Visible vs. Invisible, Retiring Gurus and Life Simplification
This is a LONG issue, but well worth reading!
Visible vs. Invisible
NEW Seminar Tips
I’ve got a bunch of events coming up in the next few months. Here’s a quick list of some of the urls:
Prepublication offer on the recently completed seminar I just did on membership sites. If you’re interested, you can save a bunch of money by paying for the materials now and waiting 30 days til they are done.
I’ve talked about this before, but the more I thought about the clearer my ideas have become. If you get some of the same emails and announcements that I do you’ve heard (and continue to hear) stories about various experts/gurus who are retiring “shortly.”
Many of them seem quite a bit like prize fighters. After retiring they often seem to come out of retirement to make some money because they didn’t make QUITE enough the first time around (or spent it all on wine, women and song).
I don’t ever plan to retire. I think I’m in pretty good company. Do you honestly think that Donald Trump will retire? I DOUBT it. What about Richard Branson from Virgin? I don’t think so. What about Sir John Templeton, the investment guru? He worked very actively into his 80s if I’m not mistaken.
What do all of these folks above have in common? They clearly love (or loved) what they were doing. I feel the same way. If you don’t feel that way about what you’re doing, I suggest you look for something that makes you feel that way.
For most of these gurus, this whole idea of retiring is supposed to make those of us who read about them jealous that they’re making so much money. All I feel is sadness for them. I always think to myself that these folks just didn’t figure out what was their true passion in life. Too bad for them. I hope that’s not the case for you.
I’m about to start rewriting some of the copy for my (over 175) websites. This was prompted by my recent get together with a friend of mine, Bob Sheinfeld.
Bob is an information marketer who does some really great stuff. We were talking about copywriting and he brought up the fact that copy has two components, the visible and the invisible.
The visible is what you see on the page or on the site. The INvisible is what the TRUTH is behind the copy. He mentioned how you feel when you read something and it just doesn’t sit right with you. Something feels strange or a bit “off.”
Bob thinks (and I now agree wholeheartedly) that the reason is because of the fact that what you’re saying and what is really the truth aren’t in alignment. There are the words on the page and then there are the silent words which speak to your heart that sit “behind” them. The truth!
What this is going to make me do is to go back and re-write everything I’ve done. You can pay fancy copywriters to do an incredible job of hyping your product. In some cases it might even help increase your sales.
Nothing will increase your sales more than copy that is written from the hear that is in INTEGRITY.
This doesn’t mean you can’t sell like crazy. I’ve got some REALLY good stuff that I think everyone should I own. I feel that way in my gut and know it to be true. This “system” doesn’t say that you can’t or shouldn’t sell with all the zeal of a Baptist preacher if you’ve got something great to offer people.
What the system says is that you better believe, in your heart, that what you’re saying is true or people will NOT believe it. They won’t be able to tell you why, they just won’t buy.
They will feel an inconsistency between the words on the page or site and what you really feel. The truth. This will make it so that people won’t buy. They won’t know why, but they just won’t!
The lesson? Just write the truth. The truth as you see and feel it. People will then feel more comfortable about the copy you write. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but it will be more believeable and it will increase sales.
Forget the hypey and “slightly” untruthful copy. Adopt a writing style that makes sure that what you say and what is ACTUALLY true are in complete harmony.
Net result? More sales? Is this common among people outthere selling stuff either on or offline? Absolutely NOT.
Go see Million Dollar Baby immediately. Don’t pass go or collect $200. This is a great film. I will not say anything more about it. Just go see it. Once again, the guy who I used to watch in Spaghetti Westerns has produced an amazing story. As an aside, not ONE word of the original script was changed. This NEVER happens in the film business. Talk about great writing!
Coach Carter was also a good one. The message is powerful and direct. Some people will be offended by one scene in the movie which takes a stand on the issue of abortion. Regardless of your views on the topic, it’s still a worthwhile use of your $10.
I had a guy show up at the Subscription Website event I did this weekend. He as helping one of the speakers.
He never even said hi or introduced himself to me. Bad form.
There may be good reason. Someone asked me about his events and I said I would not reccomend them. Why? Because they preach a system that involves people trading time for dollars.
What I teach is exactly the opposite. Get off the road and create a product based business! That’s why I couldn’t reccomend his event.
I don’t like this guy personally. I find him to be an arrogant and egotistical guy. Not uncommon among those who CLAIM to be professional speakers.
BUT, if I were to have someone like him want to speak at one of my events, I might let him/her.
Why? Because the savvy seminar promoter gets the BEST person to speak on a topic. It makes no difference to me if I like the individual personally.
Who am I trying to serve at my events? My audience.
