Part of my personality is being a bit contrarian. In fact, I'm the type of bloke who will take the side I disagree with simply because it's fun and interesting to have the discussion.
Which is one of the reasons why my dad always told me I should be a lawyer growing up.
Well, unsurprisingly, this "contrarian streak" gets turned up to 11 in my marketing and has become part of my brand.
I've even turned it into a bit of a joke I like to tell:
"Every article I write, every subject line, book title, podcast interview, or anything else I'm a part of should be titled:
Why everyone's wrong but me."
But the truth is that I'm standing on the foreheads of giants. Without studying these "greats" of marketing, copywriting, and business building... I'd probably be breaking my hump for pennies sweeping up gas station bathrooms.
And as such, I'm greatly indebted to these peeps.
So I want to give you an insight into some of the great minds I've studied. 1) Mostly to pay respect to my 'gurus', and 2) To give you some more people to follow and study if you wish.
Some on the list have passed away... while others are still kicking. Some have tons of content, free and premium, available... while others lurk in the shadows and you have to "dig it up".
Anyway, here's the top marketing minds I've learned from and the main thing they've taught me:
PARRIS LAMPROPOLOUS —— A few years back, Parris did a rare training to raise money for his cousin Taki's brain cancer surgery (which, btw, is an incredible thing to be able to do... and one of the benefits of learning direct-response, i.e. the ability to create a cash "injection" at will). This was my first real experience diving into the deep end of the psychology of copywriting and persuasion. Basically, if it wasn't for this training, I have no idea if I'd gone as deep as I have. Another thing Parris taught me was the importance of practice and study. He recommends reading any good book 3 times (at a minimum) and to copy controls out by hand. Which, according to his copy cub and my new friend, Pauline Longdon, he still does to this day. If he can find the time, so can you.
SEAN D'SOUZA —— I really think Sean is one of the most underrated and unknown marketing geniuses ever. In fact, he helped teach many of the internet marketing "names" we hear today (names like Perry Marshall). What Sean taught me was the importance of consumption. Everyone talks about attraction and conversion (i.e. getting leads and converting them to buyers). But few, if any, talk about the importance of your buyers consuming what you sell, benefiting from it, then coming back to buy more. One of the most profitable lessons you can ever learn, imho.
DAN KENNEDY —— Another powerhouse in the copy and marketing world. What he taught me was the power of positioning yourself as the "man on the top of the mountain". In other words, the karate teacher at your local strip mall teaching 600 elementary school students is valued a whole lot less than the 100-year old Tai-Chi master you have to travel over stream and trail to get to. Not only can positioning yourself as hard to reach allow you to raise your prices drastically, it also means people will value your advice (i.e. they'll listen and implement what you tell them to do, getting back to Sean D'Souza's consumption).
BEN SETTLE —— I owe a lot to Ben Settle. I pretty much "stole" my entire business model from him. He's where I learned about aggressively emailing, as well as mixing content with promotion. Another thing I learned from him was to use my personality a lot more in my branding. In fact, he taught me how to turn it up to 11.
CLAUDE HOPKINS —— An extremely old school figure who died waaayy before the internet was even a twinkle in an iris. If you read his autobiography "My Life In Advertising" —— which I reccommend you do —— you'll see advertising to him goes way beyond just words and images on a page. He uses a lot of "spectacle" and "demonstration" and really, at the heart of everything he does, he figures out what people want then shows them how to get it.
KEN MCCARTHY —— Often called "The Founding Father Of Internet Marketing". Ken is a sea of fantastic knowledge on all things business. One of my biggest takeaways from him is that it's all about positioning. If you have the proper positioning, your copy becomes way less important (how he puts it: put the right offers in front of prospects who are likely to respond to that offer).
EUGENE SCHWARTZ —— There's a lot I could say about the genius behind Schwartz. Stages of Awareness and Sophistication... how to creep inside your prospects brain... the proper mindset a copywriter should have. But most of all, Schwartz taught me some very important 'how-to' behind copy. Specifically, how to be creative and get creative ideas. If you want to learn, google "Eugene Schwartz Phillips Publishing Speech .pdf" to get a free copy of one of the most powerful copywriting talks you'll ever read.
JIM RUTZ —— As a contrarian, I love when my 'gurus' disagree. And I think this happens more with Schwartz and Rutz then any other two on this list. For example, Schwartz says "don't write novel copy". I.E. don't write copy like you would write a novel. Rutz, on the other hand, wrote novel copy that sold like hotcakes. The reason why Rutz could do this is because he really understood direct-response fundamentals and his market.
JIM CAMP —— Known as "The World's Most Feared Negotiator", Jim Camp is one of my favorite teachers. In fact, I have a 9-part audio series of him simply answering questions about negotiation that is probably my favorite marketing training of all time. It's incredibly deep. But the best thing I learned from it is that true persuasion and negotiation has nothing to do with fancy, schmancy tricks or tactics or nuffin like that. It's really just about building a vision of what you deliver and how what you deliver helps solve your prospects problems. As he says, (paraphrasing) "Fancy Zig Zigglar closes won't get you invited back into the boardroom. They'll get you laughed at." So always play the long game and treat your prospects with the utmost respect.
This is just a shortlist of people I've learned from. And, obviously, I've learned a whole lot more from each person on this list than I've written.
But it's a good start.
If any of the names above tickled your fancy, I encourage you to google them and learn more. They've really helped me. And I hope they help you too.
Now to business:
Tomorrow I'll be launching my product detailing some of the best info I learned at TCCIRL. It's going to be an extremely low-ticket offer (way lower-priced than I originally had planned to sell it at —— given the current situation I want everyone to have a chance to buy it, regardless of where your economic life is currently at).
So expect quite a few emails over the next five days.
In the meantime, rest up.
Poppa's got lots of profit-exploding tips to send your way.