San Francisco, CA
“It crawled into my hand, honest…” (The Fuggs, circa 1967)
I’m off having more fun than you this week…
… meeting up with a bunch of crazy writers in Baghdad By The Bay for a nice gourmet feast (delivered by the world-renown “Beer Chef”, who pairs super-delicious fare with micro-brews instead of boring old wine)…
… followed by, well, being in San Francisco with a bunch of crazy writers.
Oh, there will be stories.
I suggest you follow us on Twitter. (It’s the Usual Suspects at the core of this adventure: Harlan, Morgan, Lorrie, Kevin, Garf, Curly, Mark, Dahl, etc.)
If you’re not following me on Twitter… first, get your head examined, then check in at www.twitter.com/johncarlton007. (Don’t forget the “oo7” part. Some other doofus nailed “johncarlton” long ago — turns out, it’s a fairly common name. Not that I’ve ever met one of the imposters personally…)
And while you’re waiting for me to get back (probably early next week) and start posting on this blog again…
… take this opportunity to go back through the archives and get hip to why this blog is so popular in the first place.
There’s almost 5 years of good stuff waiting for you.
And I’ll see you back here in a few days.
If, that is, I survive the weekend in SF.
“Facts are stupid things.” (Ronald Reagan, ’88 GOP convention)
Well, that was fun.
Over 650 comments on that last quiz so far (with a bullet). Some really good responses, too.
Also some really out-there ones, which always makes for giddy reading.
The main thing, of course, is that so many folks put on their Thinking Caps and went for it. As I’ve said before: You win just by trying with this kind of brain stumper.
… we have a winner. I’ll let you know who it was in a minute.
First, let’s relieve the tension and reveal the answer already.
Or at least head in that direction. It’s probably worth noting that only a tiny handful of the comments were on the right path.
The question was vague, on purpose. This is high-end street-level psychology…
… and one of the main features of this kind of advanced salesmanship is that it is NOT easily understood by most people.
In fact, you’ve likely encountered the answer to this quiz before in your life… but because it didn’t “fit” with your intuition and belief about “how things work”, it didn’t stick.
Most of what classic salesmen know about people runs counter to what the majority calls “common sense”.
This is startling to rookie marketers. Confusing. Disorienting. Challenges long-held beliefs about the nobility of human endeavor and the lofty inclinations of the human brain.
Thus, we saw long sub-threads in the comments that ignored the entire concept of a “glitch” in people’s thinking…
… and instead dove into all kinds of elaborate explanations of how a successful sales pitch might smoothly proceed with dignity and logic.
It’s good to have these discussions, if you desire to get anywhere in marketing.
I, too, had trouble getting into the minds of my prospects at first.
This is why I jumped on every opportunity that arose, early in my career, to hang out and grill every “street wise” marketer I ran into.
Cuz those guys knew how to SELL.
No theory. Just experience (and the bank accounts to prove it).
This group included:
… Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert (both of whom had door-to-door selling experience where, if they didn’t make the sale, they didn’t eat that day)…Continue reading
“Ain’t it hard when you discover that he wasn’t really where it’s at… after he took from you everything he could steal?” (Bob Dylan, “Like A Rollin’ Stone”)
This is gonna be good.
And a whole lot tougher than any previous quiz I’ve given.
I’ll explain the prize in just a sec.
First, the set-up for the question:
I find it shocking that so many wanna-be-rich marketers out there still think the question of “short copy vs. long copy” is unsettled online.
I can tell you this: For the top guys — the ones sloughing off the vast majority of the moolah being made by entrepreneurs on the Web — it’s settled.
Whether you’re primarily using video, or email, or websites, or social media…
… the Main Big Damn Rule for getting people to part with their hard-earned money in trade for what you offer hasn’t changed since the first caveman traded up to a new cave with a view for a slab of mastodon meat:
The more you tell…
… the more you sell.
Hey — I love a good argument. Don’t get me wrong.
And I’m always open to hearing someone out on this subject.
I realize that — for many people unsullied by actual experience in the biz world — it’s just plain tempting to believe that the rules of the universe have suddenly changed.
And you no longer have to be so… vulgar… to make a sale anymore.
