Marketing Lesson from Banksy

Marketing Lesson from Banksy

There has been a huge shift in marketing. I’ve spoken about it before. That shift will continue to grow as traditional marketing or what is now known as digital marketing continues to under deliver in real results. So, what is the lesson from Banksy?

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Intuitive - Alan's Summer Schedule 2018

Intuitive - Alan's Summer Schedule 2018

What will I be available for whilst away?

  • SITE VISITS: My final site visit or face-to-face is on May 23rdand will be closed until September 2018. 

  • FACE-TO-FACE: The only face-to-face available is for those that fly to Tbilisi to meet me or under extreme emergencies I will fly to you with a minimum spend of £25,000 with all costs of first-class travel and accommodation to be covered.

  • ONE PLACE FREE NOW:I still have ONE final place available before I travel on May 24th. Now is your last chance to grab it.

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Yoga, Business, Life And Coffee

Yoga, Business, Life And Coffee

I thought I would do something different today and share my typical day with you today. I went to bed with a problem. The problem isn’t the woman lying next to me – my wife – the problem is my shoulder is killing me. Not a disaster but a problem all the same.

Last week my trainer put me on dips. It’s the first time for a long time I’ve done them but I’m strong so it wasn’t a big deal. It is now. My should is killing and feels like a nerve of some kind might be trapped rather than muscle or bone pain.

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The Marketing Paradox

The Marketing Paradox

The Online Marketing Paradox. How is it possible to increase a business turnover by 223.7% in just 23-days – without the use of the web? No email. No website. No lead capture. No social media. No LinkedIn. No Adwords.  - NOTHING!

Here’s How?

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How To Start a Business


How to start a business

  • Successfully
  • On the right foot
  • With low-risk

Starting a new business isn't easy. If it was 8-10 wouldn't fail.

Even harder if you survive - keeping in profit and thriving.

There's a lot of articles online about how to start a business. I purposely write this in the simplest of words based on what i have seen and experienced over 32-years of business.

How To Start a Business - My Quick Story

I started my first business when I was 10-years old.

I painted my old Raleigh Chopper bike with some old spray paints.

I’m not sure how but friend’s parents started asking me to paint their kids old bikes. I got paid around 50 pence per bike.

I had started my very first business. I was a rich 1-year old.

Today I am totally unemployable and can and have only worked for myself since my teenage years. Yes I tried jobs but got fired from all of them.

I had brick and mortar businesses from 1989 to 2003. Today all of my business is done via the web through multiple websites.

(There are many more)

I work hard.

I get paid WELL.

I buy most things in cash.

I am my own boss.

I take time off when I want.

I start my days when I want

I finish my days when I want

I even eat my breakfast out everyday or stay at home – if I want.

Today I sell stuff online including services and products.

I’ve been doing that since the late 1990s but fulltime since I sold my last hairdressing salon in 2003 when I made another transition into another new career.

I’ve made tons of mistakes and learnt from them – even bankruptcy.

So - How To start a Business?

Here’s what you should know on how to start a business from a businessman that has started many businesses and has run his own business for done for decades.

  1. Grab your idea with both hands
  2. Research that people actually are buying what you are selling
  3. Know your numbers to the penny where possible
  4. Locate your product
  5. Know your service
  6. Find out how to get what your selling in front of buyers eyes
  7. Just do it
  8. Mistakes are standard get over them and accept the lesson
  9. Pay for very good advice
  10. Model a company doing what you do but do it better
  11. Model companies outside your industry
  12. Buy the best or make the best of what you can afford
  13. Get your marketing right
  14. Find an angle for your business
  15. Get a cool name no one will forget and make it mean something
  16. Be predictable but take risks
  17. Develop a sales system that converts
  18. Scale it up
  19. Keep up the momentum
  20. Never assume its all good
  21. Don’t go and buy a luxury car in the first year
  22. Build your cash
  23. Pay taxes because if you are paying them you’re making them
  24. Never rely on staff just accept their best but when it isn’t their best fire them
  25. Nothing is bad in business it is all just business.
  26. The slow times, the bad times, the terrible times and the great times… it’s all just business.

When I am asked how to start a business I think a lot of what I say above is valid. So many people think that starting a business is easy – it isn’t but when it goes well it is worth every minute of effort.

Here are more than a few mistakes I have seen from my own clients businesses.

  • Spending a fortune in infrastructure and nothing on planning.
  • Ordering new cars to sit outside their offices before they make any money.
  • Ordering a Rolex before building a business.
  • Trying to make success happen on the cheap.
  • Failing to create marketing systems that work.
  • Creating marketing systems that work but failing to upscale them
  • Trying to do everything they are not qualified to do
  • Trying to do everything on their own.
  • Not asking for advice.
  • Asking for advice failing to act on that advice.
  • Thinking marketing is a single event rather than daily part of the fabric of the business
  • Sitting and waiting for something to happen
  • Expanding too fast
  • Ignoring the web
  • Working with amateurs

The truth is to the answer how do you build a business is just get started and do it. Take as much advice as you can get and run with it as long as there are buyers.

One or two personal things I will add on how to start a business.

  • Aim the highest you can
  • Reach even higher
  • Believe you are what you want to become
  • Treat yourself regular when business is doing well. It makes it all worth it.
  • Buy the best of everything – even something as small as your pen. This will empower you to be your best.
  • Work for as long as you need to everyday you need to. If you need to do 30-minuts today that’s good.
  • If you need to work 18-hours to make things work – stop moaning and work 18-hours – when it has to be done – it’s always worth it.
  • Make your yes mean yes and your no mean no
  • Don’t fall in love with your business – it is a business that supports your life not the other way around.
  • Stop flogging a dead horse – if it isn’t going to work – close it down and move forward on the lessons you’ve discovered.
  • Keep learning.
  • Stay interested.
  • Get excited.
  • Stay in control but let go of control where you need an expert.

I have had some serious setbacks in business. Like when I lost £91,000 to one single client. Like when I had to go through bankruptcy or like when county court bailiffs came to take away my car.

But the reality is this is how you build a business. You learn from the lessons and move forward all of the time. That is the only way I have managed to stay in business for myself over the past 32-years.

The uncertainty in everything is a time when I am thankful that I control my own business. I rarely know what is taking place in the news with politicians because my own truth is that politics has rarely affected what I do. Yes it will affect others depending on the marketplace but I can say it rarely affected me.

I have lived and thrived through three major recessions and am still here thriving right now.

I don’t believe there has ever been a better time in history to learn how to build a business. The web has opened so many new doors and created so many opportunists. Yet so have the emergence of the new artisan and the rise of the marketplace. This is an exciting time to be in business but it still has its pitfalls that are all to easy to fall in to.

My own mentor program has now been running and refined with my AFS METHOD for over 12-years although I began mentoring people for business in 1989. My very first metro student was a girl named Kerry Dawson. She was my hair salon junior. By the time I had finished mentoring her she had become a really great salon owner herself.

