Marketing Strategist

All Posts by Ben Hunt
My job is to look at the world and wonder... "How can we make things better?"

The Elephant in the Room

Published 3 weeks ago - 0 Comments

Thirteen people have already signed up for the Intensive Group for my new Marketing Strategy Course.

(To those 13, thank you so much, you’ll be hearing from me soon with details.)

If you haven’t decided yet, I’d like you to consider whether marketing strategy could play an important part in your professional business over the next few years.

Because I really believe it’s the missing element.

In Internet Marketing circles it’s the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Why?

The first is, you can’t bottle it. You see, information marketing is easy money, and the way it works is that you take strategies and tactics that have been shown to work, document them, and then sell the how-to information to buyers, usually at a high price.

Ah, but there’s a problem…. You see, when you take one thing that works in certain contexts and you apply it in other contexts… it may not work.

What would you think if someone said, “Hey, this chat-up line worked for me, look at my beautiful wife! I’ll sell YOU my chat-up line for $1000!”

You’d tell them to stick their chat-up line where the sun don’t shine. Quite right.

But info marketing is very close to that. The info marketers say, “Hey, look at how well Strategy X worked for my launch! I made a gasquillion dollars!! I’ll sell it to YOU for only $4997!”

You see the problem. You can’t take A STRATEGY, transplant it to a different context, and expect it to work.

So you CANNOT say that the product launch strategy always works (at least not with integrity). I found that out only recently, when a team I’ve been advising followed Jeff Walker’s PLF and managed to reduce their sales from double figures to ZERO.

You CANNOT say that funnels always work! Yes, that model and methods will definitely work for some products in some markets some of the time, just like a cheesy chat-up line will work on some people in some bars in a certain state of inebriation, some of the time.

And you CANNOT take copy from a weight loss pill campaign, change a few words, and expect it to be effective selling

But there is NO STRATEGY that you can apply profitably in any situation. None.

That’s the big problem the info marketers don’t want you to know. That is the darkness they dare not face.

Because the truth is, the right STRATEGY is different in each scenario. It depends on a number of factors (but it’s a finite number). It depends on analyzing those factors with truth, integrity, and sensitivity. It requires creativity, sideways thinking, big thinking, analysis, imagination, courage… All stuff you can’t bottle.

The right strategy for you has not been created yet. The right strategy for each of your clients has not been created yet.

That’s why I believe you can’t sell STRATEGIES with integrity. But you can sell strategy as a service. Because there is a way to work it through, there IS a method. That’s what I’ve been working on for the past few years. That’s what Open Source Marketing is all about.

How would you feel about working it out together?

If you take one of the last places on my Intensive Group, I will personally help you master the marketing strategy process by applying it to your own real-world scenarios.

Whether it’s for your own business, or for clients, I’ll do what I can to apply my marketing strategy process so that you come out with a clear plan and you can proceed with more confidence than you’ve ever known.

Interested in a Course in Marketing Strategy?

Published last month - 55 Comments

I am considering running a short course in Marketing Strategy, and would like to get your views on it.

Update: The course is now planned to start Sunday April 9th.

In brief, here’s the plan I have in mind.

  • One recorded video presentation per week for eight weeks (probably).
  • All the recorded sessions will be FREE for everyone to access (based on the views I made clear here)
  • In addition, and if there is enough interest, I may also run one or more premium live workshop sessions each week over the 8 weeks.
    • Here you get to explore the material in greater depth, and get direct support to apply it to your own situation.
    • The live workshops would be ideal for those who want to take marketing strategy further, whether to go in depth for your own business’s strategy, or to develop your skills for client service.
    • There would be a fee for these sessions, say $25 per week ($200 total).
    • These sessions would be recorded and shared only with the premium group.
    • Numbers will probably be limited to 50.

Why Marketing Strategy?

The importance of marketing strategy is explained pretty well in “Web Design is Dead”. If you haven’t read that, make sure you’re on my email list. But here’s a quick summary.

