3 years of my business and how you can use it to write a great sales letter in under 45 minutes.
- Lesson 73: Why iTunes and YouTube are so much better at sales than Facebook and Twitter (and how you can use this to your advantage even if you never create a podcast or post a video).
- Lesson 76: I shared this lesson with a client who had flown me in to spend a day with her staff. After sharing it she said, “I think that one idea paid for your entire day here.” (And I just used in December to great effect again.)
- Lesson 78: The one and only “Dirty Rotten Trick” I will teach in this class. It is the first thing you will use from the class AND you won’t feel bad about doing it.
- Lesson 84: Why it is important to sound like you are broken record. (For those under 35: A record is kind of like an mp3 but was made out of plastic not something you download from the cloud. Sometimes when it got scratched it would play the same thing over and over again.)
- Lesson 89: How the letter Q makes it so much easier for people to listen to you.
- Lesson 92: How quoting someone who was really mad at me led to a bunch of readers giving me money in my tip jar — without me ever mentioning my tip jar.
- Lesson 94: Why the phrase “in the 7 days after” is one of the most powerful phrases in this letter.
- Lesson 100: Why I love it when I really mess things up with my newsletter or website.
- Lesson 101: Why comfort is harder to overcome than any sales objection (and how to combat it).
- Lesson 104: Why sometimes teaching them everything you know free of charge isn’t always a bad idea, but will show them they need to hire you. This has nothing to do you demonstrating that you are qualified.
- Lesson 107: How the cost of not taking action is more important the cost of what you are selling.
- Lesson 111: If you get them saying this one phrase after they read what you wrote you will be very successful (hint: it is not “Boy, that was really well written!”)
Not Just For Online Sales
The great thing about many of these lessons is they don’t just apply to online sales. I use these tools in every type of communication in my business and throughout my day.
During the class we will also cover the non-digital uses of these lessons, because the fundamentals of good communication are the same no matter what the medium. This includes print, on the phone, and face-to-face communication.
You Own Marketing Library
The two days are going to be jam-packed with teaching, opportunities for you to try the ideas out, and you will walk out the door with an armload of resources. And I don’t mean just the course material. I am going to help you to build your marketing library by giving you copies of the books I most often use.
I have a special shelf in my bookcase dedicated to these books. It is at eye level and the easiest to reach because I reference them all the time. You will love this collection.
But There Is More! — Making Sure You Get It After The Fact
One of the most frustrating parts of any training is sitting at your desk three weeks later, looking at the barely legible notes, knowing that somewhere among the scribbles and doodles is the piece of information that you need.
You don’t have to feel like that!
With your registration you will also receive the opportunity to send me to different things that you have written (article, newsletter, sales copy, landing page) and we will get on the phone for up to 30 minutes to clean up and apply the lessons that will help you the most.
And then after you do that you will get a chance to do it again!
That’s right! I will work with you one-on-one twice to make sure you are implementing the lessons in a useful way.
Come Join Me Live March 22nd and 23rd!
I am going to be teaching all of this over March 22nd and 23rd just outside of Baltimore MD @ the Hampton Inn Arundel Mills.
The hotel is located in an area with many other hotels so you will have lots of accommodation options if you don’t want take advantage of our group rate. It is super close to BWI airport and the Amtrak station. It is within walking distance (plus there is a free hotel shuttle) of countless restaurant options. The Hampton Inn provides a full breakfast for hotel guests and I will be providing a healthy lunch each day. (Yes, it will be much nicer than a box lunch.)
10 Years Of Copywriting, Communicating, and Marketing Training and Experience In One Weekend.
In the last 10 years I have spent over $10,000 on my marketing and copywriting training as well has hundreds of hours of my time. I have tried out these lessons in my own business.
In this class you will receive the best of the best. You aren’t going to have to spend all that money and, more importantly, you don’t have to spend all the time I spent figuring out what works best and what doesn’t work at all.
You will receive the full training, the course materials, my hand selected marketing book library, and two one-on-one sessions with me for only $1497.
Early Bird Special!!
BUT if you sign up before Feb 20th you can get into the class for only $997. Use the discount code ‘earlybird2014’ at check out for $500 off.
Yes! I am ready to spend two days learning how to more effectively communicate with my prospects and my customers.
- I am ready to learn for all 8 modules.
- I am ready to take lessons and apply them to my business right away.
- I want Gene’s hand picked resource library.
- I want to work with Gene one-on-one to make sure my writing sells.
I really believe in everything that is being taught in the class. I have used it to build my business and reputation. I use this stuff every day.
If for some reason you decide this isn’t right for you all you need to do is let me know by the lunch break on the first day and I will give you a full refund.
It Is Time To Stop Being Ignored!
Stop being frustrated at not being heard in the crowded digital world.
Stop being frustrated at not knowing what action to take next.
Stop having your products and services being ignored by the people who need them.
Stop spinning your wheels on tasks that make you feel busy, but aren’t moving you forward.
It’s time to start taking the most useful steps.
There Are Only 40 Spots
I want this to be a hands-on and personal experience. I want you to make sure that every question you have is answered. I want to make sure that you get the personal feedback you need so that you can start using these lessons right away.
For this reason I am going to limit the class to only 40 people!
You can register now:
You Will See A Difference Right Away
Many of the lessons taught in the class will be things that you will be able to do right away. If you implement only one lesson a day within 7 days of the end of the class you will see a difference in the way you find customers and, more importantly, how they respond to you.
You have so much to offer. It’s time for you to be heard!
Join me in March! You will be so happy you did:
Please let me know if you have any questions,
PS: In Lesson 67 I will explain everything I did in this sales letter, why I did it, and how I knew you would reading this part. If you are thinking of joining me in Baltimore in March then you know this works. I would love to teach you why.
Make sure you are one of the 40. Register today