If you want to know

How to start a business – your business

Get off to the right start with proven advice

Create a perfect business online or offline

I am ready to help you build your new business with my 32-years experience, over 20 years experience with successful business building online and more.

You can read more about my mentoring here or simply call me on.

Being in business has never been so exciting but more important it has never been so critical to control your own future.

Should we talk?

If you are ready to start a business I am ready to help you do just that.

Mentor here

  • Tele: 00 44 (0) 1619296902
  • Text: 00 44 (0) 7793069486 With the word TALK
  • What’sApp: 07793069486
  • Viber: 07793069486
  • Email:
  • Skype: orangebeetle

Business Mentor and How To Start a Business Expert,  Alan Forrest Smith


The New Reality of Uncertainty


One thing's for certain ... The New Reality of Uncertainty

What used to be a sure thing is no longer anything. What has been used for years for business growth strategies no longer works.

And if you read or watch the news in the U.K. you’d be excused for thinking the world is about to end on this little green island.

It isn’t


Things have changed for business and marketing.

Things have changed dramatically.

Let me explain.

Uncertainty is a moment where no one really knows what is coming next.

The economy – no one knows. Jobs – no one knows.

The BREXIT – no one really knows.

That means if you are in business – what is next?

I started my first business in 1985. It’s 2017 and I am still going strong and I don’t mind sharing with you how.

My own personal business growth strategies were and are reinvention, market analysis, understanding what is needed to survive and looking for areas to grow during uncertainty. But the most powerful is leverage with a twist.

The business of getting busy during uncertain times.

A client I worked with faced uncertain times after as good as blowing partners huge investment going into the millions.


Here is what was strange. He talked big. His team talked big. They loved meetings. They loved to plan. The loved to set big goals. They loved to motivate each other and they loved to leave the big company weekend away slightly hung-over but ready to start again on Monday. And that was that.

When I eventually went through his business results, his wages bill alone was huge and I mean obelisk in size (bigger than big!).

They had no response from direct mail. They wrote some words, sent it out and hoped with just one attempt it might get them busier. It didn't.

No response from email. They spent literally weeks setting up emails with images, great HTML (oh how they loved great HTML) and tracking. Again not a single response.

Social media was a waste of time – the team simply posted endless content and loved the fact the had hundreds of likes and some shares – yet – no sales, leads or anything apart from the glory of the moment from a like button.

The only source of leads came from a tiny badly written trade magazine advert the actual CEO had created some years ago. His team of 11 were possibly the worst underperforming marketing team I have ever met. Not what you need during uncertainty.


Anyway I was asked to go in and find out what the problem was. I found it the first hour I visited their huge HQ. I solved it the next day i got home. This resulted in seventeen leads in a single hour rather than their usual one a day if they were lucky.

Now don’t miss the point here because it gets pretty shocking.

During the first hour of the new campaign where the 17 leads arrived I got an email from the marketing director on behalf of his team. She asked me this and this is absolutely true.

‘Please turn off the campaign until they get everything into place to cope with the new leads".

I asked to speak to the CEO. I couldn’t get him as he was in the Arab states. I finally got an email from him supporting his team and asking me to switch off the campaign until they got their ass into gear.

Around 12-weeks (84 days later) later the campaign was never reinstated. The marketing director felt it was safer to go back to what they were doing. They felt what I did for them was too different, too new, too direct so they asked for a switch off.

They carried on doing what they had been doing the previous 18-months ... planning, talking and going on company paid weekends.

The company went bust.


Failing to Act During Uncertain Times

Yet I gave them a crazy 17 leads in one single hour. That campaign could have run and run and run and run forever. He could have had the richest most successful company in his field ever. I think he had a job now. The investors lost their cash.


Because, during a tough time they failed to take action despite all the talk of taking action. This is common. This is also stupid. Very!

If your marketing is failing right now how long are you willing to listen to your team talk the talk without walking? How long are you willing to put up with behaviour like that.


“OK’ is no longer good enough. I don’t want OK I want everything I can get from my business. Do you?

Your results can change faster than you might be thinking and I am more than well qualified with 32-years behind me to take you there.

You can read more details on my MENTOR page or my services page.

But seriously

  • If the thought of increasing your enquiries from 0-to-17 per hour scares you I am not for you.
  • If the thought of going from 1-3 leads a month to well over 300 hundreds leads a months makes you feel under pressure – I am not your man.
  • If the fear of a speaking to your team is greater than the fear of success – I am not your man.
  • As you might know and I am proud to say I have a long long list of success turning business around, advising clients into the millions and creating success where failure looked like the only next option.

Business Growth Strategies

During uncertain times you need some certainty in your business results and business growth strategies that deliver.

I am that man if that is what you demand.

And I am not cheap. Cheap is cheap, I don’t like cheap anything I never have. Yet the results for your fast-track, direct, tested and proven business growth strategies will more than compensate for any investment you make with myself.

When would you like to talk or will you just wait and see what happens?

Once I got a call from a client – potential client – that wanted everything to change because his business growth strategies just weren't working. Nothing worked for him at all.

He told me about a big email campaign he was going to launch to his database. Now before I say more my own email campaigns for my clients can be launched the SAME DAY especially if a turnaround or survival is needed.

So we spoke and he told me that he had written the email and then other parts changed by his staff – all of his staff. His receptionist had written the start, some over there had written this line, and another person had changed that line and so on. Not the perfect way to create business growth strategies.

I told him DO NOT send it do to the negative reaction in the mind of the reader.

He sent it with no results. The same was repeated on his other marketing outlets. To be truthful I fired as a client in the end because he moaned about results, moaned about everything he was and wasn’t doing yet never did anything to fix it by following what I know to be brilliant business growth strategies.

This is very common where the boss needs to take absolute control of everything yet … Can a man that creates components for machinery also be the same man that is great at marketing?

Stick to what you know is a rule that I live by yet it’s a rare rule in the marketing of business.

Again we are facing some uncertain things ahead.

The one thing you really can be certain of is removing useless wasteful business growth strategies and putting into place business growth strategies that have been tested into your market place and tested until they work.

This could be the exact opposite of what you are doing right now.

It could be the exact opposite of what your marketing team wants to do right now.


These are uncertain times and in uncertain times not taking a risk is more risky than taking a perceived risk.

Lets talk.

  • Tele: 00 44 (0) 1619296902
  • Text: 00 44 (0) 7793069486 With the word TALK
  • What’sApp: 07793069486
  • Viber: 07793069486
  • Email:
  • Skype: orangebeetle

Alan Forrest Smith, Business Growth Strategist

Marketing Has Changed PT.1


Marketing Has Fundamentally Changed Forever

  • Most businesses don’t realise.
  • Most experts have no idea.
  • The same old stuff that has been advised, shared and used for decades will no longer work.
  • There are no rules anymore.
  • There is no one-system for all.
  • Wake up, make changes – big changes - or sink.

I started to notice changes maybe five years ago. They had been taking place long before then but it had become more than obvious then.

