Transition Mentor & Partner Program

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IMPORTANT NOTE: BEFORE YOU READ ONE WORD FURTHER.

I am looking for serious business partners I can mentor for higher response results for a year and beyond.

This means I  will do everything in my 32-years of proven direct marketing experience, acclaim, results and power to build your business as a mentor and as a partner in our future profits. Of course a deposit and a contract is necessary - this is not a free ride.

Here is what I know: The smallest attention to detail in marketing can deliver just massive results. I've seen it, I've done it and I will do just this for you - IF you are ready!

This is a very strong opportunity for those that can see the bigger picture and possibilities. Higher results, increased conversions, time-tested strategies, a surge of new business and more could be heading your way.

If you have everything and are frustrated with your results - we should be talking right now. TEXT: UK: 00 44 (0) 7793069486 - once a text has been received I will call you.

Now you may read more for opportunity.

TRANSITION MENTOR & PARTNER During Uncertain Times

THIS IS YOUR 12-MONTH RAPID TRANSITION PLAN FOR A NEW LIFE & NEW BUSINESS

Quickly Replace Your Income – Build a Personal Business – Accelerated Transition Plan Into More Profit - EXPLODE Your Response Rates!

I am thrilled to share with you some of my results over the years have been huge. 3% to 49.2% conversion increase - not bad right?

In Under 90-Days Neelam Meetcha Generated Over £35,000. Stephen Georgulis Over £90,000 David Lee OVER £300,000. Kevin Lewis Over £42,400. Mike King Generated Over £1.2 Million Selling more Cars!

With THE MENTOR TRANSITION & PARTNER Program There’s No Higher Learning – NO Technical Knowledge – NO Fantasy

I am going to show you how it’s not only possible but it has never been more doable than it is today.

  • Design a new life - through your business
  • Build a real lasting business - more sales, more conversions, higher response
  • Create a new income as high as you want - being the best paid is easier than most think
  • Turn your ideas into reality - kill the struggle and frustration fast
  • Transition from where you are now to where you need to be - evolve!

There’s never been a more important time in history to take control of your life.

There are things we can control and cannot control.

  • BREXIT – we cannot control
  • ECONOMIES – we cannot control
  • TRUMPLAND – we cannot control
  • RISE OF POPULISM – we cannot control
  • TAXES – we cannot control
  • REDUNDANCY – we cannot control
  • RETIREMENT – we cannot control
  • DEATH – we cannot control

And frankly the reality is you have no idea if your job will be around next week despite the appearance of all being well at work.

And there’s the other stuff about jobs (even if your self employed)).

Having to be there at certain times – that horrible drive or commute everyday!

Having to leave at a certain time – back to the horrible drive and commute.

The lack ability to earn no more than your employer willing to pay you per hour.

Fixed holidays every years and even having to work when the last thing you want to do is work!

How To Safely Transition Into More Of What You Want

Further on this page I am going to show you how to replace your income, transition into a life that gives back to you rather than take from you and how to create as many income streams as you like.

First, let me explain a little of why you should listen to me.

I am writing to you from the village I live in. The village is Hale in Cheshire, listed as one of the richest areas in the UK. I live a good life my wife; we have more than everything we need and live in a large penthouse apartment where our neighbors are the rich and famous seen on TV or in the Premier league (football). Today as I write they are filming a new movie in the street as a follow-up to the movie Snatch.

We have homes abroad in The Republic of Georgia and travel to them regular as well as rent them out on Airbnb. We also have a couple niche businesses one of which is in the salon industry that is one of the biggest in its field (www.salonpunk.com) that has a steady income on autopilot. Life is good life is very good. Our car is paid for cash although we don’t drive a lot. We eat out every single day and drink a lot of coffee.

Now I am not telling you this to show-off I am telling you because that is exactly how it is.

It wasn’t always like that – My background I think you will relate to.

Building a Business - Building a Life

I have been self-employed since 1985. I hated taking orders so I constantly got fired. It was the very best thing that ever happened to me.

I tried a few things and opened three brick and mortar shops in Cheshire, England. They all went really well despite the startup hiccups.

In 1996 I started to hear about the Internet and doing business online. I was interested and I thought about it as a possible marketing tool for my business. I did thousands of direct mail in those days so this seemed like a good option to send email. The problem I had was no one had an email address then so it was slow. So that same year I built my first website using Microsoft Front Page with a tech guy I knew called Andrew who had a lot of teeth missing!

By 1997 I had a crazy and slightly obsessive idea that I could create a new life from the web selling stuff or services or something. I wasn’t sure but I thought I could use it somehow maybe to even mail salon products. The problem I had then was mailing them cost more than the actual bottle of hair product.

The first thing I sold was a Nintendo computer game and then another and another. Now that wasn’t going to change my life because I was making really good money from my three hairdressing salons. However it taught me that I could actually sell things online and maybe create a business from it. I actually wanted out of the salon business due to a very painful disc and back problem so this felt like good idea.

Around 1998 I got a new home computer with an early version of Windows. It seemed easy to use but dial-up was painful and the thought of video, audio or even images online was incredibly slow if possible at all.

I had this idea. So I set up a new website a new venture and a new business around my new idea. It was a website aimed at the salon industry that I still have named www.SalonPunk.com.

Another Transition

I felt after 17 years owning a salon and solving all the salon problems that were thrown at me I could become a salon consultant.  Now it took me around 18-months to sell the very first thing from that website but I had to learn everything myself so it was slow. I was building a house and had four young kids at the time and of course my three salons. Every minute of everyday was busy.

By 2002 I was seen as a real expert in the salon industry because of my salon business website. I was also selling between 10-15 ebooks everyday at around $197 each. I was also offered a column in a national magazine which I accepted and wrote in for over two years and also flown over to the USSR to share my expertise to over 1000 hair and beauty salon business owners. I was also invited to Japan and many other places whilst being chased by the mighty Wella for a project and other large corporations. In 2006 I travelled over to Australia to speak and train around 500 salon owners.

Anyway ... My Personal ‘TRANSITION’

My own transition was now complete. I had traveled the world on several occasions, been invited to wine and dine with the rich and famous on many occasions and had acclaim and recognition.

I work very loose and freely. I have a state-of-the-art Apple Mac these days. I have a MacbookPro I use only for video. I have an iPad I use off and on but I have my number one business tool with me at all times. This is my iPhone which I update every two years. Today I run with an iPhone 6 plus because I like the big screen.

People never believe me when I tell them but I have written some of my most successful sales materials, books and other stuff using just my thumb on my iPhone. It just works for me.

I don’t have an office although I am now taking on a workspace of around 1000 sq. ft. to get me out of my apartment now and then.  I also travel a lot as we have a home in Tbilisi Georgia. I don’t even have an office there I simply go a cafe and spend an hour or two or three on my iPhone.

I need flexible and I like flexible. Transition gives me just that.

Recently my desktop Mac crashed. I had to have some major parts replaced. To me it always feels like an office has burnt down and everything is lost. The reality is different as I host every single thing I do online in two separate cloud accounts so nothing can ever be lost again.

I suppose you could say I run a Nomadic business that pays me very well and gives me the life I live. I am one of the few true one hundred percent online people that I know.

There has never been a more important – yet easier time – to take back control of your life.

I’ll share some stories below in a moment for you and proof from real clients. First let me get you a little more excited.

I decided to create a new mentor program because I know that is what you need right now.

MENTOR TRANSITION & PARTNER – My first MENTOR PROGRAM that creates immunity from things you cannot control.

In other words – you are I control of you. No more blaming anyone.

This is a genuine business that gives you the security of a genuine business where I will help you follow a proven route to make your ideas and experience become a real business.

And if you don’t have an idea right now – I will show you how to find the best ideas fast!

I will show you what I do and what I do for my clients (and it isn’t that hard)

  • How to plan your transition safely into a new life income
  • How to know your outcome long before it happens
  • How to avoid negative news and focus on good things
  • How to plan the hours you want to work
  • How to plan the times you never want to work
  • How to do this full-time or part-time
  • How to get the right idea from day one – to avoid costly mistakes
  • How to get that idea out of your head and onto paper
  • How to put together the idea into a business
  • How to structure your new business
  • How to set your new business up online with no technical background
  • How to get your website done cheap and quick
  • How to use email properly
  • How to use social media properly
  • All the tools and steps I personally use
  • How I take cash online
  • How I build my networks
  • How to target people that can sell a ton of what you’re selling
  • How to make a splash fast
  • What to avoid and why you should avoid it
  • Why you should ignore the lying bastard gurus and take business seriously
  • How to write great copy without learning copywriting
  • How to do great marketing without learning great marketing
  • How to build a great brand with spending money on a great brand
  • And if you know me – there will be tons more!

And if it is what you want I will happily share with you how I get high-end clients paying very large amounts for very large results.

MENTOR TRANSITION PARTNER PROGRAM will show you how. I will show you how. I will hold your hand and guide you very carefully one-step at a time.

How?

First we talk.

Then we agree a deal.

We will agree terms.

Then we get started.

You win.

I win.

It's really that simple.

  • TEXT: 07793069486
  • TELE: 0161 928 8328
  • EMAIL: Hit reply.

MENTOR TRANSITION &  PARTNER is a 12-Month Fully Supported Mentor Program!

This is for you if you want to start something brand new.

This is for you if you are in business and you want to transform your results.

This is for you that demands changes.

ONLY CONTACT ME with full details of what you are thinking. I can't reply to anyone that hits reply with a word like 'interested!'

Tell me about you, your business and some detail.

Then we will speak and don't worry there is no obligation during the conversation.

Is this an opportunity to good to miss?

You decide.

I am here.

Get in touch.

Alan Forrest Smith

PS: OBVIOUSLY PLACES ARE VERY LIMITED DUE TO THE VOLUME OF EXPERTISE AND MENTAL REQUIREMENT.

Brand Up Or Go Invisible

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Should you brand up?

When I was a hairdresser and salon owner I very quickly understood that in a town of 35 salons I would need to stand out.

I did.

We did.

After almost 20-years we were the biggest the best and the only option for redesign.

Everything I learned from that process I put into Orange Beetle.

Let me explain.

It became apparent (looking back) that my specialist marketing services were going to be high-demand very fast.

Around the mid-nineties what was to become Orange Beetle really started to take off.

I had no name for this fledgling but fast-growing business. I knew this though.

To attract my customers and stand-out I had to do certain things.

The brand had to have

  • Personality
  • Consistency
  • Recognition
  • Distinction
  • Logo
  • Imagery
  • And memory structures and connections that would be built over time using other tools such as
  • Perception
  • Positioning
  • Presence

Anyway, I recorded a short video here for you that gives you far more detail of how I took this new business to the only option with my clients.

Peace.

Alan Forrest Smith

I Love Email Marketing

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Does Email Still Work?

I’ve never shared this story before. It is, of course, all true but some details might be hazy.

It is a story of thousands of pounds - hundreds of thousands of pounds in sales from - EMAIL!

I first started using email around 1997.

My first email account was with a company called Listserve and then AOL.

AOL what happened?

Anyway, this was when I was still a hairdresser with salons.

I wasn't sure but email as I had been doing direct mail for around 7 years at that point and it was working very well for my business.

But I liked the idea of email. It was new, novelty and was sure that more people like my clients would eventually take up an email address.

By 1998 I had spent a little time asking clients if they had an email.

Some said yes but they were few.

Some replied they would never have one.

Others told me the email would never take off! (absolutely true)

So with the few email addresses I had, I started to email my salon clients about appointments and offers from my AOL address which was AFORRSMITH2916@AOL.COM - slick right!

The emails I had sent were around 50 if I remember right. Out of that 50 emails, almost ALL replied. Almost all booked or at least responded. That was, of course, the novelty factor.

By 1998 I had my first website. I thought if theses guys are online and they have an email they will want to look at my website if I had one so I created one.

I’m the first to admit I had no idea what I was doing and of course in other days you certainly couldn’t send images, video or anything that had any kind of movement in an email.

By the year 1999, my salons were all working very very well. They were packed from open until the minute we closed yet I was bored and loved the idea of being online more.

So I created a website called Hairee.com and started to sell all of the successes in a system format all wrapped up in eBooks.

For me, it was very easy then.

  • Have a website.
  • Build email lists (it was very easy then).
  • Tell the people on the email lists what I was selling and how it could help solve their problems.

Within a short period of time, I was selling around $1,500 eBooks daily from my small office above my hairdressing salons.

But …

It did take me almost two years to get the very first sale - or to get the system for selling right!

Since those days I still do 95% of my communications into the salon industry by email. I still sell manuals every single day of every single week - without fail!

My biggest manual of 500 pages sells for around £300. I also sell courses and training.

And get invited to speak at salon events on a regular basis.

It’s a cliche to say but I am seen as an expert in this area.

As of typing to you, I have around 5,000 active salon owners subscribers on my email list.

  • I have sold tens of thousands of products and more via email.
  • I have created emails that have converted at 100%
  • I have written emails that have pulled in a whopping £90,000 in under 10 minutes of being sent
  • Last year I raised cash overnight to pay for our New York wedding via email
  • For one client I took his one a day enquiry to seventeen enquiries in a single hour all via email
  • I got one client the deal of her life with one small email series

And I have now been emailing clients like yourself for a long NINETEEN YEARS with some incredible results to show for it.

And frankly, email is still my number one tool despite all the bad things you might read about email these days.

Yes, I still do direct mail and yes we even do trade shows yet… email is our killer tool.

  • I’ve learnt a lot of stuff
  • HTML Vs. Text
  • Video in emai
  • Long or short emails
  • How many links to go in emails.
  • Where to send people in emails
  • The best things to write in emails
  • The worst things you can do with emails
  • How often should emails be sent?
  • What to do with unsubscribes
  • The perfect email strategies
  • The worst things to do with emails
  • How to ask for payments
  • How to sell like crazy
  • How to grow email lists
  • How many images should be used?
  • Should you stick with text only?Does email actually work?
  • The ten step process for perfect emails
  • I helped a client generate over £117,000 via email

I helped another client build a lead germination tool using email

I have built my whole business around email

I created a £7,000,000 business for one client using email

I have filled massive seminars using email

I have sold security services for the world's 2nd biggest security company using email

I have built a landscaping business for one client using email

I have helped a client sell his diamonds using email

I even helped a client take £42,000 in 12 hours using a tiny email list

I have even helped clients sell technology, data, education and even PlayStation games all using email

I could go on after all you can learn a lot over 19-years of emailing.

Yet the talk about email is always so bad.

Not for me.

Not for my clients

Here’s why.

  • I test my emails
  • I track my emails
  • I target my emails
  • I take days writing emails
  • I know if it should be HTML or text
  • I know the best day (and hour) of the week to send emails
  • I understand the system.
  • I understand the strategy
  • I understand when not to send
  • I know what to say
  • And I know exactly how an email should read and why it should read that way.

Yet incredibly I still see teams in small and large businesses spending weeks (I have seen even months) preparing campaigns for emails and I mean ONE SINGLE EMAIL.

Listen to this. It is true.

It is so true you’ll think it can’t be true but it is and it is pretty outrageous that staff can get away with this. These staffs are called marketing experts or marketing directors.

A client spends time with me during a breakthrough session. Now breakthrough, as you know, isn’t a cheap service yet it is powerful in itself.

So we went over systems, tactics, strategies and more. This was all about using email and email only.

His marketing guru back at his business wasn’t happy he had taken external advice despite the marketing guys advice and delivery not working.

So after he got back he asked if I would be happy to deal directly with the marketing director.

That's what I did.

But the marketing director despite having a failed track record of sales, response and conversions in email failed to reply to me.

After about two months I finally got an email from the client (not his marketing expert). He told me everything is in hand for the BIG email they were sending and his guy had everything under control.

After 6-months I finally got an email from the client with an update.

Not only had it taken a massive five months for his internal marketing expert to get this email done. They finally sent it - once - and guess what? They put a reply to the email in the campaign that hadn’t been set up.

In other words, if any clients wanted to use his services their replies went nowhere so no business was built.

Now the client told me that it was worth trying and nothing was lost.

Yet…

This marketing expert is getting paid £138,000 per year and he has just spent six months doing an email that was a disaster.

ONE SINGLE EMAIL!

It cost my client half a years wages and losses of the new business.

This isn’t unusual even in 2016. In my experience, most businesses that are trying to get online still have no idea what to do with email to create sales and build empires.

How about you or your business?

To work with me is less than the price of any marketing director yet hundreds of times more effective. Why? I have been marketing with email for one year short of twenty years now.

Of course not just email - I have been doing email marketing over 19-years as I write to you.

  • The system
  • The strategies
  • The tactics
  • The tools

And a huge mix of over 250 fusion marketing programs that can create new sales, new conversions, average, growth and innovation into your business whether it be old or brand new.

SHALL WE WORK TOGETHER?

I am looking for clients just like you that I can spend a minimum of 6-months working with to build or rebuild your approach to marketing. Or it could simply be to fine tune your campaigns.

This means for you…

  • I will review and critique everything
  • I will fine tune everything
  • I will share what I know about email marketing if that is what is needed
  • I will help you increase conversions
  • Open rates
  • Lead generation
  • And more.

I can even help you to reconfigure your whole email campaigns if that is what is needed.

I can tell you this.

For myself and my businesses, email marketing has never been so powerful despite what you might read or hear. It is still my own personal number one tool for profits yet it has to be used properly.

This means in ways that have already been tested so the maximum result is gained for yourself.

There’s no point trying to do what the marketing guy did above and that is reinventing the wheel. That just loses sales.

Everything and anything emails. I can tell you this (but not the exact numbers for obvious reasons) email has germinated literally hundreds of thousands in sales for myself over the years. That is into many different marketplaces.

How about you?

If you have everything in place and you need to start seeing results from your emails or even simply getting it right from day one we should talk.

  • I can go through everything you are doing right now and put you on the right path.
  • I can create and set everything up for you
  • I can edit and critique everything
  • I can help you put into place a year long camping that will increase your sales

Listen I learnt a lot over the past 19-years.

And of course … Not only email.

I didn’t tell you because I wanted to focus on email but I will say this.

We are currently using ONE tool online that is bringing in hundreds of sales and leads every week. most know about it yet most haven’t worked out how to use it perfectly. We have and it is powerful. So powerful in fact one client generates over $800,000 in sales from this single tool after my direct advice and strategies.

It is powerful!

Should we be talking or are you happy to carry on hoping something is going to change?

Should we speak or are you happy to fumble your way through email , trying new things and hoping one of those things hits a home run?

Should we talk or are you thinking you can do this yourself?

That is what the client that handed his marketing expert above thought.

  • You probably are missing a ton of sales.
  • You are probably missing easy income
  • You are maybe losing lots of profits
  • You are probably missing the growth you really need right now simply because you are not quite sure what to do or how to do it.

Email is still the King of the direct marketing show right now.

If you have a business that is healthy and doing well I am extremely interested in sharing my 19-years of extensive experiences with you right away.

Yes, of course, there’s a fee to pay but we can talk about that over the phone.

But put it this way.

If you have a feeling that your list could work with expert advice I can promise you this paying me anything will feel like the best investment you’ve ever made.

I’m not sure if that is why direct marketing godfather Jay Conrad Levinson called me a ‘brilliant marketing genius’ but I am sure it has some truth, of course, I say so myself.

If 2016 hasn’t been the year you wanted so far this could change everything. Here are a few ways we can work together.

  • As your consultant for a fixed period of time
  • As your breakthrough advisor
  • As your mentor
  • As you trainer for your team
  • And more creative ways

I will focus on this for you - Getting you that initial return on investment as fast as possible.

And of course, everything we do will be bespoke for you.

We can create your masterplan here in my HQ in Cheshire or I can also travel to you.

Imagine just yourself and me working at a table for a day. Can you image what could actually be done for you?

These are all details that can be confirmed.

I’m ready to help you end 2016 with a huge bang - are you?

Call me right now

  • Telephone: 0161 928 8328
  • Text me: 07793 069 486 (0044 international code)
  • Email to alan@orangebeetle.com

Now just so you know.

I know there are a ton of experts out there that work with a stack of clients at any one time. I don't. I work with a maximum of three clients per year. This allows me to give you maximum focus over maximum time.

If you'd like to be one of those clients and partners for life - get in touch right now.

Call me right away.

Your mentor and email expert

Peace

Alan Forrest Smith

Massimo Bottura

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I’ve been watching a TV show on Netflix called Chefs Table. For the record – just brilliant! All the chefs had traits in common, one being the need to be the very best and succeed.

The first chef in the series is a young man named

Massimo Bottura.

That's him above.

He decided to open his place first in Italy. It was average and he couldn’t find his flow. In fact, he struggled for years living and only just surviving on crumbs.

One day an old lady knocked on his door. She was in her sixties and a very typical older rounder Italian mamma, dressed in a floral country dress with her long hair tied in a bun. She was well fed but had one problem, she was losing her eyesight.

The young guy laughed.

She said I could help you make a certain dish incredibly well. That dish being particular pasta.

She left saying she lived just across the road, and he could give her a call anytime.

The young guy smiled and thought it would be nice to help out an old lady.

That lady changed his life and was the mentor he needed to propel him into worldwide fame.

Here is why.

She had what you cannot buy from a book and that was her experience and time in her life from years before.

She had what he didn’t and that was time and experience creating pasta the way it of the old traditions of Italy.

She also had technique he had never seen. This technique had been passed through generations from her grandparents and grandparents before.

It wasn’t written in books but if you tasted you knew it was the real thing.

Massimo couldn’t get enough of her and her knowledge. He was and is a famous chef that wanted to be famous for his great work. She had given him the keys to his chef kingdom to the point Massimo started to gather his Michelin stars (recognition).

One day he had a call from Paris. Not just Paris but Paris’s top restaurateur. They had called to ask him if he would join them in Paris and teach them what the old lady had taught him.

He went and one thing led to another including his long stay in New York where he met his wife.

Finally, he had fame, he had glory and he had a restaurant that had been voted the world's best at what he does.

I loved the end of the documentary and here is why.

Massimo had everything yet he decided to walk away from what he had to start again – strip it all back and give more thought to his work at a root level.

So he went back to Italy, found his old mentor who was still living, set up a new restaurant and placed her in charge of training a particular pasta.

He lives there with his wife, their children and the old lady who not only still trains his team but he says to this day gave him what he has right now

Again the show is on Netflix and it is called Chefs Table.

Not that long ago I had an email from a young woman. She had been a mentor-student of mine. During her mentoring, she wasn’t quite sure what direction she wanted to go yet her father insisted that she work with me.

Anyway, I got her email and it simply said that she had got a job with Ogilvy Agency. During the interview, she told them she had worked with and been trained by no other than - Alan Forrest Smith. Thankfully the interviewer knew of me and gave her the job despite her lack of experience.

No, she isn’t a copywriter making tonnes of cash yet she got her dream job after college and that make her happy.

Today ... This morning I had a call from a very good friend. We met in 2005 when I first mentored him. Honestly, he was all over the place and very very broke with another failing business under his belt. Through working with me, he discovered direct marketing, headline writing, strategies and just about everything direct marketing.

