Tuesday, 12:13 AM
Not sure if you noticed but I've been AWOL from the blog for a while.
I'll explain why in just a minute.
But first, I'd like to have a little chat with you.
See, I could really use your help with a problem.
It's been bothering me for a while… and I would really like an honest answer.
Oh, wait a second. I forgot a quick item of business I need to cover first.
I'm afraid I've got some bad news…
You Can't Hire Me Anymore!
Well, it's not IMPOSSIBLE to hire me… but the pool of potential clients who would meet my new stringent qualifications is infinitesimally small.
As I've mentioned in the blog, I mostly do my own projects… but occasionally I like to do some client work, too.
I took a couple clients last year and the early part of this year. They were all great people and I'm glad to know them.
And even though I've been at this a while, this old dog learned some new tricks on how to successfully work with clients.
You may be expecting me to transition into my "clients suck" tirade… but that definitely is NOT the case with these guys.
ALL of them are salt of the earth people. I love them and would like to have their babies… if I had the plumbing for it.
And no, I didn't just get lucky in the "copywriting client lottery". They were carefully screened before I agreed to take the gig. THAT'S why it was a pleasure working with them. (Freelancers, take note.)
Anyhoo… my recent client experiences reinforced several things in my slightly demented brain:
1. Client work can be fun and exciting… when you work with the RIGHT clients.
2. They will never do EVERYTHING you tell them to do… regardless of your track record of success. (This is normal. Don't get mad at them… just put your persuasion skills to use and get them to think what you told them to do was THEIR idea. THEN they'll do it.)
3. An experienced copywriter/entrepreneur/marketer with a proven track record is worth a literal FORTUNE to the right client.
After seeing the results my clients were getting, I finally realized…
I'm Not Charging Enough!
I used to charge $15,000 to write a package and usually some kind of royalty based on performance.
I'll never forget the first time I quoted that price. I was glad I did it on a phone with a mute button… otherwise the client would have heard me snickering nervously while cringing.
It was wayyyy outside my comfort zone. It seemed like a king's ransom at the time.
Now I realize when I work with the right client, compared to his return on investment, $15k is chump change.
It's actually a disservice to your client to charge too little. It leaves him with a low perceived value about what you bring to the table… and compliance is much lower, too. (Again… freelancers, take note.)
So now, for me to even consider taking a client, my fee is a MINIMUM of $25,000 plus some kind of back end royalty based on performance.
I'm also somewhat sad to say I can no longer afford to work with start-ups. If you want to work with me, you need to have a business already doing a MINIMUM of $500,000/year (preferably $1 million+) in sales.
See, if I want to work with a start-up, I'll do it myself. It's MUCH easier, I can get things going MUCH faster… and it's INFINITELY more profitable.
That is why it's highly unlikely, even if you meet the qualifications, I'll accept you as a client.
It's just simple economics. I can make 100 to 10,000 times more money doing what I do for myself than doing it for most clients.
Which leads me to something I've been wanting to discuss with you for a while now.
I need your help with a problem that has been quite vexing for me.
And I'd like to get your opinion about it. But in order for me to do that…
We Need To Have An Adult Conversation…
I need to be totally transparent with you about some thoughts and fears I'm dealing with… and that is extremely "non guru".
The guru is the perfect guy on the pedestal… and to STAY on the pedestal, the guru needs to perpetuate that myth.
But I'm going to do the exact opposite and share the kind of problems gurus aren't supposed to have… and DEFINITELY aren't supposed to let anybody see.
Before I personally mentored with him, Gary Halbert was the guru on the pedestal for me.
He could walk on water, turn water into wine and everything he touched turned to gold… or so I thought.
After I got to know him, I discovered he was just as screwed up as the rest of us. And even though he was "the greatest copywriter in the world" he still had his fair share of flops and failures.
So today, instead of playing the role of the perfect guru like I'm SUPPOSED to do, I'm going to open up about some stuff I've been worried about.
I hope that doesn't hurt your opinion of me… and I hope you don't discard the message because you discovered the messenger isn't perfect.
To properly explain this problem, I'm going to reveal some stuff you'll probably NEVER hear from any guru.
I don't mean to offend anybody or hurt anybody's business… but in order for you to understand some things, I have to pull back the curtain and reveal some stuff nobody has been willing to tell you… up until now.
Sure, this stuff is talked about behind closed doors… but disclosing it to the "herd" has been expressly prohibited.
In fact, by simply hitting the WordPress "publish" button a few minutes ago…
I May Have Just Committed Career Suicide!
See, I don't make my living as a guru. I really DO what I'm teaching… and THAT is how I support my bad habits of eating regularly and sleeping indoors.
So, in spite of the backlash I'll probably get for this, I'm going to talk about some stuff I'm not supposed to talk about.
Enough set-up. Let's get into this…
Remember when I got the million dollar buyout offer on one of my businesses?
