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Relationships in Info Products Business, Copying Content, Membership Sites and One Shot Coaching Calls

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ALERT!!!

This Insight is short. I needed to get it out today to help a good friend of mine, Peter Fogel promoting his new book.

It’s called, “If Not Now… then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves”

Ray Romano says: Peter Fogel’s If Not Now… Then When? is not only a book that’ll make you smile with its humor and heart, but will also inspire and show you how other ‘over 40’ folks took control of their own destiny and created a life of meaning through their reinvention. It’s a worthwhile book, and that’s coming from someone who docent like to read.”

This is such a fun read with great tips and strategies that you can use right now. If you help make it a #1 best seller on amazon.com by midnight Friday July 29th … he’ll offer you over $1700 worth of FREE bonuses — please send this to as many friends you know who could benefit from it. Peter and I will thank you… and your friends will thank you! For more info go right now to: http://www.reinventyourselfnow.com/bonuses.htm

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Relationships

Over the past year or so I’ve gotten to know a very well known and well respected professional speaker.

(I am not going to give you the individual’s name because it is irrelevant to the story and I don’t want to appear to be name dropping either.)

A few months back we were about to get involved in a business venture together. Quite a ways into the project he backed out.

The “old” Fred would have reacted very differently. I probably would have gotten pretty pissed off and may have even let the person know how I felt directly.

The “new” Fred listened carefully to his rationale and after very little thought I completely agreed with his reasoning and encouraged him NOT to go through with our deal.

This cost me a lot of money in the short run. We could have made a tidy little sum had we gone ahead with our plane. BUT, it was not the best thing for HIM.

By doing what I did I THINK I showed this individual that I was more concerned with HIS interest and HIS needs than my own. Frankly, I was.

But this philosophy will probably serve me much better financially in the long run. This is often times the case. When you are willing to look at things in the LONG view, you see things differently.

I guess this is always a bit easier when you are making enough money that you don’t have to lunge at every opportunity that presents itself.

I may have been able to push my own agenda and get the person I mentioned to go ahead with the deal. I could have tried to guilt him into it. I may have succeeded. But it wouldn’t have been best for him.

Since this happened a number of months back I have noticed that our interaction is much more grounded and solid. If you PROVE to someone with your actions that you really do have their best interest first, it will only work out for you in the end.

When I spoke to this person recently I signed off our very cordial conversation with the line: “Is there anything else I can do for YOU right now.”

I try and use that line often with people I know, like and respect.

It’s the GIVER rather than the TAKER mentality. And people can smell it when you aren’t saying it sincerely.

Here’s the problem. You may need the money RIGHT NOW. Things may not be easy for you at the moment. Should you still adopt a similar philosophy? My answer is YES.

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There is No THERE, There

I just got an email from a long time customer, Scott Palangi expressing his disappointment with a major, well known marketing/online “guru” who has been letting him down. He shared that this individual (who I would love to name, but my lawyer says NYET) is bombarding him with sales pitches and now delivers virtually no real useable content.

There is a solution to this problem for all of us.

UNSUBSCRIBE to the crap that you get. Unless a person delivers solid value over a period of time don’t clog your email box with junk.

Also, don’t encourage these people. When they see their unsubscribe rates go through the roof they will (hopefully) wake up and understand that people can’t be fooled.

Is it OK to pitch stuff in your ezines? Absolutely.

But, similar to when I speak at seminars, you have to first deliver true value to have the right (and I do think it’s a right) to pitch people on your products and services.

As Susan Powter used to say: Stop the Insanity!

There is nothing wrong with selling and selling agressively. If you have a great product, I always say that you need to sell it with the zeal of a Baptist preacher. BUT, you can’t just sell, sell, sell without giving people some meat.

That’s why my trademarked name (take note those who like to copy) is All Meat, No Fluff ™.

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Copying

Speaking of people copying stuff. I recently went to a website and saw a person who had “borrowed” my term MICRO-NICHING. I am reasonably certain that I used this term first. Whether or not that’s the case, here is the point.

If I hadn’t used the term, I would have given credit to whomever I heard it from.

The only time I think it’s fair to use a term or a concept without giving credit is when it has been used for so long that no one really knows who came up with the idea.

