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Copyright © 1999 by Michael Ross.
What follows is the transcript of an interview that was conducted via email. Daniel Sotomayor was asking me the questions. And has included this interview, titled "A Look Inside The Warped and Twisted Marketing Mind of Michael Ross," as a special bonus to his information package. He was quite surprised at the length of my answers. He had expected quick short answers. Instead, I gave him very detailed answers. Look for yourself and enjoy. Michael Ross. 1) How do you personally come up with ideas? Well Daniel, I know that this is NOT what you or your readers really want to hear, but for me, ideas just pop into my head. Most of the time I'll be doing something and an idea will just come. There is usually no conscious decision to come up with an idea. And what makes it even stranger is WHERE these ideas decide to invade my head. I usually get great ideas when I'm in the shower. So there, my secret is out. MY shower is my source of inspiration. Actually Daniel, it makes perfect sense for my ideas to form in the shower. When I'm in the shower I'm not really focused on anything. Doing the task at hand is pretty well automatic. And since I'm stuck in that small space with a body that's going through a set series of movements, my conscious mind is free to let my subconscious thoughts get to the top. Having said that, you need to know, while I may not try to force an idea per−se, I do set up the possibility for an idea to come. Here's how I do it. Now pay real close attention to this. This is the key to coming up with good ideas. Are you ready? Okay... First, I start with the knowledge that people buy ONLY what they want and NOT what they need. Now the chances are you've heard or read this before. And you may have heard this so much that you have no choice but to agree with it. But have you ever thought WHY we buy what we want and not what we need? Well I'll tell you... We have strong natural animalistic drives. Which can be seen best in children. All the seven deadly sins of the Christian faith "greed, envy, pride, gluttony, sloth, lust, and anger" are within us. We, as humans, have these seven deadly sins as part of our make up. We can not escape the power they have on us. Let me explain and you'll see what I mean... Greed: This is simply wanting more than we have.
Envy: Is simply looking upon the possessions of others and desiring to have similar possessions. Both of these are highly motivating factors. And are what most people would call ambition. And without this ambition there is very little that would ever be accomplished in this world. Pride: This is simply wanting to look good. And lets face it, we all like to look good. Also, by looking good we have the ability to attract a mate. Pride is a built−in instinct to help us, as humans, find a mate and reproduce. But it also helps us to strive. Strive to do a better job, achieve something, and so on. It's an ego satisfaction thing. Gluttony: This is really just eating more than you need to stay alive. Which can be very handy if you don't really know when or where your next meal will come from. And it's interesting to note, that if this happens too much, and you get fat, good old Pride kicks in to help you slim back down again. Sloth: What can I say about sloth? If you've ever felt like putting something off until the next day you are guilty of sloth. And if you've ever wanted to sleep−in in the morning you are also guilty of sloth. Stay in bed long enough and you will be guilty of... Lust: Good old lust. This is the prime driving force behind our desire to reproduce. Without lust the human race would not bother having sex. And no sex means no pregnancies. No pregnancies mean no birth. And therefore no people. We need lust for the human race to continue on. Anger: This is simply a survival thing. If someone hurts you it is natural to want to hurt them back. It's a simple self−preservation thing that's built into all of us. Now if you read back over these, you will see that they are all necessary for our survival. Specially for our survival in a hostile world. The type of hostile world that our ancient ancestors had to deal with. You'll also see that it is in our nature to want to indulge ourselves. As such, we buy what we want! Moving on... After starting with the base knowledge that we buy what we want, I also make another assumption about what to sell. I decide that I will only sell what people want. There is no way I am going to try and go against what is built in to all of us. This means I will sell something that will appeal to one of those seven deadly sins I spoke about. Now before you or your readers get all funny about how I am leading people astray, I have to remind you all, that I am simply giving people what they want. AND, if you ever wear any clothes other than is necessary to basically cover your body you are guilty of Pride. If you have ever over−eaten... if you have ever looked at an object and wanted it.... ever been
lazy.... ever bought something that you wanted and did not need... or have ever been angry, then you're guilty of those seven deadly sins. The only difference is that you may not have thought about it as fitting those sins. When we buy what we want we are indulging one of those seven sins. We are indulging what is naturally built−in to all of us. I hope this clears it up a little. And you'll see a more thorough explanation of this in action a little later. Moving on... A quick re−hash shows that I first accept that people buy what they want. Second I make the decision to only sell what people want. Notice at this stage I still have no real idea of what I will actually be selling? I have first defined the type of thing I will sell. I have a set base of knowledge to work from. And I will continue to build that knowledge base before I even look at a specific product. Third, I take it for granted that I will sell these people something that either gives them what they want directly, or helps them get closer to what they want. E.g.#1 Selling them what they want directly would be like this... say someone wants a TV. I'd sell them a TV. E.g.