THE SECRET METHOD FOR GETTING GOOD AT ANYTHING

What’s the secret to getting good at something?

And I’m not just talking about being “good.”

I’m talking about achieving God like mastery.

Well, believe it or not, the real secret is simple repetition.

You want to take something simple and practice it over and over and over again.

This means honing and practicing the basics until they become profound.

It also means daily repetition…

…sometimes for months or even years.

These posts are a good example. At this point I’ve written hundreds of them. Simply by doing this I’ve greatly increased the ability to formulate my thoughts, write them down, and come up with a halfway decent blog post. Even more importantly, my writing speed has greatly increased. What used to take hours, now takes minutes.

The problem with most people is that they don’t want to hear this.

People want overnight results with very little effort.

What they don’t understand is that this method often works a lot better.

You see, time is always passing…

…and eventually it all adds up.

So all you really have to do is devote a few minutes per day to practice.

Over time that combined effort will accumulate…

…and you to will achieve God like mastery of your chosen craft.

Whether that’s writing, speaking, marketing or something else…

…the fruits will be yours to enjoy.

More tomorrow:

Alastair Walton

DEEP VS. WIDE EMAIL LISTS (WHICH IS BETTER?)

When looking at email lists I like to classify them as being either “Deep” or “Wide.”

Here’s a quick explanation of what I’m talking about.

(And why this concept is so important for marketers.)

1. Deep Lists

Deep lists primarily refer to a list of buyers. More specifically, I’m talking about a list of buyers who have spent serious money. This can be anything from $297 all the way up to $1997, or more. Another feature of these lists is that they are usually small. For example, you often hear people brag about making money with a list of less than a hundred people. This is how they do it.

When I talk about deep lists I’m also talking about your relationship with that list. People with deep lists have cultivated a relationship with their audience over years and sometimes decades. The audience sees them as a valuable source of information and guidance. They are effectively a guru in their industry.

This means that when you mail high ticket offers…well…the list converts.

And with every offer mailed that relationship grows deeper and deeper.

Then, on the other hand, you have…

2. Wide Lists

A wide list refers to a list of people who have yet to convert. It also refers to people who may have bought low ticket offers. It could also mean you have a list of freebie seekers who will never convert. Another feature of these lists is that you have subscribers who don’t read your emails, or who rarely read them.

Now, this type of list can make you money. For example, if you have 10,000 or more subscribers, and you make a low ticket offer, you’re almost guaranteed to make sales.

Will you make as much as you would with a deep list? Probably not, but it really depends on what type of offer you’re mailing…and how many subscribers you have.

Another problem with wide lists is that these types of buyers can be a pain in the butt. These are the people who feel nothing about asking for a refund and ripping you off. Wide lists can also be a problem because running a list takes money.

So now that you understand this concept here is the real question:

Which type of list is better?

Deep or wide…

The truth is that neither is perfect.

What you really want to do is aim for a mixture of both.

To start with, you want to get as many subscribers as possible and build a wide list.

Really build up that subscriber count and never stop doing this.

Ideally, you want new people subscribing on a daily basis.

You then want to start filtering out people, converting your subscribers, and building a deep list

You do this by mailing as often as possible.

People who aren’t interested in what you’ve got will unsubscribe.

(Believe it or not this is actually a good thing.)

You basically want people to stop wasting your time and shit or get off the pot.

This is basically the art of curating and manicuring your list.

You also want to build and strengthen your relationship with your audience.

This means getting them to know, like, and trust you.

Next, sell a mixture of high and low ticket offers.

High ticket offers also help to get rid of people, especially those who were never going to buy.

That being said, you shouldn’t only sell high ticket offers. It’s a good idea to mix in the occasional low ticket offer. You see, there could be people who like what you’re offering, but who aren’t ready to commit to spending a lot of money with you. These people need a taste of what you’ve got to offer, before they commit to a bigger meal. This is why it’s a good idea to occasionally throw in a low ticket offer.

The bottom line is that you have deep and wide lists.

You goal, as a marketer is to build a mixture of both.

By doing this you’ll maximize conversions…

…and ultimately turn your list into a money making machine.

Alastair Walton

MARK ZUCKERBERGS BILLION DOLLAR GAMBLE

Many years ago there was a restaurant in my neighborhood.

This place did business like crazy.

Almost every night there was a queue out the door and down the block.

Then…disaster struck.

What happened was this:

Whoever owned the place decided to shut it down for remodeling. I have no idea how long this took…must have been a month or two. When it opened back up, the momentum was gone and the magic could not be recaptured. The crowd had moved on to somewhere else. And just over six months later this restaurant closed for good. Yes, I’m sure they were making money, but the ripple effect of shutting down eventually took them out.

This example reminds me of what’s happening with Facebook right now.

By all accounts the social media giant is circling the drain.

To start with, their share price has fallen by about 70% during 2022.

What’s more, the company is now planning to begin large-scale layoffs.

(According to reports, thousands of people are being let go.)

But why is all of this happening?

Well, it all goes back to the example I gave at the start of this message.

You see, Facebook isn’t actually Facebook anymore, is it?

Oh no, Mark Zuckerburg decided to “remodel” his business and turn Facebook into Meta…

…and now the magic is gone.

