Tag Archives: Marketing

R.I.P. Elvis Sightings & Exploding Preachers

 

Thursday, 2:52pm
Reno, NV
He was a one-eyed, one horn, flying purple people eater…” (Sheb Wooley)

Howdy.

In the spirit of screwing off as much as possible this fine July, I’m replenishing the blog with another oldie-but-goodie post from the archives.

So you’ve got something good to chew on, while I wander off to the beach to get pounded by merciless surf and fried by an uncaring sun. You know: Good times.

Anyway, I love meandering through the archives here… especially when I find a post that still packs some mojo.

Here’s a nice short one from ’07, on the non-scientific process of finding great hooks for your headlines. At the time, I was bummed that a favorite newsstand shock-rag was ending its run… however, the good news is that WWN is still alive and kicking (just like Elvis) online. (Today’s headline: “Saturn Ready To Explode!” Um… okay.)

The ability to find a way to hook readers (and drag them into your story) is what separates the Big Dog writers from the wannabe’s. And creating hooks (especially from otherwise boring raw material) is an art form that needs to be developed. It’s not a skill that comes with your standard brain equipment.

Here’s some insight to how the best veteran copywriters do it, slightly edited, via the Archive Time Machine, from July ’07:Continue Reading

Brain Tempest (Downgraded From A Storm)

Saturday, 2:23pm
Reno, NV
Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?” (Travis Bickle, “Taxi Driver”)

Howdy. Sorry about being such a potty mouth right off the bat there… but that Taxi Driver quote is just too perfect for setting the stage.

Here’s what’s up: I’ve been involved in high-end, professional-level brainstorming and masterminding for, oh, around 30 years now. I think I’m starting to get a handle on it, too.

Okay, I’m joking. After spending half my career butting heads, arguing and mentally-wrasslin’ with legendary thinkers like Gary Halbert… with a LOT of money, reputation and consequences on the line…

… I actually DO know a little something about working over an idea, ripping away the bullshit, and uncovering the overlooked, ignored, and spot-on nuggets of truth and success-potential most people miss.

The process is very much like sausage-making: Not pretty, and not for the weak-kneed.

However, if you truly desire to run an idea, project or plan through the gauntlet of REAL brainstorming…

… it’s still the fastest way to load up your war-chest with tactics, strategies and solid creative mojo. So you can get moving on conquering the world (or your niche, whichever).

But here’s the kicker: Hardly any veteran marketers have a clue how to brainstorm effectively.

Folks just naturally suck at it. And recoil in horror when confronted with the real thing in action. (“No!“, they cry. “It just CAN’T be that brutal!“)

At least… Continue Reading

Cross-Cultural Exam #9: Boomer v. Xer. (With PRIZE!)

Monday, 8:28pm
Reno, NV
Just take those old records off the shelf, I’ll sit n’ listen to ‘em by myself…” (Bob Seger)

Howdy…

At the end of this post, I’ll explain how you can win a bitchin’ prize that will make you the envy of all your friends forever.

First, though — let’s learn something about marketing to humans, whadya say?

Here’s two quick “how to deal with the screaming chaos” tips for everyone in business today who’s just a tad freaked-out at the way things seem to changing so damned FAST:

Screaming Chaos-Dealing Tip #1: If you’re older, you need to cultivate solid relationships with younger folks who can help you understand the Zeitgeist of the dominant culture out there.  (Yes, even if you hate it.  Especially if you hate it, actually.)

And I’m not talking about having your nephew program your TV remote while you mow the lawn.

Nope.  I’m talking about entrepreneur-minded young adults, who just happen to be totally wired into the Grid…

… and can translate current trends while offering you some solid, smart perspective.

And…

Screaming Chaos-Dealing Tip #2: If you’re a young entrepreneur, you need to cultivate relationships with geezers who can give you some perspective on how we GOT to this current state of affairs.

Key thing to remember: Continue Reading

Step One Of Your Shiny New Life

Wednesday, 9:04am
Baltimore, MD
Don’t follow leaders, watch the pawking meters…” (Bob Dylan)

Howdy.

Do you like change?

You know that most folks hate and fear change, right?  It’s all so unpredictably messy, and rudely forces you out of your comfort zone.

Bleah.  Yuck.  Keep it away.

Well, guess what?  Successful entrepreneurs love change.

More specifically, they love the opportunity to alter the way things are… both within their market, and in their lifestyles.

If you’re limping along on anemic sales, and suddenly a new tactic or project jacks response through the roof… that’s a good change.

If you roll out a hot, fresh campaign (aimed at demolishing competition and hoarding all the market share to yourself), and it bombs… that’s a bad change.

However, you can’t enjoy the first without risking the second.  Which kinda defines entrepreneurship in a nutshell:  You do something, there’s a reaction, and you deal with the gains or losses.

Maintaining the status quo is never a valid option in biz.  You keep moving and adjusting, like a parade negotiating twisting streets and weather changes.

You set up camp and settle in, though, and you’re like the Donner Party.  I’ve seen many businesses eat themselves alive, trying to avoid change.

There is stress inherent in both situations.  When you resist change, the anxiety and internal turmoil builds and festers.  When you engage with change, you are constantly flushing out the bad ju-ju, keeping your system in good working order.

It’s kinda like early dating.  I viscerally remember staring at the phone with Susie Q’s number in my hand, completely freaked-out over the looming possibilities.  Still, it was better to dial her up, mumble and fumble the conversation and face the consequences…Continue Reading

How To Critical Think, Part 1

Saturday, 2:33pm
Reno, NV
When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all…” (Paul Simon, “Kodachrome”)

Howdy.

Someone recently asked me to offer a clue on how to nurture critical thinking.