What was working was now no longer working. The old systems, the tricks, the techniques and the absolute fundamentals of marketing were no longer working where they used to always work.

The feedback from entrepreneurs like yourself supported that conclusion and awareness that massive changes had imperceptibly been sweeping through the world of business without the world of business taking notice.

Recently when asked a majority of those questioned replied that they didn’t trust marketing people. Marketing people had now adopted the role of the car salesman or they would do anything, say anything, promise anything and anything but deliver in their results. The results have become impossible for those that are simply selling car – selling – and have no real idea of what takes place during the process of buying.

Buying is a real process that includes so many invisible actions before any buyer arrives at you. The initial idea they have, the thought, the search, the mind process and many other things that take place before the buyer decides to buy from you. I’ll talk about that later on.

And recent years in the industry of marketing have been destroyed by the abuse of power handed to marketers where they have had the ability to blind people like you with what can appear like magic. The magic in fact is usually a simply process that hasn’t yet reached the eyes and minds of the mainstream. The marketer has simply read what to do in the instructions and is doing it. The main problem is the promise they present when doing such magical arts.


The problems for marketers go far deeper.

Here’s why.

Marketing assumes that buyers want to buy and yes they don want to buy. Persuasion has always been the force behind selling. TV is a great example of that as are some older adverts. Persuasion is a set standard of buying from the mind of the seller yet here is a reality check – you cannot force anyone into buying anything unless they want to buy. Persuasion will not force the cash from anyone and when it does – and sometimes it does – a refund request is asked.

I remember years ago my own brother coming back from Spain to announce he had done something stupid. He had signed up for what was then called a time-share apartment at £400 per month. This was clearly higher than his wages yet the experience of going through the time-share process persuaded him into buying. Thankfully the legal process was such that a refund of his deposit was eventually returned. And if the buyer does refund you can bet they’ll never be back again. I wonder how many people smile and say it seemed like a good idea at the time. The reality is it was never a good idea it was simply manipulation through persuasion.

Habits have gone through a huge overhaul. Now with the powerful of a smart phone we have selective and addictive thumbing over and past your marketing materials. I used to tell my clients they had 3-seconds to grab a client via their computer screen. Today I doubt if you have one second.

The addiction is huge. You’ve seen people everywhere walking around, sitting down, on public transport and even with a lover with their faces fixed firmly on the screen before them. It’s like a scene from s zombie movie. Some marketers see this as marketing nirvana after all if they stare at the screen you can gently slip an advert passed them and they will click on it. No and here is why. Addicts are conscious of nothing whilst being conscious of what serves them in the way they see service in that moment. Addicts also have selective choice playing its part like all viewers have that choice. It is anything but a marketers dream. The addicts can be so tuned in or so zoned out he selling opportunities is very few.

And those that are just thumbers, they scroll left or right or up or down or anyway the screen will go. In that moment the only action they care about is that they are taking an action with little reason with their thumbs. Today in my coffee shop a guy stands in front of me. He takes out his phone, opens the screen hovers his thumb above a small panel and does nothing but put his phone back into his pocket. Eventually he touches a panel. Facebook, email or whatever, he thumbs very quickly through everything without seeing anything and eventually stops. He repeats the same process until his coffee is ready. Once he picks up his coffee before he walks to the chair to sit he opens his phone so he is thumbing as he walks.

In the coffee shop itself I would guess around 70% in here right now are staring at a screen. All addicts or thumbers! Either way do you think marketing to minds that have their minds on something or nothing is a workable idea?

You’ll say no yet marketing men are still pushing the idea that these are perfect people to sell to. They’re not.

Another things with Thumbers is this – they are extremely protective of their digital space. They don’t want to be invaded with ads in what they feel is private and their own place. Their place is their screen in front of their eyes. This is their place where no one else is allowed. It can feel private almost secret. The last thing they want is what marketing men can advise which is to hit them in their pocket directly into their smart phones.

We have to remember people aren’t stupid and can see right through it when they are being treated as stupid.

The old way of marketing could get away with treating people as stupid and to be sold to yet those were the days of the uninformed. Now people are smart as their phones suggest and have been made smarted by the huge volume of instant education online.

If you want to sell more there is a new way to di it and it is nothing like the old way. Marketing as you might know it is dead. I believe there are things coming that will make anyone in the marketing service industry almost extinct yet the marketing industry will have you thinking others for – as long as they can.

There are huge changes coming yet there are huge changes already here. I’ll go through more in Part 2.

Want better advice? Need more edge? Need to be guided? Demand more conversions? There is nothing like MENTOR when ‘just OK” is no longer ok.

Pt. 2 coming.

Alan Forrest Smith


Does Marketing Still Work?

The old rules of marketing are absolutely dead.

Recently I have been mentoring a company that has had a very common problem I keep seeing and you might be experiencing.

They have and had invested more than enough in their business.

  • Their website.
  • The campaigns.
  • Their social media.
  • Their desired results.

Sadly - They had no sales on well over a year.

I wasn’t surprised because over the past few years I am seeing a really strong repeated pattern and it is this.

  • Build a website.
  • Start a simple Adwords campaign
  • Hire a social media company to handle that side of things.
  • Invest in SEO.
  • With no or almost no results.

Why is this?

First, the days of the website being the only source for your sales are dead. Multiple channels need to be in place to create maximum output for your business. This includes offline.

Second ask yourself this - when is the last time your clicked on a sponsored ad in relation to a organic ad? Personally I am not sure why but I don’t click on sponsored ads and lets face it - battling for decent space on Adwords is a pitch to say the least!

Third likes and shares DO NOT MEAN sales. When social media is done properly it can work yet seeing social media done authentically and organically is so rare but will only work when done this way. Simply posting content and links is a recipe for fail and the numbers support that!

SEO is a science yet so unscientific it just isn’t true. Two weeks ago I accidentally put a clients page to position 5 on Google for hugely sought after key phrase.


That’s the problem … We do the basic things on SEO and no more. No endless backlinks etc yet is still appeared on page 1. position 5. In other words SEO described as a science can be a lot of trial and error that can take literally years.

And the bigger problem for you is this.

Do you have years to hope that results will drip in?

So why is this happening and why is it on the increase?

When I started my marketing adventures in 1989 reaching customers was easy when you knew how.

In the late 90s when digital arrived - before Google it was still pretty easy to dominate Yahoo and AltaVista and then later Google.

When Social Media really started to take off mid—late 2000s again it was easy to do organically as it was new and novelty.

The bigger problem though for you is this.

There is a new wave of experts that have no expertise in marketing or understanding real marketing.

Marketing itself is just a label  to capture an action.

Marketing is actually as simple as this.

Selling your stuff to people that are ready to buy.

That’s really it.

You cannot persuade anyone to buy anything they don’t want and if you do you can guarantee they’ll be bringing it back under the table ‘buyers remorse’ or what I call the wake up moment that they were persuaded to buy something they just didn’t need.

And there is this.

It is 2017  - everything has changed.