  1. Marketing strategy is about knowing where a business, brand, or organization wants to get, and why. It is absolutely central to business strategy, and ultimately, success. It answers the questions: “What does it mean for us to succeed, and how will we get there?”
  2. Any campaign that is based on a well-thought-out and articulated strategy knows exactly what it needs to do and what needs to happen to achieve that. As a result, the campaign will be far more effective and less wasteful.
  3. Marketing today is more complex than ever before, because we have far more options, channels, tactics, and advice. (And much of the advice is misleading!) That makes it confusing to know how the heck to proceed with any certainty.
  4. Many of the options open to us today make it far easier to burn through a pile of money without seeing a return on your investment. This is true for education programs, consulting and other professional services, as well as marketing channels like pay-per-click.
  5. All these factors mean we could be getting to a crisis point for business owners. They will cry out for help to know how to move forwards, but have been burned enough by service providers and so-called experts who peddle “cure-all” solutions that their trust and confidence are at an all-time-low.
  6. That’s where a new profession of Marketing Strategist comes in! A Marketing Strategist is an independent consultant who has the skills to interview a client about what they want to achieve, then help put together a plan for getting there before they think about investing in platforms or creative and technical services. A professional Marketing Strategist can advise on how to roll out a strategy, and even help manage the project, but will (importantly) remain independent from specific service providers.

People, the world is ready for talented and committed professionals to step up as Marketing Strategists. It is very early days, and if you’ve been around online marketing for long enough, you’ll know that’s exactly the best time to get involved.

I want to help launch this new profession, and to do that I need good people. You don’t need to know it all, because nobody CAN know it all. There’s simply too much to know.

Is This For YOU?

  • Do you genuinely enjoy working with clients to help turn their visions into reality?
  • Are you a high-level thinker, who prefers the big picture to day-to-day details?
  • Do you prefer planning and communication over technical delivery?
  • Is it in your nature to explore, to ask questions, to think bigger, or think differently?

If you answer “Yes” to these questions, the next question is: “How do you feel about being one of the first of this new breed?” If you answer “excited” or “inspired”, read on.

Marketing strategy has been one of my main roles for a few years now, and I love it! Why? Because it suits me! It’s the perfect match for the kind of person I am, the way I think, the way I communicate, and the way I want to serve clients. It challenges me in the way I love to be challenged, and it allows me to avoid the tasks that I don’t enjoy so much (and therefore don’t do so well).

And that all means I can deliver more value to more clients more of the time.

I know that now is the time to formalize the role into a well defined professional service. That’s why I have been working on turning my strategy development process into a step-by-step system that others can follow and help develop.

This is only the first phase in a significant strategy that I’m rolling out (with a few partners) over the coming months. (It’s too early to share details now, but this could be BIG. I’m talking about developing this into a recognized profession, complete with on-going professional development, certification, marketing and lead-generation, etc.)

All I need to know is, are you interested enough to know more? I don’t need a commitment yet, but please comment below, including your email address, and letting me know…

  1. If you’re just interested in following developments
  2. If you’d like to take the free course.
  3. Or if you’re also interested in the live training program.


Also see

Marketing is Sex

Published last month - 6 Comments

When you think about it, marketing is very much like sex.

When it works, it can be so right, empowering and creative. When it’s wrong, it can be disempowering and destructive.

The relationship metaphor is often applied to marketing. The idea being that you go out and look for your prospects, or attract them to you, and then go through some kind of courtship that may take anything from moments or months. But let’s be honest — ultimately it’s about the consummation. (There’s a reason why we use the term “proposition“.)

When the chips are down, what really matters is, is this going to work? Is this a fit?

As I’ve said so many times, marketing is all about creating the conditions for a trade.

Anatomy of a mortise and tenon joint

In “The Secret of Selling Anything”, sales genius Harry Browne defined a trade as a transaction where two parties exchange something of theirs for something else that the other offers, each party convinced that what they’re getting is worth more to them than what they give up.

When we’re selling, it’s possible to have what seems like a great product and an ideal customer, but for some reason the trade doesn’t work. Maybe it’s timing, or maybe the communication is incomplete or inaccurate.

That’s just like relationships and sex. You can have two great people who look made for each other at face value, but the chemistry just isn’t there.

Male & female connectors in a VGA interface

Maybe it’s the wrong prospect, maybe it’s the wrong product, or maybe the proposition was badly put together or mis-communicated.

Whatever it is, that’s all marketing.

Marketing is about finding a fit between brand, product/service, problem/opportunity, and customer. The proposition is where those elements come together.

So as a marketer or businessperson, what you’re really doing is designing that fit. The “male-female fit” is all around us, whether you’re a carpenter creating a mortise and tenon joint, or you’re using a VGA connector to get a monitor to work with your computer.