Because, you know… the Web has changed everything. Social networking has somehow mysteriously short-circuited the old skepticism, doubt, and fear of getting “taken” that has marred the smooth exchange of money in the past.
Now, hey, we’re all buddies on Twitter and Facebook!
Mi casa es su casa.
How much do you need? Here, take my wallet…
For anyone paying attention to what the entrepreneurs actually making money online are doing…Continue reading
“… and in the early mornin’ fog, I looked into those Mystic Eyes…” (Van Morrison, with Them, “Mystic Eyes”)
Had a little extended email exchange with our old pal Shawn Casey today.
See, he’s about to turn the Big Five-Oh… and I offered him the same gift that Gary Halbert offered me when I turned 50: An open invitation to hear about all the horrific shit he has to look forward to as his body slams full-force into official middle age.
Halbert used to absolutely delight in detailing for me some of the more evil indignities of waving bye-bye to youth.
Let’s just say your days of indulging in a bar brawl, and sleeping it off so you can do it again the next night, too…
… are over.
(Bonus insight: However, you can still have fun minus the dangerous stunts and life-threatening bravado that used to cap a good night out. Who’d a thought?)
I’m still laughing from that exchange with Shawn.
In truth, if you’re healthy, it ain’t all that big a deal sliding into your fifties. If you’ve spent the last four decades thrashing yourself, then yeah, you may be looking at getting your ticket punched early.
But if you listen to your body, keep the stress under control, get some freakin’ exercise once in a while, and avoid chunking out like Jaba The Hut…
… well, it’s actually kinda nice being a grizzled, older ape.
The real pleasures of life are just as intense… and you’ve pretty much identified which ones you want to focus on. (I spent my youth sampling almost every forbidden fruit in the feast… which I felt was my duty as a buddng writer. Many of those experiences were just downright awful, and yet they’d looked so good from a distance…)
And — even if you dinked around a lot for the bulk of your youth (as I did) (and, boy, was I good at dinking around) — you can’t help but have gathered a ton of experience.
And whatever mangled philosophy of life that got you this far must have something going for it… or you wouldn’t have made it.
Now, the reason I’m writing this post…Continue reading
Quick post here, cuz I’m heading out the door for a trip out of town.
I just want to alert you to a wonderful opportunity: My good pal and colleague, Mike Koenigs, asked me to speak at a hot new marketing seminar…
… where all the proceeds go to a truly great cause.
The last event like this I helped out with was the one Gary Halbert hosted after Hurricane Andrew ripped up south Florida. We stocked the speaker list with the hottest names from the entrepreneur world…
… and it offered people an excellent chance to offer real support to a very deserving cause…
… while scoring KILLER marketing info in a cutting-edge seminar.
Mike’s put together a line-up just as stunning, for this event coming up next month. Besides moi, there is Eben Pagan, Shawn Casey, Russell Brunson…Continue reading
Tampa Bay, FL
“What kind of music do you play here, Bob?” “Oh, we got both kinds. Country and western.” (Bob, the bar owner, and Jake Blues in “The Blues Brothers”)
Each year around July 4th, I like to post something on the blog about the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The part about free speech remains a protection that Americans enjoy (most of the time)… while much of the rest of the world refuses to even consider the concept.
Even otherwise enlightened joints like Europe have an itchy relationship with free speech.
Hell, we couldn’t get such a protection passed here in the States now. If it hadn’t been wedged into the Constitution by Jefferson in the Bill of Rights 240 years ago, it would still be an unrealized pipe dream of writers and deep thinkers everywhere.
Make no mistake: Your freedom to write blogs without government interference… as well as your right to use words like “fuck” to your heart’s content while making your point… is protected (mostly).
And this freedom is what fueled America’s dominance in stand up comedy.
Hey, don’t scoff. Satire, ridicule, and funny stuff very much qualifies as deep thinking.
In fact, it’s how public opinion gets changed the fastest.
And this freedom has been denied to almost every human who has walked the planet in our history.
So don’t take it lightly. Your ancestors would have killed for such a seemingly obvious privilege (and both did kill to get it, and die defending it).
The Man don’t like free speech.
Bugs him. Irritates his sense of authority and moral dominance.
Well, fuck The Man.
For every writer who was or will be jailed for writing the truth (as he or she sees it)…Continue reading