His current business is now in its fourth year. His takings online alone are just under £900,000.

His takings offline are around £300,000. When we met he was dead broke. We are now best of friends.

The point being is this.

Everything starts somewhere – everything.

Everything is connected to the last part of the puzzle.

It all leads to where you are right now.

Time and life aren’t long enough to endlessly hope and pray it’ll work… is it?

I hope you enjoyed the Chef story. Go and watch for yourself.

MENTOR & ALLIANCE

Right now I have space for a MENTOR client and an Alliance Partner.

NOTE: Places are limited so might have gone long before you found this post. If that is the case pelase stay in tocuh, I'd love to help you succeed.Is this a moment where things could take a turn in the direction for the better?

Is this a moment where things could take a turn in the direction for the better?

This is the difference between success and failure.

That is your choice of course.

You know where I am.

Iconoclast Collective OrangeBeetle 2nd Floor 213 Ashley Road Hale Cheshire WA159TB (Above Thornley Groves Estate Agency)

Tele: 00 44 (0)161 928 838 (office hours) Text: 0044 (0) 7793069486 (text anytime any day) Email alan @ orangebeetle.com

Or hit reply and let's start a conversation to see where we can take your life and business.

Your mentor

Alan Forrest Smith

Ps

Massimo's website is here

http://www.osteriafrancescana.it

AddressVia Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO, Italy

Book here: Phone+39 059 223912

Summer Time - Time For What?

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SUMMER TIME -Time For What?

The school is out so if your town, city or village is anything like most at this time of the year everything has gone pretty quiet into your salon.

Now let me tell you this.

It’s as good as impossible to pull people in when they are not there but that is for another post. The real question is what are you going to do or what should you do in this in the slow spell?

This is a period of the year I love and my clients that are the most successful love. I’ll tell you why in a moment but first let us start with a story. It isn’t true but it’s based on a lot of people I have met in business over the years.

There are two people in a salon business that both have a business.

The Story of Tom and John.

Neither man knows each other.

Tom loves summer. Despite his business just doing ok, he loves going away, sitting in the sunshine and doing nothing apart from a drink, a swim and all the usual things we are told we should do on holiday. During the summer he will spend up his cash reserves completely. He knows that in advance and he knows because she's been repeating the same pattern year after year since he started in business.

He goes in, hopes it's all going to be busy and places an offer or two in his advertising here and there hoping that he'll be busy when it's slow.

He has no idea how the business will be when he gets back after her holiday but he refuses to miss a holiday.

John thinks different.

John’s business opened over 7-years ago, he knows it takes effort and work. He also knows he can never afford to just hope.

John still has a holiday. He still has a drink or two on the beach with his family. He still does a lot of what most people do in the summer. There is a difference though and it is this.

When away John relaxes but he relaxes smartly. He learnt the hard way years ago that the only way HIS business will be a success is if he carefully planned that success. Planning meant he could track his progress, he could keep on track and he could put in place things that were working and things that wouldn't work he would remove.

He plans his turnover. He then plans how to reach that turnover. He plans his money, his income and all of his possible sales. For John doing this can be a little painful yet he knows the key to his business is planning and when he plans well the results always come in.

Tom does the same old thing and gets the same old thing back in return while John’s business grows every year without fail.

This should raise a question for you?

So what will you be doing this summertime in your business while it’s a little slower?

First I don’t mind sharing what I do here at OrangeBeetle.com and my other company SalonPunk.com as I think this will help you and then I will give you more tips on what you can do yourself. Stop and review

I stop everything, sit in a corner and write notes based on what my results have been so far in the year. In my business and I am sure your business is about results. Results in sales, turnover and of course success for my clients.

If the desired results are not in I want to know why and I want to know the changes I have to make. I’ve learnt in life I cannot wait for anything to happen I have to make it happen and that includes changes.

Salon Web pages and communications

I will go through all of my essential web pages. Over 93% of my own traffic now comes through a mobile phone. So are my pages fully optimised and converting for a smartphone? I feel this has made a change to the way we present certain messages. That is for another post as it is too long for this now. Web pages can be easily tracked, tested and measured for success or failure these days. I look at my analytics and make the changes I have to make. It’s always interesting for me that a lot of clients rarely change their web pages yet that is a little like never changing the shop front window.

Salon Imagery

Images go in the eye and make an impact. Now and then I get it wrong so I like to make the changes I need to change. I personally use Photoshop Elements for my own images. Images on a website that are never changed make no impact. It isn't uncommon for me to change my main images EVERY MONTH. For example, the previous header I used on OB failed miserably although I liked it. It dropped response rates dramatically. Why? Most visitors won't and don't go beyond the top of a page so you need to get it absolutely right. I changed the image 4-times in a single week. Most changes were single words. Yes single words can make a difference and sometimes a huge difference. Now it converts again.

Salon Engagement and Social Media

This is still hard for even me to get a grip of – social media. We test everything time and time again. The past few months we ramped up the tests on Facebook with what I can call huge turnaround results compared to what we did in the past.

The past few weeks I have been running tests on something I have never been able to get a grip of – Twitter. I have to say the results are impressive so far but not complete so maybe I will share more again. Finally Instagram. Again I used to simply put photos up there but the past 4-weeks I have been testing a few things with some pretty cool results but I am still not 100% happy to go full out on this one yet

And of course, I learnt a long time ago social media is NOT about likes and shares it is about converting and engaging them into clients.

I do more things and this stuff can take 2-4 weeks easily. The difference after the tweaks can be dramatic.

How about you - what will you be doing over the summer in your salon business?

Let me ask you this before you answer. It’s almost like a short questionnaire.

  1. Simply say yes or no to yourself.
  2. Are your results what you want them to be?
  3. Do you have a proven strategy in place?
  4. Do you stop, think and review or do you simply keep on hoping things will change?
  5. Do you have a test and refine system built into your business?
  6. Do you have a 12-month plan in place?
  7. Do you try and do everything yourself?
  8. Do you advertise like crazy when it’s slow in the summertime?
  9. Have you asked for expert advice over the last 12-months?
  10. Are you in fear for the future of your business?

If you answered yes to most you need to make some changes and make them fast.

Summertime is that time where you should make the effort to install changes if they are needed. You have the time so do it.

Recently I dealt with a client that had hired a team to post endless posts on social media. The crazy thing about was this.

He had agreed to pay £2,000 each month.

His results halfway through his 12-month contract were absolutely zero in terms of converting to clients.

He had tonnes of likes

Lots of shares

Most of his fans were paid for fans (fake likes).

I asked him why and he replied that he was getting a tonne of likes that he felt would turn into sales at some point yet ... He also realised his business wasn't a business because his sales were so low at this point. Sometimes talking to some clients makes no sense!

That just makes no sense when you are in business.

So it’s your choice and you do have a choice.

Summertime is a good time to sit and make changes to your salon strategy. Is it a good time to review and ask yourself many questions about the direction your business is really going in?

And please do this even if we never ever speak to each other – go hire an expert and get expert advice. You wouldn’t do your own heart operation so why play with your businesses life.

There are a tonne of options for you to work with myself of course.

You can hire me for any set period of time. I can review, critique and reveal any potential flaws in your marketing and business very quickly. I can install testing and tracking to maximise any future results. And more…

I have appointments racing towards me in London and Scotland. I could come to you then or you can come to meet me? Please ask but be quick when you respond.

I also have our new space here.

You can bring your team, your campaign and I can mastermind, critique, review and fine tune it with your guys. I can even train your team. You send them to me as marketers and I will send them back as higher response direct marketing people that understand results, tracking, measuring and more.

Call me and let's see what we can do.

00 44 (0) 161 928 8328 00 44 (0) 7793 069 486 alan@salonpunk.com orangebeetle

Iconoclast Collective 213 Ashley Road 2nd Floor Hale Cheshire WA159TB

I hope what you read helps you.

Summertime can be your most powerful and productive time ever deep inside your business.

What will you be doing and really making time for this summer?

Let's talk very soon.

Enjoy your summer.

Alan Forrest Smith

The Law of Planning

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The Law of Planning

Ignore this law and you will see its consequences. Do not miss a read of this article. Save for later if you have to but make sure you read it.

No man with half a brain talks a journey without planning where he is going, how he will get there and how he will arrive.

Not always true.

A man opens his car door.

His friend asks him where is he going?

The man replies he is driving to Paris.

The friend asks if he has a map or sat nav?

The man tells him no.

The friends ask how do you know where you are going then?

The man simply replies I am a good driver and I trust myself to get there eventually.

The friend looks at him and waves goodbye.

The man knows it should take around 9hours and 2 minutes according to Google maps in his office.

Five hours and 37 minutes later the man knows he should now be close to the ferry where he will put his car, travel across the English channel and continue his trip towards Paris.

The man stops his car as he cannot find the ferry terminal so decides to ask someone in the fuel station.

The man asks can you tell me how close I am to Calais ferry terminal?

The man in the shop replies, you are in Scotland and nowhere near to Calais?

Oh replies the man heading to Paris fills his car with fuel and continues his drive in no particular direction.

After 8 days of driving, he gives up and goes back home never to drive again. When asked he blames his car. He sells that car and swears never ever again drives.

The reality is anyone could have seen the outcome before he got in his car and drove away. The future can be decided by the very actions we take right now. He ignored the law of planning. His results were expected and clear even before the car door had been opened.

So many times in life the law planning principle comes back to haunt us, especially in business.

The Law of Planning in Your Business

41 Action Points Your Should Do Right Now For Better Planning

If you plan nothing in business don’t feel bad. I can tell you this right now most businesses (not all) fail to create a detailed plan on how they get to where they want to go. Yet the law of planning is clear – if you fail to plan you won't get anywhere. Even worse most of the time you’ll be heading in the wrong direction just hoping at some point you will arrive.

So here’s a few tips I use to work in harmony with the law of planning.

  1. Write everything on paper
  2. Start with a final outcome in mind
  3. Work out the numbers over four quarters
  4. Work out the numbers over 12 months
  5. Work out the numbers over 52 weeks
  6. Know the numbers to be hit daily
  7. Find blueprints for success rather than start from scratch
  8. Use what you can for your own plan
  9. Create a strategy that you can stick to
  10. Support the strategy with tactics
  11. Build a daily marketing stack that must be done without fail
  12. Work out the tools needed
  13. Work out the people needed
  14. Work out the support needed
  15. Set start dates with measurable and accepted targets
  16. Run some test campaigns before you go fully live
  17. Look at any existing leverage you can use
  18. Look at growth over horizontal and vertical directions
  19. Plan innovation
  20. Know your target marketplace
  21. Understand the targets needs and desires
  22. Build lists of words they are connected to
  23. Forget reading everything on persuasion – buys don’t need to be persuaded
  24. Create a huge roadmap on paper on your wall.
  25. Work out the finer details
  26. Plan to fail
  27. Plan a plan B course
  28. Plan for success
  29. Fix firmly everything in your mind
  30. Double-check your services
  31. Double-check your product
  32. Have a conversion strategy
  33. Have a lead strategy
  34. Have experts on hand
  35. Don’t play the expert at everything because you are not an expert at everything
  36. Find what you are weak at and fill it with an expert
  37. Find what you are good at and power it up to became great
  38. Get fit mentally
  39. Get fit physically
  40. And if what you did in the past has always failed for gods sake don’t do it again.
  41. This is just PART of the law of planning.

If you don’t plan right now I know you know your results speak for themselves. Here’s a simple question you can ask yourself if your results are not what you want.

Ready?

What are you doing DAILY to hit your desired goals?

Did I say DAILY?

Do you have a list of things that you absolutely need to do each and every day or do you simply jump in your car and drive and just hope that one day you will hit your destination?

I have 257 ways I build businesses like yours with. Blueprints that are bespoke, targets and strategies that have been hit time and time again.

If you need a breakthrough expert that can and will give you everything you need to hit your next level all you have to do is ask me for help.

The law of planning is unforgiving.

Fail to plan and you really have planned to fail.

Good luck

I hope we talk soon.

Everything you need to get hold of me is here on my contact page or you can simply text me the word THELAW on 00 44 (0) 7793069486

Peace

Breakthrough Direct Marketing Consultant, Alan Forrest Smith

The Social Media Question

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The Social Media Question

I’m just back from the coffee shop where we drink coffee before we get over into the office.

Behind me were two guys. One was speaking very loudly. Both were talking about social media. The conversation went like this.

"Once we set up our LinkedIn account we then set up Facebook and Twitter pages. Then we simply connect to as many people as we can via LinkedIn so that will bring people through all of our Social Media. That will give us a massive reach."

The older guy said he didn’t quite understand. The younger repeated what he had already said but in a slower much easier way to follow. The older guy then asked this question.

“Will it bring in more clients?”

The younger guy replied,

“I am not sure but I think so.”

Both final agreed to kick-start their social media campaign on the basis that they simply HOPE it’ll work.

This approach to social media marketing isn’t unusual. The reason it isn’t unusual is that for some it is still new. For some, it is a learning curve. For some, it is almost magical and hence mysterious.

That has been supported by a huge wave of NEW marketers selling the social media myth. The myth is simple and dressed in a way that social media can seem magic. Once we enter the realms of magic it is usually left to magicians. Yet we all know magic isn’t real.

The true social media question you as a businessperson should be asking is this.

Will social media give me more business, more sales and more money in the bank?

An Example from an Art Gallery case Study

A couple of weeks ago we had a call from a company that struggled to deliver a full house into an art gallery.

Here was the problem: Just 6-days away and still no ticket sales. The artist had said if it wasn’t a full house he wouldn’t turn up. The gallery was hysterical with fear of failing.

They had been doing social media for a few years but had no idea if it worked. This was the first time they tried to make it work. They simply posted events with no response.

We were asked if we could help.

Now if you have just six days to create a turnaround what would you do?

First, I will tell you how it ended then I will tell you what we did.

Six days later the gallery was packed. The photos on Facebook showed a gallery that had no booking just six days earlier but on the day of opening was packed to the roof.

Obviously, they were more than happy.

So how do we do that in such a short period of time?

The first thing we do is look for targeted, speed and proven strategies. Speed is clearly based online and proven are things we have tested in the past and know will work. The only real problem is we do like to test things for each business in a bespoke way and are their targeted customers online or more important on social media?

Once we find the targets or people we are aiming for we started to test images on social media.

Here’s something that was crazy!

A single image of his painting - that are just brilliant - pulled just 3 clicks where a totally different image of the painter painting pulled 250 plus clicks.

It was …

  • The same advert
  • The same words
  • A different image

They were already committed to paying $10 dollars per click – we reduced it right away using what we know to just $1.50 for the same click.

The next thing we did was testing multiple online channels. Now the mistake most make is they simply throw everything online and hope it works. You know the stuff like Facebook posts, LinkedIn networking, regular Adwords etc. The only problem is when you are very short on time you need to be sure that the traffic is highly targeted so risk on a hope and pray campaign isn’t an option.

So we did all the research needed to make sure we had

  • The target as close as we could match
  • The message as close as we could match
  • The reach as accurate as possible
  • And then we took the available online channels to push out the tickets.

We took a route where rather than use everything we know we would reduce the risk and use (on a bit of a guess) what we felt based on experience would work and has already worked.

So we chose 7-ways of reaching the marketplace rather than just one or two.

There was no truly better result from either ticket outlet as both had the same amount of tickets downloaded.

The lesson was simple: Use what you know, use everything that you know but stick to what you know will work.

Ask these questions.

  • Are your customers on LinkedIn?
  • Are your customers on Facebook?
  • Are your customers on Twitter?
  • Are your customers on Instagram and more?

Because the reality is there are still a lot of buyers out there that do not use Social media. Those buyers could be your buyers. If that is the case why over rely on social media as a tool to bring in clients?

Social media could be your best option for marketing ever. It could also be an option where disaster will follow.

I have seen businesses fail because they refused to ignore advice that the only option was social media.

Guess what?

As you read above when targeted, tested and done properly social media could transform your business. A client of ours went and bought himself a new red Ferrari on the back of the campaigns we did for them using social media. For him, the 300 plus leads we delivered transformed his business.

And then, of course, the gallery above… six days later the artist turned up to a full house that could have been disastrously empty.

Over the past few years time and time again I have completely turned around businesses online campaigns. Maybe I could do the same for you?

  • Like the client that went from 3 leads to over 330 every month
  • Like the client that went from no online leads to 17 per hour – every hour – every day
  • Like the client that transformed his booking systems and sales from the odd one here and there to over five million units sold in a single month

And more.

Social media does raise a question and should raise many questions for you.

Questions like

  • Why am I in business?
  • Why do I advertise?
  • What do I want from my business?

The answers are really simple – you want your business to be a success. That being said just taking the latest things and trying them, hoping and praying they will work can cause a danger to your business.

  • Social media should be approached with care.
  • Social media should be tested for actual results.
  • And ask what are the results you want?

Buying LIKES, getting likes and shares – do they actually increase your bottom-line – sales?

I love social media but I keep reminding myself that over 31-years I have amassed over 257 ways to build a business. Yes, 257 proven, tested strategies, tactics and techniques that build a business.

Around 4-years ago I decided to stop using social media for business. I got sick of the hype and lack of results for myself and for my clients.Maybe 18-months ago I decided to kick-start a few tests supported by research we had been reading.

The test results for clients and us were pretty amazing I have to say. Today social media is part of the toolbox of 257 tools because frankly it works for some businesses and will fail miserable for others.

Don’t play with your business on social media. Don’t listen to unproven advice on social media. Take wise steps to make sure it is working for your business not you working to put free content on social media.

I hope this helps you somehow.

And if you would you like me personally to look over your online campaign and offline campaigns I can do that for you.

We can do more than a few things.

  • Locate your targets – IF they are using social media
  • Slash advertising costs and start tests from as low as $5 per day
  • Increase response by testing everything
  • Boost sales using tested to work strategies
  • Message to market narrowed down so we give your buyers what they are thinking
  • And …
  • Increase your leads
  • Create brand domination
  • Six-day Turnarounds
  • Huge Breakthroughs
  • If you’d like to talk this through you know where I am.

 

  • Offices: Iconoclast Collective, Orange Beetle, 213 Ashley Road, 2nd Floor, Hale, Cheshire, WA159TB
  • Tele: 00 44 (0) 161 928 8328
  • Text: 00 44 (0) 7793069486
  • Skype: orangebeetle
  • Facebook messenger: www.Facebook.com/orangebeetle

Give us a call right now and let's talk.

Feel free to hit reply and arrange a conversation.

All the very best.

Alan Forrest Smith

Misinformation Overload

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MISINFORMATION EXPERTS

One of the biggest threats facing business owners like yourself today is the massive distribution of relentless misinformation.

And it’s rampant.

Here’s why and why you should be careful. It can cost you a fortune. It can close your business. It can lose you sales.

For example.

In the year 2000 I had mastered Search Engine listings for my early websites. If you typed in the words

  • Copywriter
  • Copywriting
  • Consultant

Just my website and 2-3 others would appear. That was the option to choose from.

Type it in today and you will see that there are almost TWENTY ONE MILLION websites now trying to sell you services as a copywriter.

Now the following is based on what I see and know based on conversations with clients and ‘experts’.

Some will say more is good.

Others will say too much choice is just too much choice.

Others will ask how the hell do you find what you are looking for out of 21 million websites all saying the same things.

This should help you but lets understand a couple of things first.

Writing copy or giving advice is a dedicated skill. It isn’t just about words as I will explain.

I started writing copy around the year 1985. I had to write to get sales into and through my new businesses after I had been fired again.  I listened very carefully to the words people would use when thinking about my services. I would carefully walk through the mental process of my buyers. I would think about every word at every stage of the buying process. I would then list words in no particular order until I could see in front of me strings of words my targets would use.

I had single words. Group words. Sentences. Fear words. Calming words and just about every type of word I pulled together after very carefully picking through them during my researching.

Beyond that I would then use the words and paragraphs until I found what would and would not work. That could, can and does take real time from any day. So it was practice and trying a lot of different things. I soon found out what did and would never work. The science and art was coming together. That starting process took years (not days or weeks). My early advertising was very effective due to trying everything in the real world, on the front lines of daily business.

By 1995 clients had started to ask me who wrote my adverts for me? When I told them I was asked if I could I write for them. I started writing for clients using proven formulas I had learnt over the previous ten years.

Twenty years later in 2005 I had created copywriting for clients all over the world with some pretty spectacular results going into the millions.

Thirty years later I have tried just about everything in copy. I’ve seen all the failures and a ton of successes.

And it isn’t just myself. People like Bob Bly, John Carlton, Michel Fortin and a few others who are at the very top of their game all have long time-served experience behind them in this business.

Yet I can count on both hands the brilliant copywriters I would share admiration with.

And copy is just one aspect of business we are talking about.

So that raises a real issue for you as someone that needs help and advice for their business using words, messages, tactics, strategies and copy because I have seen a problem rise to a level where it is now absolutely out of hand.

Here is the problem.

MISINFORMATION ARMAGEDDON

In the past a client would come to me for consulting, business and help with sales in their business. I was usually the very first port of call. I have observed that is no longer the case.

When a client calls me he has usually tried 2,3 4 or many more ‘experts’ before he gets to me. That same clients has also usually spent a small fortune to those ‘experts’ so that when he finally gets his invoice from myself he has spent not just 5 times more than he used to spend but has lost a fortune in time and lost sales. One client I met had spent £22,000 on advice that lost him what he called ‘hundreds of thousands’ in sales. This isn’t uncommon these days.

So the web has created a huge problem for you as a business person that wants more success and it is this.

We have seen the massive rise of the guru ,the rise of the expert and the rise of those that claim to know everything but simply outsource what you need to someone across the world hoping you will never notice.

And there is an even bigger problem.

How do they get their education and expertise?

A huge majority love the idea of being a recognised expert. They read a book, read another book and then rather than have real experience they simply sell what they have read. That isn’t a good thing for you because you are not a simple formula from a book are you?

Now some might say I also read books and became an expert doing just that.

That isn’t quite true.

I have been writing and creating business solutions and results since 1985. I have tried, tested and can confidently say that I absolutely know what will not work which also means I know what will work for you. Because I have sent out tons of direct marketing, I have had to get myself busy time and time again. I have had too give my clients results time and time again. So what I share with my clients isn’t just a book its real experience from real business as well as recognised expertise. And of course this isn’t really just about me, this is about the difficulty you will have finding a real master these days.

But Alan these guys are so cheap compared to someone like yourself?

Listen cheap medicine is cheap but I wouldn’t take it would you? As I said earlier most clients that now come to me have usually failed with maybe five ‘experts’ already. That isn’t the fault of you the client that is the sole responsibility of the person that faked their way into your bank balance.

Now there is one more problem and this is huge. A book that an ‘expert’ will use will tell them a system or a way of doing things. In my experience that cannot work and here is why.

Every business is unique. Every target marketplace is unique. Every business has its voice that should be maintain or created. Every buyer has a way of thinking that buyers from other business don’t think. You cannot learn that from a book. You have to test things, experience things, try things until you get the mix right.