It’s a fair question.  And while I’m no neuro-scientist, I talk about critical thinking a lot, because it’s the foundation of great writing, killer salesmanship, and engaging the world with your throttle wide open.

However, it’s not an easy subject to grasp if you’ve seldom taken your brain out for a spin around the Deep Thought Track (as most folks have not).

So let’s explore it a little bit here…

Critical Think Point #1: Yes, I know the headline on this article is a grammatical car wreck.  It should be “how to think critically”, or at least “how to critically think”.

But this botched phrasing is actually part of the lesson I’m sharing here.

Consider:  The vast majority of people sleep-walk through their lives and careers, never going beneath the surface of anything.  They process, at most, a small fraction of the information they see, hear or read about.

It’s pretty much GIGO.  Garbage in, garbage out.

So the first job of any good marketer is toContinue Reading

Watch, Learn, Make Your Move.

Saturday, 4:43pm
San Diego, CA
Arriba y arriba, por ti seré, por ti seré…” (La Bamba!)

Howdy…

Important alert today.

If you know, in your heart, you shoulda been there with us for the Action Seminar last week…

… and you just couldn’t make it…

… we’ve now got the Primo Solution for you.

It’s this: We filmed the whole darn thing — every thrilling, shocking, life-altering moment on stage, with a pro camera crew — and have decided to uncork the video immediately.

It’s now available, online, and ready for you to dive into with gusto.

To gain instant access to the professionally-shot video of this already-legendary Action Seminar, go here now.

What you’re about to witness is a seminar different than any other you’ve ever heard about, attended, or caught rumors of.  We called it the “Action Seminar” because it was all ABOUT action…

… meaning, finally getting your plan together to make 2011 your best year ever…

… and kick that puppy into high gear, right freakin’ NOW.

The joint was crawling with Rockstar marketers, like Perry Marshall, Mike Koenigs, Jason Moffatt…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

Top 10 Secrets To Make 2011 Your Best Year Ever (All Of Which You’re Currently Ignoring Or Screwing Up)

Thursday, 4:51pm
Reno, NV
“I’ll have what she’s having…” (When Harry Met Sally)

Howdy…

I figured I’d end the year in a ball of fire, and just lay it out for you here.

If you tried, really really hard, and weren’t successful last year…

… it was probably mostly your own damn fault.

Yeah, sure, the economy sucked, politicians were mean, your prospects are all screamin’ idiots, and God had it out for you.  All totally excellent excuses for having a crummy bottom line again.

It’s not your fault.  It can’t be your fault.  That… that’s just…

… that’s just completely unacceptable that it might be your fault.

And, hey, maybe you did piss off the universe, and spooky forces beyond your control mucked things up so you had a bad year.

I believe you.  I really do.

However…

After you’ve been around the block a few times in life, you start to notice some very interesting things about success.

And the big realization, I’d have to say, is that the idea that success is somehow magically bestowed on people in a spontaneous burst of luck and being in the right place/right time…

… is just bullshit.Continue Reading

Who Do You Trust?

Friday, 3:33 pm
Reno, NV
When the world is a monster, ’bout to swallow you whole…” (R.E.M., Can’t Get There From Here)

Howdy…

Quick post today (I promise).

It’s about a HUGE freakin’ disaster lurking behind many entrepreneurs right now…

… like a snarly ugly googly-eyed monster sneaking up on your ass with fangs bared and claws clutching.

Some of you, right now, can feel its hot fetid breath on your neck.

Boo!

You know what this beast is?

It’s the Great Unknown Future that most marketers are facing right now, as 2011 comes galloping around the corner.  And there are no fangs sharper, and no evil hunger more devouring than a recession-addled economy (licking its chops as it creeps up on you).

Now, here’s a free piece of advice from a grizzled veteran of 30 years in the biz world:  I’ve successfully navigated at least 3 huge (and at least 3 other less-huge but still extremely painful) recessions since I began my career as a marketing expert.

I’ve done it alone…

… and I’ve done with the help, mentoring, and insight of folks who had been down that road before.

And I gotta tell you:  It SUCKS to do it alone.

And having a little solid, experienced help watching your back can almost immediately transform your progress.

In my consulting practice, I see a lot of lonely cowboys wandering the marketing range, trying to figure everything out on the fly. They have no one to shuck and jive with… no one to bounce ideas off of (so they never get honest feedback)…Continue Reading

The Notorious “2 Lists” Approach To Life & Biz

Tuesday, 3:59pm
Reno, NV
Of course, some people go both ways…” (Scarecrow to Dorothy, “Wizard of Oz“)

Howdy…

Here’s a quick bit of wisdom ripped from the ongoing coaching in the current Simple Writing System program.

It’s actually a tactic I’ve been sharing with consulting clients and mastermind colleagues for decades.  I haul it out whenever someone expresses frustration on what next decision to make.

Key point: It doesn’t matter what the situation is.  This works for business, love, revenge plans, shopping, starting wars, arguing with idiots, wondering what to do on a nice afternoon…

… any situation at all where you need to make a decision.

It also works even if you’re looking at lots of “gray” area… so you’re not facing an either-or, or a fork in the road, or a choice between two clear options.

In fact, it probably works best when you have no idea whatsoever of the POSSIBLE decisions to make.  You’re clueless.  Frozen.  Absolutely blank on the next step.

(This is, by the way, a common reason serious small biz owners come to me for consultation.)  (In the larger corporate world, another long-observed excuse for hiring a consultant is to have someone to blame for making a decision you either can’t or won’t make.  CYA.  Not the best reason to bring in an expert…)

So here’s the tool… Continue Reading


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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.

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