Category Archives: Simple Writing System

Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

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Monday, 12:45pm
Reno, NV
Hey, you bastards, I’m still here!” (Steve McQueen, “Papillon”)

Howdy…

I was talking to a colleague the other day, and he asked me how I liked retirement.

Uh, what retirement is that, I asked.

Well, he said, I thought you’d pretty much left the biz.

Sigh.

I guess I need to address this now. I mean, seeing as how I’m speaking next week to a seething crowd of 500 copywriters at one of the biggest bootcamps of the year (the sold-out AWAI gargantuan event in Florida). AND, the following week, hosting our autumn Platinum Mastermind meeting (now in it’s 7th year). While, you know, handling multiple calls from colleagues looking for advice, plus paid consulting gigs, writing a new book, monitoring the next Simple Writing System classroom, and…

If this is “retirement”, it sure looks an awful lot like a regular workweek.

But, yes, there has been a rumor floating around that I’m retired (or “semi-retired”), not traveling anymore, not taking clients, etc.

And, in a word, it’s all bullshit.

What happened was, a couple of years ago, I decided I sucked as a manager, and sold the Marketing Rebel corporation to my longtime business partner, Stan Dahl. Who has been handling it quite nicely ever since. The Insider’s Club membership site is cooking on high heat… the Simple Writing System just had another All-Star Teachers session (with A-Listers like David Garfinkel, Mike Morgan, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, and former Gary Halbert sidekick Scott Haines all hosting classes)… and all the good work we’ve always done in the advertising and marketing worlds has continued without a hitch.

It’s working so well now, because I realized what a bottleneck I was as a manager. Once I got out of the way, things blossomed.

Jeez Louise, that’s humbling. But it’s all worked out great.

And I got back to what I do best: Writing, consulting and being one of the most notorious bad-ass creative advisors in the game.

This is a VERY common entrepreneurial blunder, by the way. You get a biz going by handling almost everything personally… the ideas, the planning, the implementation, the writing, the schmoozing and networking, and all the hiring of tech help and support teams and lawyers and contracts and…

… and pretty soon, you’re working 70 hours a week, the biz is thriving, but you aren’t doing the creative stuff you’re good at.

For me, the calls and meetings with lawyers and accountants and affiliate managers and everyone else’s lawyers and biz operatives just crushed my spirit and will to live.

I was unhappy.

And so I sold the biz, and moved back into my old role as writer, creative dude, and consultant extraordinaire. The “wheelhouse” of my talent and skill-set, where I’ve always made the most impact.

And, I was happy again. While working around 20 hours a week, just like the first decades of my career. A 20-hour workweek is just about perfect, and because I know all the productivity hacks allowable for humans, I get more done in that 20-hours than most folks do in the 60 hours they slave at.

So, I’m in my “bliss groove” again. Good writing requires lots of down time, so your brain can cogitate on the crap you’ve stuffed in there, cook it up in a fresh batch, and make it all accessible when you sit down to actually write. Reading lots of books on different subjects, including gruesome fiction and light articles on diverse (even dumb) subjects, is also part of a well-lived writer’s lifestyle. Plus engaging in the adventures, pleasures, misadventures and bumbling horrors of modern life.

In fact, without immersing yourself in the culture and the Zeitgeist, you quickly become stiff and boring as a writer.

Yuck.

But I don’t count the cool, fun stuff as “working”. I love the process of being a complete, well-rounded writer with his pulse on the culture. It’s what makes this the best damn gig on the planet (for introverts or wannabe introverts seeking influence, wealth and happiness).

In the 1990s, I both wrote most of the ads for which I’m now infamous (all the screamingly successful golf, self-defense, health, music and small-biz ads that changed the way entire industries approached marketing)…

while ALSO taking off three-to-six months a year to go do something else. I was following Travis McGee’s advice (from the “you gotta read ’em” novels by John D. MacDonald) of “taking your retirement while you’re young, in pieces, and returning to work when you need to replenish the coffers”. For me, that meant indulging in exciting mid-life crises (I’ve had six so far, and loved every single one) like when I disappeared from the business world for half a year, formed a 3-piece rock band, and played all the biker bars in Northern Nevada. What a blast.

I also took time off to write some novels, and dip a toe in the world of writing fiction for a living. It was enormous fun, but the pay was dismal. Most of the working novelists I met made less in half a decade than I did for writing a couple of winning ads in a good market (and it only took me a few weeks to write those ads). I decided to keep fiction as a side hobby, and came back to my old clients to write a string of ads that doubled their bottom line.

