Why We Struggle To Write a Book: 3 Structural Reasons

Why We Struggle To Write a Book: 3 Structural Reasons

When you sit down to write a book, you wonder why the sound of hitting your head is so very loud.

The more you sit down, the harder it seems.
And yet, there’s a reason—three actually.

And the three are—tah dah!

1) Structure
2) Design
3) Content

Stage 1: Structure is where you design the “design”

Most of us have, at some point, played with Lego. When you attack a kid’s Lego set, you don’t need a plan. Bricks go over bricks, red over blue, green under yellow—and you get applause at the end of the day. Which is fair enough. You’re a kid playing and play should be free-wheeling.

But the moment you get to serious house-building and you pull out your Lego resumé, you’ve got trouble on your hands. And that’s because you need a blue print of sorts. You need a construction plan. Just sitting down and attacking the timber ain’t going to get that house up in a hurry.

Which is approximately how you write a book as well

Most of us have read books—sure, but haven’t been privy to the writing process. And the first part of the process is planning.

You need a framework to hang your information on. And the framework makes things accessible, and idiot-proof. The biggest reason we have DIY (do-it-yourself) disasters, is because someone with a hammer and blowtorch decides to write a book.

Invariably you get a book, but the core of it is shoddy. The material is extremely hard to consume.

But we’re not even jumping over to the reader

Like DIY without a blueprint, it’s just plain hard work.

The reason why so many tasks take so much time is because a plan makes the step-by-step process easier. You know where you’re going right—and more importantly where you’re going off on a tangent. And when we take this tangential trip, we end up spending a lot of time.

Time that could have saved, with a plan; a structure in place.

When you look back at the Renaissance, for instance, you see an incredible volume of creativity

Why were so many people creative at one point in time? The answer lay in the structure of apprenticeship.

The teacher had a plan, the apprentice followed the plan. And then once they were fluent, they went on to create their own marvellous pieces of art. Writing too, is a piece of art. And sure you can throw anything together and hope it sticks. But it’s better to have structure.

However, structure itself won’t work—and this takes us to design.

Stage 2: What’s design?

Design is indeed what it looks like, but it’s more about how it’s consumed. So when you read a book like The Brain Audit, for example, you find yourself sliding through it.

Now on the face of it, it’s a marketing book with some analogy about seven red bags on a conveyor belt. Doesn’t sound too racy, does it? And yet, the moment you start, it’s a slippery slide.

Chapter after chapter gets your attention…

You hardly feel like you’re reading a marketing book. You somehow feel motivated to keep going. And this is because of the design.

It’s designed to look good—yes it is—but it’s also designed to get you slip-sliding.

Do you notice the white spaces? The sub-head design? The cartoons, the summaries, the captions, the stories and analogies—they’re all designed to do a specific thing at a specific time.

Just like when you’re building a house, you get different elements working sequentially, but also all at once

You get the piles put in, then the house structure. Suddenly there’s an army of plumbers, electricians, carpet layers etc. They’re the ones that give your house the ability to function as a living space. They’re the designers.

Sure you can get an interior designer to come in and give your place a swishy look, but that’s only later. The core is all the bits that go together to make the house. And it’s remarkably similar to a book. Without the elements in at the right point—and sometimes all together, it’s hard to get going. And head banging follows.

Which of course brings us to the third part—content

Remarkably the easiest part is content. Because for the most part, we know what to say. You know this to be true, because once your house is built, you kinda know how to fill it up with stuff. Yes, there’s always the chance of clutter, but if you followed the first part—structure, you should be good.

The reason why we struggle, is because we put the entire truckload of information on paper. Clients take one look at it, perhaps a second look and then never finish. And that’s bad for them, but mainly bad for you. Because now you have to go out and find new clients instead of clients coming back over and over again.

But that still leaves the question: What do you put in the content?

The very core of content is not that hard. You have to approach it like a five year old approaches a skunk. They’re not afraid of the skunk. And they have questions. So what does the five year old ask?

-What is that?
-Where did it come from?
-Why are you so scared of it?
-Why are they so smelly?
-But can’t we have one as a pet if it’s not smelly?

These are the kind of questions you ask. It never leaves us, this core curiosity.

If you’re writing a book on pricing, and you are covering “how packaging affects pricing”, you have similar questions.

- What is packaging?
- Why does it matter?
- How do you use packaging to increase prices?
- What are the mistakes you can make with packaging?
- But what if you don’t want to package?

These are the core questions you have to answer. And remarkably, you could write the content without too much trouble, if you just had a friend or customer ask the questions. But where you struggle the most is in the structure and the design. And that’s what you need to work on.

Amateur writers sit down to write.

Professionals first sit down to plan.


Live US Workshop 2015: 4 Seats Left!

How to create knockout information products that instantly separate you from the competition (and enable you to charge higher prices)

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Announcing! Dartboard Pricing: How To Increase Prices (Without Losing Customers)

Website Series: How to create a trusting experience for your website visitor
Testimonial Secrets:
Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t)
Sales Pages:
How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

5000bc: The place to get reliable answers to your complex business problems?
Black Belt Presentation: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
Membership : How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


Two Critical Components For Getting Attention

Two Critical Components For Getting Attention

Let’s say you’re sitting in the audience, about to hear a speech on “Why Customers Buy”.

