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.
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