Archives for September 2012


The Rock and Roll Pastor that OWNS Niche Marketing

I had heard of this Pastor before, but just got the real scoop this morning while on my way to the dog park.

You’ve heard me preach (pun intended) the positives of picking a niche and customizing your marketing to it.

You’ve seen example after example I’ve shared on my marketing blog and in my email newsletters.

…but this is a new one I am very excited to have found.

Pastor John Van Sloten is on a mission to change who attends church and what draws them into their first experience at the New Hope Church in Calgary.

8 years ago, Pastor John had an unusual experience that led him to his present day mastery of niche marketing.

That experience with Metallica and the sermon he created was the beginning of something wonderful for Pastor John and the New Hope Church.  He has subsequently launched his book “The Day Metallica Came To Church”, has gotten him written up in Rolling Stone Magazine, on National Radio Stations in Canada and the USA, and has crossed oceans to be interviewed on stations like The Irish National Radio Network.

Not only that, he has now done sermons on other Rock and Roll bands like Supertramp, Rush, and Coldplay, to name a few.

Now that he sees the immense power in marketing to specifici niches (in this case, he was promoting to Rock and Roll lovers)… he has expanded his niche marketing ‘campaigns’ and now reaches out to a wide spectrum of people with all kinds of unique interests:

From the New Hope Church site:

This Sunday Pastor John will be talking about God’s Goodness in a Landlord. If it’s true that we’re all tenants in God’s world, then what can a landlord teach us about the heart of God? Here’s some intense theological preparation if you’re interested.

This Sunday Pastor John will be preaching on God’s truth in children’s author Robert Munsch’s book, David’s Father. Bring your imagination, a few of your childhood fears, and read this passage in preparation.

This Sunday Pastor John will be preaching on dogs. Why has God given them to us? What do they say about who he is? Also we will be celebrating the baptism of Charlie Schmidt!

This Sunday Pastor John is going to be preaching on God’s truth as we find it in a Wolverine. What is God saying about himself by making this incredibly wild, powerful and elusive creature?

This Sunday Pastor John will be preaching on Disney’s Tangled; a story that adds colour, truth and understanding to the question of who we really are. Homework is to watch the film and read John 10:1-10 and Romans 8:15-17. Don’t forget to bring your crayons.

This Sunday Pastor John will be preaching on Experiencing God via repairing a Harley Davidson V-twin engine

This Sunday Pastor John will be preaching on the parable of The Hunger Games

Do you see the awe-inspiring wisdom he has in this?

Not only is he reaching out to a much wider segment of the population, he is giving them very specific reasons to come out to a sermon for thge first time.  I am going to attend one soon as I LOVE the fact his sermons start at 10:10 (my daughters birthday and one of those numbers I see evvvvverywhere!).  Not only do I love Rock and Roll, I love the fact he is a marketer at heart that understands the impact of what he is doing.

Oh ya…

…he has THICK SKIN too.

With all the media attention he has gotten, there is no shortage of critics that are denouncing what he is doing as blasphemy.

He doesn’t care (another thing I truly admire about this man).

He has a message to share and sees the big picture of why his message IS important.

Small-minded people, and groups… don’t matter.

What does matter?

He niches the sermon to a very specific, and sometimes controversial, type of person.

Then he delivers the sermon that was promised.

Each time he does this, he attracts more attention AND more regular ‘clients’.

How does this apply to you?

I hope you see that already…

No matter what type of product or service you are selling, niche marketing is one of the most intelligent ways you can grow your leads and client base.

Create one campaign to reach out to niche A.

Another to niche B.

And so on.

Prepare for the criticism (every time I tell realtors about my admiration of the “Pet Lovers Realtor” here in Calgary, I always get (insert whiny voice here… “but IIIIII want to sell to EVERYONE… not just pet lovers”).

Same old, same old, stupid thinking by close minded people.

In this market, in today’s economic environment and cluttered marketing space… you NEED to start thinking out of the box through niche marketing efforts like this.