You’re expecting the presenter to introduce himself.
You’re expecting that presenter to say something about conversion and purchasing decisions.
You’re not 100% sure what to expect, but you’re not expecting what you’re seeing right now.

The speaker has grabbed a chair from the audience.

He’s saying something. Standing on the chair, sitting on it. And suddenly your brain can’t help but be riveted to what’s unfolding before you. And that’s because the speaker is pressing hard on your brain’s neurotransmitters. He’s getting your attention by doing something that’s so novel that you have no option, but to pay attention.

Attention: A combination of novelty and consequences!

To get a person’s attention—any person’s attention, you have a few minutes, perhaps even a few seconds. And if you break up attention into two distinct bits, you get two parts. Novelty. And consequences. The novelty comes first. It’s the part that holds your attention.

Suddenly, there’s this unusual thing unfolding in front of your eyes. And it’s not terribly unusual, but enough to get and keep your attention. The moment your brain is locked in, your curiosity ramps up.

And no matter whether you’re on a website, reading a book, or listening to a presentation, the same neurotransmitters kick in, starting of course with novelty. Remember the chair story? Well, that was novelty.

Instead of starting The Brain Audit presentation talking about conversion, I sit on a chair, stand up, sit, stand

And then after a few seconds of these antics, I ask the audience, “Who expected the chair to break?” None of the hands go up—obviously. Then I ask the question, “why didn’t the chair break?”

And then someone in the audience will invariably say, “It was built to take your weight”. Which, yes, is the right answer. The chair didn’t break because it’s built on science. It’s not supposed to break. And then we look at our marketing, and find that it breaks. We don’t know how or why  it breaks, because there’s no science”

You see what’s happened? We moved from novelty right into consequences!

Novelty is nice. Novelty is needed. It’s what gets your attention, but then it’s time to sustain that attention. And that’s when the consequences storm through the door. But for consequences to exist, a problem must exist in the first instance. So once you bring up the problem, you then (and only then) explain the consequences.

And when we go back to the chair example, we see how the problem seems to have shown up

“With marketing you don’t have the science of a chair. It doesn’t work every single time. And so you spend a bit of money on advertising or write out a cheque for some Facebook campaign. But the results are far from consistent.

You hit, but more often you miss. You spend money here, there and everywhere and you’re not even sure what’s going to work for you. It’s frustrating, even debilitating, not knowing when you don’t get consistency. And yet the brain works on consistency. When we send out a consistent message, we get consistent result.

The reason why there’s such a hit and miss syndrome is because we don’t quite understand how the brain works. So how does the brain work?

See how novelty and consequence make a great act?

But first you have to understand what makes great novelty. And novelty mostly comes from two areas: analogies or stories. The moment you understand how to tell dramatic stories, you can immediately create novelty.

The same applies to analogies. But like everything in life, you can tell stories in a great way, or make it utterly boring. The chair analogy stands out because it’s unusual.

If a presenter had to start with an analogy of “building your house on rocky vs. sandy ground”, for example, the audience would fall asleep, because they’re more than likely to have heard that analogy before. So your novelty has to be built around something that’s pretty every day in nature, yet different enough to get attention.

And once you get to consequences, there’s also scope to go off target

Most of us get so enamoured with the consequences of the problem, that we forget that we have to stay on a narrow track. Your audience is locked in because you’ve just told them they’re wasting money and they don’t know how to stop this crazy expenditure. At this point, it’s easy to go off track into a completely different set of consequences.

But you’ve got to stick with what happens next

What happens when you spend all that money? How does it impact your future decisions? How do you feel when things go wrong? These are all consequences of a SINGLE action. And staying on track is critical to keep that attention. If you get distracted and head into several consequences, you’ll quickly lose the audience.

Let’s take another example of attention and consequences

In a presentation on “pricing”, I will start the presentation with a video of New Zealand. There you are, waiting for the presenter to talk about pricing and he’s talking about “three month vacations”. But that’s the novelty. And it’s tied right back to why you struggle to take those vacations. The reason? Sure, it’s the prices you’ve been charging.

And then it’s time for the consequences of lower prices

How you have to work twice as hard to get the same results. How you get more tired, never having time to upgrade your skills. How those lack of skills cause clients to choose others with superior skills. And then you have to work so hard just to stay in place, that a vacation, let alone a three month vacation seems like a distant dream.

So how do you increase your prices? And how do you pull off this trick without losing customers?

Attention and consequences are powerful allies.

Used well they get and keep attention.

Nice, eh?

Product Offers: Links you should visit

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The Brain Audit
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The 6 Most Important Lessons In Marketing

The 6 Most Important Lessons In Marketing

1) Follow up.

2) Follow up.

3) Follow up.

4) Follow up.

5) Follow up.

6) Follow up.

How do I know this to be true?

Because recently we launched a book on Membership Sites. As is the norm, we give the best price to our members at 5000bc. We also let them know about the product a lot in advance. They read it in announcements, on the forum etc. So what price would your members choose to buy the product at? The lowest possible price or a higher price?

