Take A Deep Breath…


There sure are a lot of launches going down, online. Seems like everyone who has something to sell is trying to work people into a bug-eyed frenzy before allowing anyone to buy it.

I love good marketing tactics. The launch process is a good-un, based on sound classic salesmanship… but geez louise. I’m getting forty emails a day from people I don’t know who pretend to be my closest buddy in the world, telling me the foreplay is almost over, and the long-awaited climax is just around the corner…

Let’s just please all get a grip for a moment here.

There are products that deserve to be launched, with all due pomp and circumstance… and there are products that, frankly, look kinda like that emperor with no clothes on.

Sometimes, a circus is just another circus. And they aren’t all the greatest show on earth.

Look… when I tout something to you in an email, or here in the blog, it’s because I’m sold on it. I think it’s a good thing to at least give a “look-see”… and I’ve checked it out first.

For me, that’s a major part of the definition of being a “go-to guy” — to not squander any good will I’ve created with you, and not to be a whore about every commissioned project that I get asked to tout. (And I get asked a lot.)

If I say something’s worth checking out, I’m telling you from my heart and my professional experience. (And hard as it may be to believe, I have even done this without expecting or asking for — or receiving — any kick-back of any kind. I’m a die-hard capitalist, but I also take my job as a teacher damn seriously. I think my blogs and newsletters back this up.)

I can appreciate any marketing tactic that gets people’s blood pumping.

But really… when all is said and done… the bottom line will always be basic salesmanship and classic business savvy. My friend Mike — himself part of a multi-million dollar launch of a worthwhile product that actually delivers the goods — said it very succinctly: “All you really need to be successful… is a business mind and someone who can write the copy.”

Take a deep breath and cogitate on that for a moment. It’s brilliant.

This simple statement sent me off to many hours of quiet time… while I considered the implications of this truth for myself and my various projects and businesses. I’ve been so top-heavy on the copy side, that I sort of neglected the business side. I just blind-sided myself, and maybe forgot some of my own best lessons.

I am an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur — by God, I started out all on my lonesome, working out of the house… and I have resisted partnering up with anyone because that “do it alone” paradigm has actually worked out pretty darned well. For years, it’s just been me and Diane… and she only works a few hours a day here. (She does the work of three other people, but her input is still limited by time.)

But I’ve finally realized that the copy-heavy thing is hurting me.

And so… I have enlisted the help of some very impressive business-heavy minds (and one in particular)… and for the first time, I am allowing someone to take control of the business angle for my most cherished projects. He’s a good, trusted friend, and for the first time in a while, I’m genuinely thrilled about a new venture.

This is not a launch of anything… and really, it may not mean much to you from where you sit. Except that, by freeing myself from the shackles of business details, I will be able to pay more attention to writing good stuff… and taking even better care of clients and subscribers.

First order of “new” business: It appears there are many people whose membership in my Insider’s Club has expired… and I have not told them that they have an opportunity to renew.

I discovered this, today, when I received several emails from past Insiders who wanted to know if I was mad at them or something… because I’d never asked them to re-join.

They had — due to my negligence — become “outsiders”.

If you are an expired Insider, and somehow you have never been asked to re-join… well, I apologize. I’m not mad at anyone, and frankly I’m a little embarrassed I haven’t followed up more diligently.

If I were my client, I’d throttle myself.

So here’s the deal: If you have ever been an Insider, at any time since the Club was founded back in 2001… and you would like to rejoin… just shoot Diane an email. Send it to: diane@marketingrebel.com… and write “Diane, about my Insider’s renewal” in the subject line, so you’ll get special attention.

In your email, simply give your name, and say you want to find out how to become an Insider again. We’ll break a leg getting back to you. And yes, you get a very special deal.

Very special.

The Insider’s Club is still the best bargain in the industry… and most (not just some, but most) of the players in online marketing today have partook of the pleasures of being an Insider at one time or another. It is — as you should know from your days as an Insider yourself — the real thing.

And you need to act on this quickly, too.

Why? Well, as I said, I’m not launching anything… but I am finally listening to my friends who are “business heavy”… and I am creating the hands-on mentoring program people have been begging me to start for years now.

And Insiders will get the first right of refusal.

This is no idle bluff — I have always kept my seminars small and intimate (and never, ever pitched attendees on anything), and always given my personal attention to every critique and piece of advice. Like I’ve said — it’s just been me and Diane here all these years. No other staff, and I don’t “job” stuff out.

I keep things small.

So any mentoring program I offer will clog up fast. Insiders will hear about it long before anyone else… and it may yet remain one of the most hidden and underground programs for shortcutting your way to the Good Life ever offered.

If I don’t need to let the general public hear about it… I won’t. I don’t need the glory.

Man, I’m just trying to deliver the goods here. For most of my career, I was the original “secret weapon”, and I never sought center-stage. I will happily go back to being anonymous… as long as I can continue to do the work I was built to do. Which is nothing less than a radical transformation of the way the average entrepreneur gets his sales message out.

Because, even after all these years of multiple “guru’s” claiming to teach people how to do all these wonderful things… the sad truth is this: Most advertising out there still sucks mightily… and most entrepreneurs still squander every opportunity to make the Big Bucks and earn their place at the feast that life offers.

Every day, the list of readers for this humble blog grows longer and longer. If you’re new here, most of this rambling will probably just go right over your head… and that’s fine. At least you got here, and with the archives, you have a chance to catch up if you choose to.

However… if you already feel you understand me, and appreciate what a grizzled, proven veteran like me brings to the table… then this news of a mentoring program should have already sent your blood pressure through the top of your skull.

My favorite slogan is: “This stuff sure is fun when it finally starts working, ain’t it.”