And then, just after the turn of the century, I decided to get serious for a few years. And write a monthly newsletter (the notorious “Marketing Rebel Rant” that mailed for 6 years to the most influential marketers alive), while maintaining a client list that required me to be available the entire year. No more taking off massive chunks of time. I loved the whole process, which happened to coincide with the explosion of the Web as a viable marketing vehicle…

… and I hung out in a very insider network of movers-and-shakers that included Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Eben Pagan, Joe Polish, Dean Jackson, Tony Robbins, Jon Benson, Joe Sugarman, Ed Dale, and of course my best friend in the biz, Gary Halbert.

It was FUN. And thrilling, because we were inventing the marketing models that would become the STANDARDS for all online marketers for a generation. My first website, which I designed on a napkin, was a go-to template for many businesses for a long while. I recorded one of the first ever podcasts in the marketing section of iTunes (with help from Dean Jackson)… became one of the hottest speakers on the global seminar circuit (hosted by Armand Morin, Dan Kennedy, Rich Schefren, Kern and others)… and of course our Simple Writing System has pumped over a thousand entrepreneurs and copywriters through the process of creating killer ads on demand.

While some old-school marketers fought the Web and resisted new technology, I was an early adopter. I grabbed many of the first generation gizmo’s, created early video sales letters (before the term was even invented), hosted some of the first online webinars and membership sites, and in general surfed the new wave of modern possibilities right at the crest.

I’m not bragging. I’m just as amazed at the way things have turned out as anyone else. I happened to write “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel” at the precise time a vast mob of newbie marketers were becoming online entrepreneurs… and it was the perfect fit for them.

But it also led almost directly to those 60-hour weeks that eventually started to fry my brain.

I’ve counseled biz owners against burning out a lot in my career as a consultant. It’s common, it’s horrific, it can ruin your life…

… and, it’s completely avoidable.

But you have to act FAST when you sniff the burning rubber coming off your brain.

For me, it meant backing away from the reins of a business I’d nurtured for a decade… and sliding back into the more comfortable position I knew so well, of being a writer-consultant. Working a fraction of the hours required of a manager.

To some folks, this somehow meant I’d “retired”.

Nope. Just moved back into my former career lifestyle.

Like I said — I suck at management. I’m not built to argue with lawyers, or proofread contracts, or get deep into the weeds of making the day-to-day details of running a biz work. I KNOW what needs to be done, and I can spell it out for you in precise steps.

But that doesn’t mean I’m the guy who should be doing it.

A big part of happiness is finding out where you fit. And then sliding your bad ass into that position, away from the drudgery and angst of doing stuff you’re NOT built to do.

And let’s set the damn record straight: I’m NOT retired.

I love this biz too much to leave. I’m traveling as much as I ever have (though being more picky about which gigs I travel for). I’m flying out to Florida next week, as I said, to speak in front of 500 folks who rightfully expect to have their cages rattled by me from the stage. I’m flying to Los Angeles both for our mastermind, AND to hang out with Jon Benson at another biz gathering (including James Schramko from Oz).

And we’ll be in Vegas in January for another mastermind, in Phoenix for secret tapings of a new show, I’ll continue co-hosting the rollicking (and still free) Psych Insights For Modern Marketers podcast with Kevin Rogers…

… and I still maintain a full-time desk in the Marketing Rebel Insider’s Club… where I personally answer questions from members, do monthly “Hot Seat” consultations (free, for members) alongside Stan Dahl, and generally act as the community’s resident copywriting expert.

Okay, I’m not putting the old rock band back together, though. It was fun, but I’m kinda done with the bar scene. And I get bored on cruises and tourist-trap trips. I like to travel with a purpose.

I’m built to handle the advanced, high-level workload of a top copywriter and business consultant. So that’s what I’m concentrating on these days. While flying out to speak at seminars, networking with my pals, and staying rooted on the pulse of the modern business environment.

It’s a wild time to be alive, and to be an active member of the hottest entrepreneurial movement the world has ever seen.

I ain’t retiring for a long, long time. Baring getting hit by the occasional city bus while jaywalking, I should say. Nothing’s guaranteed in life, is it.

Will I see you in Florida… or at one my upcoming other seminar appearances? Or, gasp, at my Platinum Mastermind? (Got a seat waiting for you, and there’s still time to grab it. Go here for details.)

If you, like so many of the best (and happiest) marketers and writers around, value the input, savvy, advice and experience of a guy like me…

… who’s been around the block a few times, and knows the game inside and out…

… then check out some of the stuff we’ve got for you all over this blog page. Including a deep, roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-down-to-work consultation.

It’s only going to get more exciting out there in the big, bad biz world… with more opportunities to either thrive or get lost in the weeds than you can imagine. If you’re in biz, you need a resource like me watching your back.

Why not make 2016 (coming up fast) the best damn year of your life? Put your team together now, and see if including me and Stan and the rest of the gang here doesn’t make so much sense you can’t stand it.