So far so obvious. The real question this raises for each of us who’s in the selling business is…

What kind of marketing (sex) do you want?

Just like sex, marketing can work for both parties, or can benefit just one side of the arrangement.

Are you looking for people who really need or desire what you offer, or will you take any sale you can?

Marketing can be consensual or non-consensual.

Are you committed to providing all the information a prospect could need in order to know for sure whether your offer is right for them, or are you prepared to withhold, misrepresent, or embellish the facts in order to get the sale?

Marketing can be a genuine two-way experience.

Are you willing to get intimately involved with your market? Will you listen to their needs and concerns so you can respond positively, or just keep pushing directly to get your immediate needs met?

Marketing can focus on building long-term relationships or single transactions.

Does your marketing activity filter your prospects so that you can concentrate on those who are likely to have a long-standing customer relationship, or does your focus stop at the first consummation?

It all comes down to the nature of the relationship you’re looking for. Depending on what you’re selling, you can choose to have an extended, friendly, consensual courtship so that your prospect really gets to know you, and wait until the time is right for them to say “yes” to you.

How was it for you?

You can choose to have your customers wake up the next morning with a warm glow, knowing they have been an equal and respected partner in the event.

Even after the transactions are over, you can choose to remain friends, giving your customers every reason to speak well of you.

I don’t know your business, and I’m not here to tell you what you should do. And there’s nothing wrong with quick, dirty, cheap marketing.

The ultimate question is, what do your customers expect from your brand? How do they expect to be treated? Answer that question, then you can choose the right way for you to proceed.

What’s Wrong with Information Marketing?

Published last month - 38 Comments

Everybody knows that information marketing can be super-profitable. And while it isn’t my intention to piss on anyone’s salad, I have a feeling deep down that something isn’t quite right.

Why is info-marketing so profitable? It’s simply because any digital product that is delivered electronically has practically no cost of production or cost of delivery. So the only cost of sale comes from advertising, meaning that gross profit = sale price – advertising costs.

These days you don’t even have to burn and mail a DVD. So whether you sell two units or twenty thousand, each one is just one more record on your membership area database.

No wonder so many people are drawn to this “easy money” and there are so many courses on the market (themselves info products) promising to show you how you can tap into it, with new ones coming out all the time.

My issues are twofold:

  • First, in my heart I believe that information that costs practically nothing and that can help people should be free.
  • Second, in order to sell information to another person, you have to create the impression that what you’re selling is particularly scarce, powerful, or otherwise magical. That creates a massive temptation to be selective with, embellish and inflate the facts to make the product seem more beneficial than it probably will turn out to be.

I’ve written about the second point at length before (including “Internet Marketing is Broken“) so let’s focus on the first point.

Why Isn’t Information Free?

I’d like to compare what goes on in “info marketing” with established sectors like science, medicine, and academia.

There you get very smart people, who’ve spent a lifetime studying their particular niche. They come up with an idea, verify and validate it, get it reviewed by peers, and then finally publish it for the benefit of the whole world.

Here’s an example, taken from the Lancet (a UK-based medical journal).

Now, I don’t claim to understand exactly what this article is about, but just look at the number of professors and doctors who have been involved in the study! You can get a feel for the level of sheer excellence that has gone into this work — literally months or possibly years of research, testing, validation, and review.

There is a cost to access this report via the Lancet. A year’s single online access currently costs £151 (US$187). That’s for everything they produce – a whole library of potentially life-saving knowledge that has been rigorously tested before publication. I would argue that £3 per week is a fair price to justify the costs of maintaining the online library, making the information practically free.

Now, let’s compare something taken randomly from the info marketing space. Eben Pagan’s “Digital Product Blueprint” (sales page) costs $1997, over 1000% the cost of a subscription to an entire library of potentially life-saving knowledge.

Now, I’m sure that Eben’s product can deliver the goods. I’m sure it will take me step-by-step to creating a digital product in 90 days. (I’m not sure that will also guarantee my life is taken to the next level, but let’s let that slide.)

How and why can Eben’s 90-day programme possibly be worth ten times a Lancet subscription?!

Has DBP taken more work? Looking at the list of contributors to the Lancet article, I would say not, and certainly not 10x the work.

More expertise? No way.

Originality? Well, I’m sure DPB is based on many marketers’ previous work, probably including Brian Clark’s “Teaching Sells” (2009), Product Launch Formula, and many more.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with building on prior art! In fact, the vast majority of science, medicine, and technology necessarily does the same. That’s how we have made so much progress as a species!