  • The custom life has arrived.
  • Trust is a buyers issue.
  • Referral and ratings are King.
  • The artisan is back.
  • No believes you is set to default.
  • There is more.

Differences are dead.

Distinction is here.

Distinct is perceptive, perceptive is intuitive intuitive is another dimension that has been created through the new share experience.

In other words.

If you are no longer getting the results you want, need, and demand you need to rethink everything.

Yes direct marketing will still work but only in a 2017 transformed way.

Old persuasive marketing for your business is dead and if you have read this far - you get it.

So what do you do to make changes?

Here is how I change my own clients results and some simple things you can do.

First is stop everything. There is no point investing time, money, and people hours into what isn’t working.

Next research the buyers mind. This takes time and energy but is worth every moment.

Then look at trends, buying patterns and habits.

Find out the path taken from your customer until the moment they buy from you. That means from the second they discover you until the second the click the order button.

Then find out where the buyers are online or offline and get your product or service in front of them.

Create test campaigns to measure and track conversions.

Once the testing is over create a careful strategy and tactics to relaunch your campaigns.

And never ever forget…

Every right or wrong word makes a difference.

Every right or wrong image makes a difference.

Look at this…


Headline 1. 3 sales

Headline 2. 73-sales

Image 1. 4 clicks

Image 2. 200 plus clicks


Now …

This takes time and energy and one problem you might face is lazy marketers that want to do what they know and that is usually the quick, click and go route that so many SEO and S.M experts take. I have news for you - that is proven to fail as you are probably experiencing right now.

If you want your business to work.

If you take your results serious.

If you need up-to-the-minute advice - what works in 2017.

If you need an expert that will tell you exactly how it is.

If you are in business for the long run.

And listen to this.

If you like the idea of everything being tested until it works and then appearing in the biggest and best national newspapers and magazines online for pennies … we should speak.

As I type most of our clients brands are appearing in most supported major online outlets that experience millions of visitors daily.

That above is powerful - that is significant and that is what is also delivering real results.

Now …

I only work with clients that want results and that take their businesse seriously.

Is that you?

If you have no need to create new informed marketing that actually cuts out the crap and delivers results please delete this email.

If you want more buyers, more sales and more results you know where I am.

By the way everything I am writing about above took one failed online project from 2.5 years of nothing and struggle (being supported by his other business) to sales of over £300,000 every month.

We didn’t do that doing what everyone else is doing.

Lets talk.

Text: 00 44 (0) 7793069486 for an instant call back.

Alan Forrest Smith

How To Beat Economic Uncertainty


During any uncertain times those that survive are those that get smart and take action. Those that stand and just observe sink.

Every now and then you have to take a real good look at what is delivering and what isn’t. So many times over the years I have seen business literally throw money at marketing and just hope it works.

These are economic uncertain times that are not only giving us a fear of what could be to come but also mesmerizing us and baffling us with new channels of communications.

Mobile marketing, should I use SnapChat, is Facebook my best option, we like LinkedIn but we’ve never had a buyer from LinkedIn and no so many online channels of marketing than ever before.

And more than ever before the first option for most business advisors is to advise the online option usually the Social Media route despite the fact that most almost 40% of marketers admit to having no idea if it works, around 40% say they have a feeling it might work with no supporting facts and around 18% can show a real factual number to support their social media marketing.

Clearly if the entire marketing budget goes into social media it’s a huge risk – an 80% risk of failure in fact!

Just a note on social media I have said many times before. Clicks, likes and shares do not usually equate at any level to sales. Will click likes and shares pay your bills?

So clearly during these uncertain times marketing strategies that are going to be

  1. Clearly thought out and planned
  2. Built around tested strategies
  3. Highly targeted
  4. Mind set focused
  5. More engaged
  6. Socially giving
  7. Risk reduced
  8. And the magical ability to do more with less

What’s current may not be current for your buyers. What does this mean? It means that just because everyone is doing it that you should do it. This is the huge mistake that marketers make and advise.

Economic uncertainty means you’re going to have to pull things in a little more and give your strategies more thought.

  • Where are your buyers hanging out?
  • What are they reading?
  • What are their habits?
  • How to you get in front of them?
  • How do you tap into their mindset?
  • How can you use their thoughts to increase your response?

This isn’t rocket science it just takes some thought and if your guys aren’t delivering you need to get those thoughts into your business so you can face these uncertain times head on and win. It is no accident that whilst everyone is distracted during a recession by the negative noise there is those that thrive and make a killing during that period. They get new thoughts and work in harmony with those thoughts.

If your team is not giving you anything different you might be one of those that fail to realise your goals because to survive these periods drastic dramatic and sometimes just fine tweaks are needed.


Careful planning should be created and built around testing strategies and tactics. In other works don’t get everyone doing everything on a strategy that has not been tested. That is success suicide. Testing these days is easy and never been easier. All marketing should go through a 12-week multi-variable testing period before a decision is made to run with it or not.


When targeting your customers you cannot hope and pray they see your messages – that is a stupid approach to a system that can be tested. Your customers hang out somewhere, they read certain things, they go to the same places daily. Despite the fact that you are told the public might get 20,000 messages pass by their eyes everyday scientific tests have shown the brain also has the ability to filer certain noise. In fact your buyers will actually acknowledge just 400 messages yet their brain is so in tune they will still see any message that is in harmony with their mindset.


So in other words you must use mindset marketing. Again this will take a short period of time but the rewards can be huge and push you through uncertain economies.


Engagement is a word that is so thrown around these days. I want to be blunt here – having a social media account that simply posts endless links isn’t engaging in the slightest. Think about yourself for a moment here – what engages you and why does it engage you? Answer that and you’ll have a greater ability to deliver more engagement for your customers. Again – likes and shares does not equate to pounds in the bank so think this out very carefully.


Social purpose is also a new modern term that has gained ground over the past few years. People are now more inclined in certain businesses to support a socially engaging service or product first. Are you giving back? Do you have a bigger purpose in your business to give back to the community? Do you know if you are? If not you need to find out and install some purpose into your business because the facts are showing that this could be what your buyers want? This generation wants purpose and need that purpose to be filled. Are you giving them what they want?


Reducing risk in your response is easy once you have tested everything and masterfully masterminded what is needed to do that. If you are not getting that from your team you should consider it a priority to bring in extra minds for added input and advice.


Doing more for less is easier than you think. I have a client that was spending £5,000 each month on his marketing. Not a lot to some but a lot to him. For £5000 he was getting no response. I reduce his mailings by 4,900 and reduce his spend. His response went from zero to 47% due to the campaign now being highly targeted, mindset focused and part of a bigger system.

Reducing marketing spend is easy. For example during uncertain times you might have a marketing team that is bloated. That doesn’t have to be 12 in your team it could be three in your team that don’t deliver. You know what to do.

As far as marketing spend and budget goes this is a perfect time for you to get more for less. That means you must get smarter. Just recently I sent over 3000 buyers through a small market using one single tool and barely no investment. It wasn’t what you could call beautiful marketing it was raw, simple, stripped back and to the point using just twitter in a very smart way.