It actually makes you look better when you give credit where credit is due as an information marketer.

People respect you when you don’t act like you single handedly developed every concept you espouse.

Consider the case of Al Gore and the internet. I had no earthly idea he invented it!

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Political Stuff (this may make you angry if you read it)

Trust me though, as a registered Libertarian I can find and identify morons on both sides of the political fence. Are you aware that in Congress there is only one person who is not from one of the two parties?

His name? Bernie Saunders from Vermont. An esteemed socialist party member.

There is actually a move afoot to try and get everyone with Libertarian ideas to move to New Hampshire. The idea being that if enough people move there with a similar philosophy, they can elect people who actually believe that way. Interesting.

My only problem? I’m not moving to New Hampshire. Too cold for me. Why not an alternate state here in Nevada?

I’ve actually thought about running for office. The only problem is the HUGE closet of mine that might get opened and all of the skeletons that would fall out.

When I’ve fantasized about this I picture showing up at the airport in Washington after I’m elected. As a third party candidate, NO ONE would be there to pick me up. I’d have to take a cab.

BUT, I would probably be able to get on “Meet the DePressed” (Meet the Press) with Tim Russert.

I’m convinced that as a reader of this ezine you share my disdain for most politicians. How often do you hear a political operative of any stripe give a straight answer to a straight question? Seldom, if not ever.

The only guy who seems to actually answer questions that I’ve seen is McCain. He happens to be a republican but that’s irrelevant to me.

Like I said, some of you may like me less after reading this section!

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Membership Sites

I spoke last time about membership sites. I’d like to share with you a little bit more about what I’m doing in this area. I hope this will help jog YOUR thinking.

The example I like to use is www.Lynda.com. This lady has got it down!

Take a look at the site. She has a boatload of online video training for just about any piece of software you can imagine.

I’ve been a subscriber for quite some time. When I think about unsubscribing, I always tell myself: “Even if I haven’t used it in a while, it’s such a good deal at $25 a month, so why cancel?”

There’s a lesson here. There is so much content on that site that I almost feel guilty for canceling my membership. I know that I SHOULD be studying more and therefore I won’t cancel because I SHOULD be on the site studying more.

We can all learn from this one.

First, make sure that you put a huge amount of content on your membership site. Second, find a way to make people feel like they shouldn’t cancel. You can figure out how to do both, but make sure you keep those two concepts in mind as you create your sites.

Here’s another example of a great site. Consumer Reports has www.ConsumerReports.org.

A couple of things to point out here. First, the membership is $26 a year. That’s a no brainer for anyone. Since they are going after the mass market, this price point makes a LOT of sense. It also is about the same as getting a subscription to the physical publication.

The other thing is that they use the .ORG extension. Nothing says you can’t do the same thing. People will feel that you are more non-profitty (my new word – watch others steal it! ha!) if you use that extension rather than a .com.

For most people who are subscribers of mine
they won’t be trying to attack a broad, general market like weight loss or happiness until they have had decent success in a much more targeted niche or MICRO niche.

You can also charge a lot more money the tighter the niche is.

Again, I’m using www.MemberScript.com as my software solution for all membership sites.

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One Shot Coaching Calls

I’ve decided to test a new concept. In the past I’ve avoided doing any one-on-one coaching for people unless they signed on a for a HUGE committment.

Here’s my new idea.

I’m going to do an hour coaching session with no strings attached for $500 a shot. Anyone who takes me up on this deal will also get a free product of my choosing (to match their needs) as part of the deal. I’ll take payments using paypal or via credit cards.

Here’s my thinking. If I get people to take an hour on the phone with me to answer their specific problems and issues, they will definitely get their money’s worth. If I give them their moneys worth, they will most likely come back for more and tell a lot of people.

Win – Win for everyone.

The only reason why this works for me is that part of the deal is that I can record the conversation and be able to use it as a product.

There is nothing more illuminating than a good case study.

There is another reason why I would take some very valuable time to do this kind of a deal.

I learn a lot by doing coaching. It helps me to do my own business better and to provide better advise to my own clients.

The same holds true when I interview people to create products. I find that the only individuals I pursue interviews with are those where I really want to learn what they are doing.