Meanwhile…

Stay frosty,

John

P.S. The photo, by the way, is from another huge event this past year where I was a featured speaker. And got to hang with my buds (from left) Kevin Halbert (Gary’s son), A-List copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace, marketing legend Dan Kennedy, me, former CEO of Boardroom Brian Kurtz, and A-List copywriter (and my podcast partner) Kevin Rogers.

Quite the little braintrust right there…

Your Hot New Skill At Writing Killer Ads Starts Here… Right Now…

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Tuesday, 2:08 a.m.
Reno, NV
Is there gas in the car? Yeah, there’s gas in the car…” (Steely Dan, “Kid Charlemagne”)

Howdy…

Those of you in the loop know we’re re-launching the coaching program of the Simple Writing System again… starting with the free “Express Course” first lesson all this week. (Go here to jump in on that killer experience.)

We rarely offer this hand-holding, personalized, one-on-one mentoring (by coaches who are also successful copywriters). The last session was a year ago.

No idea when another session will come around… if it even does.

We take this one program at a time. It’s notorious among marketing insiders, because of how effectively we’re able to transform almost anyone into a sales-message-producing machine… quickly and efficiently. (Literally thousands have been through the system already.) It’s life-changing, and business-changing mojo…

… and that’s why the top marketers in the game have demanded that the folks in their organization responsible for marketing TAKE this course.

The personalized coaching in the SWS is extremely interactive. Perfect for anyone who knows that hands-on mentoring is the best way to learn the simplest possible system (crammed with short-cuts) for creating all the sales messages needed for a profitable business…

… including all your ads, websites, video scripts, emails, AdWords, blogs and other social media broadsides…

… everything that pumps eager prospects into your Sales Funnel.

So you can close the heck out them. And get filthy rich and deliriously happy, and become the most successful entrepreneur or biz owner possible… because without killer, persuasive copy, you’re not going to find, nor close very many prospects.

Most marketers wander through the wasteland of Bad Business Practices their entire career…

… and never figure out how to SELL anything.

So, no matter how totally hot and good and righteous your product or service might be…

… you still struggle. Or go under.

ALL the top marketers you know about, online and offline, know how to write their own sales messages.

And when it’s really, really, really freaking important that it gets done right…

… they almost always actually DO it themselves.

Now, yeah, sure, they also hire out some of the writing, too. But not because they are clueless about what needs to go into a killer sales message.

No way.

In fact, the top guys are the WORST clients a freelancer can have. Because you can’t bullshit them. They know EXACTLY what a good ad looks like.

The really good marketers are armed to the teeth with salesmanship chops. A freelance copywriter cannot lollygag around with those guys, or he’ll get thrown to the dogs. He’s got to deliver the best work possible, because the client who understands what great ad copy looks like will not accept mediocre crap.

You know what the BEST client is for a freelance copywriter?

It’s the fool who hasn’t got Clue One about what goes into a decent sales message.

The freelancer can toss off the laziest piece of garbage possible… something that barely resembles advertising… and still collect his fee.

And when it fails and dies a horrible death? Well, who’s to say why it happened.

The clueless client sure doesn’t know.

And consider this: Say you somehow manage to hire the most promising copywriter in the universe to come work for you.

Exclusively. He becomes a member of your team. And you teach him all the secrets of your biz, right down to the specs of your product.

I’ve seen this soap opera go down often.

Here’s how it plays out: Once that brilliant young writer gets some experience with you… and learns all your secrets…

… yep. He leaves.

And either starts working for the competition…

… or BECOMES your competition.

And let’s see. Hmmm. You had the biz first. It was your baby. Your product.

But he knows how to create the sales messages that sell it. And you just taught him all your secrets.

Who do you think wins in that match-up?

People… you MUST learn how to create a decent sales message, if you are to survive and prosper in business today.

Otherwise… you’re toast.

And this is why we’re hauling out the Simple Writing System personalized, one-on-one coaching program again. The very deep, yet easily-understood online quick-learning program where recognized, veteran, professional copywriting experts personally coach you through the SWS. Which will finally trick your brain into being able to create killer, persuasive ads and marketing materials…

… whenever you need them.

Is this program for you?

Here’s a simple way to find out: Go here and watch this FREE video. (It’s just me on the video, explaining the details of the Simple Writing System, plus the beginning FREE lessons to you, and it’s not outrageously long. Just the facts.)

This first video (and the couple that follow) is a great “first taste” of what’s in store for you when you follow through. And, these first videos are free. My gift to you — real, honest, simple tactics you can use immediately to create your first killer ad. All on your lonesome, just with a little coaching from me.

Big Bonus: I’ve corralled my closest colleagues into helping out, too… which means you could get personal, interactive feedback from A-List writers like David Garfinkel, Harlan Kilstein, Mike Morgan, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Jim Curley, David Deutsch and others. For FREE. Just by jumping on this opportunity. (A point I can’t make enough: The last time we offered this was a year ago… and before that, several years passed without offering it at all. This is a very RARE opportunity… and it’ll pass quickly.)