#2 Selling them something that gets them closer to what they want would be like this... Say someone wants a TV. I'd sell them plans on how to build their own TV, or sell them something that would enable them to make more money which would in turn give them the ability to buy the TV. In most cases I will go with E.g. #2. I will get people closer to their dream. The reason is that it is easier to create and tailor a product to fit EXACTLY what people want, than it is to buy an already existing product. Also, I have less cost when I create the product. This means I make more money. I do not rule out buying an already existing product to resell. But I will only do this if the existing product is what people want, and is not readily available everywhere. Meaning it is being under−exploited. Going with product type number two, means that I will usually sell either a book, audio tape, video, or software type product. All of these types of products are easy to create, cheap to create, and have a high perceived value (perceived value meaning that people will think of it being worth more because of what it is. E.g. We all perceive a music CD to be worth more
than an audio tape, and will pay more for the CD, even though their actual production cost may be the same). What this means is that ANYONE on a limited budget can create a product and sell it, and make a nice tidy profit. This is especially true of software. A CD ROM may cost $2 to duplicate, yet can be sold for hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Moving on... Fourth, I make it a point to ONLY SELL TO PEOPLE WITH MONEY! I stay well away from the welfare market. People on welfare do not have money to spare. This means two things. One: they most likely will not be able to buy anything that comes close to being $100, and Two: If they did buy a $100 item they would most likely ask for a refund once they'd assimilated the information, or they'd pay with bad cheques. (Generally speaking of course) Let me give you an example here: The Market − unemployed people. The Product − A book on how to get a job. The Problem − unemployed people have no money so cannot buy a book on how to get a job. Plus they never really see it as their fault they are unemployed. The Solution − don't bother with this market/product mix. Fifth, I pay close attention to HOW products in general are being marketed. Because I know that what works in one area is easily adaptable to another area. And sixth, I look at EVERYTHING and ask myself... "How can I make money out of this?" Something happens when you ask yourself questions. It's like you have given your brain a problem to solve. It then sets to solve that problem. The answer is what will pop into my head while I'm in the shower. I once saw a show about an inventor who had invented heaps of stuff. The interviewer asked him how he was able to come up with so many ideas. His answer was... "I look at something (a product) and ask myself, 'How can I improve this.' The answer is my new invention." I just use the same principle except from a marketing point of view... "How can I make money from this." Now the trick to this last part is actually doing it. And this takes practice. At first you have to consciously see something and ask the question. But after a while it becomes automatic. And your brain asks "How can I make money from this" without any conscious thought on your part. Once it becomes automatic you'll just be in the shower, or wherever, and you'll get one of those 'Ah ha!' thoughts come bursting into your head. It's really quite a buzz. I think it's time for another re−hash.
First, I start with the knowledge that people ONLY buy what they want. Second, I decide to ONLY sell what people want. Third, I decide that I will give them exactly what they want, or help them get closer to what they want. Meaning some kind of information type product. Fourth, I make it a point to only sell to people with money. Fifth, I pay close attention to HOW products in general are being marketed. And sixth, I am ALWAYS asking "How can I make money out of this?" about everything I see. When I say everything, I mean all ads, headlines, and stories. So I'll look through the newspaper or a magazine, reading the ads, and use step 6 − how can I make money out of this − to start my brain working on an idea. These six things are the base of HOW I come up with ideas. And I have trained my brain to use those six bases so it becomes automatic and requires no conscious thought on my part − not until I develop the idea further anyway. This is probably a larger answer than you expected. But I felt is was necessary to show you the fundamental principles and reasons why, behind those principles, if it was going to be of any benefit. I could have just left it as... I get a lot of my ideas in the shower. But that would have been useless. I felt you needed to know HOW I've trained my brain to work so it will give me answers and ideas while I'm in the shower, or anywhere else for that matter. Before we move on I feel I need to clear something up too. The shower is not the only place I get ideas. I get them all over the place, and at any time of the day or night. It's just that I seem to be more aware of them when I'm in the shower. Oh, there is one other thing... I surround myself with knowledge of what's going on in the world − newspaper headlines, various magazines, talk back radio, etc. This gives me an idea of what is interesting people at the moment. Because just one headline, ad, or story, can trigger an idea for a product. 2) Do you know of any "wacky or odd" ways people in Australia have made money? Yeah sure. But the thing is... in this day an age "wacky or odd" is a pretty hard thing to define, because anything goes. So what I'll tell you about are few somewhat unusual products/services I've seen people sell. One product I've seen being sold through full and half page magazine ads is grass seeds. Now while grass seed is not a wacky or odd product