The Lancet report will certainly reference a lot of previous work (although probably in a totally transparent way, as it’s very bad form to pass off any previous study as your own).

So let’s be generous and say there’s little difference between the two products in terms of originality. Both are built on decades of prior art, and have had taken at least months of original work to put together.

No case for a 10x price tag so far.

In fact, let’s cut to the chase and say that the ONLY case you can make for DPB’s $2000 price tag is… The promise to make you more money.

That’s the crux of the whole argument. The cost is justified by the promise… no, the implication, that you’ll not just make money using this, but that you’ll make so much more money that it will “take your life to the next level”.

Is it true? It may well be true. It may well be the case that, if you follow Eben’s 90-day plan, and you have the prerequisite assets and skills at your disposal, you could get more than your $1997 investment back.

Is it guaranteed?

Um… Er…Shit, no.

Actually, here’s Eben’s guarantee.

This marketer will guarantee that you get a digital product done in 3 months. That’s it. Not launched, not sold, not one penny of your $1997 investment recovered.

In fact, if you want to get really picky, the guarantee requires that you present your homework for the entire program, which I’ll bet actually necessitates that you’ll have actually created the product in order to reach the end. So in reality this could be no guarantee at all.

Buyer Beware

So Eben isn’t promising you’ll see your $1997 again. And why should he? He can’t drag you through to commercial success by the hair, ultimately it’s down to you to apply what he teaches you. That’s a fact.

BUT… We still come back to $1997. We still come back to TEN TIMES THE COST of a whole library of potentially life-saving knowledge of the highest calibre.

The copy says, “Why would I offer a guarantee this strong and let you go through the entire course at my risk?” (my italics). But how much is the provider actually risking here? The cost of sale, that’s all, which as we’ve seen should be minimal.

So, unless I’ve missed something, the fact is that the buyer is taking 100% of the risk here.

Note that I’m not setting out to say that Eben Pagan is doing anything wrong, or dishonest. Rather, this is the pattern across the entire information marketing sector.

Stop Bitching, Ben!

Several people have accused me in comments of being jealous of “successful” Internet marketers.

I’m not. I have nothing against people making lots of money, and I myself have made lots of money in the past (six figures) selling information. So these articles are as much a journal of my personal journey as anything else.

Others will come out and accuse me of lacking “abundance mentality“.

I don’t think that charging exorbitant prices for digital information IS abundance mentality. In fact, I thin the contrary is true. It’s scarcity mentality, and it’s unnatural.

Consider the Lilies

If you ever want to know how things can work optimally, just look to Nature. Nature is abundant. Flowers release their scent freely. Trees and bushes produce nuts and fruit freely. Yes, plants actually “trade” nectar for pollination and produce fruit in order to procreate, but here’s the difference…

In Nature, the giving is not tied to an up-front cost. Sure, a flower expects bees to carry its pollen to another flower, but it offers up its nectar anyway, in the hope of the reward. It does not require the bee to commit massively up-front in the transaction.

In fact, you could say it is the flower that takes the risk.

So why, in information marketing, should it be the buyer that takes all the risk?

My Proposal

I believe it is possible to give away practically all our information, and still make a good living. In fact, I’m proving this by giving away all products (that are all my own work) for free via Open Source Marketing and other channels.

I’m still at the early stages of these ideas, but here are a few thoughts to digest:

And that’s the crux, really. As I said at the start, if knowledge can be used to benefit others, why charge for it? Why follow scarcity thinking?

If you have specialised, advanced knowledge — if you’re the best — why not make your money by applying that knowledge? Here are some ideas for you.

  1. Teach others live, either one-to-one or in groups.
  2. Present live at conferences and seminars.
  3. Deliver consulting to clients who need the highest level of expertise and are prepared to pay.
  4. Go on retreats to amazing locations where you can work with groups who want to learn from the best.
  5. Run an inner circle or mastermind group where you coach others directly.
  6. Create an association or guild of other practitioners who want to become the best.

There are plenty of ways to get paid for your knowledge by actually applying it in the real world.

What? You think that by refusing to share your knowledge with anyone unless they can pay makes you more valuable?