Soon — if you join us — you’ll get the full story… how you can go through the ENTIRE program at your own pace, on your own schedule… and have a veteran copywriter watching your back the entire way, with personal advice and coaching. And no one is “too busy” to take this course right now — jettisoning a single TV program you watch each week, for a few weeks, is more than enough “found time” to do everything.

And when you come out the other side of this coaching… you’ll have finally learned how to create, from scratch, all the ads and marketing materials you will ever need. The stuff that sells, and pumps up your bottom line, and brings you massive success on a silver platter.

Are you ready for a ride that can change your life forever?

We’re gunning the engine, holding the door open for you…

… but you gotta take that first step on your own. Start here.

C’mon.

It’s more fun around crazy writers who know how teach you the secrets of excellent salesmanship…

… and it’s time you got started on your exciting new life, isn’t it?

Stay frosty,

John

P.S. I almost forgot…

… you can only watch this video for the next week or so.

This new SWS sessions starts very soon. (No, you do not need to “plan” or “prepare” to get involved — you can really can go through the entire program in your spare time, at your own pace… and still get all the personalized coaching from your teacher you need.)

So you need to get over here now… while we’re still accepting students.

I have no idea if we’ll offer another SWS session ever again. It’s been over a year since the last one — it is VERY hard to corral top writers like this.

So take nothing for granted here. Go watch my video now…

Buzz And Awe, Redux

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Tuesday, 2:08 a.m.
Reno, NV
Is there gas in the car? Yeah, there’s gas in the car…” (Steely Dan, “Kid Charlemagne”)

Howdy…

Those of you in the loop know we’ve re-launched the coaching program of the Simple Writing System again.

We rarely offer this hand-holding, personalized, one-on-one mentoring (by coaches who are also successful copywriters). The last session was a couple of years ago.

No idea when another session will come around… if it even does.

We take this one program at a time. It’s notorious among marketing insiders, because of how effectively we’re able to transform almost anyone into a sales-message-producing machine… quickly and efficiently. It’s life-changing, and business-changing mojo…

… and that’s why the top marketers in the game have demanded that the folks in their organization responsible for marketing TAKE this course.

The personalized coaching in the SWS is extremely interactive Perfect for anyone who knows that hands-on mentoring is the best way to learn the simplest possible system (crammed with short-cuts) for creating all the sales messages needed for a profitable business…

… including all your ads, websites, video scripts, emails, AdWords, blogs and other social media broadsides…

everything that pumps eager prospects into your Sales Funnel.

So you can close the heck out them.  And get filthy rich and happy, and become the most successful entrepreneur or biz owner possible… because without killer, persuasive copy, you’re not going to find, nor close very many prospects.

Most marketers wander through the wasteland of Bad Business Practices their entire career…

… and never figure out how to SELL anything.

So, no matter how totally hot and good and righteous your product or service might be… Continue Reading

How To Hire A Copywriter.

photo-1Tuesday, 2:14pm
Reno, NV
Are you going on this crazy voyage?” (Sailor in “King Kong”, 1933 version)

Howdy…

It’s high time for a little “public service” message here, for any marketer wanting to hire a freelance copywriter.

Cuz it’s a jungle out there.

There’s a veritable mob of available writers, of all levels of expertise (from world-class down to “should be hung”), charging all kinds of fees and making all kinds of promises.

It can get confusing, abruptly, and you can end up mismatched (or getting roughed up financially) if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So, here’s a Quick Start overview of what you – the dude or dudette doing the hiring – should get straight on before heading into the Big Scary Jungle Of Freelance Copywriters to find your perfect scribe. (This works for hiring ANY consultant, actually, so pay attention.)

Step One: Deconstruct and list what you want done.

Do you need a single ad written, or do you need your entire website created or overhauled? Do you need someone to write the necessary emails, Video Sales Letters and sales pages for a launch? Do you need a sales funnel created, starting with Adwords and traveling through landing pages, auto-responders, landing pages, and sales support?

Or what?

Step Two: Admit it if you aren’t sure what you want (or need). Double admit it to yourself if you’re absolutely clueless.

This is a critical step.

You’re about to shell out a lot of money, and put a lot of your hopes and dreams on the back of the writer you hire… Continue Reading

Congratulations… Now, Stop Being A Wuss.

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Monday, 7:55pm
Reno, NV
But it’s all right… in fact it’s a gas…” (The Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“)

Howdy…

It’s time for another orgy of graduation rites across the land…

… and, in honor of it all, I am re-posting my now globally-notorious big damn rant on the subject. This was one of the more popular posts I’ve ever written, so it deserves an annual rediscovery.