I am doing it with my work in the Empower Network and my niche focus on wanna-be beach bum marketers.

And I highly suggest you start thinking about this too.

In my upcoming coaching program, I am helping you find and customize your marketing to specific niches for Halloween and Christmas.  The last 90 days of the year are almost upone us and there are some AWESOME marketing opportunities at hand.

Get yourself signed up and lets make you some money to close off the year!


Pastor-John-New-Hope-Church-Rush-Metallica-Rock and Roll



Nuking the naysayers or welcoming the weirdos?

Being an entrepreneur is never an easy thing. 

It’s wonderful in soooo many ways, but sometimes it can be a difficult and lonely journey.

For over 10 years now I have operated mainly as a solopreneur and freelancer.

There have been times in there where I had virtual assistants, contractors, even clients who wanted me to be in their office a day or two a week (that lasted…oh…2 weeks… then I had enough).

When I used to work for others in the computer industry (sales), I was always around people and at times miss that side of it…

…but being on my own in my own business is my dream come true and I am sticking to it!

One thing bugs me though.

I have become just a weeeeeeeee bit stubborn.

Combine my stubbornness with my persistence… and I admit that I’m not always the easiest to deal with.

Which is why I pissed myself off many a times by ignoring advice from others.

Good advice.

A coach I had for a while gave me some advice about a product line I sell.  How to expand it, make more money with it, and so on.

I ignored him.

Kept doing it like I always have (ahem… cough, cough…mr. stubborn and persistent).

That was probably not the wisest or most profitable thing to do.

And it irritates me to no end when I give advice to someone and they don’t even test it.

I was talking to a lady in Australia the other day about my new coaching program ( and this same issue came up.

She needed some help getting ready for Halloween and Christmas promotions (the 2 BIGGEST marketing opportunities you have are FAST approaching).

I was explaining how the 8 week coaching program is designed to help create campaigns for BOTH Halloween and Christmas and those two occasions alone would probably make her back 1,000% return on  her investment in the coaching.

ONE campaign could earn her back that – times it by two and she is laughing.


…she fell for the newest product launch bs being promoted right now.

Rather than investing a whopping $350 in the coaching I guaranteed her would be 1,000% returned to her… she bought the ‘upgraded’ version of a course that has been out for years, one she had and never used LAST TIME.

I see FAR too many people doing this.

Ignoring practical help, coaching and advice… in favour of the newest and shiniest penny out there the same old, same old guru-of-the-day launches.

Oh I could have given in and gone down the guru path…  but I chose to sleep at night.

If you ever find more stuff on your hard drive collecting dust than dollar bills filtering into your bank account from the implementation of that advice…


All the ebooks, online videos, and home study courses in the world won’t help you.

Not unless you take action.

Massive action.

And being held accountable through a coach or mentor is the best way to hold yourself accountable.

My guess?

She will read the first few pages of the newest, shiniest ebook she just bought… they forget about it (we’ve all done it… admit it).

Meanwhile, for a tiny fraction of that price, I would have personally shown her and coached her to having a minimum of two campaigns out there in the buying publics hands.

Reading an ebook


Implementing actual marketing campaigns.

Hmmmmm….not hard to figure out which one will make more money.

So if you are tired of ‘stuff’ piling up on your computer with little results to show… are tired of buying the newest and shiniest launch of the week…are tired of ignoring potentially HUGELY profitable advice…

…then get your behind over to and sign up.

It is a steal of a deal and I think I forgot a zero at the end of the price.

Implement what I show and work with you on.

And you will make 10 TIMES what you invest in the course… I guarantee it.

Maybe that guarantee is too logical or giving.

But that’s what I wish I had when I started this business.

Someone willing to hold me accountable, show me the ropes, help me with my campaigns… and NOT charge me an arm and a leg for it.


Maybe too simple?

You tell me.

Have a look at the coaching program and you tell me.

If you put $1 in and get $10 back – is that a good deal?

Here’s a way to guarantee it!

Have a great day.



Questions for copywriters and students of copywriting

I got this questionnaire from a student of copywriting in college.