You’d be surprised at what you’d find…

Our logical minds would tell us that the lowest possible price is when you’d pick up a product. But that’s not the case. Yes, many members do pick it up at the member’s price. But at least 15% or more pick up the product/service/workshop at a higher price.

Now why would they do that?

We can’t say. And neither can you. Maybe they weren’t convinced. Maybe they didn’t read the earlier emails. Maybe they were on vacation.

Maybe—and the maybes don’t matter.

What does matter is that a reasonable number of buyers (and we’re still talking members here) do buy at a higher price, and on a later date. Which means that if we didn’t follow up, those sales may not have happened.

And this little insight shows you that if your closest, tightest band of followers aren’t paying that much attention after being reminded over and over again, how will the rest of your audience react?

Yup, you got it right

The rest of the audience is more skeptical, more distant and so yes, logically they would react much slower. The less connected your audience is to you, the more they’d hesitate to buy your product. And hence, if you don’t follow up, you miss the chance of getting the sale from this audience for sure.

But that’s not all.

When you miss out on a sale, you don’t just miss out on one sale

I recently bought a series on “how to draw trees, how to draw skies” etc. I bought that product about three weeks ago. Yesterday, I bought some more product from that very same instructor. So what are the chances that I’d buy the second series, if I’d not bought the first?

It doesn’t take much to guess that you don’t get to second base, unless you slide to first. And yet the first would have never got my interest if it wasn’t for the consistent follow up.

Which is all very fine in theory, but how do you follow up without being a pest?

Well, it depends. There are several ways of following up. Yes, the most effective way is to be direct and to the point. That means an email that says: “Announcing the book on XYZ…” is going to get far more response than anything else you can send to your list.

That single announcement that is pure sales and nothing else will get a far greater open rate than any other email. Yes, it’s salesy, but customers want to buy from you. So if you have something to sell, they want to see it.

But being direct and to the point continuously, isn’t the best of ideas

If you keep pummeling someone with sales offers, they’ll soon tire of you, and stop paying attention no matter how great your offer. You can however, follow up with other methods. E.g. a book excerpt. Or a few testimonials from clients embedded in your weekly newsletter. Or an interview where you talk about your book.

As you can tell, there are many ways to follow up for a single product

And you don’t want to do them all at once. The mistake that rookies make is that they send out the excerpt, the testimonials, the interview etc. all in one email.

Well, fine, so now what do you have left to send to you list, when you want to follow up? Not a lot, huh! So keeping the follow up sequence ready is pretty darned critical. And yes, make sure you create this sequence well in advance.

In advance?

Yes, in advance. When you’re first selling a product/service all your cylinders are firing. Yes, you may be exhausted from having to put the product together, put the sales sequence etc. but that’s the point when you’re most focused on your product.

If you put together the entire sequence—or at least six follow up steps, you’ll get those follow up steps out of the door on time. If you don’t, you’ll soon get distracted with taking a break or just launching something else, and your existing product will get bounced to a black hole on your to-do list.

So follow up:

1) Follow up many times. Six is a good starting point.

2) Even your best customers don’t pay attention the first time, or even the fifth time.

3) A great starting price is often not incentive enough. Your best customers are likely to buy even when the price rises, so keep at it.

4) If your best customers are not paying attention, ahem, guess how much more work you have to do for the rest of your customers.

5) So it’s one sale. Nope, it’s not. If you don’t make this one, you miss out on future sales as well.

6) You can indeed follow up without being a pest—provided you plan your sequence of follow ups.

7) If you front-load all your follow-ups in one email, you have nothing to follow-up with. So yeah, space them out.

8) Plan and put the follow-ups in place at the time when you’re most exuberant (and yes, most exhausted). It may not make sense to work when you’re so fed up of everything, but once the moment passes, it will be even harder to put any sequence together.

And that’s it

You now have the 6 Most-Important Lessons in Marketing.

Unless you follow up 9 or 10 or 15 times.

Next Step: Links you should visit

1) How do you create presentations that enthral, hold and move  an audience to action? Find out more…

2) Are you serious about getting your business to the next level in 2014? Have a look at 5000bc.

3) Are you losing tons of potential business because you don’t know how the brain works? Read how The Brain Audit can help you.

Products: Under $50
You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

1) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

2) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

3) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

4) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s January 2015, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected!
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

5) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.
A client who hassles you at every step of the way. Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.

Black Belt Presentations: How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action?

What You Can Learn from “Snake Oil” Gurus

Snake Oil Gurus

You probably don’t like snake oil gurus.

They pad their products with fluff, promise you the earth and don’t deliver. And yet, the next time someone says: I’ll show you how to convert thousands of people to your blog without doing more work—boof, you’re in.

So why do snake oil gurus work, when your business doesn’t?

It’s a simple understanding of pre-sell. One of the core elements of pre-sell is philosophy and methodology. Philosophy is mostly what you stand for, and methodology is how you get it done.

And the snake oil merchants have a sound understanding of philosophy. They know that they want to get rich, rich, rich and have tens of thousands, even millions of people treat them like gods. In short, money with a solid dollop of power.