These are uncertain times yet they are also times when you can create more certainty in your marketing budget and results. To ge more for less this is a time when you need good advice and if that good advice isn’t in your office you must go outside and pull in the right minds to work alongside you.

Here is what we do know. There are companies that have been in business since 1889 – Marks and Spencer. That company has seen everything and thrived and survived and grown and changed. They are here right now due to finding smart advice, willingness and ability to change according to the market changes.

How about you?

Uncertain times will take certain actions. Are you taking actions that might feel uncomfortable, that might challenge your current thinking but are willing to take action to thrive and grow regardless of the economy?

Alan Forrest Smith

Fixer – Advisor – Conversion Expert – Strategic Advisor – Alternate Thinker Since 1999

Text: 07793069486

Skype: orangebeetle

Direct Marketing Results - Five Case Studies


Does Your Marketing Work?

In a world that is pretending marketing is very complicated, you might like the simplified strategies and results you are about to read.

Here are ...

First I have started to post easy to watch and quick videos on the Orange Beetle Facebook page as well as unique content. Stay connected here.

So ... Five Recent Projects - Five Different businesses - Five Different budgets - ONE shared goal: ... Maximum conversion, maximum sales, maximum results.


These are all businesses we are involved with over the past 12-months or so.

We chose these to share for two reasons.

  1. All had limited budgets.
  2. All were extremely time pushed.

Thi is a small selection to show variety.

  1.  Art Gallery
  2. Solicitors
  3. Hair and Beauty
  4. Art and Craft
  5. Private Catering
  6. All 5 businesses were sales online!

1. Art Gallery project: No bookings to full house

Objective/Goal: Promote and pack out the gallery event for a contemporary artist with maximum guest attendance.

  • Project Budget: £LOW
  • Deadline: 10 days (as in little over one week)

Result prior to Orange Beetle breakthrough conversion: 4 registered guests

Results AFTER: Over 147 registered attendees (well over 500 actually turned up on the day), full-house, and the maximum guest attendance.

Promoted and maximized conversions through just 4 different simplified tactics.

2. Solicitor project: No leads to over 300 leads a month

Objective/Goal: Dominate the niche market and work the way up towards 100 leads a month

  • Project Budget: Starting budget £MEDIUM
  • Deadline: Ongoing

Result prior to Orange Beetle breakthrough conversion: Zero - a new service with failed website launch and Zero leads.

Results AFTER: Starting leads 3-5 to over 300 monthly leads with 49.2% tactics. (each lead is worth over £3,000)

Promoted and maximized conversions through just two platforms.

3. Hair and Beauty project: Flatlined to 82 new leads a month

Objective/Goal: 30 monthly new lead generation sale and 2% upsell conversion

  • Project Budget: £LOW
  • Deadline: Ongoing

Result prior to Orange Beetle breakthrough conversion: Dormant business and flat sales with near zero new leads

Results AFTER: 82 new leads sales with 8% upsell conversion

Promoted and maximized conversions through 15 Different tactics.

4. Arts and Craft project (brand new and still in progress): Zero sales in over a year to sales 24-hours after we took on their project

Objective/Goal: One replicable sale to work the way up to a consistent sales flow

  • Project Budget: £MEDIUM-HIGH
  • Deadline: Ongoing

Result prior to Orange Beetle breakthrough conversion: Zero sales, failed SEO and website

Results AFTER: Day one - first sales order placed, followed by 10 sales orders and sales enquiries over the following 8 weeks and growing!

Promoted and maximized conversions through 4 primary platforms extending through 29 additional tactics and growing so far!

5. Private Catering project - No bookings to 5000

Objective/Goal: Promote and pack out the food market stall event with maximum guest attendance.

  • Project Budget: £ZERO --- True!
  • Deadline: 3 weeks

Result prior to Orange Beetle breakthrough conversion: Zero guests booked in

Results AFTER: Full house and 100% sold out meals or stock with over 5000 passing through the doors on the day. INCREDIBLE!

Promoted and maximized conversions through ONE single tactic and platform

And The Point Is?

So-called marketing experts being asked for help and guidance yet taking massive risks with businesses like yours. The mantra is always the same ... rebrand - clicks - like and followers with no mention of sales. shocking!

The first thing I ask my client is this...

"What financial number would you be happy hitting?"

Then we build the whole campaign around that number. only once that number is hit to we move forward but honestly if I don't think it is possible I will say. I will not take a risk with your business.

Not clicks, not likes, not visitors but real buyers and real customers, after all, that is the blood of your business, not just a great website.

And you saw the power of simple strategies above. The catering company DO NOT even have a website and refuse to post updates online yet we still sent 5000 through their door at the weekend.

Direct response marketing is called that because if it isn't direct you will fail to hit your customers.

If you are stuck doing the same old thing or are feeling like your guys are delivering the same old nothing results we should talk as a matter of urgency.

  • If you text me right now I will reply within 30-minutes.
  • Text: 07793069486 UK - outside UK 00 44 7793069486
  • Or Skype me on orangebeetle

WARNING: I do not offer a FREE advisory service - this is strictly for businesses that value their time and their results. There are over 200 pages and downloads for free on my website if you need free.

Now don't forget to stay connected on Facebook because I post video and a few other things there I think will help you. See link below.

Here's to your higher response results

Alan Forrest Smith, 32 Years Of Frontline Direct Marketing Under My Belt

  • Text/Phone: 07793069486
  • Skype: orangebeetle

AND - My highest demand breakthrough services

BREAKTHROUGH (One client £35k one week later)

CAMPAIGN FIXER (Over 5000 passing trade in days)

MENTOR (start-up to £7 million)

Notes 10/03/17


Alan's Notes from the Coffee Shop

Opposite me right now are two banks. One is HSBC – now closed. The other is Nat West – Closing. Just down the street around 100 meters away is a large Barclays bank – closing. In the opposite direction around 200 meters is yet another bank I cannot remember – closed!

Now I don’t know about you but it’s years since I walked into a bank yet in the town nearby they have built a huge Barclays bank and probably spent a fortune doing so.  When I walk past the only people you see in there are those using the three cash machines at the door.There is a lesson here – hold on.

There is a lesson here but hold on.

A new client I am working with has spent a tonne of time (over a year) and a lot of cash (tens of thousands) investing into good advice for his business. That advice has cost him heavily as in the advice never brought in a single penny from that advice yet until we met he continued to listen to that advice.

So as I am drinking my morning coffee I was just thinking about how we all resist change - that includes banks. The reason I say we resist is because I have worked inside a lot of businesses at a lot of levels and I am yet to meet one business owner that they or their team do not fight changes.

Why do we fight changes that could improve our business?

Change is never as simple as it sounds. When a change is made you go much deeper and challenge the mind. Your mind and even the mind of your customer. That means previous thoughts of what will and won’t work are being challenged and confronted. Your belief in something is being challenged. That also means some of those old ways have to be now seen as dead or no longer working. Yet the mind resists making changes because change is a tougher route where doing the same old thing is easy.