So, without further ado… here’s the annual redux of that post:

Ahem.

Nobody’s ever asked me to give the commencement speech for a graduating class.

That’s probably a good thing. I’m pretty pissed off at the education system these days, and I might cause a small riot with the rant I’d surely deliver.

See, I have a university “education”. A BA in psychology. (The BA stands for, I believe, “bullshit amassed”.) I earned it several decades ago…

… and while I had a good time in college (height of the sex revolution, you know, with a soundtrack that is now called “classic rock”), made some lifelong friends, and got a good look at higher learning from the inside…

… that degree provided zilch preparation for the real world. Didn’t beef me up for any job, didn’t give me insight to how things worked, didn’t do squat for me as an adult.

I waltzed off-campus and straight into the teeth of the worst recession since the Great Depression (offering us Nixon’s wage-freeze, record unemployment, an oil embargo, and near-total economic turmoil)…

… so, hey, I should have a little empathy for today’s grads, right?

Naw.

While today’s graduates are facing similar grim economic times, there’s been a significant change in the concept behind a college education. Somehow, over the years, a bizarre mantra has taken hold in kids minds:

“Get a degree, and it’s a ticket to the Good Life.”

A job is expected to be offered to you before the ink is dry on your diploma.

And it really, really matters WHICH school you get that diploma from.

You know what I say?

Bullshit. Okay, maybe if you go to Yale or Harvard, you can make the connections on Wall Street and in Washington to get your game on. Maybe. (More likely, those connections are already available, if you’re gonna get ’em, through family bloodlines… and the Ivy’s are just playing up their famous track records in a classic sleight-of-hand.)

Put aside the advancement opportunities offered to spawn of the oligarchy, though… Continue Reading

The Reality Check Mom Never Gave You

Monday, 3:32pm
Visalia, CA
“Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” (Sicilian proverb)

Howdy…

I’m handing the blog over to our good buddy Jimbo Curley again this week.  He’s done several guest posts, all hilarious, all excellent insight and info for marketers, writers and anyone in biz.

Jim and I go back a looooooooong time.  And my favorite story of how we became brawling colleagues is included here — this tale sends grown men into gasping fits of laughter whenever Jimbo re-tells it in the bar (where, during seminars, all the REAL networking and professional bonding takes place).  Last week, it was the Phoenix Hilton, for Joe Polish’s and Dean Jackson’s shockingly-good “I Love Marketing” event.

So this is fresh stuff.

Jim’s the real thing.  A top, consistently smokin’ hot copywriter and a keen observer of human behavior (and buying psychology).  He’s an original teacher in the Simple Writing System, and one of the very few writers I’ve personally asked to write FOR me.

This post is must-reading for anyone wondering how their latest and greatest ad is gonna do in the real world.

Warning: Do NOT drink coffee while reading this.  Or you’ll snort it through your nose during the funny parts.  Which is funny in itself, the image of hundreds of readers all over the globe spitting up coffee at their desks at the same time, courtesy of a master storyteller.

Okay, you’ve been warned.

Here’s Jimbo:

Thanks for the intro John.

I’ll dive right in.

Today I want to talk about a Street-Marketing lesson I call “How to take it in the shorts… and love it”.

It’s about how to get qualified critiques for your writing.

First, I’ll hit you with the big setup statement.

Here it is: Continue Reading

How To Create Your Own Damn Turning Point

Sunday, 1:01pm
Tampa, FL
Won’t you get hip to this timely tip, and take that California trip…” (“Route 66”, Bobby Troup)

Howdy…

I asked our old pal Kevin Rogers to guest post here, while I’m off galavanting around the west coast on biz trips.  (First stop: San Francisco, for the quarterly meeting of our super-awesome Platinum Mastermind group.)

I laughed reading this post.  There are excellent lessons for everyone below (especially if you’re struggling to find your footing in this current economic turmoil)…

… and I just want to be clear, up front, about one crucial detail:  There is a HUGE difference between making yourself useful (after doing the necessary preparations)…

… and just being a lazy-ass stalker looking for a handout.  I met my own primary mentor, Gary Halbert, by slowly proving myself through actions.  I never asked for anything, and never pretended to be anything I wasn’t.

Most of the time, the difference between a life frozen in place… and a life that roars along in the fast lane… turns on a single moment where you realize “Hey, I can DO this”.

And that moment usually comes from discovering information, or advice, that you couldn’t quite piece together on your own.

This is where teachers come in.

This is where taking that critical action-step of reaching out and grasping opportunity is the order of the day.

Okay, enough preamble.  Here’s Kevin:

Hi.  Kevin Rogers here.

Since the head honcho is away this week and asked me to fill in (always a humbling honor), I thought I’d share the story of how I was able to “weasel my way” into John’s world…

… all the way from being a guy he’d barely noticed writing about him on marketing forums… to eventually becoming a trusted insider (and even working alongside him as his go-to-writer).