But when you work with an expert that has already worked in 400 industries over a 31-year period you know at least they must know what they are doing otherwise they would have been out of business a long time ago.

So the following is a list of things that will help you for sure weed out the imposters that earn a living misinforming and destroying business like yours.

And yes they do destroy businesses like yours. I have seen it on many occasions where bad advice has led to disaster.

So here is a checklist in no particular order of what I would personally look for in a consultant and what you should look for. The list is in no particular order.

  • Honest
  • Ethical
  • Service driven
  • Lots of social proof
  • Good strong traceable testimonials
  • Years in service
  • Skill set and how they got their skill sets
  • Client list
  • What kind of big promises do they make
  • Guarantees if any
  • Years in business
  • Comparable results with your business
  • Impressive stats
  • Friendly
  • Accessible
  • Support
  • Do they understand data
  • Have they direct mail experience
  • Do they understand copy to core message sequencing
  • Can they explain triggering?
  • How do they feel about ‘memes’?
  • Do they have their own REAL business – in other words not just selling expertise but experience?
  • Do they know what leverage is?
  • Do they understand innovation and when to innovate?
  • How many tears experience online and can they show results?
  • How do they feel about old vs. new media?
  • Why is their fee set the way it is set?
  • Are they open to any other form of payment?
  • Can they give a time frame on results?
  • Can you see yourself working for them as a long term relationship?
  • So misinformation is a real problem today that is only going to get worse.
  • And play around with any questions you feel you deserve an answer to before anything is started.
  • Once you decide whom you would like to work with do this.
  • Make an initial enquiry and see how you FEEL about the response from the consultant or expert.
  • How was the email written? How did your phone call go? Do they sound as though they know what they are talking about?

The feeling you get will reveal more than the actual response.

Once you feel good about dealing with them make sure you have your list of pre-written questions and be very blunt when asking them … “do you have the answer to this question?”

How much should you pay them per hour? Personally I wouldn’t care as long as the return on investment is worth the payment. I have bought books and spend months learning from them.

The books have made me tens of thousands in sales but it has also taken me months and months to learn the new skill. Today I simply pay for the information to be fast tracked into new sales.

It really depends on how much you value your time or how fast you want success?

You do want faster success right?

These are very dangerous times for people like yourself that are looking for good advice. Just be careful, do your homework and tread very carefully before you make any huge commitment to anyone.

Has this helped you?

Please leave a comment at the bottom or share or like so I know how you feel.

Heres to more success for you.

Alan Forrest Smith

Orange Beetle Vintage

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A Look Back Over Many Orange Beetle Websites and What Really Makes a Website Like This (and yours) Sell

Let me say upfront; You need too understand this - marketing isn't a singular event, it's an endless cycle of being creative and breaking into new things as well as building a core message that identifies you as your buyers only choice. It's also the ability to get your message and product or service in front of the eye of your buyers day in and day out.

So today I wanted to share something with you some stuff I was going through over the weekend. It's a handful of the O.B. website home pages and some of the changes I have made on Orange Beetle since the year 2000. They should go back to 1999 but I can't find that home page.

Some Direct Marketing History with Orange Beetle Online.

  • I saw the potential of working online from around 1996 although I began my marketing consultancy and writing before the web arrived.
  • I created my first website maybe 1997 for one of my hairdressing salons.
  • I had another website called... MoreSiteSales.com that flopped totally!
  • I then had the first incarnation of the Orange Beetle idea called... TheBigForrest.com (I know it's a bad name ;-) that worked but look like total crap!

Eventually I bought OrangeBeetle.co.uk in 2000 because the COM was taken by a software company. Then one day around a year later I got an email telling me I owned OrangeBeetle.com as I had back-registered it for free and the software guys had forgotten to renew it. The software guys weren't happy as you can imagine.

The WHY 'Orange Beetle' name story is on my about page.

Today 95% of my business through Orange Beetle is done online yet there is a definite trend for more face-to-face meetings. Anyway ...

17 Years Later OrangeBeetle is Stronger Than Ever... Why?

The following is something of note that most company websites ignore; You cannot build a website and expect that website to work forever. The web really doesn't work that way because people don't work that way. The exposure and over exposure to messages creates a forced change that can make your message redundant very quickly. This is the opposite to what the majority of marketing men will tell you yet this is the way marketing is in 2016.

Think of your website more like a magazine. The magazine cover only works for that month and then what takes place? The cover changes completely. Why? To keep the marketplace interested. I try and make significant cosmetic changes every month. Some good and some clearly flop. All the same I make the changes just like I would change  shop window.

Now I have probably changed my website home pages or covers every quarter or three months at the latest so I just cannot share them all here. So here are a few going from the very first Orange Beetle home page up until the current page.

I can't remember the exact month or year of any of these page so enjoy them as they are. The year is guessed but close.

 

Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter

 

Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter Orangebeetle.com

Alan Forrest Smith Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter

Direct Marketing Copywriter

Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter

Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter

Direct Response Consulting and Marketing

Direct Marketing copywriter for copywriting

 

 

Direct Response Marketing Consultant Hale Cheshire

 

Direct Marketing Consultant and Direct Marketing Copywriter

 


Now if you are really smart you will see a few things that have never changed.

I'll help you try and understand them as these are the elements that have consistently created a website that has generated hundreds upon thousands of pounds and more since it's inception in 1999.

They are also the same elements that have delivered myself some of the best clients any person like myself could ever hope to work with. This website has also given me a life where I can have the freedom to do more or less as I like with my time, work remotely on any day of the week and continually pull in incredible business with incredible people.

Of course the results go beyond the home cover.

The Critical and Essential Elements of a Successful Orange Beetle (this isn't everything)

  • Positioning
  • Perception
  • Presence
  • Power
  • Triggering
  • Buzz feeds
  • Seeding
  • Framing
  • New services
  • Innovation
  • Market leading
  • Core messages that feed my hungry targets
  • Carefully thought out words that generate a response
  • Carefully thought out images that feed into the current mind feed
  • Carefully thought out colours according to the market place
  • And tried, tested, proven and tested again and again and again layouts, formats and more that deliver the results I need from my online business

Now the images above are nothing compared to the images I have created over the years. I have no idea but maybe at least 100-300 new images per year?

Either way this has been a strong feature of success in my websites since I started them way back in 1999.

Why is this valuable for you?

Clients like yourself have come to me for years asking how to make their website work. Most clients would like to be able to make the change overnight and then expect the change to create a massive surge in sales and traffic.

Yet.

Despite what the 'new expert' tells you ... It really doesn't work like that.

For seventeen years I have been using OrangeBeetle.com to build my life. I cannot build a life unless I create sales. If I create no sales I have no cash. If I have no cash I am broke. If i am broke I have to go and get a job and that isn't a good thing for a rambling non-conformist like myself.

You must never forget this with your website.

A website is a testing ground. It has to be targeted. It has to be scientifically calculated. It has to be focused and worked on every single day. You must bring in the people that are experts and know how to help you grow. Otherwise it isn't a real business. Would you do surgery on your own heart? Would you attempt build a house with no experience? Would you repaint your prized car despite knowing zero about a car?

The answer is obvious so why play around with your business like a child plays around with Lego? As far as I am concerned there has to be money in the bank and that money comes via my main website. How serious do you take your website?

A recent Google update almost killed me ...

Recently after a rebuild of our websites and the very latest Google update we found ourselves in the unfortunate position of losing almost all of our listings. These listings had been there for well over a decade.

That meant traffic into our websites at www.SalonPunk.com and OrangeBeetle.com and YogaBusinessAcademy.com had all but vanished overnight.

For the past six weeks more we have researched, paid experts, hired experts, microscopically searched whilst tearing back every aspect of the sites until we eventually found the issues that Google didn't like and now we are fixing them. It's a slow job but a very real problem online.

It did remind me of heading into Pret a Manger the coffee shop near St Annes Sq. in Manchester. I went recently only to find the whole road closed because they are installing a new tram system along that road. This meant I couldn't find a way to get into the cafe. After some time I found my way and went in. Now you have to remember this place on a Saturday morning is always packed. Getting a seat isn't easy.

When I finally walked in there was myself and another woman with a young son. That was it. The funny thing for me was why is such an established company like Pret a Manger not doing everything they could outside to make sure people still went into their shop?

So coming back to websites and website marketing - YOUR website.

I wanted to share some behind the scenes stuff for you to help you realise that a website alone simply isn't enough. The number one mistake I see out there is this.

  • Businesses trying to do everything on their own.
  • A lack of experts being hired or brought in to help.
  • A lack of investment into a website because it isn't tangible.
  • Trying to do a website cheap makes as much sense as cheap medicine!
  • Taking far too long to get any real progress done.
  • Spending six months trying to work something out that can take less than a day to work out.
  • Lack of research and frontline knowledge.
  • Too much advise from inexperienced marketing experts that only know what they learnt from college.
  • Over reliance on agencies.

IF YOU ARE NOT TAKING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS AS SERIOUS AS YOUR OFFICE BUSINESS IN 2016 YOU'RE SCREWED!

More behind the scenes.

Most of my graphic work I do myself but I also have two graphic people I work with. Yes I have to pay them both. That isn't cheap because direct marketing imagery is very different from simple imagery.

All our websites I lay out according to proven direct response selling  technique that are tested online. Although I do a lot of the testing etc I have technicians that do the building of the technicalities. Yes I pay them. The build can take three months for the basic shell but this isn't just a website this is a sales machine we build.

We then spend three months at least testing and tweaking and changing things until they work. Everything is tracked. Everything its measured. Any changes are down within one hour of results!

We then spend the rest of the following six months continually adjusting and fixing and innovating. Once that is in place the site just rolls on its own with us continually putting the fuel into the sites make sure the website sells like crazy.

And of course never forget the website is simply part of a bigger machine. The Orange Beetle machine also includes emails, email capture, courses, copy, scripts, telephone, a real office, trainings and even furniture and new computers. Everything can be seen as a cost but when it all works everything is simply an investment.

Please never forget this: If you want to be in business using the web to bring you enough cash to create the lifestyle you want, no one is going to rush at you with payments of any kind if you don't treat your web presence the same as you would treat a physical office.

Finally...

I hope you learnt something from this behind the scenes article. I also hope you found the images useful.

Our new ICONOCLAST workspace/office/training opens on may 1st. We are innovating new training and education for you guys. One of the days we will be doing for you is a WEBSITE MENTOR CLASS for those that have websites but they want the websites to sell. There will be more on that very soon. icon

In the meantime make sure you stay in the loop by subscribing to OrangeBeetle on Facebook or YouTube or simply stay attached via email.

Now as always I am always searching for incredible clients to work with. Is that you? I am responsible for creating a five million pounds month for one client from his website. I have also created websites that generate over £400k a month for my clients.

Maybe you simply want to get on that road and get your online business selling? That's fine just hit me up and lets talk. By the way I don't and we don't build websites. We do have a specialist services for selling online using all of the above strategies I spoke about above. We can refer you to the tech guys that do our stuff but bear in mind they simply build the machine, we install a very powerful engine to that machine after its built. They do websites - we make websites sell!

I hope we talk very soon.

Your rambling but hugely successful direct response consultant

Alan Forrest Smith

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If you like  BREAKTHROUGH with your business all you need to do is ask. If you'd like a MENTOR at the end of the phone 24 hours a day all you have to do is ask. If you'd like a critique from an expert that has created sales going into the millions for clients since we started selling on the web all you have to do is ask.

Text: UK (00 44)  07793069486 Once the text is received a reply will arrange a time to talk.

Email: alan@orangebeetle.com

Or if you're a fan of contact forms go over to this page, fill it out and hit send.

Feel free to leave at a comment at the bottom of this page. Add your link as we get tons of traffic so it'll be nice to share it with you.

Email Secrets

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If you are a copywriter, want to be a copywriter or write emails for your business you'll find this interesting, exciting and hugely valuable. Seriously if you can't see the value you are in the wrong job! Read very carefully, every word is true!

Not too long ago I started a project that I wanted to really just keep under the radar. It’s a copywriters project that I actually emailed you about. Finally I took on MENTOR Protoge that I can nourish and grow and expand in any directions.

The finances behind this project are to take this average copywriter into the multiple hundreds of thousands.

It feels the difference here is everything and anything I tell him - he does exactly as I say! If he doesn’t I kick his ass and then he does.

The first week he worked under my wing I taught him how to DOUBLE his invoicing and use positioning to do that. That first job he took on the rule was simple - charge DOUBLE what you usually charge.

How and why? Well the how is our secret for now but the why is all about value, perception and vision.

Right now his identity remains a secret but we will reveal him as time goes on along with his results.

Today I simply wanted to share his email to you (with his permission) that he sent today.

Let me set the scene.

He has an email he always sends to new clients or fresh leads.

I asked him before he sends anything always send to me and I will show him in-depth how to and why to re-write his emails for response.

By the way my track record for response emails is still and has been for years at around 100%.

So he sent me his email that he sends.

We re-wrote that email from the ground up and as always I asked him to explain to me the difference between his and mine.

If you are a copywriter or someone that writes and sends out emails I think you’ll find his reply extremely revealing (as did I).

The value in his reply to you as a reader cannot be over estimated. Don’t just read it devour it.

Now before I sent this to you I have to admit I asked myself does this reveal a bit about my thechniques and persuasion as I know you are possibly a client or a possible client. That made me feel a little uneasy about sending it because I wondered would you feel I am persuading the sale rather than just talking in logic and service.

Then I thought about it and realised well this is what I do because it is what I have always done for my clients. No persuasion just a service offer of the highest calibre in mind.

So with that in mind,

Enjoy

------------------------- Hi Alan

Here are my observations on the re-write, as requested:

Why this is better than original proposed reply:

You thank them for getting in touch but also remind them of what they got in touch about - their project - so they know what you’re replying and referring to.

You are reaffirming that THEY have a choice of copywriter and that they have made a great choice in you (me)…. this is a way of reassuring them they are making a good decision. Psychologically that will make them feel good.

You set out your position as an expert straight away through…. saying you are “highly sought after” (which, even if they don’t know you, implies you must be good. People don’t like to feel they are missing out so it also seeds a “I want what those people are getting” idea in the mind) making reference to the work you’ve already done in THEIR field of work. Positioning yourself not just as an in-demand copywriter but one who knows this business really well (“working deep inside..”) you can offer them an inside track on what works and what doesn’t (which is always appealing because it infers that you can save them time and money by doing it right first time round).

My reply is quite general and does not position myself either as expert or specialist in NLP/coaching field

You place some doubt in their mind (“what most people think does work can be the worst thing for your business”) about whether what they think is right IS right…then reassure them it’s OK because YOU know how to get results.

You use a bit of flattery… “This is where you’ve made a smart choice”, which will make them feel good

You refer specifically to things they mentioned in their enquiry (funnels, commerce, etc) and you reassure them “it’s not a problem”… then back it up by saying you are a specialist in these areas… and get results (“sells your products like crazy”)

You move away from they have some ideas I can review (my approach) to saying “I can take care of this for you” (with the hint of… just leave it to me)

You set up arranging a call as the VERY NEXT step. You are leading the client on action. You explain why (you need to know main issues) the call is needed and what that will help with (“a solution as fast as possible”)

You set the scene for the call. There will be some questions for them to answer (powerful and proven questions)…. it’s a system you use. And you say what you need from the prospective client (“open and honest as possible”)…. to get a BETTER result for them.

You direct them about the call… give just TWO time slots… specific dates/times reinforce the image that you are BUSY and SUCCESSFUL. Your time is limited.

You also create “scarcity”. You are a busy, in-demand copywriter and YOU get to choose who you work with (this is positioning - you are not one of those general copywriters who feels they have to take on every project just because they need the money. You’re doing so well that you can pick and choose the work you do and the people you work with.

You refer to their website - shows you’ve done some research or “homework” on the prospect/client.

You state specifically how you’d like to help (funnel and conversions) and create intrigue (you have at least 9 critical areas to change now). So, the prospect is now thinking (a) you’ve looked closely at what they already have (b) there are some things not quite right which need changing (c) there’s some urgency to get things done and (d) YOU are the one with the answers.

You soften this with a bit more flattery… “saying that, great website…”. So they don’t think what they have is rubbish. But they are now hearing that it’s not good enough and you know exactly what to do.

You’re positioning yourself as the “I know what to do” expert - I’m in demand, I know this business, I have the answers, I can do some stuff to help straight away, I can pick and choose so it’s up to you if you want THAT kind of level working for you and your business.

You repeat the NEXT action step (the call) and offer the two dates/times for them to choose from (puts you in control of when you have the conversation)

You show that you’d love to work with them and you can see the possibilities for their business (makes them feel good). You phrase it in a way which suggests the decision is already made (“I’m excited to work with you…”)

You close with a thank you (closing the “circle” of your reply - you started with thank you and finish with thank you.

You use the PS to explain the need for a call (effectively the THIRD time in your message that you’ve said “we need to talk asap”) before talking about a quote…. you’re not providing a “rushed” job or a “menu” price. This is bespoke (“carefully worked out and detailed” the quote will be)…

And a final thank you and sign off to complete the PS and the reply.

  • In summary, Your reply is about:
  • Positioning yourself as the expert
  • Demonstrating you understand their business/field/industry
  • Taking the lead
  • Reassuring the prospect that you are a safe pair of hands (without giving away any specifics in terms of results)
  • Guiding the prospect to take the next step - have a call with you
  • A little bit of flattery in pointing out they’ve done a good job AND highlighting that there are things that they’re missing or haven’t done which means their results are not as good as they could be..
  • You are the solution - the best choice

This is PRECISELY why I have invested in you.

I could have wasted that kind of money on a “mastermind” with someone else in the past and it would not have been the right time to invest.

Now IS the right time for me.

I know we’re still learning about each other but you will find me a willing student. I will listen. I will do what you tell me (to guide me). I’ll keep asking questions.

The difference between you and, say, XXX is gulf-like.

I’ve already got value from the process.

I know I’ve got potential. I’m in a good starting position and I’d love in 12-24 months time to have a “success story” that would form one of your most powerful EVER testimonials.

Thanks G ---------------------------------- I know this guy is in for one hell of a ride and a stepping stone to bigger things.

You know since my very first brick and mortar business I had to master one thing (in 1985) to get a sale and it was my messages or writing.

Since then the foundation of all of my business has been the words I write to my prospects.

I am at a stage where I can write myself almost anything. I know that because I have. I written myself a home a car and so much more. i even wrote love letters to the woman that is to become my wife this September 17th.

This is a skill that can change everything for you.

It will for the secret guy above. It has for myself and it has for many previous mentor students of mine.

You want change... you'll find it here. If you deserve change ... it's here

I hope this helped you and if it did hit reply and let me know why?

Love, peace, success should be yours.

In your service always.

MENTOR Alan Forrest Smith

 

Marketing, Yoga & Lessons

yogabusiness.jpg

How To Fail Despite 28 Million Customers And Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn

Honestly - If you had 28 million people walking past your business doors every year you assume that there would be a good chance of success right? Not for a (almost) client we dealt with a couple of years ago.

Over the weekend I read in the FT that its owners are floating Camden Marketing in London on the stock exchange. This is due to its huge success in attracting over 28 million visitors annually.

Just to give you some perspective here the client I am talking about that shall remain nameless needed 10 clients a day to actually make a profit and anything beyond those 10 would put her into profit. We created an incredibly basic yet effective outline plan for her company to use on the same day.

She needed just 3,650 clients a year. We needed to help her grab them from the 28 million visitors.

And another thing worth mentioning here, not only did we want to help her with her campaign but her business is smack in the middle of her perfect target market. Holistic hippies (yes like me) and the perfect targets for her service.

The strategy was old school flyers with a fusion of web marketing. It was simple, clean and clear with an acquisition offer built on the back of a break-even visit. A back-end strategy of a continuity package for the year was then sold from the first visit.

The business was a Yoga business. Maybe you don’t know but we have carved out a strong niche dealing with Yoga business over the years and some with phenomenal success like Linda’s retreats that took over $117,000 in bookings from a single webpage. I could share more but that’s for another post.

So we met the client that has 28 million walking past her very empty Yoga studio each year. When I say empty I mean most openings with just one or two students. When I say studio she had an enormous and beautiful studio right in the very heart of Camden market.

Yet what happen next didn’t in the slightest bit surprise me as I have seen this happen a million times before but first I will share with you something I see time and time again. What I am going to tell you reveals the reason for most failures.

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The client thought that having good service was enough.

The client felt that her being an expert at her job and having experts visit was enough.

The client believed that heavily investing into the décor, the equipment, and the staff the infrastructure was enough.

The client truly believed that simply opening her door in the morning with all this wonderment on show and ready to use would absolutely be enough.

Yet the one thing she had run out of cash for, never believed in and felt was wrong for the commercialization of her business was investing anything into marketing.

She knew her business was there. Her staff knew how to get to the business each day. The problem was 28 million plus had no idea her business was there. So her beautiful, bohemian, modern and fully equipped yoga studio closed its door for the last time.

Why?

She didn’t believe in marketing her business its really that simple and despite 28 million people walking past her doors each year she didn’t have the pulling power to bring in more than one or two students a day.

Why did she not hire us?

It was between us and buying more yoga mats for her failing yoga business that actually never became a real business just an exercise in ego.

So here is the most powerful lesson I have discovered in over 30 years of business and you can have this for free.

It doesn’t matter what you do with your business, what you buy, the infrastructure, the offices, the machinery, the huge amount of staff and more because if you don’t drive people into your website or brick and mortar shop you won’t survive.

Here’s what you do.

Make sure you have a budget for marketing set aside. A budget doesn’t have to be huge but it should be built into your overall goals and vision for your business.

Make sure every penny spent gives you a return on your investment. So we have a client right now that spends over £100 to acquire every client. Sounds a lot right? Every client spends over £3,500. Now does it sound a lot?

Make sure the market you create is free. Yes it’s true that spending money on marketing might sound like a cost yet the truth is good marketing should never cost you single penny when done right. Yes some campaigns can fail and do fail but you can learn from these until you get to the point that any cost is no cost as far as investment into your marketing goes.

And finally make sure you get good advice. If you don’t want to pay at least go and order some great books on Amazon that will give you some strong directions, ideas, tips and more on your marketing. Just to share with you I built my whole salon business around what I read in Jay Conrad Levison’s Guerilla marketing manual that cost me around £10. That small investment gave me a turnover of just over £3 million.

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Finally lets end with two thoughts.

The first being if you are like that yoga business person above and feel no need to take your business to the marketplace and you are struggle well my honest opinion is close the doors and go get a job, your life will instantly become more pleasurable.

The second and final thought for you is this. If you need help, advice, guidance or mentoring simply ask for help. It’s always a priority for my own clients that your marketing with myself will cost you zero despite your initial investment.

And please remember – having everything isn’t enough even giants like Apple, Microsoft, PayPal and many others still invest in weekly marketing despite their obvious success.

I can show you over 225 ways to take your business to the market fast!

I’m here to help you – just ask.