And giving advice is easy because easy advice is easy to listen to. Giving good advice is like tough love it can hurt to hear it yet once heard and accepted that change is usually for the better.

Back to the banks and businesses then. Recently I consulted and advised a business. In just 30-minutes I wiped off and saved them £100,000 in costs. It was easy. The waste was huge. The experimental marketing was out of control. The time lost on a daily basis was massive. Their previous advice was honestly just bad!

Can you imagine how much Banks would save and slash on costs if they took good advice? How about your business? I worked with a client hat had a wages bill of £230,000 a year on the marketing team only yet the team had delivered as good as zero results when I went in. Insane right. Just a thought!

B.T. British Telecoms.

When we decided to move our office back home we wanted to bring our office number back with us. Sounds reasonable right? Not with B.T.

Not only did we end up with our telephone number back at our home address we ended up with – 3 Web hubs being delivered, three new numbers plus our home number so four in total and also a B.T. Cloud phone system we never ordered.

Telling you this is the easy bit.

On the fourth phone call to B.T. to try and sort their mess out my wife called them at 9:40am and stayed on the phone until 11:50am when the eighth person mysteriously got cut off and never called back.

Each of the eight that took over the call started with the same script…


Account number?

What can I help you with?

How incredibly amateurish and annoying of B.T.

I had been meeting a client so when I got back at around 1pm Tamuna had red eyes and grabbed me for a big hug. She had been reduced to tears by a bunch of untrained staff that could not get outside the script.

Finally, I posted on Twitter a complaint or two. Within minutes Kevin an Irish guy from BT called me and asked told me everything would be fixed by himself and himself only. He made a promise that all the numbers and accounts would be closed apart from the one account. That was Wednesday at 2:08pm. It’s Friday 11:00am and I haven’t heard back so let's see.

The lessons above are huge but nothing new. B.T. in my experience has had very bad service as far back as I can remember. The monopoly has provided the men at the top with huge wages and enough endless investment to employ telesales teams that have one thing in mind – the sale and not the customer.

Like the Banks, they are also victims of bad advice, advice about what the customer really wants and delivering what the customer really wants. And if you have dealt with B.T. you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Friday lesson.

The biggest mistakes I have seen in any business is being focused on the sale and pretending they know everything so take their own inexperienced advice. It’s a huge mistake because you cannot force anyone to buy anything unless you confuse him or her so much (and some do) that the customer simply agrees to sign up. The problem is one the sign up is done someone else (eight people) has to then try and resolve this issue. And let's be honest - how can you expertly advise yourself when you are not an expert?

Here’s the other thing – B.T. eight people all need to be paid a wage. An infrastructure also needs to be put in place to make sure everything is as it should be.

And in times where the web has created a very simple login and 1,2,3 click systems the days of hard sell manipulation is over.

So you change and focus on the customer needs or you close like the banks have above.

It’s not rocket science, is it?

I mean – really!

Hale where we live

One thing I love about living in Hale Cheshire is this. Our diversity is huge. We have people of every colour and every language here. While the world might appear to be closing in on itself the reality is it isn’t Hale is one place out of many where nobody cares or even notices about colour, religion or languages.

Hale is also what I call a 2nd life village. You do get a feeling here that the population has seen more than it’s fair share of divorce. The effect of that is it has created a very strong environment for those that want to resurrect themselves and live amongst a thriving energetic town.

I love it. I love yoga here. I love the gym here. I love the breakfast here. I love the coffee here. I love the whole package. And of course, we have the famous (apart from myself of course). Roy Keene the Irish football player is sitting behind me this morning. Part of the cast of England’s most famous soap opera are always in the coffee shop. Actor Christopher Eccleston is over there. I could go on.

It is important that regardless of how you live your life you are in an environment where you thrive.


I’m just swiping through my phone and reading something about TRUMP. I bought his Art of the Deal years ago. Part of the businessman in me wanted him to do well yet seeing him in power also made me realise the rules of business and the rules of global politics is very different. A major tantrum in his Trump tower might cause fallout for some but only those connected to what he does. A major fallout in the Whitehouse can very easily take the world to the brink.

My gut is telling me we are going to see some hugely major mistakes with this guy that could affect a lot of people. I hope not but I think so. Let's see.

Anyway, our coffee is done it’s time to head back to my office.



Probably The Most Powerful MENTOR Program For Real Lasting Business Change

Business Mentor How To Choose


How To Choose The Best Business Mentor For You

How the hell do you choose a proven reliable mentor in a world where so many now claim to be experts?

Type the word MENTOR into Google and see what it brings up? On my Google right now it returns over 162,000,000 (that’s million) returns. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have time to sit and go through them until I find the right person.

The other problem searching like this is who is actually telling the truth? The past 10-years or so we have been swept up in an information age where information is no longer from the source but rather 3rd 4th or even 10th hand! Would you rather have genuine Nike shoes or cheap copies? I know you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

Now the truth - So much talk about fake news these days yet it does have a validity and does affect your choice of mentor. The big problem online is the ability to copy, the ability to look like a million dollars cheaply and the unaccountability of what is written on web pages. In other words, anyone can say almost anything they like and look, as they like with ZERO experience of their subject.

That’s dangerous and I will tell you why. In my past 32-years in business and over the past couple of decades since the advent of the web I have seen more than one or two businesses going bust due to bad advice and frankly outrageous mentoring and business mentors. And when I say out of business I mean as far as losing homes and wives! All because the mentor made claims that simply weren’t true.

And I want to share this with you. I have discovered and learn more from actual EXPERIENCE in doing business day to day than I have from reading any book and speaking to anyone. The only downside of doing it this way is it is a much longer route to success.

The big problem with a business mentor is this…

  • Anyone can set up a website and say they are a MENTOR.
  • Anyone can log onto huge mentor websites and register himself or herself as a MENTOR.
  • Anyone can stand on a stage and proclaim they are an expert MENTOR.

And as someone that has worked very full-on in the world of writing powerful and hugely successful copy for clients even this world is now heavily tainted with new copywriters that put more focus on creating a course before they focus on winning highly paying clients and serving those clients well.

So as you can see, working with mentors that fit isn’t easy and has never been as hard as it is these days.

There’s nothing new about mentoring.

It’s interesting how the world has changed. I think it's an accurate guess to say most people wouldn’t dream of having a mentor yet mentoring is as old as man himself.

In ancient times once a young man (or woman) was coming into their adult life. They were never sent out with a trial and error approach to things. No, they were had been mentored either by village elders or family member or parents.

Recently I watched an isolated tribe in Peru. The old guy talked about his son going away at 15-years old. The interviewer asked the tribesman this question and it was this.

“What if he doesn’t come back?”

The elder replied, “He isn’t a man”

In other words, the tribe mentored their young from a very small age right up into the age of 15-years old and then they would be sent away with no clothes and just a spear to come back as a man – if he survived! (This was from a documentary in 2017).