Now whether you like it or not, you like that philosophy

You can indeed see yourself as someone reasonably powerful, maybe like J.K. Rowling. Lots of money, lots of power. Everyone bowing and scraping, without the need to be out there flaunting it all. Or maybe you like to flaunt. Maybe you’ll be a Kim Kardashian kinda character with helicopters, opulent mansions—all the stuff that snake-oil promises.

There often is just one problem with snake-oil

It doesn’t deliver. The methodology is where it all falls apart. You get the philosophy, you buy right into it, but even as you’re buying into it, you know the methodology is not going to work for you.

That’s because the methodology is going to involve a lot of schmoozing, a lot of tricks, a lot of selling—almost pummeling customers to buy into your system.

And you don’t like that. Besides most of the methodology doesn’t boil down to much. All you really have to do is fight your way into a similar snake-oil inner circle and you’re away.

All of this creeps you out—it sure does.

So is there a way out of this mess?

Yes, there is. It’s called pre-sell. Your customers need to get your philosophy first. Instead, you’re all stuck into improving—not talking about your methodology Which means you aren’t communicating either the philosophy or the methodology, both which are probably a lot superior than the snake-oil merchants. You probably have a method for getting about 50 new customers a month, but does that sound sexy?

Nooooo it doesn’t. 10,000 new customers, a list of 750 people signing up every day: those are the things that sound super-sexy, right? But waitasec, back up that truck, because you’re wrong.

50 new customers a month is sexy.

14 new customers a month is amazing.

In certain cases even 2 customers a month is enough to blow the customer’s

Provided the customer understands your philosophy

Why are 14 new customers so much better than 750 a day? What do you look  for in those customers? How does it help to treat those customers better, differently even.

Take for example, a guy called Jiro. He runs this little sushi bar in (get this) a basement of the subway station of Ginza, Tokyo. And he takes on just 10 new diners a night. Yup, just 10.

And his philosophy is to give you the freshest sushi experience ever

Going to a Jiro dinner is almost like a final exam. You actually feel the need to prepare to get the best of the evening. And you do, because at $375 per person, and having waited 3 months to get your seat, you’re quite into the philosophy long, long, long before you show up. You’ve bought into the person, his philosophy and his methodology long before you pay for your meal.

We all make the same mistake

At Psychotactics, our products are 3% filler. What does that mean? If you buy a book or audio or workshop, there’s going to be 3% filler. I’d call it breaks (e.g. the pages between the chapter, or the music in between or the breaks at a workshop). But strictly speaking 97% takes you from A to B in a super-elegant way, with “tiny increments”.

Our philosophy isn’t world domination. It’s not to spread twenty-thousand kilometres across the planet. Instead it’s depth. We want to explore a topic one inch wide and twenty thousand feet deep.

And so when we create the products or training, it’s always incremental. It’s always filled with dozens of examples. The examples always pertain to successes and mistakes. They always strive to cover not just products, but services and training too. And the products are always sandwiched with summaries, cartoons with captions that summarise and yes, our passion: food.

But do you get that idea before you buy our products?

Of course not. We’ve gotten so busy with our methodology that we’ve never stopped to talk about what drives us to create this stuff. Our methodology is solid—and doable. And so we fail to realise that it’s not enough for us to know who we are, we have to tell the story. The philosophy must go hand in hand with our methodology.

And the snake oil merchants are good teachers in this respect.

They realise that philosophy matters more

That why something is being done is more important than the way you do it. So they get away with just the sizzle and not the steak. You on the other hand can’t bear the thought of promoting your products without the steak, but forget the sizzle. And this is why we all have to take a step back if we want customers to really love our products and services like we do. We need to drive home the philosophy—first. Then explain our methodology.

You don’t ever have to be a snake oil guru

You don’t ever have to care about world-domination. You love what you do, and you want to do a lot of it. But your customer needs to know.

So yes, pre-sell

Pre-sell your philosophy first. Don’t let the snake oil guru get there before you.

Next Step

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Why You Need To Treat “Amazing” Marketing Strategies With A Little Caution

Amazing Marketing Strategies

There’s an episode on the TV comedy series, “Everybody Loves Raymond” and it involves a recipe.

It goes like this…

The daughter in law wants a recipe.

The mother in law is keen to show that’s she no Scrooge and offers to give the recipe. There’s just one thing missing—yup, the secret ingredient that makes the dish like it should be made.

Most marketers give you their recipe

And often it’s not like they hold back the secret ingredients. They just fail to give you the exact details. Let’s take for example a marketer that tells you not to send out newsletters so often. Maybe he boasts that you don’t need content, that you don’t need to send out a newsletter except one every few weeks, maybe even months.

Sounds like a superb plan, right?

I mean, c’mon, who really wants to write newsletters frequently? It takes so much time to write it, then format it, then send it out. A strategy that involves none of this work, sounds like heaven. And yet, you’ve only heard what you want to hear because that’s what we do as humans. We tune in to what we want to hear and tune out the rest.

In this case, part of the strategy is to stop writing so many newsletters. But a second part of the strategy also involves contacting dozens, maybe hundreds of other bloggers and getting them to comment or at least point to your blog.