Those are the only people who matter to me. I OWE it to people who paid to come to one my events to give them the best speaker in each topic area. The fact that I may not like them personally is a non issue.
Lesson? Put your ego aside and do what’s best for the people you are trying to serve. I’m not coming at this from a high and mighty standpoint, this just makes good business sense.
I also had another very interesting thing happen at this event. One of the speakers arranged a barter agreement with one of my participants. It was a BIG barter deal. The value of the services involved were over $10,000.
When people speak at my events and have something to sell (which is often), there is a split between speaker and promoter. The normal deal is 50-50. Speakers pay their own expenses, present to the people in the group and we split the gross number in the above manner.
This is the industry standard. This is NOT the case with my good friend Paul Hartunian. As a dog lover and avid supporter of his cause (www.AuntMarysDogHouse.com), I let him keep 100% of the take at any event of mine he speaks at.
As an aside, if you are willing to work the same deal with him and have at least 75-100 people who will show up, Paul will probably speak at your event. Contact him if you have a SERIOUS proposal only cause he’s a busy guy. His email is Paul@ Hartunian.com.
Back to the barter deal. The speaker who did the barter deal neglected to mention it to me but I found out about it from the other party.
This didn’t seem kosher to me. You find a person at an event I’m sponsoring and do a deal with them. It’s only fair that I should somehow get cut in on this deal. If I were in that position I would have felt uncomfortable NOT mentioning it to the promoter. Don’t you agree?
Anyway, I sent the speaker an email and I’ll report to you what happened in my next email to you.
It should be interesting.
Lesson? For me it’s that you have to be straight with people. They will inevitably find out. If they don’t say anything to you, they will still know. It’s like trying to hide a secret. It’s virtually impossible to do. And if you do and you SHOULD have shared it, it will make you feel uncomfortable.
How about another one?
One of the speakers at this event sold NOTHING.
The person I’m speaking of gave an outstanding talk. So why no sales? In my opinion, two reasons.
First, the offer was convuluted. It went on for almost 15 minutes. By the time I was supposed to fill out the order sheet I was completely confused (I’m saying this as if I were a participant).
The other thing? The offer was at too high a price point. The seminar was priced at right around $500.
The offer was for about $1,000. Too high for this group.
That being said, another speaker sold a service that went for $1,000 and proceeded to close over half the audience. Difference between the two?
One communicated value that was easily seen and recognized. The other communicated confusion.
Lesson? In general, don’t price your offer at over the price of the seminar itself. Also, make your offer quickly and succinctly and make it CLEAR as a bell.
As I’m writing this issue, I’m on the plane going from Orlando to Dallas. Quite a bit of turbulence I might add. Reading USA today, I found an interesting and illustrative example as it relates to book publishing.
(Quick aside: I read USA today this way. First I read the main news section and then the Money section. After that I look at Sports. I leave the LIFE section for my final reading. I look at that section as dessert. It’s sort of like watching Leno or Letterman before going to sleep at night).
The article discusses the story of Michael Stadher and his book: A Treasure’s Trove . . . . The book is apparently (since I haven’t read it) a whimsical tale in which he imbeds clues about where to find tokens which can be exchanged for treasure.
He initially went to print with 40,000 copies, thinking that was more than enough. Because of the concept and all the publicity he now has over 500,000 in print.
When he initially approached publishing firms, a number of them rejected him before he decided to publish the book himself. (This guy sounds like he could have been one of my clients!). He took some cash from the sale of a company he had started and did it himself.
The rest is history. Also, he will probably make at least 5 or 10 times more money having done it this way. Ask the Chicken Soup authors how much more they would have made had THEY decided to do the same thing!
Lesson? If you can scraped up the money to publish a book yourself, if it sells you’ll make a lot more money. If you ever decide to go back to do a second book you will be handing publishing firms YOUR contract. You’ll be squarely in the driver’s seat because you made your first book a success.
Have some publishers told you they will promote your book? They’re LYING! They will only truly promote your book (in most cases) AFTER the sucker starts selling like hot cakes.
At breakfast the other day with Paul we both came to the same conclusion. We’re both simple guys.
We want to live comfortably but not lavishly. We want to enjoy life, be around people who don’t hassle us. We just want to be left alone to enjoy this life we’ve been given. Plain and SIMPLE.
I started noticing that I was starting to feel stressed as a result of the numerous rental properties I have. I don’t like this feeling.
I suspect I was feeling this way because I have COMPLICATED my life by doing this. So, I’ve decided to liquidate my properties and return to a simpler life.
For me, this is a key to my feeling good about “stuff.”
It may not be right for you, but this is what works for me.
Lesson? Figure out how YOU want to live your life and do everything you can to make sure you can live it more that way.