Let me show you what my middle finger does

My soon-to-be 7-year-old the other day…

In reference to her cross-country meet – which took place on a very cold, very wet October day here in Toronto – had this to say:

“It was so freezing yesterday…I kept thinking ‘I’ll show this wind my middle finger!’”

I rather like it.

It’s got a certain wisdom and youthful defiance to it.

(Cue the Twisted Sister, “We’re not gonna take it…”)

So I’ve decided I’m going to show more of the things that challenge me a Muscular middle finger.

I invite you to do the same.

It’s simple advice, but it applies almost anywhere.

(Key word: almost.  Use your own discretion on that one.)

Just a little Tuesday inspiration for ya.

And if you have a sales letter that’s not converting…or your emails aren’t getting as many opens and clicks as you’d like…or you’ve got a copywriter who prefers grandstanding on Facebook to turning in projects on time…

Then let’s join forces and show them four middle fingers, way up:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Defying,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle

Disrupting the copywriting guru hype machine

Got this note (unsolicited) from top business coach and client Matt Morse in response to a recent ‘copy critique’ I did for him:

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“I recently attended a 3-day ‘copywriting workshop’ with one of the industry leading copywriters… not long after, I had Conor do one of his signature 30-minute copywriting evaluations for one of our clients and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I received more than 10X the amount of value from Conor’s 30-minute video than I did from 3 full days at the copywriting workshop.”

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Here’s why I believe this is NOT an exaggeration.

First, I’ve sat in seminar rooms like this one that were all sizzle and no steak….

And ridden these gurus’ high-priced hype-train to nowhere.

Second, about ten years back I hired a copywriter/web conversions expert to critique my website.  Unless I’m mistaken, I paid him all of $275USD.  And it was honestly some of the best marketing training I’ve ever received.

Many of its lessons have stuck with me ever since.

One theory I have is this sort of critique is not mere theory.  This is someone picking apart and breaking down the specifics of your ad or offer (even your layout and other visual aspects, all things I cover as well), showing you how it can be better, and providing a detailed explanation for why.  In that sense, it’s more concrete and relevant – and thus easier to apply and remember.

Word to the wise:

This is not always true of course, but most courses or products that deign to promise you can walk in with the proverbial “blank page” and walk out with…

*A business

*A product you can sell

*A sales letter

*An email campaign

*A sales presentation

*Etc.

…Ignore the fact that there is a process to any of the above that usually involves more than a day, a weekend, a few fill-in-the-blanks templates, and goes beyond the limits of a group format.

You may not know this but I’m somewhat of a guru-whisperer.

I’m even able to interpret their mysterious speak.

What they really mean when they promise such things is “you’ll have even more work to do on Monday and will most likely STILL be confused about what to do”.

Alright, that’s enough fun for one day.

My decidedly un-hyped offer:

If you’d like me to perform one of my signature Instant Copy Upgrade reviews on your sales letter, website, or email campaign, let us begin the journey by booking your “no fuss” Free Brainstorm Call here:

http://www.calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

You’ll be getting very specific, very detailed secrets I’ve used to help clients like Matt as much as double their web conversions.

Two things:

1. I make no guarantees about this.

I know my stuff.  You’ll see.  But much of this has to do with the dynamics of your market and your offer, none of which is within my control.

AND

2. If you don’t currently have a list…or buyers…or leads coming in…you’ll learn a lot, but it probably won’t help you much in the short term.  The best candidate for this is someone who is already doing marketing, getting traffic of some kind, and has at least some sales.

With that I bid you…

Forsake the guru hype-train.

Ride The Musclemobile instead.

See you on board.

Happy Discerning,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle

Drink thee of this profitable smoothie

“The more you read, the more you will know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

I hate to burst your bubble…

But for anyone who thinks losing weight is hard, gaining weight is much harder.

(That’s if you’re trying to add the right kind of weight.)

I don’t care what anybody says, force feeding yourself copious quantities of plain chicken breast and rice seven times a day…sucks.   Back in my strongman days it got to the point where I almost couldn’t stand the sight of food.

I went to all kinds of extremes.

Eating by the clock.

(Instead of when hungry – which I almost never was.)

Calculating calories.  (Not counting; this was before My Fitness Pal and other smart phone apps that make tracking your cals a cinch nowadays…back then I literally used an almanac and a calculator).