in itself, I found it slightly unusual that it was being sold through direct marketing. Specially when you can go to any supermarket and buy it. But hey, the guy was making $100,000 a week, so it didn't seem to matter that you could buy grass seed everywhere. I once saw penises for sale. Can I write penis? Anyway, this guy had little penises with arms and legs playing sports − tennis, pool, football, etc. I thought that was pretty odd. While we're on the subject of sex, here's a few more services that have followed that path. I don't know that they are odd or wacky. I tend to think more unusual. One guy started a topless house maid service. Girls would come into your house and clean it while being topless. Another guy started a car wash service. His girls would wear sheer tops, no bra, and hot pants. Another guy, to increase the business he got to his barber shop, hired a topless hairdresser. And in similar fashion, another hired topless women to serve at his drive−through bottle shop. Now before you or your readers start thinking how sexist all this is, you've got to remember, all the women applied for these jobs. No−one forced them into anything. They saw an ad which described the job and they willingly applied. But lets move away from the sex side of odd and wacky... There was a guy who saw a lack in a particular field/area and so filled it. He basically started a 'remove your human waste from your boat' service, for those people who lived on boats moored in marinas. These people previously had to use the marina's facilities. Which could mean a walk along the docks at all hours of the night. But with this service, he would come around in his boat, complete with waste tank, pipes, and pump, and drain the effluent tank of the boat. Now that's something that I think is an odd thing to get in to. While these examples are not your usual product or service, I feel you are looking for something more odd, like "spray on hair" or the "flowbee hair cutting system" (both of which have been marketed in Australia), but specifically Australian. Well I'm sorry, but it just doesn't happen down here. And a lot of the reason 'why' probably has to do with the size of the population. Even though the land area of Australia is similar to that of the US, the population is only around 19 million people. Meaning the population, and
therefore the market with money to spend, is not large enough to warrant an entrepreneur getting into anything odd or wacky. What happens instead is that some of the larger companies try to sell some of the more unusual items from the US. They usually don't do any good and the item is quickly withdrawn. 3) Can you supply us with "case studies" on how you helped others come up with ideas for their products, services, or promotions? Let me see... there was that Eskimo that I showed how to sell ice cubes to his neighbours. That might be an interesting story So too might be the one about the Arab that I helped sell a stack of sand to his neighbours. Then there's the one about the salt−water selling fisherman..... Seriously though, I tend not to do "case studies." The reason is that I make it a policy to NEVER reveal what goes on between me an another person as far as success goes. The way I look at it is... I never talk about how many sales *I* make, or how many clients *I* have. The reason is that this information can be used to estimated my income. And the only people, beside me, who *I* want to know the level of my income are my wife and the tax man. Seeing that it is no−one else's business how much money I make, I figure it's definitely no−one else's business how much money a client of mine makes. I mean... how would you like it if I just started telling people how much money you made. Or if I walked around saying... "Hey, did you know that 'So and so' sold 136 books at $47 each? Yeah he did. He made $6,392 doing it......" I figure it's YOUR income. If you want to let others know how much you make then YOU tell them. But income is just one factor. There's also a "trust" factor involved. And a "client privilege" factor. People have paid me to help them, so I can't reveal those details. They've paid me for my ideas so those ideas remain confidential. And those that haven't paid me. Those that I have given a few ideas to for free, come under a trust thing. We communicated in private and that's where the communication stays.
Again, I ask you to place yourself in the position of those I've helped... how would you feel if you had paid me to help you increase your business, then find out I just revealed those details for all the world to see? And how would you feel if you had asked me for some advice through private communication, and I just gave all those details out? I know *I* would NOT like it being done to me, so I don't do it to others. Hence no case studies. However, there may be something I can do without breaking my 'code.' I can reveal generic things, and things that have already been asked in public. And in so doing, I think you'll benefit a lot more. Example 1: A restaurant owner came to me for help. I noticed that everything in the menu ended in 50 cents − $10.50, $19.50, and so on. My suggestion... raise the price of everything on the menu by 40 cents so all items would end in 90 cents − $10.90, $19.90, and so on. I can share this with you because suggesting to raise prices is not a 'client only' technique. It's something I suggest to all my clients. At first you may think that 40 cents wouldn't make that much difference. Well it does. I actually suggested to raise the price more but they didn't feel comfortable with a higher amount. So raising the price 40 cents still kept the main dollar figure − $10, $19, and so on − the same. Yet they now got an extra 40 cents per item. And this meant $200 a week (or $10,400 a year) to the restaurant owner. And it didn't cost a single cent to make that extra money. In case you are wondering... I mention this as an example to show you how much difference such a small, seemingly insignificant, change can make. In this case a price rise of only 40 cents meant an extra $10,400 a year PROFIT! Example 2: Remember how I said that I like to develop projects that appeal to our natural urges? Well, besides projects themselves needing to appeal to these urges, your advertising also needs to appeal. A while back, someone asked for help with coming up with a title for a book on beauty tips for women. They had a tentative title of something like, "147 Beauty Tips For Women." This title does not appeal to any natural urge. I immediately came up with these two... "Discover The 147 Secret Techniques That Will Give You Alluring Eyes, Sensual Lips, The Attention of Every Man, And Make YOU the Envy of EVERY Other Woman When You Walk In A Room." And...