So wait, how do you get those hundreds of bloggers?

Oh that’s easy. You just get in touch with them.

See the problem, yet? Of course you do. Where do you find the bloggers? Is there a strategy? What if the bloggers don’t respond to your comment? What if they don’t point to your blog? Since everything truly hinges on those bloggers, it would make sense to focus a lot on that part of the system, right?

Oops, looks like an ingredient got left out of the mix!

And this is often what happens. People are people and even when they don’t tend to leave stuff out of the mix on purpose, they do.

And some do so, on purpose.

I once went to a workshop with a world-renowned painter. He was very helpful, but he left out the minute details. Since I was quite friendly with him, I asked him why he left out those details: “Oh that’s easy,” he said. “If I give them everything, they’ll get as good as me”.

But let’s not be cynical—not everyone is cut from the same cloth

All the same, when buying an info-product or course, you’d want to do your due diligence—mostly after you buy the product. Before you buy the product/course, there’s little chance of knowing what the product is going to deliver (yes, even the best sales letter in the world is designed to get you to buy, it’s not a prospectus).

But once you’re in, and you don’t find the answers to your questions, you need to get those answers. Without that precise ingredient, things don’t fall apart—but they don’t work either.

In order for the whole system to work, you need more than a few videos and some fancy notes

You need step by step precise strategy. Every time the marketer tells you: do this or do that, they’re moving into a new rabbit hole. And that rabbit hole is very deep indeed. If they just touch on the concept and move along, you can be sure you’ve missed out on a great deal. You’ve actually missed out on a whole chunk that would make the strategy work.

The way to analyse a product or course is to start with the bird’s eye view

Can you locate the main topics? For instance in the info-products course we have three topics: Structure, Stories and Summaries. Now when you look through each of those topics, is each section explained in detail? Are there enough examples, case-studies that enable you to understand each part in the greatest detail? Does each section elaborate on the mistakes you could make—and which mistakes to avoid?

Think of what would happen if the creator decided to skimp a bit on the topic of “summaries”

You wouldn’t know how critical it is, would you? I mean, what’s the big deal with “summaries” anyway? And yet, it’s super-crucial. The only reason why a marketer or teacher will bring up a topic is because there’s a nice, big—and deep rabbit hole. And if they don’t take you down that rabbit hole, tah, dah—you’ve seemingly got the entire strategy, but there’s an ingredient missing.

It’s easy to say, don’t write so many newsletters.

It’s easy to say, do this and do that.

But it’s also easy to leave out tiny bits out of the recipe—often quite by mistake.

And then you end up like the daughter in law in the “Everybody Loves Raymond” series. You think “you’re” the problem. You think “you’re” the one that is hopeless and not talented. You think “you’re” the one who needs to rethink your future.

When all that’s missing is the secret ingredient.

A tiny, seemingly inconsequential ingredient.

Next Step

If you haven’t read the free report—Why Do Most Headlines Fail? (And How To Create Headlines That Work Every time), subscribe to get your copy.

How to get FREE: Two Brain Audit Audio Files



Last week you got a chunky 30-page excerpt of The Brain Audit.
This week you can get two short five-minute audio files. These short audios will teach you two very important lessons which you can implement straight away.

What you will learn:

1) The critical difference between ‘The Solution’ and ‘Your
2)  A tested-formula on how to write a powerful tag-line.

There is a deadline though

You have to get it before 14 Sept. 2014.  Then it’s gone. So get it right away. Either download it, or listen online.

Here are the links: (It make take a few minutes to load)

Each audio is 5 minutes and contains clear and actionable information. So listen to it today and implement what you  learn.


Try it today. You’ll hear for yourself what makes The Brain Audit so well-loved and mostly well-used!
P.S. Don’t forget to download the audio before 14 Sept. 2014.

Why Webinars Are Not Enough (The Power Of A Live Workshop)

Live Workshop vs Webinars

A live workshop has four walls.

That may not seem impressive to most of us, but it makes a world of a difference both for you and your client.

For a client to get to those four walls, she has to shower, dress and travel some distance (often large distances) to be present. She also had to put her life, and if she’s smart, her work on hold to be part of an event.

This means you have the focus and attention of the client like never before. At least while your clients are seated at the live workshop, they’re listening to a lot of what you say, and doing a lot of what you tell them to do.

I’ve read at least a hundred books on watercolors

Yet my watercolor work barely nudged ahead, despite practicing every single day. Then, I went to Spain in September 2012. I was there for a week. In that week, we did about 10 different paintings in watercolor. To say that I was out of my depth, is an understatement. I had never used an easel before; never drawn at a 45° angle; didn’t like landscapes that much — the list goes on and on.

But in that one week, my work jumped several notches. And this is because I was a lot more focused, saw and experienced things that I could not have experienced while sitting with my dozens of watercolor books. To give you an example, just the way the instructor used the palette made an immense difference to me.

The fact that I could not escape from the room also helped.