There’s a huge lesson in here anyone can use to skip several rungs up the ladder of marketing hierarchy and claim your seat at the royal feast of the clued-in and well-connected.

This lesson is based on an old philosophy that says: In order to achieve your goals, choose someone who has already achieved those goals and model their thinking.

This story backs up that theory, with two small addendums:

1. Modeling your subject’s thinking isn’t as simple as reading a biography or daydreaming about how they might react in a certain situation… but rather, getting into a room with them to find out what truly makes them tick.  And…

2. When it comes to scoring a meeting with your subject… it’s probably going to require you to swallow your fears to make it happen.

Here’s the story: Continue Reading

An Impassioned Plea To Avoid Missing The Biggest Opportunity Of Your Life

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Tuesday, 6:26pm
Reno, NV
Don’t bunt.  Aim out of the ballpark.  Aim for the company of immortals.” (David Ogilvy, “Confessions of an Adman”)

This is important:

A while back, I posted something on this blog that hit a freakin’ nerve among the throngs of entrepreneurs, biz owners and rookies who hang out on this site.

Comments started flooding in…

… and, as usual, I interacted with folks.

I’ve just been told (by trusted inner-circle colleagues) that one of my replies in those comment threads…

… was perhaps the most vivid and impassioned point I’ve ever made about the raw seething power of honest kick-ass salesmanship to change lives.

So, I want to share that reply, here in a fresh post.

Let me set the scene for you: People were trying to make sense of the massive piles of hype still being disgorged by the Internet marketing community…

… and how all that hype soured good people on good opportunities.

“Hype”, and the dreadful sales pitches filled with it, really confuses people.  To the point where it’s now cool to talk about “selling without selling”.

It’s clear that many people now struggling to make a business successful…

… feel adrift in all the advice, information, and teasing opportunities swirling around the marketing community, both online and offline.

I know it’s frustrating.  I hear about this frustration all the time.

And here’s how I addressed this critical subject in that comment thread:

“Hi Stephen.You know what? The modern world is designed to bug us.

None of our ancestors had to deal with virtual worlds, global anarchy, an economy based on blips in a database, or any of the other challenges to sanity this brave new adventure called Life In The 21st Century hath wrought.

And within this turmoil and chaos is the “marketplace” we do business in. It’s noisy, distracting, and crammed with scams and opportunity in equal amounts.

The truth about modern marketing ain’t pretty.

Having the best product means squat. Being a genuine nice guy out to do the right thing won’t save you from bankruptcy. The marketing graveyard is full of fabulous products no one figured out how to sell.

Selling is the language of the marketplace.

Sure, there’s so damned MUCH of it going on, it’s annoying, it pisses us off, and our fight-or-flight urges kick in big time.

However… one man’s hype… is another man’s essential information.

You can want the world to come at you in short little bursts of exciting, entertaining bite-sized pieces of lusciousness…

… but if you live your life that way, you’ll be perfect fodder for the worst scams.

You can use the “what the heck, I’ll go with my gut” method of choosing what you buy…

… and maybe you’ll survive just fine. Maybe get stuck with a bad car that doesn’t meet your needs, or was overpriced, or a lemon. You can survive that, probably.

But you’d be a fool to apply that kind of decision-making to, say, getting married.

You want to know as much about the other person as possible.

Courtship is, essentially, a long sales letter. You’re getting pitched, and you’re processing the data on your own at the same time.

The decisions you make for your business are (or should be) as carefully munched on as the other life-long choices you encounter.

Hype is in the eye of the beholder.

If you are offended by classic salesmanship — which presents a choice, and then lobbies for you to make that choice — then you need to find another way to make your business work.

I’ll tell you that every day there are fresh businesses launched by good people who don’t believe they need to know how to sell in order to thrive…

… and those businesses are shuttered and empty soon after.

Business isn’t a popularity contest.

If you have an ethical product that your prospect really should have (because it will make his life better, or fix a dire problem he has)…

… then SHAME on you if you ignore the proven ways to get his attention… and fail to sell him on it just because you’re uncomfortable with the sales process.

You do NOT have to be obnoxious in order to sell.

You don’t have to be anything other than who you are, in fact.

You just need to understand the emotional, psychological and behavioral mechanism your prospect has to endure in order to agree to buy what you have.

Some of the smoothest salesmen alive can close the deal without a bit of perceived hype. They’re still using classic salesmanship tactics, however.

They understand the needs of the prospect, and they understand the sometimes irrational process required in order to close the deal.

Scams will never go away. You must be hyper-aware as a consumer. The dangers of an open marketplace are with us forever.

Nevertheless, the old maxim “the more you tell, the more you sell” will also never go away, either.