"Discover The 147 Secret Techniques That Will Make Every Woman Jealous of You The Instant You Walk in The Room!" While these two titles may be able to be improved, they do appeal to the natural urges. In this case... PRIDE. It's an ego thing. I came up with these two titles because I asked the question, "Why do women want to look beautiful?" "What natural urges does a woman satisfy by being beautiful?" The answer resulted in the titles I suggested. And thing about them is... the women don't even have to know why they want to look beautiful. But the title sure will appeal to them on some inner level. Anyway, while these are not "case studies" per−se, they do illustrate points that you should take into consideration when developing your own projects. 4) It's been said that to come up with powerful ideas you should simply "model a proven winner." Can you explain what this means?.... Any examples to help us understand and appreciate this concept? Modelling basically means to copy. To do what someone else is doing. The logic is that you will get the same results. In a sense this is true, but there are also some flaws to this way of thinking. The problem arises when there is no distinction made between what type of modelling you should do. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point... About six months ago I was invited by another marketer, as a guest, to attend a two day workshop on being successful. It was to be put on by a guy who was a small scale Australian version of Anthony Robbins. I'd never heard of this guy before, but that means nothing. Anyway, during his morning talk on day one he talked about modelling. About how walking around with drooped shoulders and a lowered head gave the impression you were down in the dumps and not a success. But walking around with your head held high was the same way successful people walk around. So to be a success the first step should be to start looking like you were a success− walk tall, wear nice looking clothes, and so on. Well let me tell you... I've met and lived amongst some extremely successful people. And not once have I seen this walking tall in nice clothes thing. In fact, I've seen exactly the opposite. And it seemed to be proportional. Meaning, the more of a success they were the less you could tell by looking at them. It is/was only the 'wannabees' and 'nearly theres' that fit this 'model' of success − walking tall in nice clothes. Most of the truly successful millionaires would walk around in T−shirts and paint splattered shorts, or other such normal clothes. WHY? They didn't have to PROVE anything. They knew they were successful.
Who cared if others knew? The truly successful were not snobs. So after this guy's talk on modelling the 'behaviour' of successful people I walked out at the morning tea break and never went back. It wasn't just because of his 'modelling' talk... there were other reasons. And they all pointed to 'this guy didn't have a clue about human nature and what it REALLY takes.' He was just modelling himself after Anthony Robbins − probably after going to a Anthony Robbins seminar. The fact of the matter is... the only thing that modelling someone else's behaviour does is make you 'feel' like a big shot. It does nothing to actually help you get there. Now back to the question... the type of modelling I mentioned above is flawed. Because if you have a real close look at the most successful people you will see that they are like no−one else! They are not an imitation of anyone! They are individuals. Okay... now you know that modelling a behaviour does no good, you need to know what type of modelling is good. And I'm gong to tell you. The ONLY modelling that does any good is 'marketing modelling.' And I would class this as 'following the trailed blazed by those who have gone before you.' Imagine that right in front of you is a thick lush rain−forest. And in the middle is a temple. A temple filled with all sorts of treasures that are yours for the taking. And all you have to do is get to it. Now imagine that there is a path just a few yards away from where you're standing. And this path goes through the forest and leads to the treasure. You now have to make a decision... are you going to take the well worn path, or cut and hack and struggle to make your own path and find your own way to the temple of treasure? If you're smart you'll just go along the path. It's the same in the market place... you have to decide... are you going to cut and hack and struggle to find your own path, or are you going to follow the tested and proven ways that others have discovered? If you follow the proven methods you will be modelling. It is far easier and cheaper to follow the trail blazed by those who have gone before you. As long as you're following the right trail and not just the one that looks the easiest to follow. It's sad but true, that most people will take the trail paved with cobble stones instead of the slightly overgrown trail that actually leads to the treasure. And only because the paved trail looks easier to travel along − no boulders to walk around or fallen trees to clear. I think I better leave the jungle behind for the moment... too many mosquitoes for my liking
and I forgot my insect repellent. Now lets look at this from a marketing point of view... which is the ONLY modelling I recommend. First, lets look at advertising. I'm sure you would agree that a good ad is one which has a headline, right? So whenever you use a headline in an ad you are following a PROVEN part of marketing. You are modelling your marketing. Now lets take this way beyond headlines. If you see an ad which runs over and over it's a good bet the ad is working. So ask yourself... what is the ad selling? Which MARKET is the ad targeting? Seeing the 'market' the ad is targeting will give you an indication that the market is spending money. So now ask yourself... what type of product is being sold? Answering these question will let you know which market has money in it, and will show you a way to make money from that market. Knowing this gives you two options. First, you can enter that market and sell the same or a similar product. Second, you can enter that market and sell a companion product to the one being sold in the ads you see all the time. Lets look at the second option... companion products. Say you notice a lot of ads selling 'home brewing equipment.' If the ads keep on running you can be sure a lot of people are buying home brewing equipment. If you have followed what I said earlier (way back at the beginning), you have already asked yourself, "What can I sell them? How can I make money from this?" If you haven't asked yourself that question yet it means it's not automatic yet. But not to worry. Ask that question now! Remember MY way of thinking? I will try to appeal to a person's natural urges. In this case I will appeal to pride and the ego with a product that can help these home brewers brew better beer. So my initial thoughts will be along the lines of some kind of recipe book full of great tasting beers. A natural companion product to beer brewing equipment. In this example I 'modelled' after the market and what it was buying − stuff for brewing beer. I first let someone else spend money to see if the market was responsive, or even if there was a market there. Now lets take this even further and lets stick with the same market...