You can see how important it was for the tribe to teach the young men how to grow and develop. Clearly, they wanted their boys to return as men and wanted no harm to come to them. They were shown all the important things that will help them to be strong, safer and happier faster so they could return.

They didn’t teach from a manual. They didn’t teach from 2nd 3rd or 8th hand. They taught from something that is priceless when it works and in this case life and death – they taught, shared and mentored from real life experience!

That is how seriously the mentoring was taken.

Even I had some mentors. At the age of fifteen years, I wanted to start my own punk band. I copied the Sex Pistols and the Clash. I did what they did and formed my own band with relative success in the North West of England. Unfortunately, I never had the same success.

In my first job as a landscape gardener, I was put with a man named Norman. He told me to stick close by and do what he did or do what I was told. The reason was obvious – so I could learn fast from someone with 27-years real-life experience. As a young man in the workplace not only did he share a lot of the job he shared a lot of high value with me about life itself and I appreciated him.

Then as a trainee hairdresser, I quickly found out that most hairdressers simply weren’t good enough for what I wanted to do. Everything was the same and I wanted to do things different. So I did a pre-web search and eventually found and bought everything and anything I could about Vidal Sassoon and a very young hairdresser named Anthony Mascolo (Toni & guy). I devoured and listened to what they had written in their books. This type of mentoring fast-tracked me into my hairdressing career.

I finally became a hair and beauty salon owner with three very busy salons. I had to create marketing and advertising for them. It was very average and very much the same as what everyone was doing. The results did show. Again I looked to be guided by someone with experience. I discovered a guy named Leslie Spears. He had created a salon owners organisation named 365 Hair. What I learned from them literally quadrupled my salon business over the following years.

Although I was creating marketing and advertising for my own businesses I accidently discovered I could actually get paid to write words. A client asked me to write some letters for his accounting business. I copied a series of reminder and thank you letters I used for my salons. All were single sheet A4 letters. In total the time took me just one hour or so to create for him. When he came to pick up the letters we never agreed a fee of any sort. He was happy and simply handed me an envelope. In the envelope he handed me was £1,500. I had been hairdressing almost 20-years so this felt like a good way to move into something new but I knew zero about.

My business mentor for the advertising business

I decided I needed to learn from the best to fast track me. I had been a fan of Jay Conrad Levinson, Jay Abraham and Michel Le Bouef but really I wasn’t a big reader and I needed someone that could also teach me the business of doing this new business.

I eventually discovered the master and godfather of modern advertising, David Ogilvy in books. The initial books I bought that I paid just £5-10 for on eBay were to make me literally hundreds of thousands in payments and then the effect on my client's sales went into sales that created literally million upon millions in sales. All from my £5-10 mentoring book from David Ogilvy.

Today I have shelves of books by Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. I read and get hold of anything I can buy them because I aim to be a great author and for me to do that I can only do that learning from the very best.

“Better a dead genius than a living fool” I believe this to be true.

So whomever I mentor with I have a very firm vision for my personal outcomes. I know exactly what I want to achieve and I know exactly how I need to achieve it before I get hold of my mentor be they dead or alive. I always try and go all the way back to the reliable source rather than a copy.

As you can see from a very personal perspective mentoring is hugely useful and the very best way to progress forward fast and safe in your business.

So the real question is how do you choose a business mentor for yourself?

It’s easier than you think but only if you know what you need. Notice I said need… NOT WANT. What you want and what you need are two very different things. So work out exactly what you need and then the mentor usually appears somehow but you should be willing to do some research and digging to find the right mentor for you.

So let's make this really easy for you.

  1. What to you need?
  2. Why do you need it?
  3. What is the perfect outcome for you?
  4. Do you need a specialist?
  5. How will you measure the outcome?
  6. What is a fair exchange price
  7. Is the fee relative to the return on your investment
  8. Can you see any risk?
  9. Are you doing this for the right reasons?

WARNING: Over all my years rarely have I seen mentoring work for any ‘get rich quick’ scheme. The only person I have seen getting rich are those that sell this garbage.

Very recently I was asked but a guy that had bought into a scheme. Up until that point, he had spent over £12,000 in savings to be part of the scheme. This scheme is very well known and the guy that runs the scheme is very rich (on the surface).

I was paid a handsome fee to look through everything he had paid for simply to offer an opinion. He wanted to know is it good or bad in my opinion.

After a careful and honest review on the videos, online educational etc I found out that quite a bit of the materials had been banned from Google and YouTube yet they were still instructing the buyers to do just this to get riches fast!

After I went through everything I wrote the conclusion to my clients and told him to stop everything right now and ask for a full 100% refund. He finally got his refund but only after threatening legal action.

The client admitted he had done this for one reason only – to get rich quick. Now there is nothing wrong with riches but again in my experience doing anything for money only rarely works.

£12,000 wasn’t his real loss (although he got it back). His real loss was the hour after hour, day after day, month after month and well over a year he had spent trying to make this proven to fail yet sold as a promise system work. Time sint money – time is life and what a waste of life when you take the wrong route by deception mentoring.

Another example: a couple of years ago I wanted to know one tiny trick that would increase my average income but in a very specialized area. I searched for who was doing what I wanted to do. Once I found the specialist I then searched him out to see if I could buy that fast-track secret from him. I contacted him through his website and he agreed to share the secrets with me for - $5,000 – for one hour. Would you have paid that for a chat? How would you feel paying that only to discover you are already doing the secret yourself but it just needed a slight tweak to perfect it? Would you feel cheated?

I paid because I knew the return would be more than what I paid. That one bit of information that took around five minutes maximum to share with me but it was priceless and made me tens of thousands from the simple changes I made. Not only had I paid $5,000 for it but also the returns have been immeasurable in financial terms.

So at this stage ask some questions about your choice of business mentor

  • Will a mentor help you to get from where you are right now to where you really need to be?
  • Will a mentor give you the skills and information required to make this change?
  • Will a mentor have the ability based on experience to help you through and make needed changes when needed?
  • Your R.O.I.: It was worth every penny (does the investment although feel large actually become small in relation to your investment?).
  • Your Needs: So know what you need (is it something you simply can’t work out yourself or don’t have the time to and want to know in a second how to do it).
  • Why: Know why you need it (what is the reason you need this information and you should be specific?).
  • Your Outcome: Think about the perfect outcome for yourself (will this mentor be able to help you get an outcome that you can see clearly and perfect in your mind's eye?).
  • Life and Time: Think about how you measure your result (money isn’t the perfect measure of anything but a good nights sleep and a smile is so think about how to measure it. I usually invest in a mentor for a financial return so that’s how I measure in the case of my business).

How do you know if a mentor is a good fit for you?

The next thing you need to think about is a mentor that actually suits you. Some mentors will drive you crazy and some mentors will be just perfect for you and others of course, will simply be an absolute waste of your time. Try to get to know as much about them as you possibly can and see if it is a match for you. Read everything you can online that is available. Don’t forget whoever you look at there are always bad reviews as well as the good so take a balanced approach to this.