Taking digestive enzymes.

Drinking flax seed oil.

I could go on.

As a trainer I’ve also had many clients whose goal was to build muscle.  One point I’d consistently drive home is you have to put in the building blocks.  Your body doesn’t synthesize muscle out of thin air.  Protein and calories are the raw materials it needs.  That’s why you’ve got to have a caloric surplus.

What’s this all have to do with you?

Writing, producing content, copywriting, and finding marketing hooks is the same.  You need an idea surplus.  You’ve got to regularly feed your brain plenty of building blocks from which those are created.

How do you do that?

By reading.  A lot.

I try to make it a point to read at least two hours per day.

If I’m being honest, it usually ends up being closer to one hour.  What do I read?  Primarily, anything having to do with marketing, copywriting, or persuasion.  But I also “supplement” with a variety of subjects from magazine articles (I love The Economist), history books, books on science, biographies, and literature and fiction too.

What this does is give me a vast pool of data, facts, stories and ideas to pull from when in a creative mode.  All these healthy ingredients go into the blender of my subconscious and emerge as a green smoothie of knowledge.  I use this to connect two or more ideas in ways that form “hooks” useful in teaching, influencing, and selling (as I’ve done with the calorie surplus thing here).

What I’ve discovered:

I have two main types of readers.

The first type is interested in getting better at doing email, copywriting, etc. so they can do it themselves.  If that’s you, I just handed you what has been a BIG ingredient in my success (and the success of many others) on a vibranium-plated platter.

The second type is grinning, rubbing their hands together…

…And simply biding their time until they get me to do all this shebang for them.

If you’re the second type, and doing that volume of reading sounds both prohibitive and unappealing – never fear.

I attack such tasks with fanatical zeal so you don’t have to.

Get your vitamin boost and request your Free Brainstorm Call here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

And if not…

Happy Reading,

Conor Kelly

Are you making this GRAVE marketing mistake?

Once upon a time…

I was tasked to write a JV email for a client.

If you don’t know, JV stands for “joint venture”.  It’s a sort mutual email admiration society where two complementary but non-competitive businesses essentially pimp each other out to their respective lists.  Back to regularly scheduled programming…

The JV partner was a women’s fitness expert.

As I looked at her promo page, I discovered something interesting.  She was a former fitness competitor who’d suffered a stroke while still in her thirties.  This opened her eyes to how years of extreme diets and hard core working out was destroying her health.

So she went back to school to become a holistic nutritionist.

Now, she uses this knowledge (and her experience) to help women regain control of their bodies…the healthy way.   She teaches them a balanced, fun, and wellbeing-enhancing way to lose weight while leaving behind the crash diets and other foolishness.

Now if you were a woman who’d struggled with her weight and ridden the highs and lows that go along with yo-yo dieting, wouldn’t that get your attention?  Wouldn’t you want to read more?

That’s a heck of a story.

Yet if I hadn’t scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page, I would’ve missed it.

It was practically a footnote.

The grave marketing mistake I alluded to in my subject?  Not leading with stories in your marketing.  This could be stories of clients you’ve helped, stories about the business, stories about your industry, or a story about you.

Stories create DESIRE for your product or service.

That’s because they provide vision and context.

As such, they’re valuable marketing assets.

Throughout the 8 years or so that I ran my personal training business, my own story of transformation (and ditching my fat suit) was at the heart of any marketing we did.  It was front and center on my website and I’d lead with it in all my public speeches.  My “before and after” pics graced our brochures and postcards.  And I’d often meet people as much as five or even ten years later who’d tell me, “I never forgot your story.”

If you have a good one too (or even a plain one you can soup up) you’d have to be either a fool or not batting on a full wicket to not to use it at every opportunity.  It’s in our DNA to be persuaded by stories.  Stories form the core of how we’ve communicated as a species since scratching on the walls of prehistoric caves.

Entire fortunes have been built off the back of one good story.

And if you’ve really been paying attention, you may have noticed I started all this pontificating with…yep, a story.

Have I made my point yet? 🙂

One of the first questions I ask any new client is:

Why did you start the business? 

The reason is I’m looking for the client’s “origin story”.  I want to know how it is they became the superhero they are today that wears a cape and beats the crap out of bad guys to help their clients…so I can spin it to their profit.   And this type of story naturally invites curiosity.