I was kinda excited about that.
My plan was to spend a few months goofing off and then turn DobermanDan.com into a REAL business selling info products about direct response marketing.
But I turned down the offer… and this blog has stayed a side project that makes very little money.
After having time to think about it, I believe accepting that million dollar offer would have been a big mistake… for a couple reasons.
First of all, I recently started focusing on that business a lot more. (The economy has FORCED me to.) At John Carlton's suggestion, I hired a really good assistant marketer/copywriter to help me take it to the next level.
So far, things are really looking up.
In fact, if everything keeps up like this, that $1 million dollar offer will look like chump change.
So that's one reason I'm glad I didn't sell the business.
Secondly, if I had sold the business and jumped into the guru biz full time, I would be just like so many other gurus… teaching stuff that was only successful in my distant memory.
Stepping up my involvement in my business recently has really forced me to dig, test and discover what's working RIGHT NOW!
There's no room for error or "throwing mud up against the wall".
Every penny invested has to be accountable and trackable. And if it doesn't return an acceptable ROI, that stuff has to be scrapped and the money applied to something that IS bringing in an acceptable ROI.
We live in a different world now, with a MUCH different economy than just a few short years ago. You can't just coast along with half-assed marketing and make money like you could before.
You really have to be on top of your marketing game to prosper in today's economy.
The principles of human nature and direct response selling never really change… but some techniques and delivery methods DO.
In my most humble (but accurate) opinion, if you want to be a good teacher, you have to actually be in the game… actively operating a business, testing new ideas, developing new products, testing new media, etc.
If you're not in the game, you're teaching based on theory… and you're misleading your students.
No matter how much I COULD make in the guru biz full time… I simply couldn't sleep at night if I thought I was misleading my students.
And trust me… there is a LOT of money to be made in the guru biz.
I'm not talking about a measly $50k or $100k a month. I'm talking about…
Tens Of MILLIONS Of Fungolas A Year!
How do I know that?
When I thought I was going to sell my business, I started figuring out my next step. I started studying successful people in the guru biz… and picking the brains of some very well known gurus.
And I discovered some very interesting trade secrets.
So today, without further adieu… I'm going to reveal…
(Drum roll, please)…
The formula for making the big bucks as a guru!
Step #1 For Making Millions As A Guru…
Hang Out Your "Guru Shingle" On The Internet
You don't even have to have successfully done what you're teaching. (Just like most college professors.)
You think I'm kidding?
I'm as serious as a heart attack.
Heck, I even worked with one of these guys for a brief period.
He was a completely raw, wet behind the ears rookie back then.
He did have some talent for writing… but as far as writing copy that could produce results, he was a completely unproven entity.
Yes, he did mentor under a well known copywriting guru for a few weeks… but nothing he wrote was ever run or tested.
He had never run a direct response business nor had ever worked for a direct response business.
He had no experience whatsoever in the direct response business. It just appeared that he might be able to write some copy that MIGHT work if he kept at it.
So guess what this newbie did after just a couple months of learning the THEORY of direct response copywriting without having any real world experience… or any proof whatsoever that he could write response-pulling copy?
He put up a website claiming he was…
One of the best copywriters in the world!
And even more amazingly… he started getting clients paying him 5-figures to write copy for them.
After his mentor discovered this guy's website, he called me in a rage and said, "Dan, so-and-so is a FRAUD! And I'm going to expose him."
I convinced his mentor that it would be a mistake to expose him. He should just let karma take care of everything.
Even though this guy initially misled people about his skill level and experience, he got good at writing copy. And he got good FAST.
I guess he HAD to after jumping into the deep end of the pool while still just in the beginner swim class.
So he lied about his experience level, misled people, took their money for copywriting assignments when he had almost ZERO real world experience… and according to his mentor, a rather famous guru, he even misquoted him in a testimonial on his website.
That was enough to get him some clients paying him a decent chunk of change to write copy for them.
But when he REALLY started making the big money was when he started promoting himself as a full fledged guru… and selling high priced information products, coaching groups, master mind groups, etc.
So that's step #1. You don't have to be an expert at all… just CLAIM you're one and start promoting yourself.
Let's move on to…
Create A Larger Than Life Persona
God knows you can't just be YOURSELF!
Nooooooo! That's not good enough.
You have to be that perfect "guru on a pedestal" we talked about earlier.
You have to be better than the rest of us mere mortals.
You have to make people envy your "rock star" lifestyle, filled with non-stop fun and excitement… even if it's not true.
You're perfect. You never fail and everything you touch turns to gold.
Every business you start, every website you create, every sales letter you write is a raging success… sucking in money "like a vacuum cleaner on steroids!!!" (Extra exclamation points added… just like on their website copy.)
And you have to give the appearance of being richer than Midas… even if you're broke and up to your eyeballs in debt.