She had some focus on the advertising agency side, which I know nothing of, and told her so.

For over 10 years now I have been a freelance copywriter and all my copywriting jobs were found on my own, without the help of an advertising agency.

That said, some of her questions on how to become proficient at copywriting were good and, hopefully, my answers give you some insight into the weird and wacky mind of a freelance copywriter.

Interview Questions 

How did you get started in the copywriting business? 

Left the corporate world of computer sales to start my own business. Starting figuring out the internet and how to make money online – very quickly became evident that the words on the page were the sales person.  Started reading books on copywriting by Ted Nicholas, Drayton Bird, Clayton Makepeace, Gary Bencivenga, Dan Kennedy, Joe Sugarman, John Caples, Claude Hopkins, Victor Schwab (all mandatory reading for new copywriters, if you ask me)

How long have you been in the copywriting business? 

10.5 years

Which advertising or copywriting agencies have you worked for?


Have you or the advertising agency won any awards for creative advertising or copywriting?

My own business award – Business Leader of Tomorrow Award (2008) by Calgary Chamber of Commerce

How do you feel about awards?

Means nothing to a freelance copywriter – creativity is less important to small business owners (my target market) than results.

Do you have a technique that helps them think creatively?

Writing helps me think so I start writing and things happen.

What pieces of your marketing and copywriting business are you most proud of?

Helped launch 6 best selling books on Amazon, helped many small  business owners make a bundle with better marketing

Do you have a philosophy about copywriting?

Anyone can learn and be good at it if they are dedicated enough to learning the craft.

What do you think makes a successful copywriter?

Has studied all the masters (above) – writes LOTS – writes for a variety of industries

Who do you think are the top 5 copywriters in Canada?

No idea

(the reason I said this is that I firmly believe ALL new copywriters should be studying the MASTERS of copywriting long before worrying about who is doing well now.  The masters of copywriting (named above – and a small subset of the bigger list) are the ones that created the world of copywriting as we know it today – you can’t be serious about copywriting if you haven’t studied the real creators of the world of copywriting as we know it today)

How should a copywriter try to get a start in an agency?

No idea

How many pieces should a copywriter have in their book?

Don’t use one

What kind of things should go in the copywriting book? Campaigns? One offs?

Don’t use one

What agencies would be good to look at for a placement?

Don’t use one

Are there any agencies that should be avoided?

Don’t use one


I hope this gave you a bit of insight into the world of writing copy for a living. 

It also should give you an insight into the differences in the way a freelance copywriter thinks from the school-based world of corporate-cloned copywriters.  They are focused about their book of ads, their awards, and learning from the new generation of copywriters (I am willing to guess, and bet, that the schools don’t even mention the MASTER copywriters that I mentioned above – shame, shame).



One quick and easy way to tell if your marketing works

Besides the obvious, which is leads and sales, the quickest and easiest way to tell if your marketing is doing its job is…

…story cloning.

As you well know, I love and teach ( story telling and the art or science of weaving a story into a marketing campaign.story cloning and the art of using stories in your marketing and sales

Stories are truly powerful and can revive a stale campaign…or fire up a new one.

Stories compel people to read more than usual… to watch more on video than usual… and to listen to longer audios than previous.

For example…

I wrote a story-based campaign for a local retail company a few years ago.  They sold a fairly common product, but we weaved the story into the fabric of the sales message and made sure every marketing piece the prospects and customers saw had this story all over it.

Sales took an immediate jump.  By hundreds of percentage growth, month over month.

What was once fairly flat sales… became the leading product in their revenue mix.

All with the addition of a 2-3 page story.

But we know it REALLY worked when people would come into the store and they would start sharing THEIR stories with us too.

The story we wrote resonated with them in such a way that they came in desperately wanting to share their own personal experiences and stories.

They took our story, and cloned it as their own!

They felt such a bond with us, they would do whatever it took to get a more closer relationship initiated.

So, hopefully you have started using more and more stories throughout your marketing?