What’s your origin story?

And could you be leveraging it more?

Good one to chew on.

If you’d rather I chew on it for you…and translate such mastication into done-for-you emails and sales pages that entice and sell your best prospects on doing business with you…then you can look forward to a truly exciting conclusion to today’s tale by going here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Story-Time,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle

 

The little-known email secret of the richest man in history

It’s estimated that, at one point, John D. Rockefeller’s fortune exceeded $300 Billion.

Move over, baby Gates.

In fact, that’s enough to buy Bill Gates AND Warren Buffet several times over.

At 53, Rockefeller controlled most of the world’s oil.  But his health was failing.  He developed alopecia and shed all his hair.  Eyebrows.  Everything.

He could barely eat.

In a matter of months he’d lost 50 pounds from an already thin frame, and cut a gaunt, ghostly figure.  His doctors made it clear that if he didn’t retire now, he wouldn’t be around much longer.

See, John D. was a ball of anxiety.  He was slowly crumbling under the burden of his enormous wealth.  He once said, “I never put my head on the pillow at night without reminding myself I could lose it all tomorrow.”

Imagine the stress that caused.

So here are the instructions his doctor gave him:

1. Never worry about anything. Ever.
2. Always stop eating when you’re still a bit hungry.
3. Spend more time outside engaging in light activity.

Well, John D. took this advice to heart.

The senior Mr. Rockefeller was a different chap.

He never worried again.  Even when his life’s work, Standard Oil, was being picked apart by politicians for anti-trust reasons, Rockefeller stayed out of the office.

In his latter years he became the colorful, soundbite-worthy old codger he’s remembered as…the guy who, when asked by his driver why his son tips so much better than he does, replied, “he’s got a rich father.”

Alright, and secret #4 in this longevity protocol?

He started giving all his money away.

Medicine, science, education…so much of the progress we enjoy today can be traced back to Rockefeller’s generosity.  The result?  From one foot in the grave at 53, he lived to be 98.  That’s 45 years on borrowed time.  Not too shabby, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s what I’d like you take away from this:

(1) #’s 1-3 is pretty damn good advice.  If more doctors doled that out these days instead of anti-depressants, we’d be a much healthier society.

AND

(2) GIVE.  John D. Rockefeller spent the first half of his life trying to get, but wasn’t truly happy until he dedicated himself to giving.

This has everything to do with your marketing, btw.

And anything else you want out of life.

Tony Robbins famously said, “the reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself.”  Giving shifts your focus away from you.  It allows you to be immersed in what you’re doing, in contribution, without the fears, doubts and anxieties that creep in when you’re overly self-conscious.  And most people are so busy trying to GET the result they want, they never fully GIVE themselves to the process involved.

Not coincidentally, the first principle of my email marketing system is lead with a giving hand.  If you’ll just keep what’s good for your best prospect at the top of your list you’ll never go too far from the mark.  That doesn’t mean you give away your secrets for free; what’s best for them is to hire you and solve their problem.  Get 100% clear on that.  Then, it’s about doing everything you can ethically do, using every tool in your arsenal to bring them into the fold….including engaging them with emails that combine content with promotion.

Bottom line:

Ask not what your customers can do for you, ask what you can do for your customers.

Damn.

A lot of value right there.

Hope you caught it.

I just told you WHAT to do.

For more on HOW to do it, go here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Live Long and Prosper,

Conor Kelly

P.S. One of my favorite books on this idea is The Go-Giver.  It’s a brief parable (you can read it in a single sitting), but it will re-frame how you do business.  I used to have it as mandatory reading for all my employees.

And to sweeten the deal, if you book your Free Brainstorm Call before tomorrow (Friday) at 11:53AM EST (serious inquiries only), I’ll send you a free copy of the book.  Here’s that exalted link again:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

10K in contracts from a 10-word email?

I spoke some moons ago about a secret 7-word email that is cashing in for the lucky few business owners who are “in the know”.

Truth is, it’s not always exactly seven words.

But not long after, I used this same concept to net my client 10K in contracts using 10 words.

And that’s not all folks…

I often talk about other less obvious benefits of email marketing.

For the same client, a software solution that lets health providers do home visits (and manage scheduling, billing, and charting through the app) I sent out an email a while back that got a very interesting response.

