Monthly Archives: July 2010

Escape Velocity, Gravity, and Focus

Ever notice, as an internet entrepreneur, the temptation to diversify your focus into a multitude of markets, partnerships, joint ventures, sources of traffic, conversion methods, and marketing techniques  is seemingly irresistible?

I think there are MANY factors driving this rather neurotic tendency we all seem to struggle with (including, and perhaps especially, yours truly!)

  • Traffic sources are inherently unstable.   Google’s always changing the rules for both Adwords and SEO.  Social Media is a wild new animal hardly anyone really understands yet.   The email landscape is  subject to various laws, filters, and conventions (people have been crying “email marketing is dead” since I first started studying internet marketing back in 1998),  there are constant mergers and acquisitions, talk about taxes and online restrictions, FTC regulations, etc.
  • A Tremendous Number of Skills Are Required to Succeed:   Research, copywriting, pay per click, blogging, systems development, market evaluation, human resources, management, legal, communications, emotional marketing and imagery, time management, accounting, html, javascript, blogging (you can outsource these last three  – oh yeah, you gotta know how to outsource well too)… I could go on and on.     The point is, NOBODY really is strong at all of these, so we’re all constantly searching for partners, JVs, and vendors to fill in the gaps
  • Dreaming is a LOT More Fun Than Doing:   Setting up a marketing system (and the business to support it) is a lot of WORK.  It’s a lot more fun to consume the latest marketing package than to EXECUTE the latest marketing package.     (I still remember when this hit me.  In the midst of near bankruptcy back in 2003, I LOVED nothing better than to fill up my MP3 player with PPC and Copywriting gurus and just go walk in the mountains all day long.   It’s GREAT that I did this… I wouldn’t know what I know at this time if I hadn’t.  But the point is, we all need to ensure we’re “dreaming to live” and NOT “living to dream”)
  • We Live With Constant Disappointment:  Because it’s rare that people thoroughly do their research and cash flow projections for a project… and then put in the necessary time, effort, and resources against a very realistically estimated growth curve, what happens to most entrepreneurs can only be described as episodic mania followed by severe disappointment (and depression).   It’s only human nature to run to the NEXT project dream when this happens.

Now, I’ve been fond of telling people “it takes 85% of a rocket’s fuel to achieve ‘escape velocity’ and get into outer space… the rest of the ride to the moon is mostly coasting and steering.”  I say that in order to assuage people’s anxiety, and to help motivate them through the “hump” required to get their projects off the ground.

But suddenly it hit me…

If it takes 85% of your fuel to get off the ground, then trying to launch four rockets at the same time is a losing game.  You simply can’t put 25% of your fuel into each rocket and expect it to do anything but fall back under the weight of the Earth’s gravity.

So, DESPITE the fears, insecurities, and constantly changing landscape of the internet, or perhaps BECAUSE of them, the spoils really go to those with persistence, fortitude, and FOCUS!

If you’re a member of Glenn Club, you know how psychotically I focus on choosing the right keyword conversation for your market, so YOU can narrow down your focus to exactly the right competitors, do exactly the right survey and interview research, and really dominate that keyword space.

But I’m talking about something way beyond your keyword space, I’m talking about your whole business.

What’s the single most important project in your business?  Are you focusing 85% of your resources on it?

Something worth thinking about, don’t you think?

Dr. G 🙂

Getten U Eeena Ze Club |   Coaching |   Beginners |   Outsourcing Webinar Replay

Marketing Technique-itus

There’s something driving me nucking futz today, and I hope you’ll excuse my ranting to my list because my wife is tired of hearing about it, and my dogs just look at me like I’m an idiot.

(“No Dad, PLEASE… not the ‘Technique-itus’
talk again, anything but that!”)

What’s irritating me is something called “Technique-itus”,  which is the technical term we psychologists use for a psychotic obsession with new marketing techniques.

Can I ask you a question?  How many people do you know… and I mean REAL people, not someone on stage at an internet seminar, who’ve built sustainable businesses based on the latest shiny object bouncing across the IM product launch world?

Do you even know ONE?

Now, let me ask you another question … how many broken hearted people do you know who spent money they couldn’t afford on an ill-fated dream they thought this technique or that would finally put together for them?

(I bet that’s a much bigger number)

Here’s what I keep coming back to, and it’s actually something Perry Marshall taught me…

You need ONE way of generating traffic, and ONE way of converting those people into buyers.

When you get good at that, you can let everyone else worry about all the other methods and just pay a really, really good affiliate commission.  You can even do this for the other parts of business you’re not good at.

For example, I’m so good at PPC for traffic, and Market Research for conversion, that I not only let affiliates handle all my web 2.0 stuff and SEO, I was also able to attract a partner to run a whole company for me  (Rocket Clicks).

I’m really not saying this to brag. (Except sometimes I AM an idiot and I do brag … but que sera’ sera’)

I’m saying it to FOCUS you on the real question at hand which is …

Do YOU know what your MAGIC TWO are?

More importantly, what’s it going to take to cure your Technique-itus and get you to focus on THOSE?

Damn … I’d probably better stop getting so much gratification from writing these posts and get back to selling stuff by presenting benefit after benefit, etc.

But it’s really cool to have 30,000+ people who really pay attention to what you’ve got to say… I guess sometimes I abuse that priveledge.   But please don’t complain to me… you can just write my wife supportive letters.

And honestly, this IS an important message given where we all are in the world now, don’t you think?  Who among us can afford to be chasing shiny bouncing balls TODAY?

Hope I made you think. (That’s my job)

Dr. G 🙂

Outsourcing Disasters and Duplicating Failure

I’d like to make a brief, but obvious point today, because there’s something I see over and over again across dozens of students and hundreds of customers…

“Outsourcing Disasters and Duplicating Failure”

The desire to duplicate oneself and offload work is only human nature. In fact, it’s one of the strongest elements I’ve observed in the entrepreneurial mindset.

So it’s only natural that people want to COPY other sales systems, and OUTSOURCE all the work involved in building their own.

The problem comes when people don’t take the time to ensure they’re copying SUCCESS, and when they try to OUTSOURCE something they don’t really fully understand or know how to supervise.

Because here’s the secret…

The success of a sales system doesn’t lie entirely in the words on the sales page, or even necessarily in the system as a whole.    It relies much more on the understanding the writer has of the market. And since copycats can’t legally plagiarize the whole system, absent this understanding, they wind up copying an empty shell.

Moreover, it’s rare that a WHOLE system is successful. Lacking an exhaustive understanding of the market in which the system operates, people are prone to copy the failing elements just as easily as the successful ones.

In other words, many competitors are succeeding in spite of bad marketing, because just a few elements are right on target.  Without thorough research and market intelligence, how do you know you’re not duplicating their failure?

There’s also a lot of talk these days of just outsourcing your marketing, or your market research, Glenn-Style.

Now, I’m totally in favor of getting help to scale up your operations. In fact, I’ve been working through John Jonas’ materials, and they’ve helped me to hire no less than 8 people in the Phillipines now.    (You can watch the Outsourcing Webinar Replay through my affiliate link here.  John has a lot of very useful advice for hiring full timers at $300/mo, and provides some training to get them started.  I have a LOT of good experience with his hiring advice and resources, but can’t really say one way or the other about the training he provides for the outsourcers — I’d prefer you used them to do things you already do very well and just want to offload from your plate)

There’s a LOT you CAN outsource. You CAN outsource all the grunt work of setting up your automatic intelligence machine, doing some of the initial scanning of social media conversations, installing and managing your websites, installing wordpress blogs and plug ins, doing routine backups, setting up your surveys, programming scripts and databases, running through the first set of codes for your survey analysis, transcription, audio editing, video editing, article distribution, social bookmarking, data entry, a very, very rough first draft of your copywriting, and so on)

But in my opinion, you can’t outsource the STRATEGIC THINKING AND MARKET IMMERSION necessary to succeed in a project, especially in today’s competitive adwords auctions.

Somewhere along the way, if you want to build a REAL business, you’re going to have to spend a few hundred hours immersed in the market yourself.

Because no one’s really going to care about it like you do.

And because without doing this, you’re NOT going to pick up the subtleties which allow you to connect with the market above and beyond  your competitors.