If detailed information and legitimate urging to join up strikes you as “hype”, then maybe the opportunity in front of you isn’t something you should engage in.

But I’ll tell you what: If this were the last train about to leave the station, and the conductor didn’t do all he could to make you clearly understand this fact…

… and the train left without you…

… you’d be in a world of hurt. And you’d be right to blame the conductor for not grabbing your attention and forcing you to understand just how critical the situation was.

This upcoming Simple Writing System mentoring program very well might BE the last one we ever host. It starts September 29. There is not another one planned.

I could whisper this fact. Or just ignore it.

Or, I could do everything in my power to make you aware of this… so you aren’t left behind, ticked off that no one made it clear to you.

When you don’t care about that train pulling away, the conductor is just yelling. It’s an annoyance, and you wish he’d shut up.

However, when it’s your train, and you’re about to miss it, then you’re thankful he broke through your daydreaming.

The SWS adventure is about to start.

It will change lives, as the previous ones have. This is the real thing, crammed with real value and real skill sets that can fuel success and independence for the rest of your days.

It’s a crazy time to be alive.

Choose your resources and choose who you trust carefully.

And when you discover genuine opportunities, jump on them. I know the lure of the Magic Button is powerful and hypnotic and hard to resist. Choices are seldom easy when the stakes are high.

Do what you think is right.”

Okay…

That was my impassioned plea to anyone out there struggling to understand how important this choice before them really is.

If you’re still on the fence about joining this program…

… consider this:

Consideration #1. My biz partner Stan and I have many different (and lucrative) projects we’d love to pursue.

And while it’s pretty evident (from the flood of sign-ups the day we began accepting students) that this upcoming SWS mentoring program will be the best one we’ve ever hosted…

… we have zero current plans to host another one like this.  We take these over-sized, large programs one at a time.  There are no other programs on our schedule with this assembled faculty, or with all the extra resources and bonuses we’ve stuffed into this all-out program.

Can you even begin to imagine how tough it is to put together a faculty with such well-known, sought-after, notoriously-successful professionals?  The preparation, delivery and maintenance of this utterly unique program absolutely consumes my office while it’s active.

It requires dedication, intense focus, and vast quantities of time and energy to create this stunningly-effective learning environment for you.

We’re not an institution — we’re just professionals who’ve banded together to help change some lives.

The business world is getting very exciting, as I said.  Lots of opportunities to get busy with, lots of reasons not to commit to an intense, deeply interactive coaching program like this.

The single reason TO commit should be obvious: It is the one skill-set, above all others, with the power to fuel your success in everything you do from here on out.

Consideration #2. So… this really may be your last shot at getting this kind of pro-level SWS mentoring, one-on-one, personalized, intensely focused on you… in the big, rollicking full-faculty program format we’re hosting right now.

Consideration #3. And if this is the last large-sized program…

… we’re going to make it the best one yet…

… and we’re also going to end this short period of accepting students with a BANG.

Here’s what we’re doing: When you join us in this Simple Writing System at-home mentoring program (which begins September 29)…

… we will give you full-privileged access to video of the infamous Action Seminar we held in January…

… absolutely free.  This is an exclusive JUST for folks in this upcoming program.  Right now, in fact, this is the ONLY way to see this sought-after video.

The marketing community is still buzzing about that Action Seminar (more than a few months afterward).

And it’s easy to see why.  The entire focus of that event — as you’ll soon see — was on organizing your business plan…

… and implementing it as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Through a realistic, strategy-loaded action plan that fits you like a glove.

Basically… we gave attendees their first honest, no-B.S. glimpse of how top marketers actually get their act together.

And get busy achieving every goal on their list, while racking up the moolah and results.

This was a gold mine of proven, total-insider advice and info and specific tactics.

It was NOT about writing.

It was about having that breakthrough “a-HA!” realization on finally kicking your adventure in capitalism into high gear… the way the niche-dominating Big Dogs do.

There were two solid days of this stuff.  No “rush to the back of the room” pitching goofiness, either.

It was all run interactively — everything we discussed, broke down,  explained and shared came directly from attendee questions and concerns, based on real-world situations straight from the people in the room.

These were entrepreneurs, small biz owners, and rookies… in other words, people just like you.  Finally learning how to break through the chaos, and map out the clearest path to getting what they want.

Everything we taught them…

… is now available for you to feast on, too.

Privately.  And for free, when you join us in this SWS mentoring program.  (You can, if you prefer, wait for the official release of these videos, and pay the steep going rate out of pocket.  When released, the Action Seminar DVDs will be priced breathtakingly steep.)

There is very little time left to decide if you’re coming with us…

… or remaining where you are in your life.

There are, as I write this, spots available with the professional-writer teachers in this Dream Team faculty.  Who are itching to get started, going deep with each student one-on-one.