You marketing hero and man of wonderment (it’s true)

Alan Forrest Smith

4 Things Hairdressing Taught Me

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4 Direct Response Marketing Tricks I Learnt From Hairdressing

What can hairdressing teach your business about marketing, copywriting, strategy and good old direct response marketing?

This weekend I was taken back in time when I caught sight of a video of John Paul Dejoria talking about his business, the salon industry and of course how he built his four billion dollar empire. I had the good fortune to meet him and talk with him in 1990 in Buckinghamshire England. That meeting was to change my salon business completely. It was my first encounter with marketing.

Lets go back in time

I was a hairdresser for over 20 years. I started cutting hair when I was around 15-years old. I then trained at twenty years old officially as a hairdresser and then had 3 salons of my own until the year 2003 when I then launched full-time into OrangeBeetle (OB started in 1998).

On the first day of opening my very first salon with my very first employees I also had my first staff walkout from a junior member.  I had no idea what I was doing and frankly I don’t blame her, it was total chaos.

The second week in business it was slow and that carried on until I was around 2-3 months into being a new businessman and desperately counting the cash to see if I could pay staff wages by the weekend.

Then late 1989-90 (I know it’s a long time ago) I saw an advert in the hairdressers journal for a club for hairdressers that was being supported by Paul Mitchell Salon Products.

I saw the advert once, twice and maybe a dozen times after that when I decided to call the number and ask a few questions.

I spoke to a guy named Mike Kemball in Buckinghamshire and before I knew it I was on my way to their Insight meeting.

Marketing Was New To Me

Insight was an understatement. Despite the reality that I started selling things to other people at the age of just 10 year, I hadn’t thought about business the way I was now being shown.

For example; I learnt about how to price services. In those days I simply thought you charged what you were wanted to charge. I certainly never understood perception of a price can affect your business. Mercedes – you never ask the price you simply know this. You can or cannot afford it but you know it’s the best and part of that belief that it is the best is in the price. It’s expensive so it must be – good!

Then there were all the other things I began to discover. Upselling services, products, reception layout, staff wages and just about every single thing you can think about to run a business I discovered fast!.

The nice thing they did that also affected me in a big way was introducing me to something called a book. Yes you read correct I said a BOOK.

You see up until that point in my life I had read NOTHING – not a single thing that was printed onto a page apart from what I was forced to read at school so the thought of reading a book was against my inclination because I associated booms only with school. So I began to read books - business books.

I also bought a cassette (remember them?)  for my car by a guy I had never heard of before named Jay Abraham. I also bought a book by an expert named Zig Ziglar and one more expert named Tom Peters. It was heavy but I was enjoying this new learning the business of business experience.

So in a short period of time I had learnt lots of new things about running a business. How to structure everything, staffing, finances, marketing a lot of new and mind-expanding materials.

Astonishing Results From Hairdressing

The more I discovered especially obeyer direct response marketing, the better the results were for me. I managed to build a huge 5-bedroomed house in its own grounds with my success, had the holidays, the cars and all the other benefits that a successful business gave me. It was hard, really hard but it gave me a foundation that transformed a lot of areas in my life.

But for you reading this I wanted to share something’s that were critical in that business succeeding but any business I have worked on since then and are working on right now.

4 Things I Learnt from Being a Hairdresser

Number one: Feed from others for bigger ideas

There’s nothing wrong in looking at others for ideas. I used to look outside the industry all of the time for ideas on how to build a strong salon. That meant my salons were very different to all of the other salons. The other salon owners all looked inside the industry whilst I was looking at things like how a football club was structured so I could apply those guidelines to my salon business.

For example in 1991 we were the only salon business in a town of 35 salons to sell something I named a ‘season ticket’. In other words they could pay in advance for their appointments at a lower rate. This was something that was only really seen in the football industry and certainly not hairdressing. This was also direct response marketing at its best with everything being tracked and measured.

I saw they were filling their football stadium appointments (seats) up to two years ahead so why couldn’t I by simply copying them. I did and it worked massively. Actually as a side note I have never seen this in a salon ever apart from my own salons.

I have since applied the very same to all my businesses since. For example today I model a lot of my ideas on the film industry. Why? Well if you want to sell a lot and be the best at what you are selling you’d better model a business that turns over literally billions and the movie business does just that. They sell a movie based on a 120 second video and very powerful imagery. I use them as one of my swipe models. Today I read around 5-books a week to feed my mind and write around one million words a year to keep me in full flow.

So how about you who do you look to for idea outside your current industry and how many ideas do you discover, swipe and apply in your business?

Number two: Get the infra-structure and finances right - STRATEGY & SYSTEMS!

This is short and simple… get it right or you are forever hoping and praying.

In the early days of my salons it went like this. I got cash from the clients and then I would put that cash in my pocket, under my bed, in an old sock and then inside my mattress or – I would go and buy something with the cash. Most of the time I would go and buy something.

That led to problems and here was one of the major problems I faced one day. I had received a huge tax bill that I simply couldn’t pay. I missed the payment day time and time again yet I would go home and sit and ask myself this, “I’m taking a ton of cash here in the salon but how is it I can’t pay a bill for £5k?”

Now the answer is really obvious but it wasn’t one I had in place all those years ago. It was this – I was spending far too much and managing nothing.  I quickly discovered that if you are taking £50k yet spending £51k you are in big trouble. I then found out that money should be divided and split apart so that everything is covered. I know its obvious right? Yet I never did it. It took me years to learn cash management.

Not too long ago I knew a guy that bought a post office. The old post office and shop was very old and needed urgent renovations.

So he went and got a big loan. On his loan the first thing he went and bought was a new Range Rover. Then he bought his wife a new Range Rover in white. Then they spent cash on the house attached to the Post Office and lived the good life – for a short while.

Suddenly he realised that he has to pay stock bills, pay staff, and pay invoices and pay and manage the cash in all areas of the post office. He never did and about six months later he finally was forced to close. On a Saturday after my salon had closed with my very young kids at the time for their comic and sweet treat I found out when I went to the shop it had been closed by bailiffs and his cars and home had no been removed.

Why?

He simply failed to manage his finances and had no infra-structure in place.

How about you in your business? Are you finances covered and do you know exactly how they should be split? If this is a failure in your business your business will fail. It was a very early lesson I learnt through hairdressing and running three hairdressing salons.

Number three: You are only as good as your service or product

Before you do anything I discovered that the service or the product has to be good enough. For example in those days I would promote a new stylist that came into the salon. The stylist was then sent clients and the clients would expect a service that I was advertising. Unfortunately I had yet to discover that despite all the bells and whistles I was blowing and waving I was not training my staff to support for my marketing was saying. This meant I was saying how great we were but my services and products simply didn’t support that. Of course this lost me clients that I had paid to bring into my business.

It’s like pouring endless water into a bucket with holes. The more you pour in the more that pours out.

This took me to a place where I had to rediscover my salon services and make them work in a way that was a match with what my marketing was saying. Not easy but we did it in the end.

Now as a consultant for the past 15-years and more the first thing I ask is how good are your services. The reply is ALWAYS the same, “ yes really good”.

Once I flew to a salon to create a new strategy and plan for her business. She had already told me her business was the very best, services and skills were the absolute greatest in the area yet her spread sheet numbers were telling a story of clients in – clients out, like the bucket so I decided to fly over and see what was actually going on.

From the moment I walked into the salon the staff clearly hated her, she clearly hated them and it all showed in the work they were doing. Service was poor, skills sets were average and nothing was quite as it should or could be.

The day I sat and spoke to her and her team the phone rang. She jumped up and shouted, “can’t one of the miserable FU&%KERS get the phone”. I was shocked and clearly there was a huge problem with a team that was reflecting in the salon services.

So it was a big lesson for me to be able to support any marketing with solid service and solid products.

And what I have seen in business is the need to sell is stronger than the need to fulfill and deliver. People will sell sub-standard services or product just for the sake of the sale yet it’s a recipe for disaster in business.

Once I realised this we spent thousands in cash and hour upon hour in time training my staff to a level that was unsurpassed in the salon business in the location we were at.

How about you?

Everyone always tells me very blunt that they are the very best at what they do. Are you services and product as good as you think they are? Have you tried them, tested them, read them or even reviewed them? Have you asked your clients for an honest review or opinion on your services or products? Regardless of the industry you are in you need to know the answer to this.

Number four: Marketing is a daily event

After I had been on course in the 1990s I started to apply what I was learning. For example despite there being no real home computers as such in those days or certainly no laser printers for an office unless you spent thousands I began to run direct mail campaigns. Direct mail was personal and as the name suggests it as direct. Every Tuesday was direct mail day. I would send mail to, new clients, birthday clients, Christmas cards, thank you, promotions and literally a long list of ideas for direct mail. There was no email or social media or even text in those days.

The response was crazy at the time. The more mail I sent the busier we became. More marketing meant more promotion and that of course I had less and less time to do my marketing.

The problem then was that when I never did my marketing guess what happened? Business would slowly drop off. So I created a whole system that was a little chaotic at the time but it worked for us. Not every month, not every week but every single day of the week we did active direct marketing. That meant, direct mail, flyers, posters, PR events, promotional events, piggy back promotions and just about every other thing I could think of at the time.

Yes marketing had to be DAILY. It had to be regular and it had to be a system. Even today in my current businesses if we do nothing - nothing comes in and if we do a lot a lot comes in.

I see time and time again that marketing is treated like it isn’t really part of a business. Some businesses treat marketing like its something they have to do now and then because they feel that’s just part of being in business. Yet it is the lifeblood, it’s the part of business that should be prioritized always.

A farmer cannot shift his potatoes if he doesn’t drive over to the market. They will simply lie in the barn and rot. Why? Because of lack of visibility and if you are not seen you won’t sell.

  • A website isn’t marketing it’s a critical business tool. Once you have a site you must have a strategy to send people to that site.
  • A random advert isn’t marketing. It takes at least a dozen shows of an advert before it ever gets read and noticed as long as its well designed and written.
  • A one-off magazine advert isn’t marketing because no one sees it with one hit.
  • A Facebook page definitely isn’t marketing because Facebook is a gossip forum not a place of business and those that tell you millions are being made on Facebook are lying to you.

I learnt in my hairdressing salons that marketing has to be a daily event and when it isn’t we the daily event of taking profits just doesn’t happen.

Today things are even harder because the noise is so loud in the world of capturing people’s attentions.

Messenger, text, email, social media, on the go TV, streaming this, streaming that YouTube and just about every other battle for the attention of your buyer is raging yet what is it you are doing for your business.

I learnt early that marketing is a daily event. It is a strategy that must be stuck to and applied. It’s tactical and well thought out. Its planned over a period of time and there is no let up because once you let up suddenly the guy down the road that you thought was ok takes over you and is getting more sales and more customers than you will ever get.How about you?

Is direct response marketing part of your strategy or is your strategy designed around your service or product?

If that’s the case how are you getting that out to your buyers? You have to fight and battle for attention theses days are you doing that. Are you presenting your very best and are you doing it on a scheduled basis or is it simply random?

Random marketing means random profits. Lots of marketing means lots of profits.

Hairdressing taught me a lot, way more than simply cutting hair.

I hope this article helped you or even enlightened you at some level.

If you have to have the very best advice and cannot afford any more risk - call me on 07793069486

Your ex-hairdresser and hairy marketing genius

Alan Forrest Smith

 

MENTOR can be found here

CONTACT me from this page

The HABIT - Important Read

HABIT.jpg

Bad Habits Hold You (and me) Back

As a business mentor I am adding a warning because if I am correct, you'll resist what you are about to read. How do I know that?

Because that’s what humans, people - YOU and me - that’s what we do, we resist change because change means confronting habits.

It’s about habits, changes, you resisting me and then you finally working with me and rewarding me for ground breaking alliance for the results I will and I can deliver for you.

It’s a long article but one but worth every minute of your time.

If needed you may print and read it later with a coffee or tea or whisky if that’s your thing – just read it because it affects you and your business.

Ok … Here we go…

Every now and then you get an awakening call in life and business that makes you feel uncomfortable to the point that you either change things or lie down and give up. Yet the reality is and has been shown and proven time and time again is that …

  • Everything can change for the better
  • Everything can be put back on track
  • Everything will be OK - it always is

You can survive thrive and prosper into change but only if you haven’t lay down and totally given up yet. Have you lay down and died or am I still getting through to you?

So here's a story, short but true none the less.

I started with a new trainer last December. Frankly he is killing me but killing me in a good way to the point I now have zero-shirts that fit me because the muscle size is so large in relation to how it was previously. Yet we have one conversation weekly and it is about belly fat and body fat generally.

Despite having huge arms, a huge chest, big muscular legs and a well defined back I cannot shift my fat. The problem is the fat of course covers the muscle so despite the reality that there has been a ton of change in my body I cannot get the definition I really would want. I know I need to grow up and lie back and retire gracefully but that isn't for me.

And here is my problem.

H.A.B.I.T. that is compounded with decades of reenforcement.

I was born with a sweet tooth that won't go away and lie down gracefully and despite trying as hard as hell I still have huge cravings for sweet things until I realised this isn't anything special or new it is something I simply have to accept and then confront.

So right now I have not stopped the sweet things but I have adjusted accordingly and replaced sweet things with things like dates, figs, apricots and more. it seems to be working.

Habit can hold anyone back but the real problem is we oversee the habit and try always to blame it on something or someone else.

You changes might be getting stopped but habit - nothing else.

Do you know what you want in your life? Do you know what you want in your business? Are your embedded habits destroying everything? The habit kills, destroys and holds back anything it can hold back.

If I want muscle definition I have to make a change. If you want definition in areas of your life you must make a change.

Life and business: Yes both are absolutely intertwined and if you are in business, they can never be taken apart so if one isn’t right neither will the other be right. When business is bad your life becomes miserable.

That creates unhappy people.

I have another habit in my life that isn’t a drug habit although some will claim I’m on another planet, I’m not a sex addict although sometimes I think I could be or would like to try and be at least and I don’t gamble but this habit has me addicted.

It’s a habit called repetition.

That life repetition leads me down the same paths every now and then and despite the fact I think I am going down another path in a different direction. It’s usually when I am halfway along the path I realise hang on, this looks familiar and it’s at that point I make changes. Progress is made but life can feel like one step forward, two steps back. Thankfully I am aware of it. Thankfully I make the changes.

Some will say well that’s life but I know it isn’t it’s  a habit and it’s a destructive habit that needs to be addressed.

Do you understand that? I know you do and I know maybe you experience it also. Why? Because it’s a very human thing for us to be like that in life and business. To repeat and do the same old thing again.

The problem with this habit is it can make you frustrated, angry, resentful at the lack of change and success and ultimately it can lead to you being frozen to the spot if it’s not addressed.

  • The same route
  • The same path
  • The same ideas
  • and worse - stuck in the same place

They all leave you totally stuck stuck stuck!

I see it all the time and I mean all the time with clients I work with. Of course you’ll feel this isn’t you, how can it be?

Are You Stuck?

Here’s a pattern an embedded habit I see in businesses; A fortune gets spent on the business structure. That means cool office, the best equipment, latest gadgets, and lots of meetings with lots of PowerPoint from experts in dark suits waiting for applause and finally of course … The Car (BMW preferred) …parked outside imperceptibly decomposing and rotting money even as I type. At this stage ZERO marketing or true business building has been done!

I even saw a client once spend almost £30,000 on a freestanding reception desk that could barely hold a computer on it. That was habit of his ego and he replaced the desk a year later as it simply wasn’t practical. Now they have coffee, tea, cookies and lots of circular stains all over the 30k desk in the dark damp back room where his slaves sit and moan.

And then there’s the wages, the costs and just about every other expense in business. Yet the situation always seem to be the same when clients contact me and its this … we have everything our customers want and need we just don’t have enough customers. Our advertising doesn’t work, our marketing team seems clueless and we are getting deeper and deeper into the red or they are simply not getting the growth that would just be perfect for them.

Yet it’s all part of the habit

And that’s the habit of doing things the things that are expected to be habitually done. Crazy right? Yes its so crazy we all do it all of us including me.

Yet every now and then the moment arrives when we have to get serious and be honest and that can be hard for you to face.

One of my millionaire clients has the habit. He has cash pouring through his fingers all the time but is always broke. I have worked on and off with him now for well over twenty years and the habit is always the same.

Big office, big staff, big invoicing, big visions and lots of cars, lots of holidays, lots of wine and women in no particular order yet he is always broke and struggling for more and more yet his outgoings are so huge even great incomings never pay for things. I think he’ll die and get buried in a cardboard box – recycled of course!

He makes me laugh when we meet because the story is always the same yet he never confronts it, waits to go broke and then repeats the habit all over again.

His Habits Always Destroy What He Builds

Recently he went for another medical to see if he was dying again. He has this machine that reads and delivers a 3d image of all of his insides. Once he thought his brains was his kidney and thought that his kidney was so misshapen that he had a week or two to live.

Then once he found out his illness was all stress related he went and bought his 6th sports car to make him feel better yet … he couldn’t pay his staffs wages that same month. I fear he is heading down another total breakdown, closure and then repeat.

And then very predictably just a few years ago he lost over fifty million pounds and this wasn’t the first time. Nuts right?

So Unless You Change Your HABIT Your Habit Will Always Control You

If the habit controls us our life remains the same. If our life remains the same and we are not happy with our current results and then the reality is, it’ll be the same if not worse the older we get because your body and mind simply wont be able to keep fighting all the stresses and strains of the habit. Time to act?

Can you make any changes or maybe the real question is are you humble and wise enough to realise that you have the habit in your life and changes must be forced through? Most people with habits don’t believe they have habits. Go ask a clairvoyant to ask any of rock n rolls famous 27 club (the rock stars that overdosed and died at 27 years of age).

My mother believes in herself in a big way and always has done. She doesn’t like me but I do admire her. She believes that you are weak to ask for advice and you should fight through everything and battle everyone until you find out the answers for yourself. I don’t accept that and I have watched the consequences of that acceptance of the habit in my mother’s business life.

Yet she was one of the very first pioneers of the health food shop on the high street. There was no such thing as a health food shop when she had her shop. People came from miles to get her advice, it was very cool. She knew every working of the body from a holistic view back to front and with her medical training she was just amazing. She always wanted to do it her way and NEVER took advice from anyone. I had to endure garlic tablets each day and go to school stinking of garlic in the classroom. That wasn’t great for a 10 year old Scottish immigrant I can tell you.

In the mid-1980s a now famous health store offered to buy mother out at a high rate just to get her out of the town because her expertise was such a threat to them. She refused any advice and decided she would fight them to the end (think of brave heart in a dress). Mothers shop of course closed and the giant of health foods and supplements have well over 659 stores in the UK today. Where’s mum’s? (I know you’ll be wondering why she doesn’t like me now – that’s a whole other story for another story time)

Why did she lose out? Her habit was so deeply entrenched that change for her now becomes the impossible reality.

I have seen this habit in action so many times yet times have changed and 2014 running a business is very different. The difference is of course the web. When I say the web I don’t just mean having a website but I mean the way connections are now made.

  • You have to connect and stop sitting and waiting
  • You have to be a leader and stop waiting to be led
  • You have to have brains and guts to take action
  • You have to build your cult or tribe around what you are offering
  • You have to make it easy for your buyers you are now know as your friends
  • You have to make sure the like you or they’ll unlike you over night
  • You have to make sure they are follower’s not just passers-by
  • Instant branding
  • Instant ideas
  • Instant memory installations
  • Instant likes
  • Instant everything for a world that is fast and thinking different
  • The need for speed has never been greater
  • Change must become your mantra because change is the mantra

The old ways used to be the best ways but the best ways are now the new ways. Delivery must be fast. People want viral, they want clickable, they want apps, connections, hangouts and everything at light speed. Zooooom!!!!!!!!

Habit Killing Your Business and Preventing a LIFE?

Yet is your habit running your business, running your job or even running your life? And you wont change because you didn’t realise you have to change and because you didn’t realise it you are not even thinking about change. All you are thinking about is what the hell am I going to do to make things better?

  • Change starts as a thought
  • Change is a point to begin
  • Change is a plan
  • Change is a strategy
  • Change is an action

Change has to be done if you need change but habit hates change so it isn’t easy because you love to be habitual and you don’t even know it… YET!

When I started orange beetle in 2000 it was almost impossible to get anyone on email from my old AOL address – even in 2000. I had to call everyone because hardly anyone had an email address.

Today that can sound so ridiculous. Everyone has a connection and is connected at light speed. Nobody wanted an email address but everyone now has an email address. Changed pushed through because of necessity.

I asked all of my four kids what they use to communicate and why and they only use iMESSENGER now. Why? They said its fast and yet I thought email was fast but apparently not as fast as messenger because you can see the other person typing a reply right away in messenger. That’s cool and that’s a change for me.

Beyoncé sold millions of albums overnight using images on Instagram

Radiohead delivered a genius way to sell millions of albums but giving them away or the fan could pay what he felt the album was worth

Prince gave away a double album in a Sunday newspaper

Why?

It increased their sales. Do you think the music label wanted to do that? No way, they never wanted in a million years to break their habit but that habit was smashed by change and change changed everything. Of course change in the music business is nothing new just read the book named 'The Grateful Dead on Marketing a band' … very cool!

They all broke the regular habit of doing their marketing the same old way. The habitual way and the unchanged way and nobody liked change and if they don’t like change they soon go back into the habit.

This is the 21st century but are you still living in the habit of the last century?

Why? Because you think it should work because it’s always worked right?

  • People don’t live how they used to live 3 years ago never mind 10 years ago
  • People don’t do business like they did 5 years ago
  • Everything is changing but is your habit holding you back?

HABITS are tough to break but even tougher to recognise and admit.

I understand I absolutely get it - habits can be a killer and I have and still have plenty of them that need changing yet how about you? Are you simply happy to carry on as usual and hope and pray changes will take place? If that's the case the bad news is they never take place on their own. Do you maybe feel like you have tried a lot and still cannot mange that big breakthrough? Are you feeling so stuck that you are really just not sure what direction to take next.

I CAN HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR HABITS

I’d love to work with you, partner with you and guide you into change.

  • I understand how it feels to be trapped by habits
  • I have helped myself and many others move forward fast
  • I have been involved in many changes over the past 30 years in business with some incredible success stories
  • I have mentored many new business overruns and established business owners into more success and change of habit
  • I am tapped into every source that is tuned into change
  • I live and breathe change
  • I study how buyers think and act and finally buy from you
  • I am obsessed with mind triggers and mind directions and all the twists and change that take place in a mind before a purchase is made.
  • I have written, completed strategies and alliances with people like Jay Abraham, Jay Conrad Levinson and many many more giants of business
  • I eat breakthrough information for dinner each day
  • I have been doing just that and smashing habits and creating changes for over 30 years

If your organization needs a habit change that could be holding you back from advancing

If your marketing is like most others embedded with old habits I will see them in a second for you

If your own mind is stuck, trapped and cannot break out I can guide and mentor you into your new change.

Will It Mean More - MORE OF WHAT?

And lets be frank here what does the breaking down of habits that are backed up with change mean for you?