I disagree. When I look at the world, I see the very best sharing freely, creating abundance AND profiting well, while those who are stingy with their know-how are not among the best. They’re shysters and penny-pinchers who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

So I guess what I’m saying is that, in terms of The Stack, the “DIY Paid” level should ideally be incorporated into “DIY Free”. That’s the way I’m running my business now, and I hope to show you how great it can be to follow the natural, divine model and to share freely. Want to join me?

Can Software Write Your Copy?

Published last month - 22 Comments

It has been a while since I felt compelled to write one of these reviews calling out Internet Marketing bullshit.

(I honestly don’t like doing it, and would prefer not to.)

But then it has been a while since I saw anything quite like this email I received today from Internet Marketing guru Russell Brunson, with the subject “want ME to write YOUR copy?”

Here’s the subject line.

And here’s the body of the email.

Now I’m not guessing that this email was spat out by the magic software. It’s well written.

The subject line makes you think, “Hey, really? Russ is gonna write my copy?” which gives you a reason to open the message.

And it gives you the familiar market trader patter of setting up the usual massive price, before saying, “But wait. Now you don’t have to pay a fortune!” plus “Usually this would be out of reach, but not anymore!” All good, tried and tested sales copy.

I don’t have a problem with any of that.

I don’t have a problem with the fact that Russell is claiming that someone had to give him equity in order to write copy for them. I’m sure that happened, although in reality it was probably far more of a happy joint venture.

No, my problem is with the proposition itself. The idea that ANY software can actually WRITE COPY.

It’s bullshit of the highest order. The only way I can really describe the supremacy of this bullshit is to borrow a line from Pulp Fiction.

Pulp Fiction Vince Lance

But when you shoot it, you’ll know where that extra money went. Nothing wrong with the first two. It’s real, real, real, good shit. But this one’s a fuckin’ madman.

It’s not just bullshit. It’s fuckin’ batshit-crazy madman bullshit.

Why? Because anyone who’s written copy, whether it’s good or bad, knows how hard it is, how complex, and subtle it is. And how every piece is a brand new challenge.

The process is as human as things get! There is NO SOFTWARE that can WRITE good copy, period!

Good copy means fully and intimately understanding the audience, the product, the offer, the feeling you want to create, how to generate curiosity or intrigue or whatever hooks you’re going to use to get people to keep reading. It is really, REALLY difficult.

Red Smith was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore. …”Why, no,” dead-panned Red. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

So the idea that software can WRITE even basic copy effectively is preposterous. Why? Because there’s no software anywhere that can empathise with human emotions. End of story, goodnight, sweet prince.

So for Russell to say “THIS is the next best thing to having ME actually sitting in your office writing copy for you!” is not just hyperbole; it’s a blatant LIE. I bet my ass that ANY moderately talented copywriter can out-perform Russ’s machine.

So What CAN Software Do?

I’m not saying Russell hasn’t created something that can churn out words. Clearly he has.

(And he isn’t the first. Black-hat SEOs have been using software to chew up content and vomit it back out over the web for years. The bastards.)

But that’s not the same as copy. “Copy” is the result of a creative process. Humans can create things that elegantly balance the super-complex factors of psychology, emotion, imagination, and legal responsibility. Computers can’t, and won’t be able to for a while.

Let me predict what this magical “mechanical Turk” will turn out to be. It will be a template system that asks you a bunch of questions, then spins out some familiar-sounding wordage using your responses. And will miss the mark, by a long way.

If you’re going to go to the effort of answering all the questions you need, and you really don’t have the writing gene, you would be better off taking that time to put your answers down on a brief and giving it to a third-rate copywriter on Fiverr. I’m certain you you’ll get better results.

What Else is Out There?

A quick search revealed this article by Bob Bly that talks about an alternative software solution called Persado, which had just (July 2015) raised $21 million to take their product to market.

Persado seems to be far closer to the kind of AI copy-writing software that you might be expecting. It uses algorithms to help it compose a range of copy, but even then it can’t actually write.

From the article…

But, as it turns out, the WSJ misinterprets what Persado’s software is really doing. So let me set the record straight, based on a recent interview I conducted with Persado CMO David Atlas.

First, the software does not write copy in the sense that you or I might write a sales letter, ad, landing page or brochure. It cannot do what we copywriters do — yet.

Atlas explained that the Persado algorithm is limited to creating persuasive sentences with a maximum length of 600 characters.

So far, Persado is mostly used to write email subject lines, Facebook ads, text messaging for mobile marketing and short-form landing pages.