In most situations, I will get easily distracted

After about 15-20 minutes or so, I will start fidgeting with my iPad or phone even if I’m watching something online. But in a workshop situation there is other stimulus and activities that helps me focus a lot more. I also don’t have access to my iPad, phone or other distractions.

And to me, that is the critical difference between a workshop and a webinar

From a presenter’s point of view, you have far more of the attention of the audience than you could ever hope to have with the webinar. From the audience’s point of view, they have a lot more focus as well. They see things that they could not have seen in a webinar.

They experience energy and get a feel for the material and the person presenting it, in a way they is almost impossible through an online experience.

Yes, a webinar is very handy for a client

Sometimes it’s easier just to jump on a webinar, learn something and not have to take a plane, stay in a hotel, and spend all that money and time. And for some folks, having to deal with people all day is extremely tiring. How much easier it would be to just sit at your computer with a cup of coffee and watch a webinar instead.

And that is what I believed as well

I believed that online learning was so efficient that if the presenter really knew what he or she was doing (not always the case), then you get a pretty solid experience of the material. But I don’t believe this to be true any more.

I say this even though I still believe that online training has a lot of advantages. I believe that for both the business owner and the client, a live workshop should be part of the mix.

As a presenter/business owner, it would be very prudent of you to have both

Despite the enormous expenditure in terms of time and money — not to speak of energy, we continue to have workshops at least once every two years. To host our live workshop takes about a month of travel, a month of planning and at least a month of recovery time. That’s three whole months in a year.

In that same amount of time, I could host 2 to 3 online webinars, maybe even do a couple of courses and generate revenues far exceeding what I would earn in a workshop.

Even so, the workshop experience is what draws loyal clients to us on a consistent basis

A client who has done a live workshop with us ends up buying far more product and doing as many as 3 to 4 courses (remember our courses are not cheap).

This is because they get to know us at a granular level rather than through some online delivery system. This increases the trust many times over. In comparison, someone who has just read our material or done an online course, is still likely to buy quite a lot of product/and do an online course. But they pale in comparison to the people who have met us in the flesh.

And this is why I always suggest that you do live workshops

For Psychotactics, the workshop is probably the most expensive way for us to generate our income. It is also the tiniest revenue generator (often less than 2-5% of our income), and as I suggested earlier, sucks up a ton of time. Even so, we will continue to do the workshops because it is advantageous for us as business owners.

We will also continue to do a lot of online courses—and you have to treat them as a mix. You don’t want to get rid of the online experience or the offline experience. They both serve completely different purposes.

The offline experience is the harder road to take

This is the road that most of us do not want to take.

Take the road less – trodden and you will see for yourself that the results far exceed your expectations. Those four walls may not seem like much to you and me.

But they make a difference — an enormous difference.

Next Step: Links you should visit

1) Are you interested in taking your online business to the next level? Then you must have a look at 5000bc.

2)  Do you feel like banging your head against the wall when writing content for the important pages on your website?
Introducing: How to write compelling content for your key web pages. 

Top Selling Products Under $50

Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

New! Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages
Free! Excerpt of The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t 

Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room-without turning anyone off?

Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website

Next Step: To get more Psychological Tactics
Subscribe: :
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Why You Really Need To Step Away From Work

Step Away From Work

When do you get your best ideas?

No, not in the shower.

You get them when you’re not at your computer

Sit back and think about all the ideas that changed the direction of your life. And think of where you were at the time. Nope, still not in the shower. You were somewhere on the road, somewhere deep in conversation with someone or lost in a book.

So why don’t computers work like they should?

That’s because computers tend to be output machines. When we deal with computers we’re rarely getting input. Think of all the things you do at the computer: You write articles (output), you answer email (output),  you respond to Facebook/respond to blog posts (output), do illustrations (output)—and that list goes on and on. Yes, sometimes you may watch a video or listen to something that’s input based, but for the most part, your computer is in input mode, and you in output.

When you leave you computer, you move into input mode

I do my best to sneak away from the computer and get into input mode. Like right today, right this moment, I need to plan the sequence of what needs to be done for one of my books. I need to think the sequence through and it’s not like I can just output what’s on my mind.

So I take a trip to the cafe. I sit down and then I let two hours pass while I doodle my way through my plan. It’s not like I have a plan, but the plan unfolds. As I sit, the plan takes on a different dimension.

More often than not, my wife, Renuka is with me. And we discuss issues. Now we have the input of two brains, not one. All the great ideas, the ones that have given us the greatest peace of mind, the ones that have earned us the most money, the ones that make our lives wonderful—not once was I sitting at the computer when it happened.

But what if you’re busy?

Well, today is crazier than most. I have a dental appointment, two articles to write, a book to complete, audio to be recorded, my niece needs to be mentored all afternoon (and evening).

Well, let’s just say it’s a busy day. And yet, I will force myself to find two hours to sit at the cafe. The trip to the cafe clears my mind, and then I’m in input mode. I think, I write, I doodle. Gosh I love my computers to bits, but it’s amazing what a piece of paper and some free brain time will do for you.

Getting away from the computer gives us input time—time to get our own thoughts together.

Then it’s Mac time smiley

Next Step: Links you should visit

1) Are you interested in taking your online business to the next level in 2014? Then you must have a look at 5000bc.