Profits and more of them?

There’s nothing dirty about that word but maybe you need a strategy that is more in tune with a new world and that is ‘giving back’ because your new century customers expect you to be giving back. Do you do that or are you out of the habit?

Are your messages into the media the same old stuff that no one really cares about anymore? Habit!

Are you feeding into a old-mindset that passed away with the last century? Habit!

Are you doing everything you do in your life and your business out of pure habit?

Habit is the death of most things. It creates boredom and prevents change. Habits tells you that you cannot be wrong yet your bottom-line is telling you that something is wrong.

I have helped changed and transformed businesses and lives fast. I have turnaround business, lives and created spectacular changes and sales for my clients.

Just imagine what I could do for you with my 31 years of experiences?

I’ve won with direct mail with insane 47% response rates yet they told me that couldn’t be done. The client had a habit of sending out to 5000 a month regardless of the result. I said stop, cut it back to 100 mailers and made the client over 800k… smashed his habit and created change!

Look …

Shall we talk things over to see if I can actually help you or are you already resisted doing that because your habit tells you that you know best and what could I do for you that you don’t already do?

Maybe you have no bad habits, maybe life is great and maybe you don’t need change of any kind. That’s fine I hope you enjoyed what I shared so far and I didn’t waste your time. Maybe you have enough sales or you love your job and for you it’s not a habit its something you just do because you know you have to do it.

I never used to read. I never read until I was around 46 years of age as a serious way of learning. Today I read maybe five books every week. That was hard for me to get into but it worked.

I read newsletters about marketing that you will probably have never heard of. I am inside inner circles that create billions in sales (not millions) for business and am a student of the human being, the human mind and words that can change everything for you. I’m an early adopter of all things even the stuff that fails bt I love to give it a go and see where it leads.

I even once sat on the street all night long in a big line to buy a new Video 2000 so I could watch movies at home. It was minus 5 on January 2nd 1980. Do you know anyone that has one of those dinosaurs now? Change!

Yet even after reading this far your habit is still probably telling you no to change and here is why.

You are maybe thinking now what will this cost you because your habit tells you that everything has a cost.

Yet my services and alliances have never cost any of my friends and cleints a penny and I will tell you why.

Yes they have paid me and paid me well but here are a few numbers to look at.

  • Paid £5,000 and got a return over well over £200,000
  • Paid £10,000 returns £300,000
  • Paid £15,000 returns £489,000
  • Paid £10,000 returns £1.2 million
  • Paid £35,000 returns of £250,000 a month
  • Paid £15,000 returns £74,500
  • Paid £500 returns £15,400
  • Paid £7,500 returns £2.4 million

Now your habit is telling you that to work with me will cost you but the reality is that it NEVER costs an of my clients money to work with me. Can you see why? The habit says no yet the proof tells another story.

  • Yes an investment has to be made but the returns are always huge.
  • Buying a huge office is not a good investment it’s a massive cost
  • Buying a stack of cars is not a good investment it’s depreciation

The habit has told you what is what but it isn’t. The habit takes you down a path that you have been walkng down for years and will resist change. I can pretty much guarantee your habit is stopping you from taking action and working with me right now yet ask yourself this.

  • What do I need right now?
  • Am I getting what I need right now?
  • What would I pay to get what I need right now?

One client came to me and told me he had to get to five million over 24 months. I worked out everything and realised that 8 million could easily be reached. His business was a new business but he had a habit of telling me I was wrong.

So we talked and talked and exchanged emails and calls.

Finally it came to a fee or as I like to call it a reward. I told him this. “If I can create sales of 8 million for you I would like to be rewarded well” He told me ”fine name your reward” I told him that I would like a reward of £400,000 plus a vintage Triumph motorbike as a bonus” His reply was something like this.. “Are you serious I don’t want to pay more than a few grand and that is outrageous” Maybe you think, “Holy shit Alan that’s outrageous” … do you? OK but now lets think about this.

He had a new business that was going head on into a very strong and established arena with a lot of huge competition in the world of muscles and fitness.

I had ideas for his new product that were current, new, and diverse and put a strategy together that would put him into the top of his market in 7-21-days flat.

At this point all he had to pay me was a monthly residual to cover costs and wages and a small down payment of just £20,000 for us to get started. The £20,000 would barely cover costs from my side but it was a commitment from him.

The rest was to be paid on a deliverable agreement of hitting figures. The first number was £2 million in turnover for him. This would give him lots of sales, lots of profits, and lots of fun buying toys and would help him pay back his Russian investors very comfortably

Yet…

He was being over ruled by his habit. His habit was telling him contrary to the facts. The facts were I was going to help his new business create sales of £8 million. His habit was telling him I am not paying this stranger for marketing that any monkey could do so he went to an agency… it didn’t end well!

Yet marketing companies and agencies do what they do – create flyers brochures and stick you on Facebook and wouldn’t ever dare promise turnover of £8 million pounds! Of course a promise of a number is hard to keep and cannot be guaranteed but if we never hot that number I never got paid so they were in a win-win.

The client had invested over a million into a deal in Moscow Russia to make this happen. His house was on the line but he drove a very nice Bentley so he would look good in his meetings.

We never worked together his habit stopped him and change wasn’t in his agenda. Two years later his partner emailed me to talk about a new business he was planning. I called, we talked and he told me that the fitness company had folded with huge debts and almost NO sales.

I did say wow but I wasn’t surprised after all this is the 21st century and you can play 20th century games around here.

Why did he fold?

Because the habit over ruled the mind and the mind deceived the man. He believed doing things the way things should be done was always enough and that would pull them through.

NO – not in the 21st century where everything is about

  • Fast
  • Change
  • Smashing old habits
  • Creativity
  • Invention
  • New
  • And being smart

And being smart means doing things different and doing things different means taking action and taking action means taking action against habits and the old ways.

Even kids hardly have habits these days but everything is new new new.

Did you resist me? Have you though this isn’t right? Are you getting bored now? Are you awakening to the reality that embedded habits are killing your business and giving you a life you don’t want?

Shall we talk?

I’m always interested in interesting alliances with interesting people or even boring people that want to do something interesting.

As you might know I am creative and always looking to get rewarded well from my customers. I am open to lots of adventure, motorbike riding across the USA and renting out paradise islands for our business meetings. Are you or are you so restricted by old habits you cant bring yourself to hit reply and speak to me?

I am sat here right now with my feet on the table whilst writing to you and drinking coffee. The coffee is strong Turkish coffee as prepared by my partner Tamuna. It keeps my high and buzzy. I had my first drink of coffee just 3.5 years ago. I decided to change a habit of green tea only because it was utterly boring. The habit still wanted tea but now it’s coffee. Coffee brought me love – literally. Change is good and confronting habit is good.

Soon I shall be finished doing what I am doing so I am ready to break some habits and make some new friends and incomes.

  • Shall that be you and me?
  • Shall we meet in the USA?
  • Shall we meet in my house in Tbilisi Georgia?
  • Shall we meet in London’s best restaurant?

Where shall we meet?

If you are thinking Starbucks forget it. Manchester? OK that’s cool in the right place. Or how about I come to your office or home?

Did you realise I can come and train your marketing team. You know the ones that rent delivering for you right now. I can do lots but that means you breaking a habit.

My mind is thinking big, it’s on big and I am looking for smart entrepreneurs that understand that every now and then you have to do something really different to make an impact and that won’t start in a cheap coffee shop where all the smelly reps look over spread sheets on cheap laptops.

Are you ready to break the habit – your habit? The habit that is holding you down, pinning you to the ground and threating your business and even threating the way you live your life?

If you business folds will you lose you home and all the stuff you love to play with? I am here I am ready and I can’t wait to work with you.

I can even help you start a new business. That works and some of my mentor guys do incredible stuff with their new business.

  • Everything is possible for you
  • Everything can change for you
  • You can be your change for yourself

All you have to do now is take the first very small step and that is hit reply to this email with your number and some information about yourself in there or send me a text to

UK 07793 069 486 OUTSIDE UK 00 44 7793 069 486 All you have to do is put the words… LETS TALK CHANGE

Finally … I am looking forward to talking with you, meeting you and creating change through shifting and removing habits.

Ready?

Lets do it!

Where shall we meet? I can fly anywhere if I think the reward for helping you is great enough.

I know – it was a long email. Sorry if it wasn’t what you expected but if it wasn’t well I am not right for you. Either way hold in there I have some good stuff always coming up and would love you to be a part of that.

Shall I share a story with you before I go?

It’s a story of change and the breaking down of a restricting habit.

On December 2009 I was alone and pretty broken after a long 5-year war and battle in divorce. It was horrible and close to killed me. I never did anything alone, I was a home bird and loved having family around me.

I thought how do I break this because if I don’t I will be alone forever. So I bought a ticket to New York, flew there for New Years Eve on my own and confronted my habit of hiding away. I was terrified. A new friend named Sam emailed me seeing I was in New York and promised to look after me for a day or so.

The first time we met he asked if I wanted to go out in the evening to a club. I don’t do clubs so I said… YES. I wanted to break the habit. He said can I meet him at the empire state building at midnight? I go to bed at 10pm so I said YES as I wanted to break a habit. He took me to the biggest baddest black mans rappers club in the west side of Manhattan and I can tell you when you are the only white guy there I felt freaked. I dint want to go but I went and I loved it.

One thousand plus hard-core rap fans bouncing to a 50-cent type rapper. I loved every minute – loved it!

Then I walked home alone at 4am through the streets of New York getting approached by prostitutes and almost getting mugged. Why did I do that? So I can reform my mind, break habits and create a new way to do things. That trip changed a lot of life for me – I loved it!

19955_268754881424_3104530_n But I didn’t want to do it. I was worried on the plane thinking what the hell am I doing going to NY all alone. Then 5-days of doing everything I had never done before.

It broke me and smashed my habits. Sometimes you just need to get out of the comfort of your habit and do something so new it changes everything for you.

I’m ready to help you. MENTOR – I am ready to work with you. STRATEGIC ALLIANCE – just ask.

If you read and are ready to change your habits we what the hell are you waiting for … Hit reply and let’s talk

Your man on a Vintage Triumph Motorbike heading to LA from New York

Alan Forrest Smith – The destroyer of Habits!

MY ACCLAIMED MENTOR PRGRAM CAN BE FOUND HERE

33% Response Sales Letter Interview

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Below is an interview I did over 10 years ago ( I think). The interviewer wanted to know more about a letter I had written that pulled a huge 33% response.

Here's the interview.

JY: Hi, this is Jerry Yeo from AdWriting.com, and today, my guest is Alan Forrest Smith, from AlanForrestSmith.com. Alan specializes in writing sales letters, and his sales letters have brought in millions of dollars in sales for his clients. He has worked with the leading marketers in the world, such as Andrew Reynolds, who is UK’s number one marketer, and also the Jay Abraham Group, and Marlon Sanders, and Michel Fortin and many other very successful marketers. And, Alan has also lectured throughout the world, in countries such as Russia, UK, Ireland, and he even has upcoming lectures in Milan and Japan. So, welcome, Alan.

AFS: Okay, Jerry, thanks, it’s good to be here.

JY: Great. so today, we’re going to be breaking down a sales letter that brought in an amazing 33% response, which is quite amazing. I’m just doing the math here, and it seems you’re making about ₤16 for every letter you mail.

AFS: Yeah, well, Jerry, I don’t know, because I write for the client, and the client mails it out, and he sets his own price, his own figures, his own breakeven. But, yeah, on this particular letter, the guy did very, very well with it, very well. And, he’s still running this letter. In fact, he ran this letter last week, and he sold 155 products with the letter, so he was very pleased.

JY:That’s a very good response. So, I’m going to just jump right in, so Alan, how do you prepare yourself before you sit down to write copy?

AFS: OK, well, to be honest, I don’t think I do anything in particular, or anything special, but I will tell you what I do do. When I have a first contact with a client, I get as much information as I possibly can about the whole project. The next priority beyond that is to find out about the target market of the client. My client is looking to sell to someone in particular. I try and find out as much information about that individual or that target market. I then read everything I can on that particular market, and I research as much as I can. When I’ve done that, that takes a couple of days, I don’t do anything, probably, for about two or three weeks. I think about the project. So, while I’m writing one project, I’m usually thinking about the next one.

So, that’s how I do it, Jerry, I just turn it over in my mind for about three weeks, two or three weeks. I then sit down and write, and it takes me probably a day to write the whole letter. This particular letter was probably about 20 pages when it was written. I sit down, write the letter. That will probably take me about 12 to 14 hours, non-stop, I’ll just go right through. And then, when I’ve done that, I go back to it in the morning, I just re-read it, I take some copy out, and then, I’ll leave it for a few days. Then, I go back after a few days, polish it, and send it to the proofreader, then.

JY: Okay, I see, so let me back you up a little bit. You mentioned researching your target market, so what are some ways you would recommend that we go about that?

AFS: Well, we’ll come, as an example, the letter I sent you.

JY:Okay.

AFS: And, I can tell you how I worked that particular one. First of all, this actual letter is for the business opportunity market, so it’s for the kind of guys that go on many courses, buy many how to do it books, how to succeed, how to pack in your job, so you’ve got to tune in to the mentality of that market. In other words, you’ve got to try and think the way that target market would think. So, these guys are thinking, I want to get away from my job, I’m fed up with 9:00 to 5:00, I’m sick of sitting in the car all day. What would be a good way for me to earn a month’s wages in a few days? So, basically, research the mindset of that market, where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they want to be. And, that’s it, really, Jerry.

JY: OK, great, so when you’re writing copy, do you use any kind of a formula?

AFS: I don’t really, to be honest. I mean, there’s loads of people talking about formulas, and you know, you can buy this electronic software now where you know, like Push Button Letters, or so on, which, actually, they’re not too bad. But, for me, it’s too formularized. I just believe that copy, I mean, I do like formal copy. For example, if I wrote a letter for a bank, it wouldn’t be in the style of the letter that I sent you. It would have to be more formal. Well, I don’t really use any fixed formula, but what I try and do is, I try and have a conversation through the copy to one individual, rather than talk to a big target market of 10,000 people at once. So, just try and keep it conversational, really.

JY: Yeah, and you’ve really done that in this letter.

AFS: Yeah, I think this is a good example of that, yeah.

JY: Okay, so I’m just going to go through the copy, and ask you questions along the way.

AFS: Yes, fire away.

JY:So, let’s start the headline, so I believe you’ve put a lot of thought in this, just this headline, so could you kind of break it down, how you created this headline, and what’s the psychology behind it?

AFS:Sure, well, just for the sake of the listeners, Jerry, I think what I’ll do is I’ll just read that headline out, shall I?

JY: Sure.

AFS: At the very top, in very small font, probably about a 10 or 12 font. It just says, “Important,” in bold, “if you are serious about creating a life free from 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions, you’d be nuts not to read this incredible story of...” “How Ex-Landscape Gardener turned Web Entrepreneur banked 2,540 UK pounds,” which is about $5,000 U.S. dollars, “in just 9 days from his ‘NEW’ First Venture.” Now, the psychology behind that headline, was first of all, it’s tapping into the target market, because the target market, they want to be free from a life of 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions.

So, first of all, you’re tapping into the way those people think, straightaway. So, if they want to be free from those 9:00 till 5:00 restrictions, well, you say to them, “Well, you’d be nuts not to read this incredible story of how…” And then, what we’re going to do is, we’re going to tell them a story of somebody who’s really done this, and we have an average guy, ex-landscape gardener, who if he’s always going to be a gardener, he’s not going to be earning great money. Notice how he’s turned Web Entrepreneur, and he banked this massive $5,000 in just 9 days. And, the point is, it says, “From his “NEW” First Venture.

So, in other words, all that headline does is, it says to the target, “Look,” it says, “you are the target market,” because that’s the way they’re thinking subconsciously, and then, it says to them, “Here’s an average guy, nobody special, who’s done this in 9 days, on his very first venture.” In other words, it’s easy, anyone can do it. You just need a system, and if you want to know the system, read his story.

JY: And that will lead them to read the story.

AFS: Hopefully!

JY: So next to the headline, you have, actually, a picture of a guy with a shovel…

AFS: Yeah.

JY: And, is there any reason why you decided to put the picture there?

AFS: Yeah, just to show, first of all, the eye will be drawn to the right.

JY: Yes.

AFS: Just naturally, your eyes are always drawn to the right, so the photo’s on the right for a reason.

JY: Right.

AFS: And also, just to show that this really was an average guy. And, this is an actual picture of the guy at work, so I just said to the guy, I said, “I need a photograph of you doing your daily, average job, digging a hole, filling a wheel barrow, and working in the cold,” because, if I put a man right at the beginning, sitting behind a desk with a big wad of dollars in his hand, well, the average person can’t relate to that. That’s what they want to be, but they don’t relate to it. Where, on this photo, it’s the average guy, doing an average job, average wage, and they can relate to that. So, they’ll automatically say, “Well, you know, if this average Joe has done this, I can do it, as well.” So, that’s the psychology behind the photograph.

JY:Okay, I see. So, now, moving along in the letter, I’m not going to read out the letter. The listeners are going to have a copy of this letter.

AFS: Yeah.

JY OK, so, but I see the first two-thirds of the letter is basically a personal story.

AFS:Yeah.

JY: So, is there any reason why you chose this approach?

AFS: Yeah, there is, I mean, you know what, Jerry, if you read a newspaper, what you read in a newspaper, is you do get some editorial. But, the really interesting stuff that people want to read is the stories.

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS: So, people want to know what’s happening to someone, what’s happening to a country, what’s happening to a nation, what’s happening to a product. People want to know stories. But, when it’s a one-on-one story, a real guy doing a real thing, he’s at home with his wife, he’s got all this stuff, all this junk piled up everywhere, and he’s suddenly become a success, people want to know why, because it’s intriguing. Because, just on a purely human level, people are always interested in reading about people who’ve achieved things that they’ve never achieved, because they think, yeah, well, I would love to do that. I want to be there, as well. If this guy can do it, I can do it.

So, stories are great. For me, stories out-pull anything, and what you’re doing is you’re sitting…it’s like one guy sitting on one side of a table, another guy sitting on another side of a table, both drinking a coffee, and you’re having a conversation. So, you sit there, and you’re telling this guy, “This is my story, listen to this.” And, people love stories, people just love hearing about people. So, that was the reason for the story, Jerry, on that.

JY: Okay, I see. And so, you’re sending a business opportunity product letter, and most people selling such products, they try to position themselves, like they say that, “I’m a guru, and I just discovered this new way to make money.”

AFS:Yeah.

JY: But, your letter takes quite a different approach.

AFS: Yeah.

JY: And, in fact, kind of self-deprecating.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And so, why did you choose this kind of approach?

AFS: Because, I think the reason…I might be wrong on this, Jerry, but I do believe the target market for this stuff has been absolutely destroyed, really, by online copywriters, because I think there’s too much of the same going around. And, when I first had this project, he wanted to go down that first approach, this is a guru, etc., etc., and I said, “What is the point,” because we knew that other projects exactly the same are drawn out to different mailing lists in the UK, and he would have been happy with a 2% response rate. But, for him to have a 2% response rate, meant to have a 98% fail rate, and I didn’t really want to go down that path, because I just felt we’ve seen it all before, we’ve heard it all before. People are becoming numb to the word, “guru,” the word, “expert.” People just don’t believe it now, and we do live in a very skeptical society, because we’re being fed so much junk.

I wanted to make it as real as possible. And, it was a little story. I just wanted to tell this guy’s story, exactly how it happened, so I avoided the guru thing on purpose, because I think it’s been hammered to death. But, Jerry, just let me say, I might be wrong on that. But, I wanted to take a different approach, and I think the response rate proved it was the right way to go in this particular case.

JY: Yeah, I think it really made a difference.

AFS: Yeah.

JY:And, so as I read your letter, I find it very disarming and, in fact, it seems that there’s some emotional bonding going on.

AFS: Yes.

JY: So, how did you achieve this effect with your letter?

AFS:Well, I think the best way to say it is as others said before, really. What I’m trying to do is, I want the audience, or the one individual I’m talking to, to be able to relate to the guy in the letter, so, eventually to say, “Well, yeah, I’ve made those mistakes, and I’ve wasted that money, I have tried this, I have tried that.” He’s tried it, as well. So, if he’s tried all this, and he’s wasted all that money, and eventually, he’s been able to make a complete success of it, well, maybe I can do the same, because, I think people like to think of themselves, and probably including myself, people like to think of themselves as I’m successful at what I do, I’m doing really well, you know, and nobody can teach me anything.

And, what I wanted really to do was to bring down every single barrier, which I think the letter did well, and just have a conversation, just sit and chat to someone, and just again, say, “This is my story. Anyone can do it.” And, I think the point was, it was to disarm the reader, to pull him into the copy, so that it’d take down every single barrier that he may have, and to keep him reading through the copy.

I mean, I think we have to remember that the whole purpose of a sales letter, initially, is to get read. You know, because if it doesn’t get read, we don’t get any response.

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS:So, you have to pull them in, and it’s a little bit like grabbing the end of a rope, and the individual is 100 meters away at the other end, 100 yards, and you’re pulling them in slowly. And, that’s what you have to do with a sales letter, you have to pull them through. People don’t want to read. People don’t want to read, I mean, in this case, it’s a 12-page letter. People don’t want to sit and read a 12-page letter, so you have to give them a good enough reason to pull them through the copy. And, you have to keep pulling them through, because as soon as they get…it’s a big boring, they’ll just burn it, it’ll just go straight in the trash.

JY:Okay, so…and, I see that along the way in your copy, you sprinkle in lots of seemingly meaningless details, like, for example, the part about waking up the wife in the middle of the night.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And, imagining himself on the beach, and all those…is there a reason why you included these details?

AFS:Yeah, there is, because I think I try and pinch some of my ideas, again, from newspapers, and from things like kids’ books, as well, because I have four children, and we read all the time. And, I like the way that they actually build pictures in peoples’ minds.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:So, people can…see, Jerry, the thing is, I didn’t want to just tell the story. I wanted them to be able to look into this guy’s house, and I wanted them to see him unloading everything from under the stairs. I wanted them to see him having this great idea, and running upstairs, and waking up his wife with excitement. I wanted them to actually see that, and to feel that, because what it does, it creates a little bit of adrenaline, as well. Along that stage, you can feel the pace of that letter actually picks up, then, because, he says, “In the morning, I didn’t want to go and do my landscape gardening, I didn’t want to cut the hedge. I needed to do this…”

So, it goes from kind of a story, and the pace picks up then, and becomes a little bit more exciting. And so, yeah, they’re meaningless details, but it builds a picture of the guy’s life, and that was the point, really. See, because a lot of these guys that do these biz opportunities, you know, they’ve already spent thousands, and you know what it’s like if you’re a married man, and you’re going to say to your wife, “Listen, I want to spend another $3,000,” she says, “You spend another $3,000 and I’m going to throw you out the window.”

JY:Yes.

AFS:So, I was just trying to make it as real as possible, really.

JY:And, along the way, I see you have pictures along the way, and also, there’s hand-written notes.