It’s a proven program — the 8th large-scale one we’ve hosted.  The only one of its kind out there.

You can see what people who have been through it have to say here:

www.SimpleWritingSystem.com

It is not expensive.

Hiring any one of the top writers in the faculty to write privately for you would cost you thousands of dollars more (up to tens of thousands more).

To get long-term access like this to so many professional writers — including me and the writers closest to me — would be out of the reach of even big-budget corporations.

And yet, in this expanded SWS program, you get focused, personal training and guidance from a professional writer/teacher…

… plus access to a mind-blowing resource center stocked with pure content, delivered by the most respected experts in the world…

… and all the motivation, excitement and fun that fuels these special programs.

We’ve set up a legitimate once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here.

Perfect for entrepreneurs, biz owners and even rookies who realize it’s time to learn the most powerful (yet simple) system anywhere for creating killer sales messages.  Whenever you need them.  Under the careful guidance of a professional mentor.

As you will see, we’ve bent over backwards to make this amazing program within the reach of almost everyone.

There is a commitment.  You will need to follow through.

However, we’ve made it easy.

You’ve likely never been taken by the hand and guided like this before.  You’ll soon get used to accepting the personalized, pro-level help, though.  It’s fun, once you get moving.

This train is leaving the station soon.

Should you be on it?

Make your decision.  See what’s up, and please choose wisely.

Here’s that link again:

www.SimpleWritingSystem.com

If you join us, I’ll see you inside the program.  Where your amazing adventure in success and independence begins September 29…

Stay frosty,

John

Buzz And Awe, Part 2

2-10 iPhone 005

Monday, 1:31 p.m.
Reno, NV
Is there gas in the car? Yeah, there’s gas in the car…” (Steely Dan, “Kid Charlemagne”)

Howdy…

Some things are just important enough to go over several times.

Especially when FREE life-changing goodies are involved.

Here’s what’s up: Those of you in the loop know we’re launching the coaching program of the Simple Writing System again.

I’ve lost track of how many of these programs we’ve now hosted.  This is the eighth or ninth one — we’re calling it the Fall 2010 edition.

We only offer this hand-holding, personalized, one-on-one mentoring rarely.  The last one was all the way back in the Spring of last year.  (They’ve all filled quick, too.)

No idea when another one will come around… if it even does.

We take this one program at a time.

One of the main benefits of this unique coaching program… is also why we focus only on the session we’re producing now: It’s extremely interactive.

Which is perfect for anyone who knows that hands-on mentoring is the best way to learn.

This is the simplest possible system (crammed with short-cuts) for creating all the sales messages you need  for a profitable business…

… including all your ads, websites, video scripts, emails, AdWords, blogs and other social media broadsides…

… and everything else that pumps eager prospects into your Sales Funnel.

So you can close the heck out them.  And get prosperous and happy.

Most marketers wander through the wasteland of Bad Business Practices their entire career… Continue Reading

Congratulations, And Now Stop Being A Wuss

iPhone09-2 225Monday, 7:55pm
Reno, NV
But it’s all right… in fact it’s a gas…” (The Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“)

Howdy…

Nobody’s ever asked me to give the commencement speech for a graduating class.

That’s probably a good thing.  I’m pretty pissed off at the education system these days, and I might cause a small riot with the rant I’d surely deliver.

See, I have a university “education”.  A BA in psychology.  (The BA stands for, I believe, “bullshit amassed”.)  I earned it several decades ago…

… and while I had a good time in college (height of the sex revolution, you know, with a soundtrack that is now called “classic rock”), made some lifelong friends, and got a good look at higher learning from the inside…

… that degree provided zilch preparation for the real world.  Didn’t beef me up for any job, didn’t give me insight to how things worked, didn’t do squat for me as an adult.

I waltzed off-campus and straight into the teeth of the worst recession since the Depression (Nixon’s post-Vietnam wage-freeze, record unemployment, gas-lines, near-total economic turmoil)…

… so, hey, I should have a little empathy for today’s grads, right?

Naw. Continue Reading


All testimonials and case studies within this website are, to the best of our ability to determine, true and accurate. They were provided willingly, without any compensation offered in return.

These testimonials and case studies do not represent typical or average results. Most customers do not contact me or offer share to their results, nor are they required or expected to. Therefore, I have no way to determine what typical or average results might have been.

Many people do not implement anything I teach them. I can't make anyone follow my advice, and I obviously can't promise that our advice, as interpreted and implemented by everyone, is going to achieve for everyone the kinds of results it's helped some of the folks you read about and hear from here achieve.

The income statements and examples on this website are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results. Each individual's success will be determined by his or her desire, dedication, marketing background, product, effort, and motivation to work and follow recommendations. There is no guarantee you will duplicate results stated here. You recognize any business endeavor has inherent risk for loss of capital.

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