If not – start NOW – here is the best place to start

And then, whether you are starting now, or a seasoned pro, look for those times when customers write you, call you, or email you with their own personal stories.

THAT is when you know a bond has been created that will last a long time.

THAT is when you know your work has made an impact.

And THAT is a skill (of art and science combined me thinks) that will put moola in your wallet and loyal friends or customers at your side.

It’s simple.

But it is not something you see much of.

…hopefully you start seeing more of it now!

I’ll be the first to admit that I have to work at this.  I was never a natural story teller… it was something I work at.  But it is something that has transformed my business, my clients businesses, and will yours too.

I know my stories work because people repeat them back to me in their own variations of.  They ask for thoughts, ideas, and even permission to share my stories as well.

And this is something that you can add more of into your business too.

It just takes a formula to follow, practice… and persistence.

I will give you all of that and more in the upcoming 8 week coaching series

Have a great day.



Best damned bus commercial… ever!


Beer saved my life

Isn’t that an awesome headline?writing headlines for sales copy

I saw it a couple years ago on the front page of the Calgary Sun.  Having enjoyed a beer or two myself, I had to read the article…

…which is the ENTIRE purpose of a headline.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

Stop them in their tracks and get them to read the article, blog post, sales letter or advertisement.

If the headline fails… the rest of it doesn’t matter because they won’t read it anyhow.

For over 10 and a half years now I have been studying and writing headlines.

From the classics like “How to win friends and influence people” (the headline AND the book title of Dale Carnegies book… to completely bizarre ones like… “Robotic mouse attacks man, woman and child” (I wrote that one for a client and it sold a TON of itty bitty robotic mice for cats).

What I love most about headline creation is the formulaic side to it.

You start with a template headline that compels you… then you modify it to suit your needs.

For example, here are some from the media today:

– Absurd laws for vehicles
– Biggest celebrity shockers of 2012
– R.I.P. Mr Alberta
– Topless photos of Kate leave Royals Angered

Each of these is a template and lesson in itself.

First, you MUST be watching the news to find hot trends and topics.  Media like the Huffington Post, The Sun, USA Today, even off the wall ones like the Onion are awesome resources to keep in your back pocket.

Then you find a headline that appeals to you (a big reason to keep a file with your favourites)… and you play with it.

Have some fun.

Get out of your head and be creative here.

– Absurd new marketing tools that rock
– Absurd new “no-crack-rule” for plumbers announced
– Absurd new talking dog collar hits the shelves

– Biggest internet marketing shockers of 2012
– Stupidest Facebook posts of 2012
– Smartest new birthday presents for Troy’s birthday this weekend (sorry – just threw that one in there 🙂 Saddleback leather is always welcome though

– R.I.P. cheap Google Adwords
– R.I.P. cheap leads…
– R.I.P. internet marketing guru scum

– Topless photos of Kate leaves internet marketers scrambling
– Topless photos of Gene Simmons leaves women heaving
– Topless photos of Deborah Ann Woll saved my life

Just playing and having fun with these.

They were off the top of my head and took no time to do.

But you see how you can take a template headline and easily create multiple variations of it?

THAT is how you find winners that get your emails opened.

THAT is how you get your emails opened and your calls to action… acted on.

THAT is how you increase your cash flow!

And THAT is just a tiny party of the upcoming Profit Party Coaching program I am doing

You and me working on your marketing for 8 weeks.  We transform what you are doing now and turn it into an asset you can use for years. One that attracts quality new leads, converts them to buyers, and keeps them loyal and raving fans for years.

We work on sales copy of course.
Video sales letters.
Traffic generation techniques.
Blog posting.
Writing techniques.
Cash flow generation.
…and a ton of fun and profitable techniques to build your business.

We begin October 1st and the slots rate filling up.

One single promotion would probably make you 10 TIMES what the coaching system costs.

…imagine what you can do with 8 weeks of campaign creation behind you!

Have a peak and let me know your questions and comments

It’s my birthday weekend and I am enjoying a life-saving beer me thinks.

Have a great one.