You Can Only Be Right or Wrong in Hindsight

You Can Only Be Right or Wrong in Hindsight - One of my favourite quotes from last week's Gary Halbert Memorial event in Las Vegas.

I invest in my own education...  It is a non-negotiable in my view if you are serious about growing your business.  

It's exactly why  I flew halfway across the world last week, spent over $9179.56 on attending an event to spend three days in a room with some of the sharpest direct response best copywriters to ever live...

I learned a long time ago that learning anything in business is not free and you generally get what you pay for.  I have never regretted investing in my own personal development and while the returns are not always immediate, they always end up being profitable.

Gary Halbert was highly regarded as the world's greatest ever direct response copywriter.

Last Tuesday marked what would've been Gary's 80th birthday, and Gary's sons, Bond and Kevin along with their mother Nancy Halbert have gathered in Las Vegas with Ben Simkin to host a special event in memory of Gary.

Day one kicked off with Ben sharing some very latest insights into Facebook marketing and illustrating the challenge and the opportunity that exist with Facebook in 2018 especially after the recent privacy issues.

One of the key challenges and opportunities for Facebook as a marketer is that your prospect doesn't just stay within the confines of one advertising medium. They're using multiple mediums.

What you have to do is and understand and be prepared to work out how to leverage across those different mediums. Rather than simply digging into the detail of individual platforms. (which is simply like tools in a toolset).

The key to really dominating in any marketing and advertising space in whatever area of creativity you work in is utilising a mixture of content pieces to showcase what Ben refers to as the four pillars: trust, value, desire, and credibility

You want to make sure that in your marketing funnels, you are utilising a mixture of content pieces to showcase the four pillars. You want to be demonstrating credibility, demonstrating desire, value, and trust.

In summary,  You can't do it all at once, but you must be continually considering any piece of content you put out should take into account all four pillars.

He also shared some really cool retention strategies such as voice drops, post-purchase reassurance campaigns, and memberships. Using social media strategically, with photographs, reviews, and check-ins.

Next up we had an incredible session from top copywriter, Craig Clemens, from Golden Hippo. Craig talked about the five laws of greatness and I want to share them with you now.

The first rule of greatness - was to build suspense because without suspense your reader just won't be engaged and won't want to read the next section.

The second ruler of greatness -he shared was to lead with value. Giving your readership value regardless of whether they want to buy anything or not.

The third rule of greatness -  let people learn with you. Be humble, show vulnerability.

(If you really want to rocket charge your marketing, is to combine suspense and value to add even more power.)

The fourth rule of greatness - give them a mind-blowing counterintuitive fact. This is something that will stop them in their tracks and make them go, "Wow, I did not know that."

The fifth rule of greatness -  take people on a journey with you in your story.

I've talked only very briefly about Craig Clemens' session, but it was absolutely phenomenal and as you would expect a great copywriter to do, he told us a great story to share this entire lessons of five lessons of greatness.

Ed Dale was up next from Australia, again, ace copywriter. I think the thing that really stuck out from Ed's presentation as he said:

"We all too often make the mistake of comparing our first draft of any copy or any marketing campaign to Gary Halbert's final draft that has been tweaked and modified within an inch of its life."

Ed dropped a quick fire of absolute golden knowledge bombs, here are a few:

  • As a protégé of Gary's he in some cases would watch Gary do 16 to 30 revisions of a copy draft before he was ready to put it out.
  • A sales letter is the best business plan you can create for your business because you have to handle every objection upfront.
  • You should write to a timer because without a timer we just won't get the work done. He suggested writing for 50 minutes. (something the great Gary Halbert did)
  • You should separate creating from editing, and you've got to get your first draft out as quickly as you can so that you can begin to refine and finesse.
  • Use great templates, swipe great templates from the greats,
  • Have a swipe file of templates that enable you to call up a particular style of writing to make life easy for yourself.
  • Finally, the magic happens in the editing.

He summed Gary Halbert up as a neuroscientist. He said Gary had human psychology really figured out 20-30 years ago. Science has now backed and proven many of his theories.

A couple of other points that Ed brought up was to read your copy out loud and any time you stumble, you've got to fix that copy.

When you're ready you should expose your work to somebody you trust.

Getting blunt, honest feedback is the most powerful editing and feedback tool, and it's how professionals create great art.

You can only be right or wrong in hindsight, so the best copywriter is one who is writing the most copy, the best marketer is the person writing and testing the most ads.


Then we had Caleb O'Dowd, an incredible copywriter who viewed Gary as an alchemist in communicating with the market.


"You don't need to be a great writer to sell, just tell people what they want to hear. You just need to know what that bullseye is."

The easiest way to figure out the bullseye is to get a hundred customers' phone numbers and call them up and ask them questions.

He said, "If you want a breakthrough result, you need to put in a breakthrough effort."

This really resonated with me because I honestly don't feel especially talented at any one thing, but I do focus and I do implement and that is what I attribute 95% of my own success to...  

Then he shared with us an incredible seven question formula to follow when writing:

  • Question One - Is this of personal interest to me?
  • Question Two - is this exactly the solution that I need?
  • Question Three - okay, this sounds awesome, but what's new, unique, and exciting about this?
  • Question Four - what proof do you have that this is true?
  • Question Five - how does this all work? We need to reason to justify the decision.
  • Question Six - show me others who've done it and succeeded with this process.
  • Question Seven - what do you want me to do next?

Ultimately, writing copy is just about a conversation between two people,

To be relentless in your pursuit of success, you must have a relentless determination.

Ask yourself what terrible stuff will happen if you fail? What will life look like if you don't achieve success? Then look at your why, why are you doing this? What are the benefits if you make this a success?

Get ultra-clear on your why and ultra clear on your what.

The summary from this session was that you must be excited and passionate in your copy, fill your head with all the facts and all the information, then get on the phone with a couple of people who know much less about the subject than you and get them to ask you questions. Record the call and then unleash your passion. Record it and then transcribe and you'll get a really good starting point.

The final real point here was everything that you write has to be new, unique, exciting, and never been seen or heard before, and that's a powerful formula for breakthrough results.

That was all on day one, and oh my goodness, what an incredible day.



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