You simply won’t know what your customers “smell like”, and they’ll sense your templated, outsourced approach.

Because prospects in any market can “smell” honesty, integrity, and passion when it’s poured into a project.

In my experience, the people who try to outsource strategic thinking and market immersion wind up with MORE work, not less, in the long run, because their systems simply don’t perform.   (You CAN partner with someone to champion a market for you, but only if they’re tested and proven in their entrepreneurial and strategic thinking abilities… and if they’ve got enough upside potential and skin in the game to make it worth their while)

A long time ago, I heard Brian Tracy say “if you want to make a mark in your market, make 100 phone calls to prospects and I promise you you’ll never look back”

At the time, I was starting a psychology practice in the midst of the collapse of  indemnity insurance (doctors could no longer get so easily reimbursed for their high session fees as the big companies cut off the gravy train).   My colleagues were all terrified, complaining, and going broke.

What did I do?

I made a few hundred phone calls to every psychologist, psychiatrist, counseling center, etc. I could find on Long Island.  I asked them if they had any patients they were having trouble working with.  I asked how I could help them.  I asked if I could volunteer to see clients for free at their clinic for a day.   I asked if I could work for them in any capacity whatsoever.

I also set up focus groups and individual interviews with people considering seeing a psychologist or counselor.

18 months later I had a private practice with 65 patients. (By the way, for any psychologists considering advertising, one of the critical insights was that no one looked for psychologists, only for counselors, ’cause “you’ve gotta be sick in the head” to see a shrink, “but everyone needs a little counseling sometimes” )

Why?    I knew what the market wanted cold.  I had more connections than any of my peers.   I WENT THROUGH THE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE.

I’ve got several coaching students now who are really getting the value of this.

One of them spent the bulk of this year doing low-end consulting with literally hundreds of people looking for help with a particular software program.   He’s now set up a lucrative PPC lead funnel in this VERY competitive space, and I’ll be utterly shocked if he doesn’t have a million dollar business in 18 months or less.

Another one got so psyched about immersion, he decided to make 1,000 phone calls to prospects in his market.  ONE THOUSAND.   Then he developed a training system based on his experience.  (I can’t imagine anyone else’s training system in that very, very competitive market could possibly be any better.  I can’t imagine any prospect not instantly sensing this after just a little exposure to his materials)

Moreover, both of these gentlemen are NOW in the ultimate position to leverage themselves and outsource their work.   NOW they can replace themselves, and begin building multi-million dollar enterprises.

I guess what I’m saying is,  we’re all in such a hurry to get away from the market, most of us never get into it deep enough to truly succeed.

And so we look for the short cuts…

And wind up copying failure, or outsourcing things we don’t really understand.

I’m not invulnerable to this…  I’m human too, and always fighting a tendency to get lazy.  (Plus, when you get a little money and can easily afford the help, it’s easy to think “I’m above this now”)

But when I look back at my successes, the #1 thing they all had in common were a passionate immersion period in the market, right there in the trenches with the customers and competitors.

Have YOU really immersed yourself in your market?

Something to think about,

G 🙂

Get in the Club Already, Huh? |  Get Step by Step Hand Holding and Motivation to Do It |  Blueprint for Beginners

My Favorite Blog Comment Ever

I’ve had thousands of comments on my blog. But my favorite one is  from Alan Kirke who, upon seeing a picture of Sharon in a post said something like “the biggest learning is that if dude like you can get a babe like that, there’s hope for me yet”.

Which inspired me to make the little caricature above.

Of course, you’re seeing the best picture of her, and the WORST picture of me. And of course, I didn’t look like that when she married me (but she did!)

Still, it’s a very interesting point.

Joe Jackson noted in a fabulous tune from my youth  (“Is She Really Going Out With Him?”):

Pretty women out walking with gorillas down my street
From my window I’m staring while my coffee grows cold
Look over there! (Where?)
There’s a lady that I used to know
She’s married now, or engaged, or something, so I am told

Is she really going out with him?
Is she really gonna take him home tonight?
Is she really going out with him?
‘Cause if my eyes don’t deceive me,
There’s something going wrong around here

But–and for all you suave marketers out there, the point is coming  soon–this song got very popular for a VERY good reason.