One thing I would always do is request to them for a free 20-30 minute chat before you commit. The other thing you should do is request to them for testimonials or to speak to previous customers of your new mentor. Don’t be nervous about doing this, mentors are used to it but they are all different. Try and get a feel for them over the phone or Skype.

  • Do you like them as people?
  • Do you like how they sound – genuine tone?
  • Can they give you answers to your questions or do they work around the answers?
  • Do they have a good history of doing rather than teaching business or the skills you need?
  • Are they respected those that know them?
  • Can you risk your investment into them?

For example: With my business mentor I don’t offer a money-back-guarantee I only offer 32-years of front-line and MENTOR experience.

Yet some will offer a guarantee that can sound a bit like this –

‘It’s never been so easy - make £50,000 in the first year or your money back’.

Who would you trust? What sounds most realistic?

I like my mentor clients to come to my home, eat out in high places and share details and information that is working and has worked p everything.

Yet most other mentors would never dream of letting you into their home. I give all my students my personal cellphone whilst other mentors will only give an office phone in office hours.

This might work for you but you must decide what you want from a business mentor?

So in other words, you really need to know what will fit your needs for the very best. What I offer might be the worst thing for you and vice-versa. Just try and find the right fit so it feels good and works well.

One note for you here is this; if it feels like it isn’t working just move on quickly and find the right person. Time is something you cannot recover so make sure you use your time wisely and again measure the results you need.

Paying a mentor – how do you work out if its value?

I believe in value exchange.

Simply this means that if you paid $5000 for a mentor what would you feel would be a good exchange in return for that $5000?

I would sit down and work out my returns.

In other words …

  • What do I want from this investment?
  • Would I get my investment back?
  • How long would it take to get it back?
  • How much more than my investment would I get back?
  • If I invest $5000 what is my projected return that I would actually be happy with?

For some, they will invest into a mentor for a lifetime of skills wrapped up into a fast track teaching method. For others, they want a return over five years. For others again they simply want to make lifestyle changes and need new skills to help them push through faster.

So I would sit with a pad and pen and work it out. My estimate would be to get at least four times my investment back over time but I would make sure I knew that I would get my investment back right away. When I say right away I would always work out how to do that and make that really happen that I get my investment back relatively quickly.

So you need to do the math here. A mentor should never be a risk. The risk is only when you fail to do your math and homework.

  • Work out your numbers
  • Be realistic on your outcome
  • Make sure it’s a reasonable investment not just a lump of cash spent

For example, I worked with a client that was spending literally £25,000 a month on direct mail. In real a terms for what his company was doing that isn’t a lot of cash yet it’s a huge amount of cash if the returns were zero and they were zero.

They paid me to mentor or fast track them through the process and look at what they were doing wrong. They spent a good amount on their mentoring but the question is it a good investment for them?

One the first day we met I slashed their direct mail bill by around 24,500 mailers. So right away they got their investment back from business mentor. The first campaign I took them through which included copy, design, and packaging for the mailer sold a record £1.2 million in cars from just a few hundred mailers rather than the 25,000 they had been sending before.

Was it worth their investment?

Another young guy from Australia decided to mentor with me. Not only did he fly from Sydney to train with me he borrowed $25,000 from his mother to make it happen. Something incredible happened in that not only did he take orders for over $90,000 in under 12-weeks but today over 12 years later he is still making a good living and great life with his initial investment.

When thinking about your new mentor simply ask yourself will it be worth your investment of cash and of course your valuable time. Bear in mind you may not get back your investment in days – it might be years – but that might be natural. Just think about what is best for you and then the return for you.

Some things I would be very careful of from a mentor

  • Big promises that are hard to believe
  • Results that sound ridiculous
  • Actual numbers and results you will get
  • Instant results for minimum effort
  • Cheap mentors (you pay for what you get)
  • Mentors with no business experience (I would never allow a surgeon to operate if I was his first would you?)
  • A mentor that gives you the hard sell. (To them you are simply a number)

For example some years ago when I was speaking at more business events it was an absolute priority for the promoter that you had to sell as many places into your mentoring as possible. If you failed to do so you would never be asked to speak again. That’s not good for a speaker that loves to speak.

It was almost comical to listen to some speakers in the back room planning away from the audiences, trying making up and practicing every line and every phrase to be supported by NLP and other doubtful practices just to get a sale. They would never refuse a customer – money was always the number one driving force.

In other words, sign up and see what happens. As a side note be careful of signing up for any mentor package from a stage. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the powerful pitch, the strong slides, and amazing speakers and of course the emotions of the crowd. Tread very careful.

If a mentor doesn’t interview you before anything starts I doubt they will be right for you. I interview ALL my applicants before we work together and have no problem saying no to some applicants for reasons such as they may not be right for me and I might not be right for them

How to choose your mentor

So in a nutshell, the business mentor has to be in line with what you already have in mind. If you need to sell cars or want to be a hairdresser well there is no point getting mentored by someone that has zero experience in either. Be wise in your choice.

You cannot buy experience. How can you pay for what anyone can learn over twenty or thirty years? Does the mentor you work with have genuine experience in business, on the front lines of business or are they simply pitching a manual or a course to you?

Mentoring in business isn’t simply about a system or a way of doing things. It can be about understanding people, understanding the buyer's process, understanding triggers and other important parts of making progress forward.

It can also be that you need a mentor to help you with small daily decisions, large monthly decisions because they have been there they understand the processes and can reduce your risk dramatically.

For me, it is always interesting to see say a marketing director of a company with NO business experience being given the reigns to the marketing or – THE FUTURE – of a company. That is what you call very high-risk strategy.

A mentor for whatever reason you need a mentor should reduce risk, increase the speed of your goals, help to navigate you through the process much faster and have the ability to pass over skills for life that can be used tome and time again.

I have to finish say in my 32-years in business, in my two decades of mentoring and in my multi-million-pound sales experience I have rarely seen mentors with no real life experience deliver real life experience.

So finally…

  • Do your homework properly and take your time
  • Know what you want from your mentor
  • Know your outcome for yourself
  • Choose your mentor very carefully

I hope this has helped.

Help and Advice?

You can find me at

I really hope this short, sharp and to the point report has helped and guided you into more success.

In your service

Building Business Since 1985 – Mentoring Since 1998 – Sales Going Into The Millions - Master Mentor Strategist To Start-Ups To Listed Companies

Alan Forrest Smith


Skype: orangebeetle

Some useful questions you really must ask yourself and write before hiring a mentor.


Have I chosen the right mentor and why?



What is it I admire about this mentor that makes me want to work with him or her?



Have I seen enough real proof?



Do they seem driven to serve me or take my fee?



What is it I expect from my mentor?



What problems do I need solved?



What kind of result would I be looking for?



What are the details I need to be fast-tracked on?



Am I willing to take advice from a stranger?



Will I run with what is suggested?



Have I worked out the ROI from my investment with my mentor?


Most important – Does it FEEL right?