Okay, so I'm going to sell a book of beer recipes. I now need to look for a 'book selling method' to model − a proven way to sell books. And I have to keep in mind that what works in one market will work in another. So I look for methods used to sell books. I see a few methods. I see full and half page ads. I see two−step marketing. I see direct sales letters. I see book of the month clubs. I see product inserts. And I see other methods too. My ONLY problem is which method to use? And are there other 'marketing methods' that I could adapt? Methods used to sell other things I could use to sell my books. Okay... first we know this beer brewing equipment is being sold via ads. So we know that the market will respond to an ad. That means they would most likely respond to MY ad too. So I will model my ad after the brewing equipment ad − if they use two−step marketing I might try that. If they sell directly from the ad I'll try that. Whatever THEY have proven to work *I* will do and TEST. Can you see what's happening here? THEY have found a way through the jungle to the temple of treasure. I am going along the same path. Now to get even more advanced. You'll notice that a minute ago I said "...are there other 'marketing methods' that I could adapt?" Yes there are. And some unusual ones too. I'll show you just one. The method I'm going to use is 'software.' I know you think this is strange, but please stay with me. You'll see how ingenious this is. A lot of software is sold as 'shareware.' That is fully functional software you get for free that asks for money if you like it. You're on the honour system. Another method is known as 'demo' software. This is the same software that has had certain abilities turned off, or is fully functional for only a few days. This give you a taste of what you can have IF you pay for it. Lets use the 'demo' principle. Say I know that 96% of these home brewers have a computer. What I will do is put my recipe book on a floppy disk. And I will do something to it so that those who get the disk cannot access all of it. I'll be modelling the demo software. What I would do is place my recipe book on a floppy disk and encrypt it and password protect it. I will restrict access to it, just like demo software. I will then place 'lead generating ads' to get a list of people who are interested in my recipe book. And I will send these people
my floppy disk and my sales letter. By marketing like this I am modelling in a number of ways. First, I'm modelling after the market. Second I'm modelling the fact that recipe books sell. Third, I'm modelling after a proven book selling method (two−step marketing). Fourth, I'm modelling and adapting after a proven software selling method − and for your interest... a NOW PROVEN book selling method (yes I've done it! I've sold books on floppy disks which were password protected using two−step marketing). I've modelled all over the place. Getting back to basics... Modelling saves you a stack of time because it lets you use what others have proven to work. OTHERS identify the market. OTHERS figure out how and what to sell to them. OTHERS do it all for you. You just have to walk along the same path. And when you do, that temple of treasure will be waiting for you. Modelling behaviour is a waste of time. Modelling PROVEN marketing techniques and methods is SMART! 5) Can you give us examples of successful ideas (projects) you came up with? Yep, I sure can. And the one I've chosen to talk about uses the method of modelling I just mentioned. That's why I chose to talk about it. I'll give you a little background so you can see what I did, and how it changed to become something even more profitable. I kept on seeing ads which went something like this... "Earn $30,000 a month in direct mail. Ph 555−5555", or "Earn $30,000 a month with low budget direct mail projects. Ph 555−5555". The product these ads were selling was a set of 3 videos. The videos were of the presentation given by Bill Myers at a seminar. Anyway, like I said, I kept seeing these ads, and it made me mad. I was mad because the people selling the videos only had one product − the video tape set. So here they were selling information on how to make money in the direct mail business, yet the only way they were making money was selling the videos. They didn't have any of their own products. But that's not the only thing that made me mad. What added to my anger was that those who bought the videos would not be able to use the knowledge at all. Sure the videos have some good information on them, but nothing that the average viewer would be able to use to start
their own business. I decided to change that. I decided to put together a product that would benefit someone who was just beginning. A product that a beginner could use to get started. A step−by−step plan that anyone could follow. So over the next three days I sat down and wrote a 46 page book on direct mail, drawing from my experiences, knowledge, and success. I called it "The Insider's Guide To Making Money In Direct Mail − A step by step guide that guarantees your success." This book assumed you knew absolutely nothing about direct mail and took you by the hand. It told you how to find a market and develop a product for that market in clear step by step details − NO OTHER book went into as much detail on this important part. It talked about writing ads and sales letters, and other information to help you succeed. I even had a section devoted to people who did not have a computer. That way even they could get into the business. I made some audio tapes (audios of me reading the book) and packaged it up with a couple of other reports. I sold it at prices that varied from $120 to $295. And the interesting thing is that regardless of the price, the response rate to my letter was the same − of course the cheaper package had less stuff in it. But I got sick and tired of fulfilling orders with a couple of manuals and audio tapes and a bunch of other stuff − it was a large package. So I decided to sell the book on it's own for $59. This gave me about $55 profit. It would also mean I would sell more. Thus I'd have more customers which I could sell other things to. Just before I started to promote the book only, I heard an interesting story. Another marketer had received a CD ROM in the mail. The CD ROM came with a letter that said that a whole bunch of programs were on the CD ROM and they all could be yours. All you had to do was buy the passwords for the programs you wanted. He had a book and thought 'what if I do the same thing with my book?' So he did. He figured out how to place his business opportunity book/course on a floppy disk. I thought about this story for a while. Here was a method that, once I figured out how to do it, meant I could sell a book for say $40 but make $39.50 profit − my 50 cent product cost would be the cost of a floppy disk. So I halted my promotion and hunted around for tools that could help me. I needed a tool that would allow me to encrypt a file, place the file on a floppy disk, send that disk to
