Bob Bly Direct Response Copywriter Official Banner

Archive for July, 2018

Ideas without action: worthless or valuable?

July 13th, 2018 by Bob Bly

My fellow internet marketer, the brilliant Ben Settle, recently
wrote that he doesn’t like selling his information to
“opportunity-minded buyers,” more commonly known as “opportunity
seekers.”

The classic opportunity seeker is addicted to business success
and get-rich-quick books.

They love to read, attend conferences, go on webinars, listen to
podcasts, and take courses.

They are “information junkies.”

Unfortunately, they are, for the most part, armchair students.

They enjoy learning.

Only, they never take any action, never do what is taught in
their study materials, never start a business, and never make any
money.

Ben says, “I do everything I can to persuade them NOT to buy my
stuff.

“I don’t want ’em around.

“I don’t want their money.

“And, I don’t want them wasting my time.”

When I read this, I emailed Ben:

“I used to feel as you do, for many years.

“But some people, I found, simply enjoy, as a hobby, reading
business books and taking courses.

“They just are interested in the world of it and also like
learning, but don’t actually want to do the nitty gritty work and
details.”

Why deny them their reading pleasure?

I don’t.

Statistically, if a thousand people buy your money-making
program, only 10% will read it all the way through — 100 buyers.

Of those 100 buyers, only 10% will take action and actually do
the thing the course teaches — 10 students.

Of those 10 students, only 10% will persist until they succeed.

In other words, 1 out of 1,000 “make it.”

Your numbers may be better or worse … but they will likely fall
roughly in this range.

So 999 have just bought for reading and learning pleasure.

And what’s wrong with that?

People read about and study all sort of subjects, all the time,
just for the intellectual reward and to find something that
excites and engages with them, and entertains them in their
leisure time.

That’s why we have public libraries, bookstores, and Amazon.

After all, no one faults me for reading books on physics even
though I am not going to become a physicist.

Like Ben, my greatest reward is the student who succeeds and
tells me about it.

But I have no problem with people doing what they will with my
books, DVDs, audio CDs, and training programs.

It’s their money and their choice, right?

Share

Category: General | 1 Comment »

Is a hardcover worth more than an ebook?

July 10th, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber AW writes:

“I read your recommendation on the sales book by author X. It
sounds interesting, but I am not sold on spending $40 on an ebook
— though I would for a hardcover copy of the book. Thanks for
sharing the recommendation, though.”

While I have great respect for AW and like her a lot, I believe
her thinking on this topic is wrong-headed.

The reason is simple: the value of specialized information
targeted at a narrow niche audience is enormous. And the value
is in the content, not the format of the book.

Louis L’Armour wrote, “Books are the building blocks of
civilization, for without the written word, a man knows nothing
beyond what occurs during his own brief years, and, perhaps, in a
few tales his parents tell him.”

My late friend, the great info marketer Jerry Buchanan, said, “A
book that instructs in some profitable field is a priceless
treasure. And if the bookseller offers it and you fail to assume
ownership, who will be the poorer, you or he?”

He also said that people who wanted to make money or start a
business and did not avail themselves of good books on the
subject were “starving to death with a loaf of bread under each
arm.”

The value of a how-to book is in the information between the
covers, not the covers themselves.

I am confident that the knowledge in the book I recommended to AW
could have increased her annual income by $10,000, which is a
250:1 return on investment — regardless of whether the book is a
PDF or paperbound book. Why would you pass up on an ROI like
that?

Share

Category: Writing | 6 Comments »

Should you give “influencer bloggers” free stuff?

July 6th, 2018 by Bob Bly

“Influencer bloggers” are bloggers who claim that, with all their
social media connections and activity, they can give a service
business, product, or brand significant “exposure” in the
marketplace.

What many of them want in return are freebies, and not always
inexpensive ones. These include free meals in five-star
restaurants, free stays in nice hotels, free products, and other
freebies.