Also, you can't just be "Richard Cranium, Internet Marketing Expert."
No, that won't build you a huge cult-like following of Kool Aid-drinking sycophants.
You have to create a unique persona, like "Richard Cranium, the lazy, works-only-one-hour-a-month, skateboarding, kazoo-playing, hippie guru."
Then do videos of you riding your skateboard, smoking trees and playing the kazoo at the beach all day, completely care-free… while your business "makes MILLIONS every month… totally on auto pilot!"
Post videos with you driving your Ferrari to the Playboy mansion to hang out with Hef and a bevvy of big breasted bikini-clad bimbos. (I LOVE alliteration!)
And don't forget… you need to build the dream for your starry-eyed followers so they'll believe they can get rich overnight, too:
"It was just two years ago I was a broke, shoeless, homeless loser, living on the beach and sleeping on my only possession… a surfboard… until I discovered the secrets to becoming an overnight millionaire on the Internet. Now I'm getting laid by super-models on my own private luxury jet… yadda yadda yadda…"
My sources show the guy had a successful white collar job making 6-figures a year before going into the "how to make money"/Internet Marketing guru thing.
I'm not sure you can call living in a $850,000 dollar house in Florida "being homeless"… but… it MUST be true because there's one thing I'm SURE of…
A guru wouldn't lie!
Create "BSO" Products
Remember those three-eyed little green aliens in the movie Toy Story?
They were fascinated with "the claw".
They thought it was some kind of magical entity that was going to rescue them and carry them away to freedom.
They pointed to it and spoke its name in quiet reverence…
That's EXACTLY what you need as a guru… a fan base with the same fascination and reverence for your products as those little three-eyed green guys had for the claw.
A list of Kool Aid drinkers that believe your products are going to magically rescue them from being broke and miserable… without having to put in any real work.
Selling plain old fashioned direct marketing products will NOT get that kind of response.
You have to create what I call BSO's…
Bright Shiny Objects!
They have to be BETTER and more exciting than regular old marketing products.
You have to give them sexy names like Massive Mind Control Conversions… or Pumped Up Prospect Pipeline Power. (It HAS to be good if you use alliteration in the title, right?)
And here's the good news…
They're easy to create because the content can be 100% complete B.S.!
They don't have to work. They just need to appear to be new, sexy and cutting edge.
Your products can't be about the tried and true direct marketing principles that haven't changed (and never will change) since Aaron Montgomery Ward mailed the first mail order catalog in 1872.
No, that's just not sexy enough.
Never mind that these principles are the keys to big success in direct response marketing… AND it's what your customers truly need to succeed.
It's not what they WANT.
And that's good news to many of the young IM gurus because…
They Don't Know The Principles
Of Successful Direct Response Marketing!
If the truth be told, they couldn't teach successful direct response principles or create a product about them if their lives depended on it.
They've never studied the old time masters like John Caples… Claude Hopkins… John E. Kennedy… George Haylings… Robert Collier… Thomas Hall … Gary Halbert… Gene Schwartz… Joe Sugarman… Ted Nicholas… all the old direct response and mail order guys.
They've learned from other young IM gurus who were only successful during a booming economy… who also don't know the timeless principles of successful direct response marketing.
We're seeing many of them drop like flies lately because they're completely clueless about how to prosper in a recession.
But, hey… it's OK. That's not the stuff you can sell for $1,999 or $2,497.
It's too basic… too non-sexy… not bright and shiny enough.
The BSO products that sell for big bucks are…
… A new way to "trick" Google into sending more traffic….
… "Black hat" techniques that bring quick riches without the hassle of learning how to market properly…
… A cutting edge method that tricks thousands of people into your "pipeline"… opting them into lists they have no interest in… and aren't even aware they're being opted into.
… Secret new systems that take all those unqualified prospects you tricked into joining your "pipeline"… and somehow magically convert them into paying customers…
… And a host of other BSO's filled with B.S. content, ad nauseum…
Most of the people buying these BSO's are newbies… and what they REALLY need is information about the principles of direct response marketing… online and OFFLINE.
But that's not sexy enough… and it's hard to get $1,999 or $2,497 selling what REALLY works.
I'm quite skilled at some offline marketing techniques that I've used to DOUBLE the sales of online businesses… in less than 60 days.
This stuff works like crazy… and most Internet marketers are leaving a LOT of money on the table month after month by not using this offline stuff.
Almost NOBODY is teaching it or offering products that teach it, either.
I mentioned this to Perry Marshall, the Google Adwords guru, at the System Seminar a few years ago. I told him there's a gap in the marketplace and it's a sin nobody in the IM crowd is teaching this stuff.
Perry said, "You're right, Dan. That stuff is exactly what people in this niche NEED to make a lot of money. But it's not what they WANT."
What they want, of course, is the BSO.