It turned out the head of alumni relations with the Canadian Chiropractic College was on the list, and he wanted to talk about offering the client’s service to thousands of chiropractors across the country.

We’ve since inked a partnership…one that will likely be worth a lot more than ten thousand over the next few years.

Here’s the point:

You never know who’s listening.

When you’re consistently “putting yourself out there” and demonstrating your leadership each day or each week in your emails, it makes you magnetic to opportunity.

Over the years I’ve gotten referrals, requests for speaking engagements, overtures for lucrative joint ventures…all because someone forwarded one of my emails, or someone “unexpected” was already on my list.

It doesn’t happen every day.

But it DOES happen.

The key is you can’t be boring.  Your emails must offer interest, humor, valuable content, inspiration or all of the above.  In short, they must be forwardable.

If you’re not sure how to create that effect (or simply don’t have the time to pump out regular emails)….

Or if you’d like emails that can rack up sales to the tune of a thousand bucks per word (which I obviously can’t guarantee, but it’s possible depending on list size and the other dynamics of the offer)…

Then take your horse to the Old Town Road, request your “no fuss” Free Brainstorm Call, and let’s riiiide it ‘til we can’t no mo’:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Riding,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle

P.S. I’ve done something VERY specific and very formulaic with this email.  See if you can catch it.  I’ll soon be releasing a new product which shows you exactly how you can do this in your emails too…if’n you reckon DIY is your speed.

Stay tuned!

I want to corrupt you

I’ll admit:

I get my jollies seeing these social media guru types and their shenanigans.

So when one of this bizarre breed posted in my LinkedIn feed about “transparency” and “authenticity”, I got to thinking…

First, I fear those are becoming buzz words and rapidly losing all meaning.  Second, it’s ridiculous that anyone would need help on how to be authentic.  Third, he claims he’s the same guy whether he’s on social media, or with friends, or with the in-laws, or with clients.

Newsflash: that’s not transparency.

That’s insanity.

I’m no shrink but that might even make you a bit of a sociopath.

(Yes I realize a few emails ago I encouraged transparency.  I never meant TOTAL transparency.  Please…for all of our sakes, keep some mystery.  Go here if you want the gist of that lovely message: The Howard Stern method of dealing with critics)

Psychologists know well we all wear different personas.

It’s healthy.  It’s called being socially aware.  It’s true that as I get older, I’m less inhibited and more likely to speak my mind (and not give a crap about it either)…but there’s still work Conor, Dad Conor, spending time with buddies Conor, on a date Conor, etc.

If they were identical it would lead to some interesting outcomes I bet.

Besides that, what he’s pushing is patently false.

All of the big social media types are doing some kind of persona.

Marketing gurus, celebrities, well-known business people – all have deliberate and well-managed public images (and they often pay consultants big bucks to help them with this).   It’s not that they’re not being themselves; it’s that they’re amplifying certain aspects of their personality to suit the brand or image they’ve – key word – strategically chosen to create.

Teach that.

Not this other garbage.

Thus, let it be said The Muscle is not an “influencer”.  Don’t be influenced.  I’m a corruptor.  Be corrupted.  It’s much more profitable, let me assure you.  Mindless gurus like this – if you let them influence you – will have you spinning your wheels faster than a sports car in a blizzard.

Instead, create a persona people enjoy.

(So says, ahem…The Muscle.)

This is naught more complicated than putting the spotlight on selected parts of you (which are yet true to you…just maybe pumped up a bit for dramatic effect) and weave this thread throughout the narrative of your marketing.  Your personal uniqueness then becomes like a trademark that stamps all of your messaging and helps you stand out.

Besides, if you have to keep reminding everyone you’re authentic, is that still authentic?

Alright, rant over.

Bottom line:

Never email while under the “influence”.

If you’d like to profit from my corrupt ways…

And get done-for-you emails that feel authentic to you but nevertheless sell you better than “having-beers-with-friends” you…

Let’s start with a “no-fuss” Free Brainstorm Call.

Come over to the Dark Side here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Note that I’m not available to start projects right away (as I’m busy with my other clients’ projects), so the sooner we figure out if it’s a fit, the sooner we can get your awesomeness into the queue.

That’s my bit for today.

Happy Influence-Resisting,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle