Sunday, 10:16 AM
I'm in the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, CA right now after two intense days of John Carlton's Action Seminar.
I met a bunch of really cool people.
I even got to meet a few of my subscribers, Duane, Colin and Francis. It was fun getting to know them and "breaking bread" together.
I also got to meet Teran Dale, one of the foremost experts on PPC and Google Adwords. Turns out, Teran is a subscriber of mine, too.
He gave a presentation about how to lower your Adwords costs… while INCREASING conversions. And that's only about 1/2 of 1% of this guy's PPC bag of tricks.
And get this…
Teran is one of the few guys (maybe the ONLY guy) who has a direct line to Google. Whenever there's a problem or question…
He calls Google on the phone!
And even more amazing… they answer!
Google NEVER takes phone calls from ANYBODY… even big shot fortune 500 companies who spend millions a month in Adwords.
Pretty impressive, huh?
The first day of the seminar, a distinguished looking gentleman sat down next to me and we introduced ourselves. It turned out to be Ralph Charlton, a copywriter whose work I've admired for years.
What a coinky-dink! We had been e-mailing back and forth before the event and planned to meet. Out of the 150 people there, we wind up sitting next to each other!
Ralph's a kick-ass copywriter who has specialized in the self defense and health markets the past few years.
I expected to see Scott "Mongo" Haines there, another Gary Halbert protegé. It's kinda funny… we've known each other for over 10 years… but we've never met in person. I was disappointed he couldn't make it. Guess I'll have to wait until the next seminar.
Let's see… who else did I meet?
Oh yeah… I had breakfast with Ralph Charlton and Harlan Kilstein. Those guys ordered all the healthy stuff on the menu, while I gravitated toward the high fat GOOD stuff. Harlan had me laughing so much I could hardly eat my eggs and bacon.
He DOES Exist!
Sitting in front of me the first day was the famous Doc O'Leary. He owns OHP, the golf training company John Carlton wrote all his famous ads for.
I always kinda thought Doc O'Leary was just a made up figurehead… but he really exists. In the few minutes I got to speak with him, I learned some powerful direct response lessons.
Doc's a guy I'd LOVE to interview.
I also met Jim Curley, Doc O'Leary's copywriter. Jim took over the copy duties for OHP after John left. Talk about having big shoes to fill! But Jim has the chops to do it. He continues to crank out winner after winner.
I also got to meet Brad Petersen, another home run copywriter.
Brad has written winners for some major players in direct mail. Companies like Biocentric Health, Nature Trade Center, Weiss Publishing, Phillips Publishing, Jay Abraham, Soundview Communications, and more.
Brad is so good, every year like clockwork, Clayton Makepeace writes…
A six-figure check just to retain him!
I didn't have much time to speak with Brad… and that sucks. In the few minutes I did have, it was obvious he'd be a lot of fun to hang with.
I tried to get a video interview with Brad but things were too hectic. He said he'll send me one later. (I'm gonna hold you to that, Brad!)
I also met Mary Ellen Tribby, from Agora's Early To Rise business. She produced some miraculous growth for ETR and is now using those same techniques in her own business.
I also got to hang out a little with Bond & Kevin Halbert, Gary's sons. They put on the first ever Gary Halbert Marketing Club meeting in Los Angeles recently… and in true Halbert fashion…
It was a HUGE success!
In fact, it was such a success that the Gary Halbert Marketing Club (or whatever they wind up calling it) will be expanding throughout the country. And yours truly will be heading up the Florida meetings.
This is going to be a great way to meet other like-minded direct marketers and copywriters. Stay tuned for more details.
Joe Polish, another Halbert-trained marketer I've admired for a long time is another guy I got to meet. What a sense of humor this guy has! Never a dull moment when Joe's around.
I'm going to rip off the Kodak zi8 idea Joe demonstrated at the seminar. Knowing how many fungolas I can make with that little doo-hickey, I'll probably never leave home without it.
Oh yeah… I finally got to meet A-list copywriter, David Deutsch. David has written some HUGE homerun controls for for major league publishers like Boardroom, Phillips, Agora, and KCI, to name just a few. And he's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, always willing to share his experience and advice.
David shared some truly life-changing ideas and suggestions with me.
It was kinda funny… one of the nuggets he shared made a lot of sense. But it didn't really "sink in" until about 24 hours later.
Then it was like the heavens were opened, angels descended and birds began to sing… and all the world was right!
OK, I'm being a little dramatic, but honestly…
David Deutsch triggered a REALLY big epiphany for me…
It opened a FLOODGATE of ideas for a new promotion I'd been struggling with… and I think it will make all my future sales letters MUCH easier to write.
(Stay tuned. I've got David lined up for an interview soon.)
Lorrie Morgan Ferrero was there, too. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to speak with her… but she was nice enough to give me a brief video interview. I'll post it within the next few days.
Kevin Rogers, one of John Carlton's protegés emceed many of the proceedings. Funny guy. He was a professional stand up comic for about 15 years. I've heard about him for years. It was nice to finally meet him.
Let's see… am I leaving anybody out?
Oh, geez… how could I forget! I met the man himself, John Carlton… and his partner, Stan Dahl.
I've been to a lot of seminars, but…
These guys over-delivered by a country mile!
Heck, I got my money's worth after just the first 45 minutes.
Here's what usually happens when you go to most seminars:
You get bombarded and overwhelmed with ideas and techniques until you feel like your brain is overflowing.
You would think that's a GOOD thing, right?
Actually, it isn't.
See, all that information overload, if not preceded by one very important secret, will usually stop you dead in your tracks. You come home from the seminar so loaded down with info… confusion and overwhelm kick in, causing your transmission to go into neutral.
NOT a good thing.
But John is an old pro at seminars. Gary Halbert and John pretty much INVENTED the marketing seminar as we know it today. So John has seen this "deer in the headlights" thing many times.
But THIS time he had the solution… and defeated this "put you in neutral" problem within the first 45 minutes of the seminar.
It's this kind of thing you can only get from a truly battle-hardened veteran. (Most of the IM guru crowd is CLUELESS about it.)
I'm not at liberty to discuss a lot of the stuff that was shared there in San Diego. We all had to sign non-disclosure agreements before we were allowed in the room. So if you didn't attend, you missed out.
Plus, if you've ever attended a seminar, you know that at least 50% of the value you get comes from the contacts you make and the conversations in the bar or restaurant between sessions.
Even if John one day decides to make the DVDs of the seminar available… you still missed a lot by not being there in person.
I almost forgot the most important thing about the seminar…
It was NOT a pitch-fest!
Most of what passes for "seminars" these days by the gaggle of gurus are actually "pitch fests".
That's where they parade speaker after speaker across the stage presenting 5% content and 95% sales pitch for their high priced "magic pill" marketing products.
And even worse, you PAY for the privilege of getting pitched!
NOT the case here. John kept the Gary Halbert seminar tradition alive and delivered nothing but high level direct response "gold nuggets".
Well, that's my brief little report about the Action Seminar. There was a lot more but I gotta get back to work.
We'll talk again soon.
P.S. I got a couple good video interviews while I was there. I'll post them in a few more days.