someone, and have them unencrypt it with the correct password (without them needing any other software). I eventually found the tool I was after. It would let me place an encrypted file on a floppy disk, send that disk to someone else, and let them unencrypt it. I quickly compiled my book and 71 other reports into a readable format that required no other program to be needed to view the files. I ended up with my files as Windows Write, Text, Rich Text Format, and so on. Then I encrypted my book and the reports. My book had a different password than the one used for the reports. There was a reason for this which you'll see in a minute. I then placed small lead generating classified ads. People would call me for more information. I would send these people my sales letter, PLUS an encrypted floppy disk. In the letter, I let them know that the product they were enquiring about was on the floppy disk they were holding. After all was said and done, my average response rate turned out to be around 16% − it got as high as 27%. That meant that for every 100 letters I sent I sold as many as 27 passwords. I was selling the password to my book for $59, but made it $39 if they responded within 48 hours. And to help increase the response even more I gave the passwords to the reports if they responded within 48 hours. Every single order came within 48 hours. This meant that for every 100 letters I sent I would make as much as $1053. Certainly not a lot of money, but at around as much as $4,212 a month it sure beats the heck out of working for someone else in a job you don't like. But for me, it was some nice and easy 'extra money', on top of the money I was bringing in from my other projects and the money I get paid by clients. Even though selling my password for $39 made me less profit per sale than selling my $295 package, I liked it better. I had to send the letters anyway, so sending a floppy disk was not too much more work. And when I made a sale I didn't have to fulfil any orders. I just handed out passwords over the phone. Thus my workload was easier. Moving on... I felt that this story was the most beneficial to tell because it shows you how *I* modelled something that someone else had modelled that someone else had adapted and modelled − the CD ROM people adapted and modelled 'demo' software, the other marketer adapted and modelled that, and I modelled his proven idea.
Now here's how this can make even more money... Seeing as I have tested and proven the 'Fantastic Floppy' (my pet name for an encrypted floppy disk that gets sent to people) to work, I could write about it. I could write a report which details HOW to create a Fantastic Floppy, WHERE to find the tools you need to create one, and HOW to market one. I could write it as a type of step−by−step guide and sell that guide. Taking my PROVEN knowledge and selling that to others − saving them the six months hard work and testing that I had to do to make it work. And this gives me ANOTHER PRODUCT. And the extra ironic part is that I could market this report using the same Fantastic Floppy technique. 6) How does the internet help someone who wants to create money−making ideas? The internet is the greatest research tool that a businessman, or product/project developer, can have. It allows you do to in a few hours what would normally take days. But the thing that makes the internet such a great tool is also the internet's downfall. It's really easy to put a page up on the internet. And there are stacks of places where you can do that for free. This results in hundreds and thousands of pages getting placed on the internet that otherwise wouldn't be there. And with more and more pages going online it becomes harder and harder to find the things you want. Sure it means there is more chance of what you want being there, but it's also harder to find. And the ease at which anyone can put a page on the internet also means something else. It means a whole bunch of people can start internet businesses. And they do. And more often than not, the business of those businesses is to sell information on how to make money on the internet. Information that they have extracted little by little by visiting discussion boards. This is a temptation I advise all newcomers to avoid. Stay well away from selling information on the internet about making money on the internet. UNLESS YOU HAVE ACTUALLY DONE IT. This goes for offline sales as well. The ONLY exception is if you sell a product that someone else has created, and that other person's product is based on actual, real, and proven results. Moving on... Now that I've got that out of my system, lets get back to the question at hand... "How does the internet help someone who wants to create money−making ideas?" I'm a big advocate of using offline resources to come up with ideas. I look at newspapers and
magazines; I listen to talk−back radio; and watch people in general. And what I look for are things that catch my interest − always asking the question "How can I make money out of this?" I'll give you an example... in our local paper I see that their is a 'bridal show' on next week. After asking the question "How can I make money out of this?" I get the answer... "By selling the dream wedding!" After all, it's what every woman wants. They want the 'knight in shining armour to sweep them off their feet' type of wedding. A royal wedding. The problem is that most people cannot afford a royal wedding. But what if they could? And what if there was a book available that showed them HOW they could? I'd then use the internet to find out everything about having an elaborate wedding without the cost. And I'd have a product in the making. As for using the internet to come up with ideas... that's a different process altogether. You have to look at the internet as if it were just like the offline world. Then you'll see that everything that's in the offline world is also in the online world. It just looks a little different. There are newspapers and magazines that you can read online that you otherwise wouldn't be able to read. And it's free. There are chat rooms and discussion boards where you can talk and find out useful information. And they are free. There's online radio. Free. And a whole host of resources that are all for free − lists of publications, phone books, etc., etc. All for free. The same type of 'media' I would use offline to come up with something can be found online. If you look hard enough. This means you have access to a far greater source of information from which to come up with ideas. And access to a far greater source of tools to help you develop those ideas. There are more newspapers you can scan. More magazines you can see. More odd little pieces of info. And it's all instant! And you have access to a whole host of software programs you wouldn't find elsewhere. Software that may give you ideas − such as software to help people create cross−stitch patterns could be used to create cross−stitch patterns to sell, as just one example. And this is how the internet can help come up with money making ideas. 