AFS:Yes.

JY:About hand-written notes, aren’t they kind of untidy? Why don’t you just type in directly to the letter?

AFS:Because, one, the hand-written notes are supposed to look a little bit like an afterthought, so it says, we’re going through the letter. And, again, going back to newspapers, if you look at newspapers, they will have many headlines just stuck right in the middle of copy. Now, in this particular case, to be quite honest with you, I would normally put hand-written notes in the margin. In this case, I wanted to try it within the copy, so that was why I put the hand-written notes right in the copy because I wanted it to stand out, and we have to remember, when people read…if somebody gets a 12-page sales letter through the Post, they’re going to read the headline, they’re going to flick through the pages without reading them, and look at the sub-headlines.

But, the stuff they will read, they’ll read the copy that’s underneath the graphic, and they’ll read any other copy that stands out, that was different. For instance, on Page 7, you just see, “I’ve banked a monster 2,540 in only 9 days.” Well, as they flick through the copy, they’ll read that, and it’s exactly the same in a hand-written note, because it stands out. As they flick through the pages, before they decide to read the whole letter, they will read those little notes. And, I think the one that you’re talking about is the one that says, “I hate computers.”

JY: Yeah, that’s right.

AFS:Yeah, the one that says, “I hate computers,” again, that was to get onto their level, because I want these guys who do these biz ops with people like, I don’t know, Internet marketing opportunities and so on, a lot of them are not that good with computers, and one thing that holds some of them back is, they’re terrified. “Well, I have to build a Website, I have to…I don’t even know what auto responder is, how to use e-mail.” You know, because I deal with a lot of these guys, and they’re a bit frightened of using this stuff. So, it was just, again, it was just to get onto their level. You know, it says, “I hate computers,” well, they’re thinking, well, that’s good, because I hate computers, as well. So, it was just to get right on their level, again there, Jerry.

JY:Yeah, and I can see you repeat that point many times in that letter.

AFS:Yes, that’s right, yes.

JY:Okay, and so, since we are on the topic of cosmetics, so, could you explain like how do you pick out these sub-heads and all these phrases that you underline and emphasize?

AFS:Okay, well, again, this has got to go back to the second the target opens the envelope, he will take the letter out, and he will see the headline. Beyond the headline, he’ll flick through the letter, and he’ll pick up the sub-headlines, and he’ll pick up anything that’s unusual in the boxes, the hand-written script, copies, or the offer or the P.S. at the end. So, what you do is, I’m just going through the letter now. You see, you’ve got this big headline at the beginning, and the next thing the guy would find interesting is, “Here’s what I did to make 2 months’ wages in just 9 days, flat.” Then, this other one, “Check out my private sales ledger from my first crack at changing my working life below.” And, then there’s one under there, I think it’s Page 8, it says, “Steve, can I copy what you have done and earn some serious cash?”

So, again, the headlines, the sub-headlines, they’re usually to emphasize a point, and I think it’s important to remember, as well, Jerry, that most of these little tips and techniques are grammatically incorrect, and incorrect grammar within a sales letter can work very, very well, because if you have a letter that’s too grammatically correct, people generally, as a sales letter, wouldn’t read it. They think, oh, no, just another letter, tear it up, in the trashcan. So, when it’s grammatically incorrect, it tends to draw the eye, because it’s a bit different, you see? And so, really, most of the sub-heads and the cosmetic stuff are there for a reason, and the reason is to catch their eyes in reading through it, because most people will scan read it first.

I think you mentioned the bit about the how to, why was the how to boldened up.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:Well, in the bullet points, in fact, Jerry, do you want to move on and I’ll step back in line.

JY:Oh, it’s OK. So, let me back up a little bit.

AFS:Sure.

JY:You mentioned one point just now about grammatically correct.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:Yeah, I noticed this letter has a very folksy tone, and it just seems like someone just scribbled a note to his friends and pasted a few pictures in it, just sent it out without any editing.

AFS:Yes. That was the whole idea.

JY:Yeah.

AFS:Because, it had to feel as real as possible. You see, the purpose was not to look as if it’s been written by a copywriter.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:The purpose was, to look as if it was just a letter from a friend…to a friend, as if that was the whole purpose behind the whole thing. If this was going to directors or CEO’s of big companies, it would have to be absolutely right. But, you’re sending to a similar mentality, and you have to tune into that mentality, so it has to feel and appear as if it’s from a friend, simple as that.

JY:Yeah, and along the way, there’s a lot of places where you ask yourself a question, and then, you answer the question, yourself…

AFS:Yes.

JY:…many times in the copy, so is there a reason why you’re doing that?

AFS:Yeah, the reason for that is, that target audience for that letter would generally ask themselves those questions, so what you did is, you’re actually raising a question, that the target would have in their minds, and you’re giving them the answer. So, as they read through it, they might be thinking…can you give me an example in the letters, and I’ll try and go through it, any one in particular, Jerry?

JY:Yeah, so, for example, “Steve, can I…,” there’s a big sub-head on Page 8, “Steve, can I copy what you have done, and earn some serious cash?”

AFS:Right. Okay, so, and then, Steve says…”I say a big yes. I should know, I have done it.” And so, it’s raising the question and giving the answer. So, the point is, maybe at this stage in the letter, maybe they’re saying, “Well, I wonder if I could copy what he’s done?” So, really, what you’re doing is, you’re pulling out the thoughts in the mind of that individual, so you know at this stage of the letter, the individual may be thinking, Steve, I wonder if I could copy what you’ve done? And, Steve says, “Well, I say a big yes! I should know, because I have done it, and if I can do it as an ex-landscape gardener, believe me, anyone can do it, it’s that simple.” So, yeah, so, the questions are raised, on the basis that the target may be thinking the same thing, and then you offer the answer. All that really does, Jerry, is it really shows that individual that they’re making the right decision to buy, that’s what it does.

JY:Oh, so it’s kind of like if it was a face-to-face selling situation, the prospect would be asking that question at that moment.

AFS:Exactly, that’s it, yeah.

JY:Yeah, okay, I see. And, I see, I’m looking at the bullet points right now, and it seems your bullet points…do you actually target your bullet points at different objections that the prospect may have?

AFS:Right.

JY:Like, the prospect may say, “I don’t know how to create a product,” so one of your bullet points is, “How to create or find a product that Web users are looking to buy.”

AFS:Which page is that on, Jerry?

JY:Uh huh. And…

AFS:Just give me the page number, and I’ll put that one in.

JY:Page 8.

AFS:Oh, Page 8, okay, yes.

JY:So, do you do that intentionally, like to answer…?

AFS:Yeah, again, it’s just the answer, because for some, I mean, if you’ve read through to Page 8, they’re going to start raising questions in their own minds. So, you have to start giving them just solid, simple answers now. And, when you say, “How to, how to, how to,” because they could be thinking, well, how am I going to do this? How am I going to find this perfect thing? How am I going to find a product? How do I build a Website? I hate computers, I hate the Internet. I don’t have thousands of pounds to invest. You know, how am I going to drive people to this Website, or this product? There’s all sorts of ways at the end of it, it says.

So, you’ve got to draw out the mind of the individual and pull them into the copy. So, really, what you’re doing, Jerry, is you’re answering the questions that they’re thinking, and again, it’s just…you know, you said before about the face-to-face, it’s just, it’s face-to-face selling in print, that’s what it is, just on a one-to-one level.

JY:Yeah, and since we’re on the topic of bullet points…

AFS:Yes.

JY:Do you use formulas when you write bullets?

AFS:I do not at all, really, it just depends on the product, to be honest. I mean, I’m not sure exactly what you mean, so I’ll tell you what I do with bullets.

JY:Okay.

AFS:The format with bullets, I do like bullets on the how to, how you can see the first how to is bold, and then, it stops. Well, I think that makes it easier to read. And also, what I tend to do with bullets…I don’t think I’ve done it in this letter, but on other copy, what I’ll do, is I’ll take the one word from the paragraph in that bullet point that sums up the whole paragraph. And, I will put that bold, at the beginning of the bullet point. Because, some people, and again, I base it on newspaper writing, some people do not want to read the whole bullet. So, if you can say it in one word, well, say it in one word. And then, you can break down that one word in a few more details through the bullet.

And, I also like the way John Carlton does bullets, and kind of use that effectively. John Carlton uses a technique called, “double punch.” And, the way John does it is, he uses a very powerful headline, but a sprinkle through his bullets, he’ll use another powerful headline alongside the bullets, so you have your bullet point. Then, in your brackets, you would have another headline. So, you would have a double headline in each bullet. So, I think the way he does it is really good, really.

JY:Yeah.

AFS:Yeah, he does that very effectively, yeah.

JY:Yeah, I love John Carlton’s bullets.

AFS:Yeah, it’s good, yeah.

JY:And, let me back you up a little bit. You mentioned you tried to sum up the whole bullet into a short phrase, and then you put it right in front of the bullet…

AFS:Yeah.

JY:…in bold. Do you have a few examples of that, like, offhand, can you think of a few?

AFS:The one I can think of, offhand, is not actually a bullet point, but what I did is…I mean, as you know, I have two Websites, there’s OrangeBeetle.com, which is my main Website, and I’ve just launched a new Website, which is AlanForrestSmith.com. But, with AlanForrestSmith.com, I tested loads of headlines, but I’ve wanted to do something a lot simpler, on the basis that I wanted it to be more like a classified headline, rather than a story headline, just wanted to try something different, really. So, if you look at that Website, the only word it says in the headline is, “impact.” It doesn’t say anything else, apart from impact. So, we have impact, and then you have three smaller words underneath. I can’t remember exactly what it says, Jerry. I don’t know if you can bring it up in front of you. I’ve not got a computer where I am.

JY:Let me bring it up. It says, “Impact, results, response, profit.”

AFS:Right, and then you’ve got a few results underneath. I tested loads of headlines before I came to that, and the reason we used that is one, that Website, at the moment, is just under 30% conversion rate from visitors. And, when I say, “conversion,” that is not conversion to sale. That’s a conversion to responding the form at the bottom. So, at the moment, it’s doing really well, and that headline, I think…what you could say is, “How would you like to build your business by 67% in 5 days?” And, if you build your business by 67% in 5 days, well, obviously, that’s high-impact advertising.

So, what I wanted to do is, I wanted to do a classified-style headline, which, basically, you know, you have to say as much as you can, with as few words as you can. So, the word I settled on in the end was, “impact,” and then the other three words underneath, which, hopefully, sum up why they get the impact. So, that’s the best example I can think of at the moment, which is working very, very well for me.

JY:Okay, so, now, going on to Page 10.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:Just the point about ask for the order, and you say…there’s a little sentence that says, “Do me a favor, though, just don’t expect hidden secrets from the Pharaohs or any other miraculous program.” So, is there any reason why you decided to put that sentence there?

AFS:Yeah, there is, Jerry, because I think what’s happened…I mean, let’s be honest, advertising and copywriting has been around for decades, hundreds of years. So, what we’re doing is nothing new, really. But, I think…one thing I don’t like at the moment, is I think a lot of online copy is destroying the credibility of copywriting, to some extent. There’s some brilliant copywriters, like Michel Fortin, I mean Michel does fantastic stuff. His copy’s great, and there’s loads of copy out there that is really good. But, there’s a lot of this really, really bad stuff, and what’s happening is, these copywriters are selling absolute junk through words, and I think what’s happening is people just don’t believe it.

So, you know, it’s saying there, “Do me a favor, don’t expect hidden secrets from the Pharaohs or any other miraculous program.” What we’re just saying to them, “Look, I’ve told you exactly what it’s done for me. Don’t just buy this product and expect to be a multi-millionaire overnight, because it’s just not going to happen.” And, that was the reason that paragraph was put in, just to make sure they know that it was just a real live product that anyone could use, but it’s not a miracle cure, you have to work at it, simple as that.

JY:Yeah, and I do agree that it really adds to the credibility.

AFS:Yeah, I mean, that is the word, Jerry, credibility. It makes it credible, yes.

JY:And, also like, in this company, like Steve, the client, he says so many…when I’m reading it, he says so many bad things about himself, that he has to be telling the truth.

AFS:Yeah, that’s right, yeah. And, that’s the point, I mean, you know, we’re not all Supermen, are we? You know, we’re just all average people doing average things, and every now and again, we all do something a little bit special, but all this mess on line, that if you buy this product, you’ll make a million, it’s absolutely rubbish. I mean, I wrote with a big company in the UK, these guys sell fantastic marketing stuff, you know, the Terry Dean stuff, the Corey Rudl, Declan Dunn, all the good stuff. They’re only something like 25% of the people who attend their seminars, actually do anything with it. And, these guys are paying 5,000 UK pounds to go in the seminar.

You know, but I think what they expect, Jerry, is they expect to take it home, put it in the house and think now I’m going to make a lot of money. It’s not like that. You know, just buying a pair of scissors, doesn’t make you a great hairdresser. You’ve got to pick the scissors up and practice, and practice, and practice, and then you become a great hairdresser. And, the principle’s the same with this stuff.

And, you know, I think when I write copy, I’m really zeroing away from the fact that I don’t want to tell anyone it’s a miracle cure, I don’t want to tell people they’ll make millions, I don’t want to tell people to do anything with it. I want to tell them real life examples, and I want them to say, “If this guy can do it, you can do it, but you must follow the system.”

JY:Yeah, okay, and right now, I’m on the last page, and there are three P.S.’s, so could you kind of explain what you try to achieve through the P.S.?

AFS:Well, the P.S., I’m not sure about P.S.’s, really. I’ve never really tested them to the limit, myself, but a lot of other people have tested them, like Dan Kennedy, and Michel Fortin goes on about his P.S.’s, and quite a few others go on about the P.S. Very honestly, what I do is I just copy what other people are doing, as far as testing goes. You know, the current line of thinking of testing with a P.S., is three P.S.’s work better than one, and that is the reason I used three P.S.’s.

I just want to say, looking at this letter now, because this was done quite some time ago, I think these actual P.S.’s are quite weak, but P.S.’s can work very, very well. And, again, what I’ve started doing, and I’ve been doing for a while now, is on my last P.S. is I think, a pinch from John Carlton, on my last P.S., using a testimonial in it, or a couple of testimonials. I think just doing a testimonial in P.S.’s, it’s interesting what John Carlton does, because sometimes, what we all tend to do, if somebody sends us a testimonial, we tend to use the whole thing, but what John Carlton does is he says, “Just take out the three or four words of it that does the work, which are really powerful, and glue them together, and use it that way.” So, I think that’s a better way to use a testimonial, especially in a P.S.

JY:Okay.

AFS:Just remember, with a P.S., as well, you know, going back to the beginning, when people scan read a letter, they scan the headline and the subs, and then, they always go to the P.S.’s, as well as the offer. So, it’s important to keep the P.S. very strong, and give them a reason to buy in, or to read the copy.

JY:I see, and you spoke about testimonials. Is there any reason why there are no testimonials in this letter?

AFS:Well, there is because…with the actual product, the actual product is a Terry Dean video and some other stuff, Marlon Sanders, and so on. This particular product has been hammered to death, so I really didn’t want the letter to read like anything anyone else had seen already. In fact, I think what’s interesting about this letter, it doesn’t actually talk about the product.

JY:Yeah, you’re right, it just talks about the end results.

AFS:Right, it talks about Steve and his experience.

JY:Uh huh.

AFS:And then, at the very end, the product gets a slight mention. You know, “This is what I use, order it, and I’ll send it to you.” So, I didn’t really want to use testimonials in it because I really…all I wanted to do with this letter was to tell everyone an experience, what happened to someone that worked well. And, this guy’s basically saying, “Look, this letter is my personal testimonial. It’s worked for me, it could work for you, but you have to do it.” So, testimonials, although we have loads of testimonials from people we didn’t know, I didn’t want to use them, really. I just wanted to keep it very personal.

JY:Okay. Now, Alan, I’m really going to put you on the spot, now.

AFS:Go ahead, fire away.

JY:This is the Alan Forrest Smith Challenge, okay.

AFS:Yes.

JY:Okay, so, suppose you had a time bomb planted into your body, and you’re given an assignment, a piece of copy to write.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:And, the copy has to succeed, or the time bomb will explode in your body.

AFS:Yeah.

JY:So, what are the three most important things you would do to make sure that the letter succeeds?

AFS:Right, well, the first thing you have to do is get their attention. So, the headline is crucial. The second thing you have to do is give them enough information, that they could be thinking about in their minds. And, the third thing is to give them the biggest desire to act that they could ever possibly want. I think David Ogilvy, famous copywriter, sums this up really well, because he talks about subway advertising. He talks about how subway advertising fails really badly, and it’s because they try and write a long piece of copy while people are stuck in the subway, hoping that people are going to read it. And, actually inside the cube on the train, itself, you know, the boards that you have, and what David Ogilvy said of this, you’ve got to say it quick, you’ve got to say it fast, and you’ve got to give them a good enough reason to act.

And really, I think that’s the whole thing, really, great headline, great reason, and a great reason to act. So, basically, the usual thing, you’ve got to attract, inform, desire, and get them to act on it. I think that just goes back to the classified-style copy, as well, Jerry. You know, if you can say in one word, say it in one word. You know, a lot of copy…especially new copywriters, think, well, I’m going to have to think of this great headline, and they think of these headlines which are about 20 words long, or whatever. If you can say it in two words, three words, five words, say it in that amount, because if you don’t catch them with the headline, they won’t read the rest.

JY:Yes, okay.

AFS:Has the bomb gone off?

JY:No, okay. Alan, you’ve given so much great info on this interview. I know my listeners are going to want to know like what other resources or any services you have that can help them?

AFS:Okay, well, the funny thing, Jerry, since I’ve been copywriting, I’ve been…my work in life, I started working very early really, was a bit of a young Entrepreneur, but my first job, I was a landscape gardener for a few years, and I used to wash cars, and I used to do all sorts of things. And then, I became a hairdresser, and I had a chain of hairdressing salons, and due to that business, I started doing my own copywriting. So, probably for the past 10 or 15 years, I’ve been writing stuff for myself. But, for the past three or four years, I’ve been doing it as a living, and this is what I do all the time now.

So, for copywriting, I think the best thing you can do with copy is, first of all, you’ve got to learn from the masters. Now, when I say the masters, I tend not to read a lot of the modern day guys, because I think what they do is they dress up a lot of the old people, you know, like the John Caples and David Ogilvy, and Leo Burnett, just all the real old masters. I think if you can get into them, that’s great, and of course, Claude Hopkins’ “Scientific Advertising,” which everybody talks about, but I just wonder how many people read it. You know, I’ve read it…I must have read it 10 times, at least. But, I wonder if people buy it and think, it’s a little bit too simple, so they don’t read it. But books like that are brilliant books.

Also, find someone you can copy, so if you can find a mentor that you can actually…if you can get his advert., his sales letters and so on, and you know he’s successful, you just copy it, and I’m not saying blatantly copy it and use it as a working piece. I’m on about copy the style and everything else. And, when you’ve got his style right and you know it’s working, well, what you start to do is you start to develop your own technique, your own thoughts, your own thinking, and you move forward from there.

But, the most important thing, I think, is to just start writing because just even this letter that we’ve gone through this morning, or this evening in your country, this letter that we’ve gone through now, I’ve not read that letter, probably for 12 months, and I’m reading it, and I’m seeing a lot of mistakes in it, really. And, I’m thinking, you know, oh, I should have changed the P.S.’s, I should have done the headline different, I don’t like the sub-heads. And, the point is, the more you write, the better you become, because you can start chopping out a lot of junk, and you start to understand that people don’t read certain things you write, you know, so there’s no need to do that.

And, just keep writing, really, Jerry, keep on going. Try to copy someone. Can I just tell you what really winds me up these days?

JY:Sure.

AFS:I think…now, don’t get me wrong, I love John Carlton, I’ve got all his stuff, I’ve bought all his stuff. I love what John Carlton does, and you know, when I see his examples and his DVD’s, you know, you get loads of great ideas, and you go, oh, fantastic. And, the same with Gary Halbert, as well. I mean, who wouldn’t click open a Gary Halbert page and read it? You have to read it, because his copy is done in such a good way, you’re pulled all the way through.

JY:Yes.

AFS:And, the same with Marlon Sanders. Marlon Sanders, fantastic to read his stuff. The one that gets mine these days, Jerry, is everybody thinks they’re John Carlton or Gary Halbert, or Marlon Sanders, and what’s happening is, we’re going to loads and loads of Web pages or Web sites which look and sound exactly the same now. So, people are not defining themselves with a real definite face. I mean, years ago everybody knew Ogilvy had done this, or people knew that someone else had done that, and so on.

These days, everything’s mish-mashed into each other, and people are just trying to copy, copy, copy. But, don’t get me wrong, I mean, I think copy’s the best way to start. You just duplicate something that someone else has done, but I don’t think…it must infuriate John Carlton and Gary Halbert, or maybe flatter them, I don’t know. Everybody’s trying to copy exactly what they do. Because, the problem is, you know, people stop reading it in the end because it all looks and sounds exactly the same, and let’s face it, there’s nothing as good as the original, anyway. So, it’s very important that yeah, you copy these guys initially, but you progress and develop your own style, it’s very important. Sorry, Jerry, I know I’m rambling on there.

JY:Oh, no, no, it’s okay. So, could you give us more information -- I know you have a couple of Websites, and you have a copywriting service, as well. Could you give us more information about your Websites and how people can get in touch with you?

AFS:Sure, yeah, well, and anyone can contact me through OrangeBeetle.com, or they can contact me through AlanForrestSmith.com. And, I have a few new projects which are not ready to go yet, so I won’t let you know. I also…I’ll just give you another real interesting thing, I have another website called Hairee.com, and Hairee.com is a good example of how to establish a niche online, because this particular Website just draws on past experiences from running and owning hairdressing salons, and it’s now one of the biggest hit Websites just for hairdressing salon-owners in the world now, so that does very well.

There’s a couple of services, you can e-mail me at OrangeBeetle.com, or AlanForrestSmith.com, and OrangeBeetle… OrangeBeetle is moving towards being more of an agency. Probably over the next 12 months, you’ll see more of that. I have nine first class copywriters that I work with on that one, based in Canada, Australia…they’re based all over the place, to be honest. So, that does really, really well. That’s grown unbelievably, really. The phone numbers are all the same, as well, it’s UK 00-44-1925-764-422, and I’m not cheap. I try to stick being a premium, top end copywriter, but I think with a 33% response rate, I can justify my prices.

JY:Yes, and would you like to spell your Website URL’s in case people are listening?

AFS:OrangeBeetle is O-r-a-n-g-e-B-e-e-t-l-e.com. AlanForrestSmith.com is A-l-a-n-F-o-r-r-e-s-t.com. Oh, sorry, no! It’s, A-l-a-n-F-o-r-r-e-s-t-S-m-i-t-h.com. See, there you go, Jerry, that’s why copywriters need proofreaders! I can’t even spell my own domain name!

JY:Okay, so thank you, Alan, for taking the time today for this interview.