“Persado solves a mathematical word puzzle to figure out the best sentence,” says Atlas. “It automates the creation of small sentences optimized for persuasion in digital marketing that drives action.”

What’s Your Problem, Ben?

I love to see people innovating, solving problems in new ways, and making money selling those solutions. Bravo to every entrepreneur and inventor out there who does that.

But when I see people peddling so-called “solutions” that promise to solve problems that are as challenging — and as important — as marketing, when those “solutions” are merely patterns that have proved effective in a few cases, and pitching them as UNIVERSALLY effective, that’s where I lose my shit.

This is me about to lose my shit and turn green.

I’ve railed against cookie-cutter marketing solutions in the past, and I’ll keep doing it as long as people are losing money on them.

For example, I literally just got off a call today with a group of people who are promoting a technology that could transform the world. They invested time in studying (wait for it) Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, and followed the system thoroughly.

No sales. Not one. The previous 2 times they sold this product, they sold over ten units (it’s a fairly high-priced training). This time, after months of work to follow PLF, zilch.

Why? Because Product Launch Formula doesn’t always work! There is NO FORMULA, there is no special sauce, no cure-all, no magic fucking beans, no answer to YOUR marketing challenge… because YOUR marketing challenge is UNIQUE!

Anyone who says there is a one-size-fits-all solution to marketing is
a) lying, and
b) about to try to sell you one.

So yes, Russell Brunson’s team have created some software. It is probably the result of months of cutting up previously successful copy from a wide range of campaigns. It has probably taken months of programming. It will certainly spit out copy in response to what you give it.

And it will fail.


I would like to see this software in action. If it really can write great copy, I will eat my hat, retract this post, and will go on record proclaiming Russell Brunson as the saviour of marketing.

(Update: I’ve now seen it in action, and it cannot create great copy. My hat is safe, hooray!)


Image from Russell’s G+ page:

I’ve got nothing against Russ as a person. The first time I came across him was a couple of years ago when I saw a video of a presentation he gave, and I found him immediately likeable and authentic.

I can’t remember the details of what he was talking about, but I remember sharing it with my group at the time saying, “I think this guy could be one of the good guys” because it definitely struck me with its integrity. And I know Russ has worked very closely with Dan Kennedy, who’s one of the smartest marketing minds alive.

So, before the trolls are released (as they always are) let me say this isn’t an attack on Russ, it’s a comment on the prevailing habit that many Internet marketers exhibit to extrapolate a product or service’s ability that works in some cases and claim that it could work for everyone. It can’t. Marketing isn’t like that. Sorry.


I’ve just been through a previous recording of Russ’s sales webinar where the product is actually demonstrated, which I found with a quick web search.

It’s called “Funnel Scripts“, costs $297 (at least that’s the “buy it now before it disappears” price offered at the end of the webinar), and it does exactly what I thought it would…

You enter a few details (main benefit 1, main benefit 2, main obstacle, etc.) and it spits out basically a document that slots your words into many combinations of boilerplate text (along with a bunch of other outputs like webinar presentations). So it’s basically a “fill-in-the-gaps” copy spinner.

My Conclusions

For what it is, Funnel Scripts seems very good. But the problem is, what it is is not what it is being pitched in this email. It cannot replace a skilled copywriter.

The makers do not promise that Funnel Scripts will produce your final copy. In the webinar, they stress that all copy needs to be edited and tweaked, so you should expect to rework it to some extent.

If all you want is basic, generic, shallow, and narrow sales copy, this product WILL spit that out for you more quickly than writing it yourself, and probably more cheaply than hiring someone to write it for you.

If your market is relatively naive and dumb, that may be cost-effective, so go for it. If your market is sophisticated enough to have seen a range of similar generic sales copy before, it may not work so well.

If you know beyond doubt that your offer does not deserve its own custom strategy, this could work for you. But I can’t think of any offer I’ve worked on recently that fits that description. Even if you need to do something as basic as tell your offering’s origin story in an original way, you’re way beyond the scope of Funnel Scripts.

If your product and/or your market require particular insight (beyond the basic, brash, bold claim aimed at the unsophisticated impulse buyer), that will require close attention and the software can’t help you.

The end result will never be as good as copy that has been expertly crafted. The reason is that this software solution provides, by its nature, what is basically a relatively dumb process. As I’ve said, nobody can write software that can actually write copy, make it fit-for-purpose. All it can do (at least at this price) is automate a fill-in-the-gaps template.