7) Can you give us an "actual" money−making project or idea that could be developed right now? Yeah sure. And to make it as easy as possible, I'm going to pick something that requires NO previous knowledge or skill. And this project will fit one of the only two ways I know of to
achieve Super Wealth. Before I go on I'd better tell you what I consider to be the only two ways to Super Wealth. They are... Advertising. Owning something that others want to advertise on or in. This means owning the advertising space. Whether that be in a print publication or some type of sign. Distribution. Owning a product which you distribute in mass quantities. Usually you get a reduced 'per item profit'. But you make up for it in volume. This is the same method Bill Gates uses to make his billions. Seeing as the 'Advertising' method requires a lot of motivation − to sell the space, and may include face−to−face selling, I'll go with the 'Distribution' method. This also makes it easier for people who are just starting out. The idea I thought of is a recipe book. But not just any old recipe book. A special and unique recipe book that targets a relatively small market. Why a recipe book? Why not? Cooking is one of the biggest sections in a book store. This indicates that people buy recipe/cooking books. Otherwise the publishers wouldn't keep publishing them. Having decided to do a recipe book, you must now decide which market this book is going to be for. Well, I've already picked the market... VEGETARIANS! That's right... we are going to create a recipe book for vegetarians. So now we do one, or all, of several things... First we go to the major search engines and search for 'Vegetarian recipes'. Or 'free vegetarian recipes'. The search engine will return a whole bunch of results. Check out each one. If there are recipes listed then simply save the web pages. Make sure you have created a folder on your hard disk specifically for this list. You could also copy the text of each page and paste it into your word−processor. Continue this process through as many links as you feel comfortable with. After finding your recipes with the help of the search engines, get a copy of a program called "Web Ferret". And do a search using web ferret − you may even want to use web ferret only and not worry about the search engines.
Now before you go on you need to know that this process can take a while or can be done fast. It all depends on what you are trying to research. Moving on... Now that you have your recipes you are set. All you have to do is classify them. Group them. Entrees, Main courses, Deserts, Snacks, Meals for one, etc., etc. Once this is done you need to do some editing. While you can have the same recipe in your book as the one on a web site, you can not have the same instructions. So now you must rewrite the instructions in YOUR OWN WORDS. You may even want to alter the ingredient list a little too. Once you've done the editing you have to format it. Use your favourite word−processor or desk top publishing program. Depending on how large your book is you may want to go for single−sided 8.5x11 spiral bound look, or the smaller booklet with staples look. It's up to you. Now it's time to think of a title. I can't help you with this as I don't know what sort of book you will have put together. But here's a quick hint... go for something that will be appealing to people who cook. Something like... 143 Quick and Easy GreatTasting Vegetarian Recipes You Can Prepare in Less Than 10 Minutes. Moving on... Now, you can either try to sell this yourself... using PROVEN book marketing techniques. OR, you can approach the owner of a health food store and ask them if they will stock it for a percentage. If the percentage deal is the way you go it might go like this... Listed price in the store is $19.95. Your cost is $3. Profit is $16.95. You give the store owner $10 and keep $6.95 yourself. He should be happy because he has no product cost − you supply them for him to sell. And you are happy because you have no marketing costs. All you do it get the books duplicated as needed. Now here's the beauty of this... what would happen if you could get this recipe book of yours into all the health food shops in town? You would be a distributor! If there were 30 health food places stocking your book, and they only sold one a week each... that's 30 books a
week. Or $208.50 for you. And you aren't doing any work... except maybe driving to them once a week to supply them with stock IF they need it. Okay... so $208.50 is not a huge fortune. But how much work are you doing for it? And what about your NEXT book? Or what if you raise the price to $24.95 and you split the extra $5 profit? You then make $283.50 by having others do the selling for you. What if you get your book into 50 health food stores... at the new price of $24.95 you would clear $472.50. And that's selling only one book a week in each store. What if it was two books a week? You be making $945.00. And that's just one book. Alright alright... so it's not $25,000 a month. But to tell you the truth... making $25,000 a month will not happen to you the first time you try something. It just doesn't happen... they are the realities. It's takes time to build up. You expand on top of the small $200, $400, or $900 a week income. Anyway... that's just one idea you can use right now. Whether or not you do it is up to you. And whether or not you only want to do something with the chance of making you an instant millionaire is also up to you. My advice is to learn to walk before you run. Get a few small successes under your belt. You'd be surprised how much money can be made with a few small projects. $300 a week here, $200 a week there, $500 a week somewhere else, suddenly adds up to $1000 a week. Throw in a few $4,000 projects a couple of times during the year and you're up to $60,000 for the year. And all because you learnt to walk and built on top of what you had already done. 7) How would you go about developing the product? What research sources would you use? For the project I just mentioned I would use the search engines and web ferret. I may also use something called 'copernic' which will search many places at once. Copernic and Web Ferret can save you tremendous time when researching your projects. I would save the web pages. It's quicker. Then after I got off line I would cut and paste and sort, all at the same time. I would cut and paste recipes into a file I called Entree. And cut and paste in to another file called 'Main Course'. And so on and so forth... until I had a complete book. I'd also make sure I had an offer in the back of the book for another book − which would contain the recipes which didn't make it into the first book. This 'back end' sale wouldn't be