AFS:Well, you know what, Jerry, I mean, I’ve had all sorts of invites, and just to sit and I tell you right now, I’m sitting in the middle of a field by an orchard, surrounded by sheep. I don’t know if you can hear them, Jerry, there’s some tractors in the background. So, I just live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and I’ve just come back from Russia for four days, which was incredible. So, I’ve had a little busy four days, but just to sit here and be interviewed, you know, by a guy in Singapore, who I’ve never met, and we’ve had a nice chat, nice relaxing conversation. And, even just going through these things refreshes my mind, so I’m really grateful that you’ve asked me to do it, and I just want you to know that I’m grateful for your listeners that they’ve taken the time to listen, as well.

JY:Okay, so thanks a lot, Alan.

AFS:Okay, Jerry, the pleasure, it was all mine.

JY:Okay, see you, bye.

AFS:Thanks, Jerry.

JY:Bye.

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The 47% response Rate Sales Letter

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The 47% Sales Letter

How the hell do you get 47% response rate to conversion from a direct mailer? Especially when the guy had already been mailing every couple of months with a dismal response.

This is a true story.

The story will shock anyone involved in marketing.

The story will also be hard to believe.

The businessman has asked for his name to be protected.

So it started with a cake.

A guy walked into my business one day and asked to speak to me. I walked over introduced myself with a smile and asked what I could do for him.

He handed me a box and said I heard you love Mille Fleur cakes (I do) so I brought a couple for you. He had got my attention right away. The cake wasn’t opened there and then but we drank tea together and shared a cake. His problem was really simple, brutally honest and threatening his marriage.

His problem was this.

He had set up a new company with a partner just around one year previously. The partner was now screaming his brains out and threatening all kinds of actions if more sales weren’t made.

You couldn’t blame the guy because he had pulled together an investment of just under a million to kick-start this project. The project included a mad-scientist from the mountains of Switzerland where he worked in a deep cave where he and other mad scientist were working like crazy to save the world. However …

Almost one year had past and sales were pathetic.

I asked him what he was doing to take this new business to market. He told me the following about his campaign.

“Each month I send direct mail to a list of highly targeted prospects”

“How many pieces do you send out?” I asked him.

“I send around 5,000 a month, sometimes more, sometimes less”

“And you get how much response?”

“Most of the time I get no reply”

“No reply?”

“Yes” he replied with a face that looked grey and surrendered to a battle he now believed he could never win.

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Yes one thing”… he stalled for a moment, looked me in the yes and smiled.

“This is weird but if this doesn’t work now my wife is leaving me with our two kids”

“Wow” I replied.

SOLD HIS WIFE'S CAR

He then went on to tell me that he had sold her car, sold their small holiday place, and had re-mortgaged his home 3-times to make this dream business happen. The same dream that was now fast becoming a nightmare of nightmares.

So for the sake of getting to the point here is what I did (because this is a long detailed story).

Five thousand direct mail letters a month for this guy was like a King's ransom. So the first thing we did was reduce the volume of mailers. Why? No response after all the mail he had sent proved his targeting was way off.

Second, we hand picked just 100 targets from his list to chase. All were more specific to his product and a higher end client. The list I used was a leverage campaign. This meant they had dealt with him before so this increased the possibility of the sale.

Third, we stopped trying to sell from the direct mail but created an intimate evening where they were all invited to join us, listen to professional advice for the target’s businesses and receive free gifts for from the evening. This allowed the target to get to know my client before making any commitment - trust!

The build-up period for this small gathering was just 4-weeks as time for the client was now very tight. The mailers were packed with good news, urgency and a strong call to action.

One thing I spent a long time persuading my client was to create an offer that was an acquisition offer. This meant rather than make money from the first sale he would actually spend some money to buy his new client. This is a killer strategy that almost no one uses.

All of the one hundred direct mail letters were sent.

Out of the 100 targets, 47% responded and were booked into the open evening. All apart from one arrived on the evening. We used another strategy to ensure all came.

The evening began with a small presentation. The presentation gave the guests more than they could ever have expected.

THE BIG CALL TO ACTION

Finally, at the end of the evening, there was to be a call to action.

It was really simple. I removed ANY profits from the first sale to the client. This removed all risk for the potential new buyer. So a package that was to cost £2,500 was reduced to just £1,100. This was cut-right back to the cost price. This is the acquisition strategy.

So the reality was for everyone that bought on that night it was going to cost my client to buy them. It cost him around £100 per client. Honestly, he didn’t quite get it but trusted me at the time.

Here’s the good news.

His wife never left him.

His partner didn’t fire him.

That evening was had a 12-month value in sales for him of OVER £800,000

All from 100 direct mailers.

All from stripping-back his wasted and thoughtless marketing campaign.

All from a response from a tiny almost microscopic list of just 47 prospects.

And it all started with a cake and a dammed good one at that!

So looking back what went wrong for him?

GET IT RIGHT FROM THE START

Really simple, he did what every business I work with has been doing for years before we meet and that is just do marketing with no thought at all.

  • If you get your planning wrong it just won’t work.
  • If you get your strategies wrong it just won’t work.
  • If you use tactics that are just not suited to your targets – it just won’t work.

So when you create your own sales letter you have two things you can do.

Hire an expert copywriter that understand words, paragraphs, openings, closes, body copy, offers, guarantees and more.

Do it yourself and hope and pray to God your wife or husband doesn't leave you in the middle of your hapless efforts. But seriously why take a risk or a chance or waste time trying yourself?

The client above is proof of that and believes me when I tell you 99.9% of clients that come to me despite doing what they have done for years waste fortunes on marketing that will never work in a million-billion years.

Over 30-years in business has taught me one thing … thinking and planning a campaign through is always the key but the most and biggest thing I have learnt in business is this…

Ask for advice and where required a cake offering can help.

If you need help planting a rocket in your marketing systems … you know here to find me but be quick and to the point – I’m a busy man.

I’d love to help you.

Peace and cakes.

Your beard wonder - Alan Forrest Smith

PS. You'll like to read Direct Mail The Lead Sales Letter Sample article

How to writer a sales letter article

Marketing Budgets and Costs

How to Create Flyers That Sell

MENTORGIF
MENTORGIF

Mentor Tips For FREE

What do we actually do in MENTOR?

Here's 11 Things You Can Do Today To change Your Life or Business Without Spending a Single Penny From My Business Mentor Program!

I thought it would be interesting for you if I shared today some things we do on MENTOR. Clearly not everything is here as MENTOR is bespoke for each client.

Ready? So here is an initial list I do with my MENTOR guys and of course you can do or should do yourself. OK ready to go?

YOUR LIFE?

Remember everything is life and life has a time on it. The real problem is you don’t know when the time stops (it does and will stop).  All you know is the clock is running and at some point it will stop dead.

So think about your life.

  • Are you happy?
  • Is it a struggle?
  • Do you feel like you hate everything?
  • Is it simply a life you no longer want?

The bottom-line is this. MENTOR is built around life not life built around MENTOR. If life isn’t happy you can do as many MENTORS as you want but ultimately happiness isn’t about money or playing the high-flyer, it’s a much deeper and more human thing that I like to address right at the start of MENTOR.

So you can ask yourself these few things right now

  • Am I happy with how my life or business is right now?
  • What changes can I make that'll change things?
  • What is causing the problems with my life and business?
  • Can I fix those problems and create a happier life and business?
  • Can I build a business that will support my new-life choices?

YOU MUST STOP

Why stop?

Well if everything was working just fine you wouldn’t be reading this so stop right now - Stop everything you're doing and ask why it isn’t or hasn’t worked for you right now. The reason we do this is to look at the lessons to be learnt. Your life is filled with patterns that you will be repeating. There are some great discoveries come out of this process and it’s pretty amazing that by simply stopping you can see what is happening.

Years ago I drove all the way to Wales in my car with a noise coming from the rear left wheel. It got worse and worse and worse until smoke began to come from the wheel. I then of course drove the fifty miles back home. I carried on until one day the wheel had locked and refused to moved. I called the rescue service, they arrived and told me I need a whole set of new everything for that wheel.

The final bill on this old Mercedes came to £2,100. It all started with a problem that should have cost almost nothing to fix. I finally got rid of the car but it cost me heavily.

If you are having problems with your life or business you need to…

  • Stop
  • Get out look at what the problem is

Only when the problems are fixed … you get back in and start to move again. Business and marketing is no different. Don’t do what most new clients do and that’s keep throwing cash at everything just hoping it will work because it should work. The only way to solve the problem is to be objective and proactive and sometimes that simply means – STOP!

YOUR LOCATION

Think about where you are right now with your business and your life.

  • Are you where you want to be or should be?
  • Do you actually ever think that through in your business?

If you jumped in the car this morning and told your wife or husband you are driving somewhere. He or she asked where are you driving? And you replied somewhere that is better than here. Yet if you have no destination to reach or planned how the hell will you get anywhere? You can drive and drive yet if you have no idea where you are driving to you won’t get anywhere. Make sense right?

You think your business is any different? You need to know where you are aiming to get to otherwise you’ll drive around in circles. (I know lots of car analogies – vroom vroom).

  • Look at where you are right now.
  • Find out why you are there because it could be a repeated habit that needs addressing and fixing before you move forward.
  • Look over your history, look at your tools and skillsets and then take corrective action.

YOUR DESTINATION

Where are you going and how will you get there? You need a destination to aim for. Be realistic. I once had a client say to me they wanted to turnover £1 BILLION in two years selling key fobs that were to retail at just £2. Each. Do you know how many key fobs you actually have to sell I asked her? She replied NO but she felt she could do it. Guess what happened?

So when we plan our destination we don’t simply talk about ‘yes I am going to get rich and do really well’, we plan each specific objective.  What is it for you personally and write it out in absolute tiny detail. Plan your life and the changes you need to make in your life to make your destination a reality. Most never take into account the life changes yet it’s the life changes that will make the changes. If there's no winter there can be no summer - change has to take place.

For example some will say they simply don’t have time to plan yet once we do time management and planning suddenly a lot of wasted time reveals itself. One client was driving his car back and forth for over 15-hours every week with his kids. That’s 15-hours that were wasted because his kids asked for a lift rather than walk or get a bus. Now they get a bus, now he has stolen back his time to build his success and make changes.

So ...

  • Know where you need to go
  • Know how you are going to get there
  • Plan your final outcome
  • Write and detail out everything including exactly how much income is realistic and needed to help you create a new life.

YOUR STRATEGY

To drive anywhere takes a strategy. Will you drive direct up a never-ending traffic packed 500-mile long road or take the more scenic routes through the countryside? Once you know you must create a strategy to make it happen. If there are no strategies in place (yes more than one) nothing will happen I can promise you that!

When we build strategy we talk about things like seeding, positioning, branding, framing and many other strategic importance that most miss but make a huge difference to business and life.

  • Do you know how to create strategy?
  • Can you find out how to build new skills?
  • You must plan your strategy in detail
  • What is needed to make it happen for you?
  • Can you get what you need from the resources you have?
  • Have you mapped out the strategies in a diary and on wallboards?

YOUR SKILL-SET

You cannot drive a car unless you pass a driving test. To pass the test you must take lessons. Right? The skills that are need for above are bespoke for you – no one else. This means you need to create a skill-set that is carefully chosen to suit you, your personality and your overall plan for your life and business.

The good news is - It’s easier than you might be thinking you just need to get started.

  • This could mean reading a lot to start with doing select and scan fast-track-system
  • This could mean learning new skills – like mastering Microsoft word or excel or a computer if you don’t use one
  • This could mean hiring in staff to do the jobs you really don’t want to do yourself

Once you know what you need go get them and practice until the skin falls off your fingers. You cannot become an F1 driving ace unless you drive each and everyday around that damned killer track! Find out the skills

  • Find out how to learn them
  • Steal back time to learn them
  • Practice the skills until your are a master
  • Anything you need to buy to do this has NO-COST – it’s always an investment for you.

YOUR TOOLS FOR CHANGE

No questions, if you need them to move forward you must go collect exactly what you need to get the job done. I personally paid £270 for one collector’s book on marketing. £190 for another and I have at least 3-5 books arriving into my home every week. I buy a book to read one chapter and even one paragraph. Once I invested $5,000 for a bit of information that transformed one aspect of my business. The investment was worth every last penny.

If you don’t order the tools you need you’re in the wrong mindset. If you are in the wrong mindset nothing will happen for you and you should simply get get another job until you are ready?

  • Need a new computer, order it now (you can get one cheap on eBay and even the returns and refurbished page on Apple's own website)
  • Need software – order and download (stop looking for FREE software - free is what it is - valueless)
  • Need books, order them on eBay for low price (I have one book I pad £7 for I swear returned to me hundreds of thousands of pounds but - you have to read and act on what you read)
  • Need a killer pen, go buy one ( I use a pen that cost me £60 but you can get pens for pennies)
  • Papers and anything else – you need to get it otherwise you won’t move forward

GET STARTED - WILL YOU?

Open the doors, put in the keys, sit on the drivers seat and for Gods sake start driving. It’s amazing how many businesses I see that can spend weeks, months and even years planning and you know what – they still don’t get started. It’s really simple – get started and even if it isn’t quite right or goes a little wrong just get started.

Once you know the above making a start is easier but still hard all the same.

Do you find it hard to get started – why?

Find out the answer. We use a special tool I have developed to find out exactly why that happens but you might be able to find your won way of asking why? Is it fear? Is it something else? If you always struggle to get off the starting block you simply need to get a start.

WRITE

For those that I MENTOR as writers (as I MENTOR many businesses and consultants) I sat and worked out how many words I write a year and the number was pretty staggering yet I also felt the number I arrived it was under-estimated. I write around one million words a year.

Years ago there was a snooker player whose name is Steve Davis. He was asked how often he would go to the table and practice as he was winning championship after championship. His reply astonished me … 12 hours a day, 7-days a week.

Then in later years David Beckham the soccer player was asked a similar question. His reply was 8-10 hours a day just kicking a ball (I have no idea what you do with a ball for 20 seconds, I thought you kicked it once and that's it).

Recently I fell in love with artist Lucien Freud’s work. His paintings are a work of genius to my eyes. I watched an interview with him and although he never said how much time he spends painting (and gambling and womanising)  his assistant revealed Lucien painted 7-days a week from the moment he climbed out of bed until he had done enough each day.

The lesson is clear – if you want to be good you need to put in the time. To be a good writer you must write daily and if not daily as often as possible. I can always see the massive difference between my MENTOR students that write a lot and those that hardly write at all. So you can ask yourself.

  • How often do I write?
  • How can I get more time to write?
  • Do I realise to get good I have to practice?
  • Can I make a new habit to practice daily?
  • How many words can I write daily?
  • How do I find the time?
  • Can I steal back time?

REALISM Vs. DREAMISM

Being realistic isn’t easy in a world that makes claims of nothing being impossible. Actually there is nothing wrong with admitting that some things are impossible. For example it’s just not possible for me to ever live on Mars. It’s just not possible for me to be 25 years old again. It really isn’t possible for me to do things that I just know I cannot do. So some things aren’t possible and this is what we talk about in MENTOR and that is being realistic. You must ask yourself this same thing!

Over the years I have mentored students that have read the odd book, seen a speaker here and there and have come to believe that they can do great things with little effort. There’s a guy I see around online a lot. He like a lot of his partners sell from stage. This guy in particular sells how to become an expert speaker. So in the audience people will sign up for this at £5,000. They go to the training, get the training and then they are awarded a sheet of paper that tells them they are now a speaker. The problem with that is if you have no business model, no experience, nothing to teach others, and a lot of other critical human elements missing you will never in a million years become a speaker that creates huge sales of millions of pounds.

What the expert on stage never tells you is that he has spent a lot of money and a lot of cash training to become the expert he has become. In lots of cases these experts have spent many many years training to be who and what they are yet they promise others they can be the same in a weekend. In others words – it’s just not realistic.

So in MENTOR we get real ands realistic. We bespoke and create the MENTOR for you and no one else. In other words what could be possible for you? One MENTOR I worked with came to the conclusion that if he did just £18,000 the first year he would be happy as this gave him the option to change his job because he had replaced his wage whilst at the same time given himself a raise.

So ask yourself this…

  • Are your goals realistic?
  • Are they dream based and impossible for you (at this time)
  • How real are you aims for you?
  • How real are the possibility of your outcomes?
  • How real is it that you can actually do this?
  • If they are not realistic how can you create a roadmap to the bigger goal so you can make the unrealistic eventually realistic?

Even if you never sign for MENTOR in a million years has this page helped you today? This is just a tiny part of what I do each week per 90-minute session with my guys. The changes I have seen over the past 9 years MENTORING have been huge.

So there you have it at least 11 things you can do today without spending a penny and all guaranteed to improve your life or business. It's just up to you to make it happen.

If you enjoyed this article and tips from my business mentor program please feel free to leave a comment, I'd be grateful.

You can join MENTOR here and I promise you this it’ll be the very best investment you ever make into your life.

Your MENTOR and man of beard wonderment.

Alan Forrest Smith

Muscles Marketing & Mentor

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Direct Marketing Consultant - With Muscles!

See that photo above?

Yes it’s me so don’t click away just yet as there is a point to this story.

I know its a bad picture but its a picture in bad light of me in the gym this week.

The arms and chest are real - Here’s what happened.

At the end of last year I decided for once in my life to takes my own advice and get a mentor, here’s why.

Those that know me know and understand I am untrainable, I listen to no one and rarely take advice unless … The person I am asking knows something I really don’t know despite I think I might know.

So at the end of last year I looked at myself naked in the mirror and frankly didn’t like what I was seeing. I had gained weight, was losing my shape and really wanted things to change.

Now heres the interesting part.

I started using gyms in 2007 and once i started I lost 20-30 pounds in weight. Maybe a year into that I started to gain weight again and couldn’t get the shape I wanted to be.

I have spent a small fortune on

  • Fitness DVDs (stacks)
  • Fitness books (hundreds)
  • Diet books (a whole library)
  • Equipment (everything)
  • Bars (I have them all)
  • Bells (ring-a-ding - yes every weight is here)
  • What looks like a million multi-vitamins and protein shakes and more.

I read them and that’s about it … I just read them.

The pile got higher and higher and higher. In fact I probably have a copy of every Men’s Health magazine from 2007 in my home gym just lying there collecting dust.

I keep buying them like an addict hoping that one day just buying them will be enough for me to lose those extra 14 pounds hanging around my waist.

It never happened. It hasn’t happened and at the end of 2013 I had enough so I decided to go and find myself a MENTOR of my own.

Let me tell you I hate the idea of paying someone to tell me what I think I know yet the mirror was telling me that I clearly didn’t know what I thought I knew.

Meet Lewis My Trainer.

Lewis is a twenty-year-old 5 foot 7 inch trainer at my gym. He’s blonde, looks like he’s just 15 years old he also looks like he’s never shaved and still has spots.

When I met him on the first day I actually said to him are you serious you look around 15!

He laughed, I laughed and we went into the weights room where we sat and talked. He asked me… what do you want from this?

I told him I am not interested in weight I just want to look like Wolverine. He laughed and said lets get on with it.

It’s been hard, really really hard.

Each session is one hour although is passes in what feels like minutes but I can tell you this.

It’s tough, it’s full on and the last 15 minutes almost kills me (especially the Abs work).

At the end of each session I can barely move never mind walk out of the gym and go home. It’s a killer.

Now four weeks on and little by little I am starting to look like a pink version of the incredible hulk (ok that was overkill) but in just 4 weeks I am starting to see results. (even I was shocked at the photo above)

And here’s what’s interesting.

My fitness MENTOR has done in just 4-weeks what I haven’t been able to do in 5-years on my own.

We are training together all the way until May so by the time myself and my warrior woman go to our other home in Tbilisi, Georgia my body transformation will be complete (for now).

And yes …

  • I fall back into crisps
  • I am still addicted to cakes
  • I can eat dozens of Kit Kats
  • And I still get it wrong but I am doing my absolute best to jump if Lewis tells me to jump.

I don’t know about you but I have learnt something really valuable about myself and it’s this.

If someone can help me get somewhere or do something I just couldn’t do for myself the past 5 years well why didn’t I pay for it earlier?

The answer is I don’t know but here’s what I do know. If I had booked a trainer earlier on it would have saved me years of moaning and groaning about not looking as good as I wanted to look.

  • If my trainer tells me to do it - I do it.
  • If he asks me to do something - I do it.
  • If he feels I’d be better jumping around naked to get a result - I will do it.

Why?

He knows what I don’t know and what he knows is bringing in a result after all I have already bought everything over 5 years and the results have never looked as good as this.

I really didn’t want to do another 5 years looking and feeling the way I was feeling. Yes FIVE YEARS I failed to take no action apart from order everything I read and equipment i never used and diets I never followed and fads I couldn’t keep.

By the time we go away in May hopefully my goal of looking really the way I want to look will be hit.

So the lesson is clear but how about you or your business?

It’s my experience that most people I speak with and deal with in business are almost the same as I have been with my fitness. They try everything themselves and get zero or mediocre results. Nothing seems too happen quite the way they expect. The marketing team are just doing what they learnt in their marketing degree. Those with no degree just copy those with the degree or even worse they do the marketing themselves.

It’s crazy when you think asking for an experts advice can change everything about your business and hence your life.

Over the years I can boast some crazy results for clients that anyone can be proud of. I have increased businesses by 53.3% in just 4 weeks. I have even generated well over $500,000 in 21 days for one client from zero. I have saved one clients business from bust and generated over £2 million in sales for him. I even magically generated £15,400 for another client in just 3 days.

I can tell you hundreds of stories just like that and more.

ALL had taken the route of trying and hoping yet all were clearly failing and failing fast until they finally got a mentor that would guide them and help them.

That photo above is me after just 4 weeks. I can’t wait for the next photo maybe in another 4 weeks. I just hope I can kill this belly fat :)

Finally - Over the past 9 years mentor has been helping business just like you make massive changes.

A critique can increase your response rates by huge percentages - Just ask me. Consulting can literally turn your whole business around in days - not months - Just hit reply and ask.

Having copy written where every word is carefully crafted can transform everything in your business - Just ask Roy who experienced a 4000% increase after his sales letters were re-written.

Critique - Consulting - Copywriting - Mentor

Don’t do what I did and spend year messing around and not getting results. No one in the climate can afford to do that anymore and you’ll know that,

I’m ready to help you and work with you but - ARE YOU? Contact me right now.

I have to go meet my beardless trainer now at the gym for session 8… It’ll kill me but the results are more than worth it.

Speak soon.

The new Wolverine…

Alan Forrest Smith

Real Price of Marketing

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Some business meetings and decisions are like staring out of a window whilst drinking coffee and thinking about the next day of. That has a real measurable price.

The Real Price of Marketing

Businesses complain about the costs of marketing. You want to know how much marketing REALLY costs?

After working with clients for the past 15 years or more there are certain things that remains the very same every time I get a phone call and its this.

Marketing sounds too expensive I can’t afford it.