To propose that this software means you don’t need to be a good copywriter or hire a good copywriter, or that it’s anything LIKE having a good copywriter write your stuff is disingenuous beyond measure, at least for 99% of us.

In other words, if you’re selling magic beans, go for it.

The Path Program: Week Four

Published a few months ago - 1 Comment

Here’s the final week of free videos for “The Path Program” where we start to put one foot in front of the other on the Path you choose for yourself.

Don’t watch these unless you’ve already worked through Week OneWeek Two, and Week Three.

Week Four Day One: Your definition of success

What does success mean to you? You don’t have to use anyone else’s measure. Choose your own!

Week Four Day Two: Break it down

Turn your big goal into smaller, manageable steps, and put a timescale on them. What resources can we call on?

Week Four Day Three: Resources

What do you need in order to walk your Path? What will help you? Which resources do you have access to now? Which do you not now?

Week Four Day Four: ASK

Who can best help you take the next steps on your path right now? Contact them! Be okay with “no”.

Week Four Day Five: Enrol others

What kind of team could help you along the way? Build it.

Week Four Day Six: Set up your support structure

What will help you keep taking the steps forward? What support would you like to have? Set it up.

Week Four Day Seven: Close

What do you need to get go of? Whose permission don’t you need? JFDI.

And here’s the wonderfully inspiring video of Pavi Mehta’s talk.

The Path Program: Week Three

Published a few months ago - 0 Comments

The videos for week three of “The Path Program” — a short course designed to help you get what you want most in life (really want most).

In this week we move into some serious head-work, clearing out the bullshit that keeps you standing in your own way.

Don’t watch these unless you’ve already worked through Week One and Week Two.

Week Three Day One: Constraints

Go through your list of reasons why you’re not enjoying your Path right now. Which ones are REAL?

Week Three Day Two: The Garden of Eden

Go through a list of stuff and mark it Right or Wrong. Then consider there is NO absolute right / wrong??

Week Three Day Three: FEAR

What’s the worst that could happen? Literally, write it down.

Week Three Day Four: Responsibilities and Masters

Write down all your responsibilities. Then go through and either choose each one or not. Be clear about the nature and limits of the resp. you choose.

Week Three Day Five: Verify and Choose

Is it true / false / unknown? What do you choose to do with those false or unknown constraints? Is it powerful to use your Word to embrace your real constraints??

Week Three Day Six: Getting Free from Judgement

Freeing yourself from the fruit of the tree enables you to choose with power.

Week Three Day Seven: What Would You Like to Have Happen?

Pick a few things you can do in the next week.

The Path Program: Week Two

Published a few months ago - 1 Comment

Here’s week two of four of “The Path Program”, which I’m making available for free. Why? Simply because I want you to have it, and I don’t want any reason for you to say no.

Don’t watch these unless you’ve already worked through Week One.

Week Two Day One:Your Path

Thread: Write down the times in your life where your Path has poked through (like a thread through cloth). What is it about those things? What is the thread?

Week Two Day Two:Your Vision

Describe the world you would like to see. (No one is right or wrong. The world you live in is the world you choose to live in.)

Week Two Day Three: Your Values

YOU get to choose. Write six words that are meaningful to you. (Or you may choose a different number.) “X is important to me, because I say X is important to me.”

Week Two Day Four:Money & Resources

What represents survival > security > comfort > ease > luxury? What do you choose to earn?

Week Two Day Five: Other People

How does your vision involve others? Who needs to be enrolled in this vision? Who will benefit from it? What’s in it for them?

Week Two Day Six: One Thing

Just pick one thing that you can BE right now, in this moment. Practice being the master of WHO YOU ARE.

Week Two Day Seven: What Keeps Us Trapped?

List all the reasons why you haven’t got the life you would like right now.

The Path Program: Week One

Published a few months ago - 3 Comments

In the summer of 2016, I got together with a couple of other coaches or facilitators to put on a course on “whatever you most want in life” and called it “The Path Program”.

We ran the course for four weeks, and I made one short video per day over that time, building from some basic principles through to putting your big plan for your life into action.

Now I’m sharing my videos with you for free. I hope you get as much out of this material as I did making it. I certainly discovered a massive amount about what I’m doing here. Enjoy!

Week One Day One: Introduction & Signposts

Week One Day Two: Who Are You?