Because if ONLY alpha males could find such an attractive, smart, supportive mate, then only the absolutely most fit evolutionary specimens would have any reason to hope.

But it’s simply not true.

Dudes like Alan and I take heart when they see “pretty women walking with gorillas” down our streets.  It reminds us wit, intelligence, love, and just plain hard work can catch a mate almost as well as a stunning set of biceps and abdominal muscles.

Now, go have a look around the Google Adwords Auction… pretty much any one.

Sure, you’ll find some “alpha males” in the top spots, but in almost every market you’ll also find at least one gorilla holding his or her own.  (Try monitoring the auction for a month to see who’s really winning the game)

You’ll scratch your head wondering what they’re doing there, in the midst of all the big players, how on earth did they ever scratch out that territory?

But still, there they are, plain as day, buying clicks every day for months on end.

Because “pretty women” (e.g. the most attractive customers) in the adwords auction are attracted to wit, intelligence, love, and just plain hard work (e.g. research)  too.

Which means, you’d don’t have to be a superhero to build your business.  Just willing to work a little harder and study a little more, like the big hairy dude in the picture above.

For what it’s worth,

Dr. G 🙂

Get in the Club Already, Huh? |  Get Step by Step Hand Holding and Motivation to Do It |  Blueprint for Beginners

Siberian Marketing Advice – Pay Per Click

I’ve got a good friend from Siberia. (I’m going somewhere with this, stay with me please)

Seriously… he was my full time programmer 10 years ago, then he came to visit, then I helped him immigrate to the USA.  Now he lives a few minutes away from me.

When he and his wife (then his fiance’) first came to visit us here in New Hampshire in November, they were constantly shivering and complaining about how cold it was.   (It was about 35 degrees that week, which is relatively warm for New Hampshire in the fall)

Very surprised, I said to him “Alex, you’re from fricking Siberia, where it’s maybe minus 10 on a warm day, what gives?”

He looked at me with a funny Russian smile and said, in the thickest of Russian accents:

“Glenn, man from Siberia NOT warm man, man from Siberia man with lots of clothes!”

In other words, I had assumed the Siberian weather had toughened him up, and that he could go anywhere on the planet without batting an eye.  I had visions of him taking showers outside in the snow in his bathing trunks, like the Ant Arctic expedition workers I had read about  in the Guiness Book of World Records as a child.

I figured he lived in an igloo or something, chewed on ice all day long for water, and spat out icicles with glee.

But I was wrong.

I made assumptions about the man, when what I should have been looking at was his adaptive tools and materials (his warm clothing).

He was wrong too.  He came to New Hampshire without these tools.

It’s a funny story without too serious a consequence, but if you transfer it to the marketing arena it can be deadly.

Because here’s a story I hear all too often…

Guy does his research, goes into a competitive market, builds up a series of products and services, writes a g’zillion follow ups, and tests and tweaks his way into strong profitability.

THEN, he starts to feel like a SuperMan.   He forgets how he got where he was.

He goes into a new market without doing the research, without plans for a full product line, without the expectation of a long period of testing and tweaking his conversion, without the same zeal for writing follow ups, without the same break even cash flow planning, without the willingness to thoroughly and passionately immerse himself in the market by talking to the customers and finding out what they smell like.

He just trots off to a totally foreign country, attributing his success to his personal marketing genius, rather than all the tools, methods, resources, and techniques which put him where he was.

He forgets to bring his warm clothes.

If he’s lucky, he only shivers a little until a kind stranger or friend gives him shelter.

More often, he almost freezes to death and catches the next plane back home.

You see, we can be ruined by our own success.

We’re constantly tempted to attribute it too much to our own abilities, and our sheer marketing genius, which, naturally, means we can go into any market or take on any competitor without the exhaustive, and sometimes quite tedious research and planning required to get there.

Which is why I strive to be one dumb-ass marketer, with lots of checklists, cheat sheets, and methodical plans for everything I do.

Not that I’m always perfect… just like everyone else I’ve made my mistakes by thinking too much of myself too.