I suggest you consider doing the same deal. Maybe at a different price point, but try it. Make sure you get anyone who agrees to sign a release allowing you to use the audio in a product.

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Physical Books

This year I’m having a company represent me and my books at the Frankfurt book show. This is the biggest book show in the world. I’ve never been but they tell me it dwarfs the Book Expo that they have every year in this country. Hard to believe, but true.

I’ve never sold the rights to any of my books overseas but I have heard plenty of stories. The first one is that people often complain that they never make more than the initial payment that they are given.

My response? Who cares!

As long as they don’t change the bounceback offers in my book I frankly don’t really care about the money that they claim they will pay me for every book sold.

I’m excited to just get the up front money and wait for lots of people to join my list as a result of the various offers I have in the book.

If I was really intelligent and less lazy I would put a separate tracking device in the books I sell abroad.

If I was REALLY sophisticated, I would track those leads by country. WebMarketingMagic would allow me to track which ezine sign ups were coming from each country if I wanted.

This could also be done with books sold by Amazon and those sold by BN.com (if I sold through these folks).

What this would entail is to do a separate print run for each of these channels. For the overseas folks, since I wouldn’t be printing, I would merely change the bounce- backs in each file sent to each country.

Why haven’t I done this myself? I’m lazy. I SHOULD do it, but I don’t.

I do a lot of testing, but frankly, finding out exactly where my sales are coming from aren’t as important to me as the speed at which I’m adding subscribers to my list.

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Movie Review

Hustle and Flow – Great movie. I actually had the pleasure of sitting next to John Singleton at a MacWorld conference for a seminar on Final Cut Pro about 3 years ago. He was a great guy. Very approachable.

This guy makes GREAT movies. He did Boys N The Hood, Shaft and a number of others. If you are offended by strong language and sexual themes, this movie is NOT for you.

It’s pretty violent as well. BUT, I don’t think it is gratuitous violence. The film is simply depicting life as it truly is. Once again, given all the caveats, I highly recommend this film.

The lead actor, Terrence Howard, is an amazing actor and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a nomination for best actor for his performance. 

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Permission to Goof Off

I feel really bad when I do nothing. Even for a short period of time. It’s only when I take an official vacation that I feel OK about doing basically nothing for my business. Even then I usually end up taking and reading some business related books.

Think about pitchers in baseball. Or opera singers. Do either of them perform every day? Absolutley not. Pitchers usually go 4 days before they pitch. Imagine an opera singer who tried to sing two days in a row. Impossible.

There’s a guy named Dan Sullivan who runs a program called strategic coach. It’s geared towards showing enterpreneurs how to maximize their effectiveness.

He talks about free days and focus days. Free days are where you are mandated to do absolutely nothing. On the focus days you are supposed to fully concentrate on your business. His theory (pretty well proven) is that you get a whole lot more done that way as opposed to working 16 hours 7 days a week.

He says (and it’s been true for me) that people get some of their biggest AH-HA ideas on the free days. This is when you aren’t forcing yourself to be creative. When you are “screwing off” it just sort of happens many times.

So the lesson is to work your butts off on some days and then give yourself permission to completely relax and do “nothing” on some of the other days.

I don’t have a specific schedule, but there are times when I go to the first show of the day at the movies. It usually starts around noon. It’s taken me a long time to feel OK about doing this. BUT, I now do it frequently. I always remember to bring a notebook and a pen to write things down when they come to me. With this system, it happens fairly frequently.

Lesson? Allow yourself to do absolutely NOTHING some days.

You’ll get your best ideas that you can use on those days when you really try and get things done.

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Give yourself some dessert after you eat your main course. What do you really like to do? For me, it’s either reading or watching a film.

When do you allow myself to read or see a movie? AFTER I’ve gotten something done.

First I eat the main course and then I allow myself to have dessert.

As far as reading, I always have two books sitting around, one fiction, the other non-fiction.There are some business people who never read fiction. Bad idea. That’s a presription for becoming BORING. It also puts you out of touch with the rest of the world who read plenty of fiction. Some of it pretty awful, but a lot of it never then less.

See you next time!

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