Author: Bedros

How to Get the Right Education for Your Business

What do you think of when you hear the word “education”?

Odds are, if you’re like most ambitious professionals, you immediately think “certifications.”

Now don’t get me wrong: certifications are important, and in a moment I’ll talk more about how to choose the correct one.

Still, I want you to understand that education includes quite a lot more than just certifications. It includes the books you read, the methods you test out yourself, and even your social circle.

In fact, I’m even tempted to say that education is an entire lifestyle – it’s an ongoing process of staying curious and always looking for ways to improve yourself and your business.

So let’s talk about your education. I want to make sure you’re getting the right education so you can reach the greatest possible success in your business.

Getting the Right Certification

…is actually incredibly simple.

In fact, the only real tip I have for choosing certifications is this:

Seek knowledge, not status.

Let me break that down for you: you’ve probably seen or heard about tons of different certification programs that sound really flashy and important. You’ve probably debated how much extra money you should throw down for a “prestigious” or “celebrity” program, or even worried that the program you’ve already picked is “not cool enough.”

Go ahead and set all that worry aside, because I can promise you that most certifications will have about the same effect on your career: they’ll give you some better knowledge for how to do your work and build your business, but they will not directly affect your income.

So, if you ever genuinely feel like you don’t have enough knowledge to deliver great work, then go ahead and look into a certification. Pick any one of them that covers your areas of interest and doesn’t seem too sketchy. That’s what they are there for.

Just remember that your present and future clients care ONLY about the results you can give them.

Sure, flashing a certification logo might reassure the occasional prospect who pays attention to detail, but the grand majority of people will judge you only by your testimonials, your referrals, and their personal experience with your work. That’s it.

By the way, this also means that you don’t need a huge long list of certifications. Heck, if you supplement it with your own research and learn by doing, you can probably get away with just one.

Books!

If I seem lukewarm about certifications, it’s only because I’m way more enthusiastic about books. I know my own career really took off when I started seriously absorbing books. Paper books, audio books, PDFs – I’ll take books in any form I can find them.

I spend at least an hour every day reading, and I hope you are doing the same thing.

Granted, I do make sure that I’m reading useful books…but the funny thing is, “useful” can include a lot of different things over the course of your career.

I’ve actually done quite a lot of reading on human psychology and storytelling to round out my marketing skills. Ever heard of a book called The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell?

Maybe not…but that one is practically a holy book for scholars and artists all around the world. It talks about how all the different mythologies on planet Earth are telling the same basic story, because they’re all trying to address the same set of primal human needs.

It’s a fascinating read, but more importantly it has helped me get a real sense of the stories people WANT to hear, which gives me enormous leverage as a marketer.

Now just to be clear: I’m not saying you should lose your focus here. I’m saying you should keep an open mind. It’s totally possible to have both.

I’ll explain a bit more later about how to choose your books, but first…

Execute, Execute, Execute

Your education is only as good as what you put into practice.

You don’t want to become one of those people whose heads are full of useless knowledge…AKA people who do not USE the knowledge they have!

Because at the end of the day, life is dynamic. The advice you get from your education might be outdated, or wrong, or not applicable to your situation.

But the only way – THE ABSOLUTE ONLY WAY – you can sort the good advice from the bad advice is to put all of it into action as fast as humanly possible. That way you’ll figure out for certain what works and what doesn’t.

Sitting on your hands and daydreaming about what might or might not work is a terrible waste of time. Execute. Execute fast. Get your failures out of the way sooner so you can get to your successes and still have time to enjoy them.

And this is especially true for those of you special snowflakes who think your business is “different” and think that the advice of experts doesn’t apply to you. Oh yeah, you know who you are.

Think “gurus” like me are full of hot air? Think you’re so special and smart that you’re going to revolutionize the fitness industry without any help from anyone? Awesome. Put my advice into action and prove me wrong.

Although you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Your Social Circle

The people you surround yourself with are a crucial part of your education.

I’m including mentors in this section because I think the word “mentor” implies a lot more than just a teacher or an expert. A mentor is someone who knows you and your business on a deep personal level and can inject the exact advice you need at the exact moment you need it.

A good mentor is tough to find…but when you find one, they are worth every penny (and every second of your time).

Still, your friends and peers are crucially important too. They’re important because they naturally help shape your daily habits and your personality. Yet, they can also be your greatest sources of information.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered a mind-blowing new technique to grow my business just by chatting at lunch with my buddies. Of course, these moments are only possible because I make sure to hang out with the best and brightest in my industry, like Craig Ballantyne.

What to Study

All right, let’s dive into the one big question we’ve been building towards this whole time:

“How do I know what knowledge I need first?”

The answer: whatever knowledge will allow you to give your clients a better experience.

Your goal, if you want to create a massively successful, scalable business, is to ALWAYS be delivering your clients a great experience – and always be improving that experience to stay ahead of their expectations.

So whenever you stop to plan out your education, whether you’re looking through certification options, book shopping, or considering which mentor to get in touch with, make sure you are always working backward from the client’s experience.

Committed to your success,

Bedros

How to Become a REAL Leader

I want to teach you the one thing that everyone says is unteachable: leadership.

You know me: I’m stubborn. I like to shake things up. I like to break down stereotypes.

Well, one of the biggest, oldest, and most dangerous stereotypes out there is the idea that leaders are a different species from the rest of us. That they’ve been magically gifted something that the rest of us don’t have.

There’s also the stereotype that a leader is someone with a fancy title…the idea that anyone who is an “authority figure” is automatically a leader.