But a simple checklist goes a long way towards knocking my ego back down where it needs to be. (Read “The Checklist Manifesto” at your leisure by the way, it’s surprisingly insightful and will change the way you run your business in a weekend)

“PPC Marketer from Siberia Not AdWords Genius, Marketer from Siberia Man with Lots of Checklists!”

For what it’s worth,

Dr. G 🙂

Get in the Club Already, Huh? |  Get Step by Step Hand Holding and Motivation to Do It |  Blueprint for Beginners

EMOTIONAL MARKETING CONTEST: Using Emotion to Stimulate Consumer Behavior

EMOTIONAL MARKETING CONTEST:  Winner gets one 20 minute consult with me, and one 20 minute consult with Sharon. Two runners up will each get five minutes. We’ll announce the winner next Friday here on the blog.

This VERY SHORT video is an excellent example of stimulating emotion and human needs to motivate consumer behavior. (It’s also very appropriate for the upcoming July 4th Holiday travel weekend)

As an exercise, please watch the  video and see if you can answer the following questions (by the way, wholeheartedly embracing this exercise will definitely benefit your business in immeasurable ways)…

– What product FEATURE was the video promoting?

– What is the RATIONAL benefit of this feature?

– What is the EMOTIONAL benefit of this feature?

– MORE DIFFICULT:  What is the BRAND IMAGERY of the organization doing the promoting?  (Sussex  Safer Road Partnership)

And now, for the hardest, yet most important one…

What was the EMOTIONAL MARKETING INSIGHT which made this commercial so effective?


Here’s a refresher from Sharon’s FREE materials on emotional marketing, for those of you who might be a little confused by the terms…

“AN EMOTIONAL MARKETING INSIGHT is an in-depth understanding of your category as a whole. It simultaneously describes what consumers want, why they want it, and how to push their emotional hot buttons with features & benefits that are logically consistent with the emotional punch. It entails an intimate knowledge of …

  • The most desired FEATURES and RATIONAL BENEFITS that drive purchase in your market. (What people say they want).
  • The EMOTIONAL BENEFITS or human needs which are satisfied by providing the above. (Why they want it!)
  • How FEATURES and RATIONAL benefits are connected to EMOTIONAL BENEFITS (Which features push which emotional hot buttons!). (This is important to know because you can’t blurt out the emotional benefit to the consumer … rather we have to imply it with a focus on the right features in the context of a creative mood and tone consistent with the emotional need served.)
  • What BRAND & USER IMAGERY is most consistent with all of the above (So you can set the right creative mood and tone for all of your marketing communications, choose the best actors and actresses, and develop the right characters and dialogue for your ads.)

For example, here’s how I might describe the EMOTIONAL MARKETING INSIGHT for a fictitious brand of “Eagle’s Nest Hiking Boots”:

Hikers want boots that make them feel safe enough to enjoy all the adventure and splendor that the mountains have to offer (I’ve got hiking on the brain since I climbed one of the biggies in NH yesterday).

Practically, this means a super-grip rubber sole embedded with micro-fiber beads so they won’t slip on the ledges, high rise boots to protect them from twisting their ankles, complete water proofing to allow them to cross any stream, and winterizing with royal baby alpaca fiber so even the toughest winter won’t stop them!

Hiking boots are much more than the leather and rubber they are made of … they are a kind of spiritual fuel that makes it possible for the user to transcend the mundane world and reach a higher, more inspired level of being with a peaceful perspective on life.


OK, now, can you take a stab at the questions above, including what the sponsoring company may have concluded as their Emotional Marketing Insight?

AND, for extra credit, most useful to YOU, how would you then describe the Emotional Marketing Insight in YOUR market?

Post your answers below.  And remember, the winner gets one 20 minute consult with me, and one 20 minute consult with Sharon.  (We’ll announce next Friday)

Glenn 🙂

PS – Emotional Marketing is covered in depth in both the bonus area AND in Month #11 of the Hyper-Responsive Marketing Club.    And of course, you can always get direct coaching here.

PPS – No purchase necessary, void where prohibited, don’t pour hot coffee on your sensitive areas, avoid telling Dan Kennedy you use a cell phone, etc.

PPPS – Winners selected at our sole judgement and our sole option.