I’ve been able to share the joy of that slogan with numerous clients and students and Insiders over the past few years. And it IS fun when the money starts pouring in, and the respect blossoms, and all the parts of living well and living fully finally come together.

If you’re an Insider, you’ll be hearing more soon. If you’re not… we’ll see.

At any rate, those of us who love this business appreciate honest excitement. It’s the life-blood of success, when harnassed and focused on the right targets and goals.

So stay frosty. The times, they are a changin’…

John Carlton

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  • Hi John,

    It seems everytime I start to wonder if I’m spending too much time on some aspect of my copywriting business (e.g. rewrites, planning, strategizing) I come here and you have a post that confirms I’m on the right track.

    I appreciate the balanced approach you are always aiming for and sharing.

    Your points about the business mind being as important as the copy (and may I assume, the marketing?) reinforced how Dan Kennedy reiterates over and over that marketing should dictate business operations.

    That the clean restroom at McDonald’s IS part of the selling process, part of the marketing — in a way… “copy.”

    All the best,


  • Ryan Healy says:

    John – Quick question… how long does an Insider membership last? I joined in July 2005. If it’s a year, then mine has expired and I need to email Diane. Please confirm. Thanks.

  • Bernie says:

    John, I alway look forward to your blog entries. For one, they are infregrequent enough that when an email from you shows up it goes toward the top of the list of things to check out. Two, you are not busy clogging up my box with all of the hype, offers, etc.

    I did invest in the Kick@$$ Secrets of A Marketing Rebel course and I am enjoying my subscription to the Rant. Being relatively new to this world I have to keep refocusing and concentrating on staying grounded.

    Thanks for being a voice of “dissent” or the “Rebel” crying out in the woods. Glad I found your site, and I hope you’re staying frosty!


  • Dan Gallapoo says:

    I bought the least expensive version of your course when it came out several years ago… but I WANTED to get the Insiders option. I was broke at the time.

    A couple years later when I was flush with cash after implementing the stuff I learned in your course, I joined the Insiders Club. One of the best investments I’ve made in years.

    I also paid you for a 60 minute phone consult that wound up DOUBLING the response I was getting from a pitch I wrote. And even better… one little secret you revealed on this called has more than TRIPLED the amount of time people stay in my continuity program.

    If your readers aren’t taking advantage of your Insiders Club, they are leaving a smal mountain of cash on the table every month they COULD be making.


  • Manda says:

    Hi All,

    I’m definitely a newbie here and like John said, some of this stuff is going over my head. Any tips on going thru the archives? Looks like it would take weeks to cover it all, is there a top 10 list or something for the archives?


  • BrettFromTibet says:

    That’s quite a pitch to get us to join your Insiders Club – amazing!
    It makes other direct-response writers look like amateurs.

  • Andy Moose says:

    I had to catch my breath when I found the
    Robert Collier Letter Book in the local
    college library…

    Then like a true information junkie, I spent
    the next 2 hours devouring it and finding out
    what all the fuss about this book was for…

    It’s incredible!


  • I am not an insider and still extremely new to this internet marketing game. I am still crawling still learning. I agree with you John from my infant eyes and opinion that some of the marketing tactics are excessive. It seems they plan to either slaughter us or we surrender. It is like the old Soviet attack strategy. I really hate to be gone for anytime lately. When i return it seems I spend twice as long as I was gone cleaning out my inbox. I guess the strategy is to create more opt-ins then exiters.

    Anyways thanks for the always insightful if not senstive views into the wornderful world of online business and marketing.

  • DMH says:

    Re: “Any tips on going thru the archives? Looks like it would take weeks to cover it all”

    Here’s my tip, go back to the start and work your way through. Sorry ‘short-cuts’ are so-called for a reason.

    Despite having John’s complete course, there are still so many invaluable gems littered throughout these archives that I find on a daily basis.

    Personally, I think any rookie (or anyone for that matter) with half a drop of marketing or entrepreneurial blood in their veins would be crazy to overlook this impressive resource that is utterly free.

    Maybe people are so used to having to pay through the ass for ‘amazing secrets’ and magic pills so that they can’t see what is right under their nose. And I guess that the mass-marketing of ‘free reports’ has almost made the word ‘free’ on the web, synonymous with the word ‘crap’.

    This is the shortcut generation… and at 26 I’m definitely a part of it. Why work hard when you can work smart? But for real skills and real talent I’ve learnt the hard way that there is rarely a true shortcut – that is, if you’re going to achieve anything of actual substance or quality.

    It’s like the old Pablo Picasso tale. The story goes that once Pablo drew someone, a complete stranger, on a napkin in about 15 seconds. The person was in awe and commented on how little time it took.

    Picasso said, ‘It took me 40 years to draw this picture.’

    “Looks like it would take weeks to cover it all”. But here’s the thing,that IS a shortcut! More than 20 years of a pro’s study, learning, experience and soul-searching crammed into a few weeks.

    I highly recommend anyone and everyone to go back through the archives if they haven’t. Admittedly it does appear overwhelming at first, so start small. On my daily list of things to do I wrote out “J.C articles by 3, 2, 1” and took pleasure in crossing each one off. A few days later I was crossing off “J.C articles x6”… then I got hooked and now it’s 10 per day.

    It takes some time, but I’m safe in the knowledge that I’m saving myself headaches, time, pain and money (plus I get a real kick out of it)!

    Each day I read some insight, lesson or point that I WISH I had read earlier. There have been so many things that I had stumbled over or smacked my head on that could have been easily avoided – especially if I’d taken the advice of a seasoned pro first.

    If anyone wants to take some rookie advice from me, buck-up and go back to the start…. It’s more than worth it.

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