2) FREE! Read the entire first chapter of The Brain Audit now.

3)  Do you feel like banging your head against the wall when writing content for the important pages on your website?
Introducing: How to write compelling content for your key web pages. 

Top Selling Products Under $50

Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

New! Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages
The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t (Available in Different Formats)

Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room-without turning anyone off?

Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website

Next Step: To get more Psychological Tactics
Subscribe: :
Get Updates via RSS | Get Updates via Email


Announcing! Why “Lazy Testimonials” Attract The Wrong Clients

Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.

A client who hassles you at every step of the way.

A client who won’t pay on time.
A client who takes up so much of your energy that you get drained.

I used to have clients like that

And then at some point I stopped getting bad clients.
Every single one of our clients were helpful, kind and extremely co-operative.
Work became a joy instead of a painful exercise.

And after a lot of digging, I found out the reason for the change

If you’ve ever struggled to get consistently good clients (or detailed testimonials for that matter) then you’ll find that this knowledge is more than just common sense. It’s a bit of strategy you can’t do without.

Judge for yourself at:



P.S. This is what Cornelia Luethi  has to say: 

“Business owners are often too scared to ask for testimonials”

I’ve been using Testimonials as a marketing tool for years – and I didn’t think there was much left for me to learn about testimonial techniques. Especially so after reading those powerful “six questions” in the Brain Audit.

After reading The Secret Life Of Testimonials, I learnt how to get more authentic and dramatic testimonials with great impact.
And–most importantly–how to use them to maximum advantage. Sean shares all kinds of layout and formatting secrets so that the message is visually stunning as well as a good read.

What I found really useful is how Sean de-constructs various testimonials, showing you the parts where they fail, and thereby enabling you to create testimonials that work a whole lot better.

I particularly liked the run-down on how to create video testimonials as that’s something I’ve been thinking of doing, but wasn’t sure how to get started and how to approach it. Plus there are some great ideas on how to get testimonials using online media.

I’d definitely recommend The Secret Life Of Testimonials.
Testimonials are absolutely vital for sales conversions, but business owners are often too scared to ask for testimonials, and don’t know how to use them effectively. In this book, you’ll learn how to get great testimonials – and with confidence.

Cornelia Luethi
FX Marketing, Auckland, New Zealand

Judge for yourself: Testimonial Secrets





How To Audit Your Benefits and Features For Singleminded Impact

How To Audit Your Benefits and Features For Singleminded Impact

In 333BC, Darius, the ruler of Persia was sure of his victory on the battlefield.

After all, his soldiers outnumbered Alexander the Great’s army by 2:1. And yet, Alexander used an unusual ploy. Instead of the usual strategy of both armies battling it out, he decided to just go after Darius. That single-minded command caused Darius to be outflanked and forced to flee.

That single-mindedness is something that every copywriter needs to focus on, when writing benefits and features. And the reason why you need to focus is because it’s very easy to go off track when writing a three-four lines on a specific feature/benefit.

Let’s take an example from the sales page of this book called “Client Attractors”

One the sales page we see features/benefits that read like this…

1) Big Brand Mistakes

Big brands make the same mistakes that small businesses do. In their hurry to create a sales page, they leave out critical information in their features and benefits. Learn how to avoid the mistakes—especially if you’re a small business owner.

2) Powerful Graphics

Many writers pooh-pooh graphics, but did you know that some of the biggest and most successful brands online use graphics to consistently drive home benefits and features. But how do you use these graphics correctly?

3) Benefits With A Secret Weapon

It’s clear as day once you know the secret, but some benefits are far more potent than others. The secret lies in how you insert a ‘problem’. The ‘problem’ creates drama and makes a run-of-the-mill benefit stand out. Once you know how to use the ‘problem’ in benefits, you’ll want to use it all the time.

So what three points did you get from those benefits/bullets?

The first one was specifically “big brand mistakes”. The second was just about “graphics and how to use them” and the third was the “unleashing the secret power of the problem”. In short, the benefits/features started out with one point and drove home that one point, without getting distracted.

But even so, it’s easy to get distracted when writing a few lines of the benefits/features

So yes, this isn’t a battle of “Alexander vs. Darius”. It’s just a sales page that takes a lot of effort and concentration. It’s possible you could have slipped up and gone off on a tangent. So go back to your benefits and features. And examine them one by one listing the one point you wanted to make for each benefit/feature.

Does each of your benefits and features drive home a single point?

It should, because it’s only when you singularly focused on driving home the point, will you get and keep the attention of the reader.

The copywriting battle isn’t as easy one. But even when faced with incredibly uneven odds, you can still make every word on your page count.

Use single-mindedness as a strategy.

It worked for Alexander. It should jolly well work for you.

How do you get meaningful testimonials, without needing to bribe anyone for it?

 Testimonial Secrets Bonus Video

Utilizing the easy to understand, easy to implement information in this book should bring in far greater revenue. And even better, it solves a problem for me of how to get real, meaningful testimonials, doing it legitimately-and without making anything up, or needing to “bribe anyone”.

The best thing of all: I’ve learned how to get these testimonials long before anyone has bought the product!