The point here is that you should never up-end your business too much.

Don’t make too many sweeping changes all at once.

You want to avoid altering your core business model or entirely rebranding the business.

Don’t replace what works with something completely untested.

(Does anyone actually want the Metaverse, I don’t think so?)

Make too many sweeping changes too quickly and you’ll upset the apple cart.

Anyway, most of this will be of very little use to you.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on something you may find interesting.

Alastair Walton

WHY BE A BEGGAR WHEN YOU CAN BE A KING?

So many marketers settle for being beggars.

But why do this when you can be a KING?

You see, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is this:

Find ONE market and dominate it.

People don’t want to hear this.

They think I’m saying you need to focus on one tiny niche forever.

They don’t want to do this because they think…erroneously…that there’s less money to be made.

They want to sell to everyone all at once.

And this is why they end up becoming beggars…

…competing against dozens of other people and getting nowhere.

This is also why it’s so important that you focus on one niche at a time.

For example, say you’re an agency that offers digital advertising services. First of all, why not focus on one platform, for example, Facebook? Then, instead of offering your services to anyone and everyone, you could concentrate only on, say, people who own restaurants. You could get even more specific and focus on pizzeria advertising.

What you’d do in this case is start looking at what’s happening in that market right now.

Where do these people congregate online…what are they buying…and so on.  

You want to figure out how you’re going to dominate this market.

How do you become the go-to guy in your area for pizza parlor owners who want to advertise online? To start with, you’ll learn how to craft marketing that attracts these people. You’ll also want to start building a list…and make them get to know you…like you…and trust you. Most importantly, you’ll want to figure out what the competition is doing, but better.

To do this you need to dig deep and go beneath the surface.

Most people don’t want to do this because it’s “hard work.”

These people are more than happy to settle for being beggars.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to make a little more effort…well…

…that’s when you become a KING in that market.

It’s also how you end up dominating the market…

…and how you know when you’re ready to move onto the next one.

Alastair Walton

DO YOU NEED TESTED RESULTS TO GET STARTED AS A COPYWRITER?

Getting started as a freelance copywriter is TOUGH

(No doubt about it.)

One of the biggest obstacles is having a proven track record of results.

It’s sort of a catch-22 situation.

You can’t get work if you don’t have results…

…and you don’t have results because you can’t get work.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to quit worrying about this.

It isn’t nearly as important as you think, and you shouldn’t let this hold you back.

In fact, you don’t actually need results.

You see, copywriting clients generally fall into 3 categories:

1. Discerning Clients

About a third of potential clients are extremely picky. They vet copywriters rigorously, and if you lack experience, you’re highly unlikely to be hired. These people ask a million questions, conduct multiple interviews, and need a great deal of assurance. Unless you have a reputation (meaning the client is presold), you’re unlikely to get the job.

2. Easy Clients

Another third of clients are easy. These people want copy written and really don’t care who writes it. They’re looking for something quick and nasty, and preferably cheap. These are the people who you want to initially target. As long as your rates are low enough, you’re likely to get a shot with them.

3. A mixture of Both

The final third of clients are a mixture of both. These people aren’t going to make you jump through a million hoops. At the same time they’re a bit more discerning than the abovementioned clients. They’re not looking for some high powered copywriter, but they don’t want a complete amateur either. These are essentially your middle of the road clients who will consider working with you, even if you’re a total beginner.

That being said, getting hired by these people isn’t easy.

You still have to sell yourself and do a good job of it.

This means giving off the impression that you know what you’re doing…

…it also means having projects, samples, and testimonials available. 

Alastair Walton

P.S. The real lesson here is that you should always be working on your chops. Improving your skills should be priority #1. As long as you can write half way decent copy…and present yourself correctly…there’s a good chance you’ll actually get work.

TINDER FOR COPYWRITERS?

Ever been on a date with someone from Tinder?

Funnily enough, most Tinder users have yet to achieve this lofty goal.

But what happens if you do beat the odds and actually meet someone on this God forsaken app?

There’s a good chance the date will suck.

It’s going to be weird…

Uncomfortable..

…and probably won’t go ANYWHERE.

You’ll more than likely end up being ghosted or worse…

Let alone “close” the deal.

Now compare this with meeting someone through friends.

What about those dates?

Well, those dates usually go a lot, lot better.

But why is this?

A big reason is because the person is presold.

Friends have vouched for you and this (hopefully) means you’re a decent person.

Those dates ALWAYS turn out better.

Now, there’s a lot of parallels between dating apps and online job sites.

You see, in a way these sites are almost like Tinder for copywriters.

First of all, you’re usually fighting hundreds of other people for a small handful of clients.

This immediately puts you at a major disadvantage.

What it also means is that “consummating” the deal is very, very difficult.

Yes it can be done and I’ve done it before, but it’s a lot more trouble than it’s worth.

Bottom line:

Tinder for copywriters i.e. job sites are best avoided.

It’s a lot better to “meet through friends.”

How do you do this?

Well, seeking referrals from satisfied clients is the first step.

Better yet, start your own website and build a list.

This way people get to know, like and trust you.

More importantly, you’ll close more and higher quality clients…

…and do it with a lot less hassle.

Something to think about.

Alastair Walton