Well, in a recent social media flap, the owner of an inn in
Dublin slapped an “influencer blogger” on Facebook for asking him
for a free stay for a couple of days in exchange for her
influencer services.

He stated: “The sense of entitlement is just too strong … and the
nastiness after a blogger was not granted her request for a
freebie is giving the whole (blogging) industry a bad name.”

As a result, this innkeeper now bans all bloggers from his hotel
and café.

The offending freeloader in question defended what she did,
stating that social media influencer is her “job.”

She also said that her business model — blasting out positive
reviews widely on social media in exchange for free goods and
services — is a “collaboration” between blogger and business
owner.

She complained that the hotel and café manager didn’t understand
the social media world or how it works.

Well guess what?

He doesn’t have to.

Whether she thinks he is making a mistake turning down her demand
for free stuff, it’s his right to do so. Do these blogging
mooches really not get that?

The café manager shot back at freebie-requesting bloggers:
“Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs, you’d be able to pay
for goods and services like everybody else.”

It’s true that some companies routinely offer free samples or
review copies of products to TV and radio producers, newspapers,
and magazines.

The difference is that the circulation of the print media and the
audience of the broadcast media are strictly audited and
therefore no secret, but rather published so that anyone can see.

Most bloggers, on the other hand, don’t have verified audit
statements to prove their audience. You have to take their word
for it.

Also, bloggers can get downright militant about getting denied
their freebies, and victimize the offending business with nasty
posts and negative reviews — as if the business owner is
obligated to give away what he sells to anyone and everyone who
asks.

Writer Harlan Ellison calls this the “slacker mentality” on the
internet.

He says it sickens him. And I don’t love it, either. A sense of
entitlement? Absolutely. Justified? Hardly.

Share

Category: General | 3 Comments »

When clients don’t follow your recommendations

July 3rd, 2018 by Bob Bly

Subscriber KS writes:

“I’d like to be taken seriously for my experience and knowledge,
and yet I can’t seem to convince clients to do as I recommend.

“Bob, do you have any advice on convincing clients to listen to
your recommendations?”

KS may not like my answer, but the fact is clients will never do
everything you say.

HB, a famous consultant in the 20th century, once famously said:
“Only half my clients take my advice, and of those, they listen
to only half the advice.”

If you do the arithmetic, you see that only 25% of HB’s advice to
his clients — and he was a well-respected expert in his niche of
management — was followed.

Likewise, figure only 25% of your advice will be followed,
meaning 75% won’t be.

And in some cases, client reasons for ignoring or going against
your recommendations are legitimate and the correct decision.

What are those reasons? I’ll give them for freelance copywriters,
though many may apply to you, even if you are not a writer.

>> First, the client may have already tried what you suggest,
often multiple times — and it did not work.

Not being on staff, you didn’t know this when you presented your
idea. But they did, since clients have a knowledge of their
efforts and results superior to yours.

>> Second, the client virtually always knows their industry,
product, technology, talent, and market better than you do.

>> Third, as Tom Peters said in In Search of Excellence, people
don’t argue with their own data. They may trust you to a degree.
But they usually trust themselves more.

>> Fourth, you get your fee no matter what. You risk nothing on
the project. On the other hand, it is the client’s money, not
yours, on the table. There is a limit to what they will risk on a
new idea or plan, especially one they do not fully buy into.

>> Fifth, no one knows everything or is right all the time.
Including you and me.

Biggest mistake vendors make: Getting all huffy and puffy,
arguing with the client endlessly, and not listening when the
client says “thanks but no thanks” to your idea.

Solution: Defend your copy or idea reasonably and briefly; then,
if the client still does not agree, acquiesce pleasantly.

Also: If you think the client’s way will kill results, say so
politely in a brief email follow-up — and save a copy so you can
prove you advised against their plan if it should fail and they
blame you.

Share

Category: General | 3 Comments »