Week One Day Three: Your Place in Space

Week One Day Four: Your Place in Time

Week One Day Five: WORD

Week One Day Six: Be, Do, Have

Week One Day Seven: Get Out of Your Own Way

And here’s the “Stop It” sketch I refer to.

A Business Proposal For You

Published a few months ago - 6 Comments

I’ve been mulling on this idea for a few months, and I guess it’s just time to put it out there.

In brief, I’m looking to partner with a few people who want to take advantage of my online marketing platform in return for some compensation (fee / share of revenues / etc.). Specifically, I want to know YOUR ideas for how YOU would partner with me.

Here are the facts as I see them…

1. Incredible Potential is a kick-ass domain! Here are the top traffic keywords from Google Analytics over the past four weeks. top traffic terms (past 4 weeks) top traffic terms (past month)

That’s only what I could fit on the screen, but Analytics shows 38,313 visits to the domain in the past month, of which 29,766 came from organic search.

WDFS Traffic

I also have a mailing list with over 8000 contacts that has grown by 4000 in the past year.

My mailing list growth over the past two years

My mailing list growth over the past two years

Bottom line: If YOU were to post your high-quality content on my website, it has a great chance of ranking well. Plus we can instantly promote it to thousands of people who are interested in web design, marketing, copywriting etc..

2. Seriously Under-Utilized

When I was in the agency business, I ran a five-figure monthly business with several staff with zero marketing work, other than posting on Web Design from Scratch.

Here’s what I learned early on…

Sharing what works and telling people how you get great results for clients is the perfect advertisement for your business!

While I am still working in web marketing, design, development, I don’t have the time to continue to develop new courses, books, and other products.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll have seen the evolution away from web design, SEO, CRO etc. and through ethical marketing and the open-source movement.

These days my professional focus is more on innovation for companies, and my personal passion is in the area of sustainability and green living.

So I’m not posting enough on WDFS, and I’m not mailing my list enough. These are amazing resources that are simply not being used optimally. That means there’s a huge amount of business — and money — sitting on the table.

3. You Need More Business, I Want to Help.

I’m looking for a few partners who share my values, who have big ideas, and who are keen to build something cool.

This opportunity may be for you if…

  • You’re not a dick.
    • This is super-important. I promise everyone who signs up to my mailing list that I won’t sell them out, so anything I promote must be legitimate, useful, interesting, and honest.
    • Plus, if we’re going to work together long-term, we need similar values or it isn’t going to work.
    • Of course, you need to be good at what you do, and passionate about it.
  • You like to share what works.
    • The whole purpose of Web Design from Scratch has always been to share information about how to market online the right way.
    • So I only want content that’s generous and genuinely helpful.
    • That doesn’t mean you can’t blow your own trumpet. On the contrary, I’m specifically looking for your case studies about how you get traffic, get conversions, solve problems, win customers, retain business, make money, increase profits (whether for your own business or for clients).
  • You’ve got big ideas.
    • When it comes to the difference you’re making in the world, the bigger the better. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a large agency or a big product/service company, or you’re just one person. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got lots of money in the bank or none. I am interested in hearing what you’d like to change.
    • I love innovation, I love passion, and I love ideas that will improve the way we live. Making money is important, but it should come as a result of making a positive difference.

Your specialist area could be almost anything, as long as it’s interesting and helpful to my audience (people who do web design, web development, or online marketing).

You may be interested in WordPress, graphic design, copywriting, email marketing, web security, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click marketing, social media, conversion rate optimisation, or pretty much any area of online marketing and tech.

The Deal

I’m offering you:

  • Licence to publish your content on
    • This may be your own work, or joint interviews etc.
    • It is subject to my editorial quality control (must be top-quality stuff), and also subject to fair use (you can’t spam the site, we need to keep balance).
  • Ability to promote certain top-quality content to my mailing list.
  • This may include genuine offers and deals.
  • Plus any connections, collaboration, ideas, or coaching I may be able to offer (in limited time!)

What I’m asking from you is your ideas for trade.

  • Could be a partnership fee (suggested $500/month).
  • Or possibly a revenue-share arrangement (need to be clear how this would be monitored).
  • Or… something else. What kind of win-win scenario can you think up?

To take the next step, simply email me with your proposal! (I promise to reply to any genuine proposal that isn’t fucking stupid.)

Your pal,


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