shared with any one. And if 25% of the people bought it it would make me even more money. Let me show you... Lets say your first book sold for $24.95. Of that you get to keep $9.45. If you sell 100 you have just made $945. If 25% of those people buy your back−of−the−book book at $19.95, you make another 25 sales at $16.95 profit. Or another $423.75. The back−of−the−book offer would make me more money without trying. The format I would choose would be a full page 8.5x11 with a plastic comb binding. This would be the easiest and cheapest way to produce books on demand. And you could get it done at any photocopy place. 8) Let's say someone doesn't want to go through the process of trying to create a product...how can he find one to market? If someone doesn't want to bother going through the whole process there are two options open to them. Option 1: Exploit an existing product. This basically means you find a product that's already selling but is not being sold to its full potential. E.g. Say you see an ad for a particular product in your local newspaper ONLY. And say this ad has been running for 6 months. It's a good bet the product is selling, otherwise you wouldn't continue to see the ads all the time. The fact that this product is not being advertised in other newspapers means it is being under−exploited. What you could do is buy the Reprint Rights to this product and then advertise it in many other newspapers. You would then be exploiting the product to its full potential. If you didn't want to buy the Reprint Rights you could do a deal to get the product at a wholesale price. Option 2: Buy Reprint Rights to an already existing product. What you are doing here is buying a marketing system to a proven product, and buying permission to market that product and duplicate that product as if it were your own. The beauty of this is that you waste no time. You get a product and marketing system. You are instantly in business. All you have to do is run the ads or send the letters, and then fulfil the orders. This is the fastest way to get into business and is the basis behind the franchise system. Finding a product: To find a product to sell can seem like a daunting task at first. But it really is very easy. A lot easier than you may think. Let me give you an example of two ways...
Product Locating Method 1: Call around. Simply look through the Yellow Pages and call people who sell products you have found a market for. A market the product seller probably doesn't even know exists. This method also includes calling other markets and asking them if they have any products you can sell. Product Locating Method 2: This one is fairly easy. All you do is place an ad asking for products. The ad could go something like... WANTED: Proven mail order products to resell. Ph: 555−5555. Or you could go for a larger ad (small display ad) which goes something like this...
This sort of ad will have people call you who have products they would like others to sell. It really is an easy way to find something. Now let me take a little side−step and show you how beneficial this sort of thing can be... There was a guy who came across a product that he liked. He enquired whether the manufacturers were selling it overseas. They weren't. So he bought the World distribution rights for $100,000. But listen to this... he only paid $1000 up front. The rest ($99,000) was to be paid in six months. So he immediately placed classified ads offering Country rights (import and distribution rights) for $25,000. And he sold 80. That's 80 multiplied by $25,000. He then paid off the $99,000 he still owed and pocketed the rest. PLUS, he arranged it so that he got five cents out of every product sold in the other countries. 9) Thank you for your answers Michael...how can our readers reach you? You're quite welcome Daniel. I've enjoyed penning my thoughts for your readers and giving
you and them an insight into how I look at things. And even if just one person finds something useful in all I have written then it has been worthwhile. Anyway, your readers can reach me a number of ways. The first way is through email. I feel this is the easiest and best way as I will be sure to get any messages, regardless of where I am in the world at the time. But they can also phone or fax if they wish. But these numbers may change at some point in the future, and world time zones have to be taken into consideration when calling − which is why email is so good. Anyway, here are a few ways... Email: email@example.com Ph: 02−6622−2020. For those in Australia. For those not in Australia, dial your international access number first, then 612−6622−2020 Fax: 02−6622−6144. For those in Australia. For those not in Australia, dial your international access number first, then 612−6622−6144. For the latest up to date contact information I'd recommend going to my web site which can be found at http://www.ozemail.com.au/~miros and having a look around. And finally Daniel... I'd like to make an offer to your readers, and ONLY to your readers... You may recall that, during my talk about encrypting a floppy disk that I mentioned a spin−off product could be a report that details HOW to create your own encrypted floppy disk. Well, I have in fact just written such a report. I intended it to be a part of a much larger package I am working on. A package which would be sold for a minimum price of $497. Anyway... I am willing to sell this 'Fantastic Floppy' special report separately to your readers only. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about it. I'll be happy to give more details. Thanks Daniel... it's been a pleasure chatting with you. May the success you achieve be a direct result of the effort you put in! Michael Ross Copywriter, Marketing Consultant, Author, Business Owner.
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