Allen Weber
Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Judge for yourself: Testimonial Secrets

“The Brain Audit is not some ‘how to’ book– it’s a way of thinkin

What The Brain Audit provides that was missing in all of the ‘mainstream’ teaching and training is the piece critical to all sales: how the brain perceives and processes information.

Susan Trinter, Corporate Dev. Programs
Washington D.C., USA
NOW available in Different Formats ! The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t.


Top Selling Products Under $50

1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

8) Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages

1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website



Announcing: The Pre-Sell of the Pre-Sell Book (Available at an early bird price!)

Why Pre-Sell Book: Psychotactics
It’s here!

The pre-sell of the the pre-sell book.

What’s that supposed to mean?
Well, the book isn’t ready yet. It’s work in progress. There are pages to be written, cartoons to be drawn, audio to be recorded and tons of little things to be finished before the book is available.

But until 15th Feb, 2014 you can get it at an Early-Bird Price
I know, I know. A book that costs over $200 hardly sounds like an early bird offer. But believe me, it is. For one, the book isn’t padded like other courses. You could go out there and get several “formula launch courses” for $2500 or more. And frankly it’s hard to apply those formulas because they depend so heavily on numbers.

At Psychotactics, we’ve gone the opposite path 
We’e always tried to operate like it was 2002, and we’ve just started our business. When we sell products, services or courses, we rarely go out to large numbers. In fact, most of our courses/services are filled up with an audience of fewer than 400 customers–sometimes less.

We don’t have any affiliate program, no advertising campaign…
No Google adwords; no social media presence to speak of; no joint ventures blasting our products/services to everyone in sight. And yet, we’ve thrived over the years simply by putting out great products/courses and services. And doing so with small audiences.

You’re probably small too
Your audience may not be much to boast about. Yes there’s a ton of blah-blah about how to get 20,000 fans and increase your subscriber list by 432%. And yet, you know deep down in your heart, that isn’t going to happen in a hurry.

Pre-sell helps your clients know about your products/services a lot 
in advance
And it helps them decide based not on this relentless joint-venture-formula-blast, but through a slow, organic method that works. There’s no fluff here, no soul-selling craziness. And yet, make no mistake, the products/services fly off the shelf when offered.

We’ve learned a lot of stuff over the years.
We’ve done a lot.
Nothing has been as magical as pre-sell.

Nothing.It’s saved us time, made us a small fortune, allowed us to take 3 month-vacations every year. And most, if not all, the aggravation of wondering and waiting is minimised.

So how do you buy into the magic?
You can pre-purchase it today before the price goes up.
This price is valid until 15th Feb 2014 (yup, that’s next weekend).

Judge for yourself:

Warm regards,
P.S. The premium bonus is a product in itself. You’ll be able to create a “mini-sales page” that works and takes away a ton of aggravation. You’ll learn how to put together a template quickly and effectively (which really is a big boon, considering all the work that has to be done when launching just about anything).

P.P.S. If you’re wondering, the price will go up by $100 next 
weekend–and then keep climbing. So this week is a bit of a bargain.

Why Marketing In 2014 is like being in 1920

In 1920, marketing was a chore.
People were separated by vast distances. To get any sort of message
across was a royal pain.

And this is what 2014 looks like as well.
There’s Facebook, Twitter, Glitter, Mitter and a million methods
that are distracting you–and your customer. And with every month
that passes, the distraction gets even greater.

Marketers, of course, will tell you a different story
They’ll tell you that you can get 10,000 Facebook fans overnight.
They’ll tell you that their list is growing by 500 customers a day.
They’ll give you these wonderful, overnight success stories.

So you’ll buy the “magic trick” and hope that it works for you,
and invariably the market takes over. The distraction kicks in,
and it’s harder than ever to get newer customers (let alone
get customers to listen to you).

So what’s the solution?
The solution has been staring all of us in the face for the longest
time. You never needed (or will need) 10,000 Facebook fans. Yes,
it’s very nice to get 500 customers a day, but hey, let’s be

What you’ve know all along is that you can indeed get all
the revenue you need from fewer customers.

But fewer customers come with their own caveat
The fewer the customers, the more you’ll have to make sure they’re
paying attention. And that’s why you need to drip feed them
information over weeks, possibly months. It’s a patience-based
system, this concept of pre-selling.

And yet, pre-sell works pretty solidly. With pre-sell, you are able
to systematically get the few customers to buy your products and
services consistently. This ensures you have a lot less stress, a
very solid income and aren’t spending all your time doing yet
another joint venture, affiliate program or crazy ad campaign.

Best of all, pre-sell enables you to test the validity of your
product or service (yes, even a service) long before you spend all
that time and effort creating it. If you do it right (and there’s
no reason not to), you get a small stampede that keeps you more
than satisfied–even with just a small group of customers.

1920 was indeed a chore.
And 2014, will be a pain too.
Or not.

Have a look: http://www.psychotactics.com/presell

1) This is a pre-sell page. There is no “buy-now button”.
2) The buy-now button will be put in place on Sat 8, at 3 pm
(Eastern US).
3) Yup, all the details are on the page. Have a look.