And if you want to make a lot of money as a guru, that's what you have to sell.
Sooooo… once you've created your BSO, you need to move on to…
Do WHATEVER It Takes
To Get Into The IMGOBC
You know what the IMGOBC is, don't-cha?
Probably not 'cuz I just made it up.
It's the Internet Marketing Good Ole Boys Club!
I should clarify something. I only made up the name… the group really does exist.
It's an elite little clique… and membership is NOT open to just anybody.
If you can get in with them… you'll have joint venture opportunities that will make you a small fortune! (Before refunds, of course.)
These guys have huge lists of insanely rabid followers… and their "herd" is accustomed to shelling out 4 and 5-figures for BSO products.
The customers don't usually have a good track record of implementation… but they DO have a great track record of buying expensive BSO products.
Make no mistake… these guys control the "Cadillac" of lists for BSO products.
The IMGOBC is the coveted "inner circle"… you've truly arrived when you're accepted into the fold.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news… but chances are you'll NEVER get into the IMGOBC or have the opportunity to joint venture with them.
First of all, it's a pretty closed deal. You have to know somebody to even be considered.
And secondly, you also have to have your own huge list of rabid Kool Aid-drinking followers so you can reciprocate when you do joint ventures.
See, when the IMGOBC members mail your offer to their lists… you have to reciprocate at a later date by mailing THEIR offers to your list.
So if 20 guys mail your offer to their lists… you have to mail 20 different offers to YOUR list… usually multiple times.
And if you've ever been on their lists… the marketing incest just gets out of hand.
You're getting the same offers 10 different times from 20 different gurus… all promoting the same stuff.
It's enough to make your head explode! (Or unsubscribe from all their lists.)
By the way… have you noticed that when these guys launch a brand new "Super Duper Traffic Generation Secrets On Steroids" BSO course… they always sell it exclusively through joint ventures?
Am I the only person who finds the irony and humor in that?
Anyhoo… this incestuous little group also holds the key to you getting invited to speak and pitch your BSO's at the biggest IM seminars in the country.
And THAT is one of the fastest secrets to wealth and fame as a guru.
Again… am I the only hombre to find the irony in that?
A guru selling products that claim you can make a fortune on the Internet while sitting at home drinking beer in your skivvies is on the road pitching his products at seminars 30 to 40 weeks out of the year.
Nobody else has picked up on that little incongruity?
Anyhoo… yours truly will probably never be invited into the IMGOBC.
If I ever had the chance of getting in with them, I blew it the minute I hit the "publish" button on this post.
And I think I'm OK with that.
In fact, it may be a GOOD thing. Only time will tell.
We already started segueing into this earlier so let's list our next step to making serious bank as a guru…
Pitch Your BSO Products From The Stage
At All The Big Internet Marketing Seminars
Need I say anything more about this step that wasn't already covered?
There are several other steps I could add… but I think that's enough for now.
Look… if you've got the stomach for it, you can make a LOT of money in the guru business with just these 5 steps.
I do NOT have the stomach for it. And that brings me to the problem that's been bothering me.
You see, I've gained a lot of valuable entrepreneurial experience over the past 20 years or so.
And I've arrived at a point in my life where I'd like to start sharing that experience with people serious about improving their lives and making more money without sacrificing an enjoyable lifestyle.
So I would like to transition into making myself available for more teaching… and providing products about direct response and online marketing, coaching programs and possibly seminars.
But I refuse to play the guru game as I just described to you.
So before I move forward and invest any more time and money in this…
I'd Like To Know What YOU Think:
1. Do you think it's possible to sell marketing products with REAL value without all the BSO hype and B.S. normally required to sell guru-type products?
2. Do you think people will pay for non-sexy solutions for building a direct response/online business and making more money… tried & true honest stuff that REALLY works… but requires some study and (gasp!) work?
3. Or does the majority really prefer to be lied to and deluded and sold the B.S. "make more money than God only working 3 hours a week" type products?
4. Would people buy a marketing product showing them how to DOUBLE their business within 90 days… even if it had nothing to do with the Internet, e-mail, PPC or whatever the newest BSO "technique du jour" is currently promoted by the IMGOBC?
5. Can an honest guy with a long track record of success be successful in this business by selling non-hypey, non B.S. products, services, coaching programs, etc. – without all the typical IM guru hype and B.S.?
I would really appreciate your honest opinion.
Thanks for reading this rather long post and giving me the opportunity to rant a while. It was therapeutic for me.
I look forward to reading your comments.
P.S. For several reasons I'm not permitted to disclose here, I can no longer share my most important money-making, life-changing… and in some instances, life-SAVING lessons on this blog.
There are several somewhat shocking reasons I cannot reveal this information in a public online forum.
You CAN get access to these secrets though… if you're truly serious about becoming financially independent and having a secure financial future.