Then they fly away and start working with what they think is a cheap marketing team that have no idea how to create strong powerful direct marketing. The campaign predictably  then fails so they move on to the next team and do the same again. And then to the next team and do the same again. Then after trying for a year or two they call me again and ask me to review, critiques and then help with a new marketing campaign.

So truthfully what is the REAL price of marketing?

If you are a business owner and  entrepreneur or a marketing guy running a team read this and prepare for some truths.

I am going to base the following article on 5 staff because that isn’t uncommon although its a lot lower that what a lot of my clients have.

Look at this. This is male or female but I have used male for the example.

  • £50,0000 for a Marketing Director
  • £35,000 for his car
  • £1,200 for his mobile phone
  • £20,000 to install his office
  • £1,500 for his MacBookPro
  • £600 for his iPad
  • £20,000 a year for his bonuses
  • £10,000 per year (low) for travel, hotels, overtime and other bits

That is £138,300 per annum so far for one marketing expert.

Then ...

£130,000 for 4 team members

They might have cars and they certainly have offices and equipment.

£150,000 at a very low guess

Total estimate (which is way under) is

£288,300 annually for a team of marketing experts.

Once the team is in place the years of feedback I am getting is this … most of these guys have no idea what they are doing.

  • Adverts don’t work
  • Direct mail campaigns fail to respond
  • Social media flopped
  • Email is a waste of time
  • Billboards irrelevant
  • Database marketing (the most profitable) is never used and if it is used its used badly

The most the marketing experts ever seem to do is book in advertising space and then spend the companies cash on marketing into that empty space.

The ads are mostly developed in-house by graphics guys that have zero idea on what makes the mind of a buyer actually work and the words are usually done by the in house copywriter that rarely writes anything apart from a 10,000 texts a day to everyone and anyone.

They appear to know nothing as judged by their results. Please prove me otherwise!

You know the things like the 16 micro-second mind response to an image and how the beta brain decisions then react. Pros know there are mind triggers or switches and what we do is create powerful words or images designed to flick triggers that are already in place.

Yet strangely enough most marketing geniuses in offices have no idea.

They will create new urls like Facebook.com/thebrand yet who goes to Facebook to buy a BMW?

Here's the bizarre thing... The owners/directors.CEOs can allow that behaviour to go on for year after year after year.

Recently I got an email from a client asking for his adverts to be reviewed. He runs 300 staff and a huge business yet the business had flatlined over the past two years.

I have to say the adverts were bad, really bad. Everything was slick but what a glass of orange with a straw and a cocktail umbrella had to do with property services is beyond me.

These ads were failing - they had failed!

It was obvious why to me and it was obvious why to the CEO that had contacted me.

I wrote half a dozen new draft ads for his team to use.

He loved them and told me they reminded him of the market that built his empire 25 years before. He then sent them to his director who was getting paid a huge sum to make this company profitable.

Three months later I heard nothing back. Six months later I still heard nothing back. Eventually I got a reply telling me marketing he has the adverts in the review pile. Almost a year later I contacted the client that contacted me in the first place and he said he had almost given up trying to get his director to review them.

God knows if they were ever used but think about the scale here. A business that is flatlined is in decline. The life of that whole business was now in the hands of a few people that couldn't make a decision because the director of marketing had a new baby and he was tired. He actually emailed me personally telling me to stop making demands to his boss as he was very tired and at the time of emailing me drunk! (true)

That's a 25 year empire and 300 jobs or 300 lives on the line because no one can see the value of marketing.

Think about this also.

The lost time, the lost sales and the overall decline of a business that has a far wider reach into the community than just the 300 staff.

If they went bust that means less taxes paid into the economy. That means more unemployed, That means more stress on a fragile economy.

And can you imagine writing a pay check for 300 staff each week when your business is struggling?

That's the real price of marketing yet... It can be fixed easily and the companies out there can stop paying the price for bad un-directional marketing.

Here's the thing in his case...

A new set of adverts could have created a new set of incomes and clients yet... They failed to think through the real cost of marketing.

  • Did you know database marketing can increase almost any business by well over 100% in just 12 months?
  • Did you know sending out lower volumes with more targeting can give you huge rewards?
  • Did you know sometimes it isn't even about the words just one simple image can make or break and advert?
  • Did you know the worst thing you can ever do is buy in a list of any kind?

It doesn't take a lot for a business to tip into the red that's for sure.

Do you need help, reviews, critiques, copy, advice, or a strategy session so you can avoid the real price of marketing?

Contact me here.

Marketing Budgets and Cost

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The Price of Marketing How much does it cost to do your marketing? Well I could give you my rather predictable reply that marketing should cost nothing yet the reality is money has to be invested to make marketing really work.

So rather than try and explain this to you from my own thoughts let me look at this from how you are probably thinking about it.

Now the truth is marketing should cost you nothing and the reason for saying that is the return should always outweigh the investment.

For example: I personally need a good strong reliable hardware and software in my office to be able to perform successfully.

In my case that meant at my last upgrade

  • 27 Desktop iMac with every bell and whistle you can think of.
  • MacBookPro fully loaded.
  • IPhone latest always

In total it maybe cost me around £5000 and that doesn’t include extra software I paid for.

My pal said to me Alan you can get computers for less than half the price you paid and of course I am not simple I know that but here’s the thing that makes the investment a second thought not a first thought.

EVERYTHING that is created, written, planned and performed in my business is created on those machines and every year a machine is a major part of my business and marketing process.

I also seem to get a minimum of five years from every computer I have owned so think about this.

That investment returns for me

  • Annual turnover
  • Annual profits
  • Client’s turnover
  • Clients profits And is has clients paying me tens of thousands of pounds on a regular basis for strong returns.

Yet I still have to do an initial outlay yet the returns are so huge the outlay becomes almost irrelevant.

So how much should your marketing cost you? Lets look at an actual campaign.

This campaign involved

  • Direct mail
  • Website
  • Direct mail Unfortunately for a lot of business out there that read marketing books and websites from ‘experts’ that have never experienced marketing in their lives but have read plenty about it they do have a habit of sending business owners just like you down the wrong path.

They can and do tell you things like

“A killer sales letter is what makes the sale”

“Well laid out direct response advert works really well”

And so on.

Yet …

Every target has it’s own mind triggers and mind conclusions and mind experiences that have to be met and if you don’t meet them I don’t care how good your copy is it wont get the sale.

And if you have every done incredibly well but you send your materials to the wrong targets you will have just thrown away your efforts and investment with no return.

So I will explain this in UK pounds for you.

To send 1,000 pieces of direct mail can cost

  • 1,000 stamps will cost you £1,000 to get started
  • 1,000 envelopes with design and copy
  • 1,000 single sheets or multiple sheets
  • 1,000 lift letters
  • Color print
  • A designer’s time
  • A copywriter’s time
  • A strategist’s time

And

  • Market research
  • Target research
  • Lists

Total at the absolute lowest I have seen is around £10,000 but a realistic price is £15,000

2. WEBSITE Once the direct mail goes out it must be supported by a website. Why? Almost 100% of all buyers search online before they visit or call – FACT!

So even if the direct mail is delivered perfect yet the website hasn’t been strategically put together with strong copy and strong design the direct mailer will come to nothing.

  • Good images
  • Good media
  • Direct call outs
  • Mind-set triggers
  • Good navigation
  • Good layouts
  • Strong copy
  • Strong call to action
  • Easy to follow sales path

A good website alone  (basic) can take around 45 - 100 hours of time to build. Those hours are anything from £25 - £60 per hour.

That build will usually involve two technicians and one consultant. There is also the copy to add to the website.

That is three wages and a copywriter.

A website that is designed to sell will cost around £5,000 minimum.

So to start with for your marketing you now have around £20,000 and that is £20,000 I know you will see as a cost.

And as nothing ever goes as planned you should have a contingency of around £5,000 just in case.

This is a start-up GUESS-TIMATE.

(YES you can get cheaper but I have clients that pay cheaper many times before they come to me. Cheaper means lost sales and lost time. cheap can also means lost businesses. Would you pay for a cheap surgeon or pay for the best?)

Now let me take you through an actual example of a real client that has done exactly that above.

The first step to marketing is not just good idea but filling a demand that already exists.  So research if there is a demand.

Once you find the demand you must then locate where the buyers are and find out exactly how to get in front of them or what tactics should be used to get in front of them.

(At this stage I strongly advise you hire a consultant for expert advise. This will cost you but of course could save you a small fortune. On two occasions I saved clients £100,000 in one case and £60,000 in another – get advice)

So far this will take time – maybe a week or two of your time and possibly longer.

So lets get back to the example I just mentioned above.

He spent around one week researching demand and found a high-demand for his idea. That idea then had to be translated into a huge ecommerce website that took around 8 weeks to build (and was then totally rebuilt after launch).

A copywriter, a designer and a team of web technicians and a marketing consultant. To get everything off the ground and locate associate partners his investment was around £50,000. He then also had to pay for several flights into the USA a couple of times each month to get his project off the ground over a six-month period.

His expenses so far have been around £100,000.

Does £100,000 sound like a lot to you?

His turnover for his brand new business in 10 months was £2.6 million. Let me ask again … does £100,000 into his marketing sound like a lot to you?

So to generate £2,6 million he had to invest £100,000. I think that’s a fair exchange to do?

Now that example might feel a little high but remember the whole page is about this.

To have successful marketing that costs you nothing you must…

Plan it out well

It’s easier than you might be thinking. All you need to do is plan every step of the way from start to finish.

The biggest problem I see most business having these days is this… bad information written simply to sell marketing books, marketing websites or marketing manuals. The problem is most of the stuff out there is now created by sellers of information not sellers of real world experience and the problem with that is marketing must be bespoke and built around a generation that wants everything custom designed.

The old ways still work but only on those that want old ways. The new ways works even better but only on those that demand the new ways.

Here’s the first step I advise everyone … Get advice before you spend a single penny on anything. I once paid $2,500 for 30 minutes of advice. That advice returned me tens of thousands of pounds. Honestly OI had to think about paying it but once I thought about the possibilities that would come from the advice I knew he could share with me the fee became irrelevant.

Do your numbers – if you want to create £100,000 from your campaign what do you need to invest (be real – you won’t make 100,000k investing $100 unless you’re incredibly lucky)

  • Plan everything every steps from start to end
  • Get good advice
  • Work with experienced experts
  • Test with a prelaunch campaign
  • Measure your results

And finally you might find this interesting.

Did you know?

  • Most marketing campaigns fail? It usually takes a few campaigns until you hit a home run and good sales.
  • Direct marketing such as newspapers adverts, magazines adverts, and direct mail needs to be seen on several occasions before you feel a real impact. Send once and the impact and the sales will be as good as zero.
  • Most sales copy fails.
  • Most marketing fails.
  • Most smaller companies write their own sales copy for years before realizing it takes an expert to make it work.
  • On average you should invest 20% - 30% of your total revenue on your marketing
  • Most businesses still have no idea how to use the web to create sales.
  • Most businesses have no idea what marketing actually is.
  • Some businesses believe the hype that good sales copy is enough to build an empire.
  • Some believe that word-of-mouth is all it takes to build a strong business.
  • 80-90% of all new business close within 12 months.

Three things you need to remember

  • Do your research
  • Have a marketing budget
  • Always get expert advice

I hope this little article has helped you.

One last note – If you don’t want to invest in any kind of marketing yet want to build an empire – sadly is a delusion created by marketers that have no idea how to run a business. If that’s the case don’t waste your time, go get a job.

Almost 30 years in direct marketing with multiple million-dollar campaigns under my belt.

Contact me here to arrange a consultation.

Yours in success

Alan Forrest Smith

Read more related articles... 4 Things Hairdressing Taught Me

Real Price of Marketing

Is it Worth Advertising?

MENTOR CHANGE 2014

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See that photo above? The second to last window on the right was a tiny bedsit house that was to literally save my life from absolute hopelessness.

I’ll explain more in a second.

There’s this guy. On December 25th 2009 he woke on Christmas day on a cheap rollout sofa, which was his bed. In fact it was the only piece of furniture he owned at that moment. He bought it from IKEA. He woke up that day - Christmas day alone, lay there for a while and cried and cried and cried some more.

He cried so much that the tears couldn’t be stopped for at least 20 minutes or so but looking back he will tell you it was a huge pressure release for him.

But first let me take you back just a few weeks before then. The man had found himself doing something he had been doing over the past few months  each and everyday and that was sitting at the back of the old graveyard behind his elderly parents house.

Every night in that freezing cold winter he would walk out alone and then walk just around the corner into the 16th century old graveyard to think about what has happened in his life over the previous few years, where his life was and was this almost the end of what had once been a very happy life but was now a life of a man that had looked like he surrendered to life.

The man never sat at the front of the graveyard because people would walk by and see him and they would think that’s strange or something was wrong with the guy sitting in the graveyard so he always walked to the back and would sit on the old iron bench next to the stone of John Watson 1937 - 2005. John had lived a long life but now was a pile of dust feeding the earth. The man would think about John and who John could have been. Now John was just a stone and a memory.

As the man sat there for one hour, two hours and three hours until the cold finally reached him he would spend that time sitting back so his face was pointing into the pitch black diamond lit sky and asked himself question after question after question after question.

His life had not turned out as he wanted it to turn out and right at this point right now he had, no home to live in, no wages or cash to spend and no woman to wrap her arms around him, to love him back to life and comfort him with sweet words of tenderness, love and strength. He missed the stroke of a woman's fingers slowly across his chest, he missed the soft lips of a woman on his face. He really was alone.

He actually believes that a man needs a woman but a woman needs to be a woman to keep her man until the final day. The days she stops being a woman is the day he stops acting like a real man. Anyway I digress so lets get back to the story.

One night as he looked up into the sky the man realised that if he allows things to remain the same as they are now, broke, alone, lost and living at his parents at 47 – he is as good as dead! His kids had lost all respect for him. His first wife wanted him destroyed. His family had all but rejected him. In fact one member of his family had tried on more than one occasion to try and kill the man. No wonder the man would cry.

CHANGE.

With that thought he realised that where he was wasn’t new, it had happened to many before him and would carry on happening to others after him. Maybe even old John Watson 1937 – 2005 had been through the same yet his outcome was also the same for him as it was for all men.

The man made a decision. If things were to change for him he had to do get out of the graveyard, stop surrounding himself with death, get generating an income again, find a home to live and finally search for a woman that could get someone as complicated as himself (others would say he was complicated so the man had started to believe he himself was complicated but actually he was just a man).

He left the graveyard feeling different. He told John Watson 1937 - 2005 that he was going, he is alive and he won't be back to sit with him.

Today that man lives a very different life.

I should know - I am that man. I wanted to share this story to encourage you and give you courage at the same time that you can overcome anything in life but only if you want to. How do you know you want to? You'll just know.

And if you are facing total loss like I have been through I want to share with you that recovery and resurrection and creation of a new life is very, very possible for you as long as you understand this six letter word.

CHANGE. Change is an action so to create change action has to be taken.

Here’s what I personally did.

After I finally came to my senses I set a vision of three reachable outcomes.

1. Income – restart and increase so I could fund a new life

2. Home – find a place of my own for privacy and my own self-pride

3. Woman – I knew what I needed and now I had to find her only only she would do

Why did I do that?

Because I sat and worked out what I needed right now to kick-start a brand new life that I was going to design from the ground up. I had to have a plan.

I had no income yet needed an income to get a home to live in (the photo above) and get out of the 80 square foot room I was currently living in at my parents and I needed a place of my own if I was to tempt a beautiful woman a little less crazy than myself to join me in a new life by design.

Let me take you back a moment so you understand  how I got here; a divorce and all the destruction that came with it. It was full on, vicious, destructive and left myself with no home, no work, and no access to my kids, no family and frankly no nothing. At the point I write about above I had not worked for well over 6 months and had not a single penny to my name. I was back at year zero where it was stand up and walk or lie down and die.

That night I left the graveyard full of life and had shaken off the death of the past and left it behind. I went back to my parent’s house where I was living and planned everything out. Not in detail but just a bigger picture of what was needed.

I decided that I must be in my own place for Christmas even though it was just a few weeks away but to do that I also needed to be able to pay for a home with 12-months rent in advance. Within 4 weeks I had the cash to pay 12 months rent. Within five weeks I had moved into my new tiny little home and then of course like I said at the start of this letter I awoke on Christmas day lying on a roll-out bed alone and crying but happy that I was alive again.

The tears were not for me being alone but they were mourning for the death of an old life that had passed away and the relief that my new life had now started. It was now up to me, it was to be my own choices that would now make a difference.

How?

CHANGE and the… actions behind the word!

You can recover, you will be ok, it’ll all be fine for you only if you allow it to be and take action to make it happen. You can change everything as long as the action is mapped out according to you and your circumstances.

No map - no directions, no direction and you'll get and go nowhere.

Now we are in 2014.

Just a few years later I will wake up in our large detached old Cheshire house on Christmas morning. My bed is no longer a rollout it’s a massive 7-foot wide luxury bed made from Mahogany. I won’t be alone this Christmas because lying across my chest in the morning is my darling woman, the love of my life. She’ll have her soft olive skinned arms and her long thick dark chestnut brown hair curled around me. She is my Georgian woman Tamuna whom I met just 3 months after I set my vision of three I mentioned earlier.

And today my new life is going really well. It’s built by design. It’s a life no longer built around things or even money. It’s a life designed to be lived and to be full to be enjoy and not to be controlled by a love of money or a love of consumption.

Why am I sharing this with you?

Because I understand that if you are alone over Christmas and New Year you feel that your life is as good as done the good news is your life isn’t done in fact it is just about to begin but that really depends on you and the actions you take?

Let me say this to you – you’re not the first to be going through whatever you’re going through and you won’t be the last.

The outcome for life is the same for all men – you are no different so grab your life by the neck and take action of some kind right now

If you are alone take the time to think, to re-evaluate and to design what your needs in life really are. Don’t forget needs are things you cannot live without.

How do you do that?

CHANGE

MENTOR IS CHANGING

We write use or say the word change on the basis of what we were or are doing no longer works.

Imagine if you could change everything that no longer works for you?

If you did... How would that change manifest itself?

2014 is a big year of change for me... I'm restructuring, simplifying and fine tuning a life by design so I can focus on even more writing and word mastery.

Why?

I discovered many years ago if it doesn't work... Change is the only option because if we don't change nothing... No-thing takes place. I don't want to get to the end of my life

I had a client come to me after 8 years of trying the same things that just didn't work. It led to chaos in her business and her private life.

She made huge changes and the visioned outcome manifested itself perfectly after fine-tuning and changes.

Your life is connected to many working parts. Some of those parts may need to be changed, refined or overhauled.

For example if you have a business right now and it’s just not working that part of your life affects your private life due to the stress and an outcome that you are unsure about.

Maybe it’s …

Your job and the dislike or even hate you have for it. You feel under paid, trapped and are working longer hours than ever.

Maybe its simply your lifestyle and it really isn’t what you need to thrive and come to life with.

Imagine if you could change the problems you have right now... Would that make you happier?

Over 30 years I've seen and been involved in many many changes in life and in business. I have told you a little change above.

That story above about what happened to me doesn’t tell you everything.

It doesn’t tell you about the bankruptcy I was forced through.

It doesn’t tell you how it feels to have your car repossessed and the bailiff saying “tough luck get a bus!” after I told him I need it to see my kids.

It doesn’t share the details of having absolutely zero of anything and yet still rebuilding a more than full life that most admire and would die for.

And I never told you about all the stories of success I have created for clients and MENTOR students of mine and myself over the past 30 years that total into million upon million in sales for them and new lives and lifestyle created through good mentoring, strategies and planning.

ALL had to go through CHANGE. Some resisted, some changed because the other option just wasn't acceptable.

Dramatic changes have brought dramatic results but even simple changes have brought huge results.

Remember this … Good advice carries no price!

And now looking back over life I wish I'd been taught to ask for advice. Good advice and mentoring would have saved me heartache and money and given me a faster route to successes.

MENTOR 2014 is all about CHANGE Here’s a fact that cannot be denied.

If you don’t make CHANGES and take actions guess what?

NOTHING happens, not a single thing will happen.

You can sit and pray and hope and wish and dream but if no action follows – your finished.

Do you recognize your need for change this year?

Mentor 2014 is more bespoke than ever

Your MENTOR has to have life experience, business experience, wisdom, smart and savvy thoughts and of course be a good visionary.

Here's some areas I specialize in and can help you make CHANGE with in 2014 (in case you don’t know)

  • Marketing precision tuning
  • Strategic and tactical overhaul
  • Turnaround strategies
  • Low investment high Return marketing
  • Training consultants
  • Training copywriters
  • Training writers
  • Lifestyle design and mentoring
  • I can come to your business
  • I can fly to your business
  • You can visit my office
  • You can hire me for a whole year
  • You can hire me for 3,6 or 9 months
  • You can hire me for one day

And much more

I proudly boast almost 30 years as an entrepreneur that has successfully helped many others in many industries or situations just like yours to thrive and prosper through real change.

Be honest with yourself ... Have your past few years been the same old and the same old situation and frankly this new year looks like going nowhere? Do you need change?

Here’s what you can do (and what most do) …NOTHING… but nothing will give you NOTHING as far as change goes.

Or you can be mentored through it carefully, slowly and following a path that has already been tested and proven?

I Will Work With You For Lasting CHANGE Mentor change 2014 has had improvement tweaks and fine-tuning. Absolutely bespoke to you your life your experience and circumstances.

Here are some options I am offering this year.

MENTOR OPTIONS

For the first time you can pay for just one months mentoring from as low as $2,000

Pay as you go mentoring from as low as $500

Alliance mentoring (terms and deal to be agreed)

3-6-9 or 12 months mentoring

Face to face mentoring weekly in my office

Or you might prefer

NEW MENTOR ELITE I have just two places for this.

MENTORSHIP is for one year and built around a bespoke flexible package designed around you. I have designed it to give you exactly what you need with a reward built in for myself.

Each place has an investment of £50,000 per head for 12 months.

Details to be discussed during an initial consultation over the telephone.

You have ONE-LIFE how are you living it?

Are you happy with the way it is right now? Are you happy with 2013, 2012, 2011 and the years before then?

How long can you put up with the same old stuff or are you resigned to being another one of those that will get to the end of their life and say what many others say which is

“’If only!” MENTOR for CHANGE 2014 is open for business … Will you make the changes you need in your life and business?

First we should talk to...

See if I can help and serve you and if I can create a deal that suits us both.

Mentor is built around serving you. I know if I give you results I also get rewarded.

However I DO NOT take on any mentoring with no payment or on future sales only unless in exceptional circumstances

If you need change I suggests this.

Contact me

  • Let's talk about your needs
  • Let's discuss your changes
  • Let's see if I can serve you

And then I'll get back to you after a little thought to let you know if I feel I can help you make the change you need. I’m ready to help you make 2014 a year of CHANGE. Join me on new MENTOR. Yours in change Alan Forrest Smith Important P.s Just so I don't waste your time and I cannot reply to the following. I don't work with... No cash start-ups No get-rich-quick schemes No business without a marketing budget Clients looking for free everything