Monday, [10:29] AM
Thanks to a conversation with a new acquaintance, I’ve recently experienced a major paradigm shift.
It jarred me from a growing apathy with the force of a category 5 hurricane.
The other day, a recent conversation with one of Gary Halbert’s friends and confidants took a completely unexpected turn from the subject of marketing… and it had the effect of hitting me upside the noggin with a big honkin’ 2×4.
I’ve been holed up in my office with a yellow pad and pen in intense introspection ever since.
To make a long story short, (which I’m admittedly not very good at) in 2012 I’m completely reevaluating my goals and plans.
I’m dumping a LOT of stuff off my plate, including a relatively hassle-free business bringing in a quite sizable monthly chunk of change with a time investment of only 4 to 5 hours a week. (I’ve decided to actually just GIVE this business to a trustworthy person and only take a very small and reasonable percentage of sales.)
Why am I doing this?
Well, like I said, a 60-minute conversation with a very unique man caused a major paradigm shift in my jaded mind.
With only 3 carefully uttered sentences he was able to break through DECADES of crusty built-up cynicism and reactivate a part of me I thought was gone forever. (It was both exciting AND a little scary.)
Anyhoo… one of the changes I’m making in 2012, prompted by this recent introspection, is putting the blinders on and focusing on a project I’m INTENSELY passionate about.
Somewhat related to that, I’m also considering the possibility of working with one or two meticulously-selected clients in a partnership/retainer-type arrangement… with my compensation based on results.
In fact, here’s the e-mail I sent recently announcing this possibility:
“Quite often I’m contacted by people who want me to…
… help them get a flood of new customers…
… improve their lead flow and conversions…
… write killer order-pulling sales copy…
… exploit all the various media they’re neglecting
(and missing out on a fortune)…
… and reveal the undiscovered wealth they’ve
been overlooking in their business.
95% of the time my answer is…
‘Thanks… but no thanks.’
See, most client work doesn’t make economic sense
for me any more. I have a lot more fun and make way
more money with way less hassles with my own projects.
But… every few years I get a soft spot in my heart and
consider taking on one or two clients… IF they’re cool people
I enjoy hanging out with… AND meet my rather stringent
Because I’ve become quite protective of my time, I have a
secret page I require all potential clients to read before I
invest even one minute speaking with them about their
project or business.
If you’re a ‘player’…a REAL entrepreneur with a successful
business (not a time vampire “tire kicker”) and you’re
interested in having me work with you to quickly and
dramatically bump up your sales and profits,
here’s that secret page.
Who knows. We just may wind up having a lot of fun together
while we’re doubling, tripling or quadrupling your business
All the best,
P.S. There are already three PWM’s (players with money)
in my qualification queue for 2012… so if you want to be
added to the list there’s no time to dilly dally.”
I received quite a few requests from people wanting to be considered. Quite frankly, only three fit the requirements. (I had already been communicating with one since about July.)
The rest? I referred them to copywriters in my Marketing Camelot I felt were the right match for the client.
A week or so later something interesting happened.
One of the clients I’d passed on asked my opinion about some copywriter he found online. I’d never heard of this copywriter (strange in and of itself) but he was making an outrageous promise on his website very similar to the sarcastic title of this post.
It’s time for a dose of Doberman Dan “slap you upside the head” reality…
Many copywriters have figured out the biggest key to success in getting clients isn’t competence and track record. It’s…
Gary Halbert was a master at this. Hell, he even taught it at his seminars as the key to freelancing success.
Yes, many A-list copywriters (the REAL heavy hitters writing for the biggest direct mailers in the world) have a higher batting average than the “lesser mortal” copywriters.
(BTW, there are probably less than 19 REAL A-list copywriters in the entire world. Many CLAIMING to be A-listers on their websites definitely are NOT. They’re doing what the self help people call “telling the truth in advance”… which is also known as LYING.)
Anyhoo… in spite of all the rumors, amazing success stories and legends passed around about the A-list copywriters…
Not a Single One Bats 1,000%!
We could combine the brains of Clayton Makepeace, Gary Bencivenga, Jim Rutz, Arthur Johnson, Parris Lampropoulos, David Deutsch, Carline Anglade Cole…
…we could even resurrect John Caples, Robert Collier, Gary Halbert, Eugene Schwartz and David Ogilvy…
…and have them write the best piece of sales copy in the history of the world… and…
It Would STILL Be Impossible
To Guarantee Success!
Look, any copywriter offering a guarantee that his package will be a success is either a liar or delusional.
You see, the copy is only a small part in the success equation. (The MOST important part is the person READING the copy… but we’ve talked about that before.)
The bottom line is…
NOTHING In This Life Is Guaranteed!
You can have a financial package mailing to MILLIONS of people month after month for YEARS, completely kicking booty. And on your next drop of 5 million pieces, watch what happens to your response when the Euro or the dollar tanks… or we start another never-ending war against an undefined enemy.
Your “guaranteed” copy just lost you MILLIONS of dollars… and you’re probably out of business overnight. (I just talked with a guy yesterday who had that happen. It can make you think about finding a bridge to jump off.)
Yes, you can hire copywriters with successful track records and experience that are better “bets” than other less experienced people. (That’s why you pay the big bucks to hire them.)
But There Are STILL No Guarantees!
Even the big boys strike out. (Quite frequently, actually.)
Your lesson for the day:
Anybody offering you a guarantee like the title of this post is either oblivious to reality… or is attempting to appeal to your greed in order to extract money from you.
Every true entrepreneur knows this universal truth:
There Are NO Guarantees!