These are both lies, and I plan to shatter both of them by giving you the correct definition of leadership.

First off, we have to remember that the word “leadership” comes from a verb: to lead. Leadership is an ACTION. Leadership is a CHOICE. Each and every one of us can be leaders IF WE CHOOSE TO BE.

In other words, the path to becoming a true leader is not really about who you are, it’s about what you do.

Leadership is when you charge toward your true purpose and inspire others to help you through discipline, focus, and generosity.

Now odds are, if you’re reading this post you are a highly motivated professional, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. That means leadership is absolutely critical to your success. And to make sure you’re really prepared for leadership, I’m going to break it down piece by piece for you and explain.

Your True Purpose

This part comes first because it’s the most important. If you don’t start with this, your discipline, focus, and generosity won’t amount to anything.

Your true purpose is your vision for how you want to change the world. It’s the thing you care about more than anything else at a gut level. For many people, it’s something they feel first and only find the words for later.

The good news is that you don’t have to have a perfect definition of your true purpose right from the start. To be honest, it can take many years to find the exact words for it. I know it took me quite a while personally.

The OTHER good news (although maybe slightly scarier news) is that you should start to shape your true purpose by taking action NOW. If you haven’t already, start working exclusively on projects that tug at your heart, the things you care about on a gut level.

That sounds so simple when I put it down in words…but I’m constantly surprised by how many people don’t follow this advice. I understand why though: the world is full of bad advice peddled by mediocre people. If you aren’t careful, they’ll turn you into one of them.

However, there is always a way to rise above the sea of mediocrity…

If you aren’t sure about your true purpose, or you suspect you may be following the wrong purpose, here is what you need to do:

Take some time, even if it’s just an hour, to sit alone with yourself and ask, “What do I really want for myself and for the world?”

Now for this to work, you have to be 100%, completely honest with yourself. Don’t worry about what’s realistic, don’t worry about what other people will think, just be honest.

Because the truth is, your true purpose doesn’t have to be realistic. Realism will come later. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be popular, because you’re going to use the tools of leadership to prove all the doubters wrong.

Your true purpose just has to be genuine.

To give you an example, I started my fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp with a very clear true purpose. We call it the 2020 Vision – our goal to get 20% of the world in healthy shape by the 2020.

Is that a realistic goal? I don’t know. 20% of the population right now is about 1.5 billion people. In 2020 that number will be slightly higher.

However, I didn’t choose those numbers because they’re realistic. I chose them because I dream of a healthier world with every fiber of my being. And as long as I have that and I keep behaving like a true leader, the 2020 Vision will come true.

And true purpose leads me to another important idea for today…

The culture of any team or organization always begins at the top.

This means that whatever your vision is, your team will never care about it as much as you do. With time and careful decision making, you can get a team who cares 95% as much as you, but that’s the maximum.

That’s why YOU need to be a diehard believer in your own vision. Nobody else is going to do it for you.

Discipline

This one is fairly simple. If you want to be a true leader, you need to work hard and work with discipline.

That means you need to master time management. Be conscious and deliberate about how you spend every hour of your day, even your “off” hours.

Script out every day the night before, placing your most important and scariest tasks at the top your to-do list so you make sure you get those done.

Whatever your vision is, you as a leader need to dive deep into the 5% of tasks that will do the most to drive that vision forward.

I, for example, am an entrepreneur and a business coach. I build businesses and help others do the same. Therefore, I spend the vast majority of my time selling and marketing, talking over phone and email with my coaching clients, and reading/listening to/talking with my own mentors to make sure my knowledge stays cutting edge.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you should be doing exactly the same. If you’re something else, you should find the most successful people in your field and study them obsessively to figure out how they operate on a daily basis. Then copy them.

And remember, culture starts at the top. If you want a team of disciplined people working for you, you need to start by demonstrating discipline yourself.

Focus

This one is sort of related to the previous point. A great leader DOES take responsibility for everything that happens in their business or organization…but they do not micromanage. That just takes away time from their critical 5%.

Like discipline, the best way to spread focus in your organization is to demonstrate it at the top. As long you clearly state and restate your true purpose, and you take actions that serve your true purpose, then your organization will naturally build a sense of focus just like you have.

Now when it comes to getting focused people on your team, there’s a bit of a twist here. Because really, the best employees in the world are actually mini-leaders. In fact, I often tell my own team that I don’t want a bunch of “employees” working for me – I want a team of entrepreneurs.

Because here’s the thing about my 5% rule…even though you as a leader should only work on your 5%, the other 95% still needs to get done for you to succeed. And for you to reach truly massive success, that 95% needs to be done well.

And to get the 95% done well, you need to hire people who consider those tasks part of their personal 5%.

Hire copywriters who are obsessed with words. Hire accountants who are obsessed with numbers. Hire HR people who are obsessed with nurturing. You might see those 95% tasks as pure drudgery…but someone out there leaps out of bed every morning excited to do those exact things. So find them and let them take care of it.

By the way, those obsessive self-starters might not be the most qualified or skilled people knocking on your doors when you start hiring. Choose them anyway.

Sure, a qualified, highly skilled self-starter will always be the holy grail…but those people are rare, and they get snatched up quick. So when push comes to shove, always hire for passion. Those people will learn faster and turn out better work than someone who looks good on paper but doesn’t have their heart in the game.

In fact, the best way to build a team of superstars is to grab passionate talent while they’re young (career-wise, at least) and let them grow within your organization. That way, you’ll get an intensely loyal team who knows exactly what you need and want from them.

Which leads me nicely to my final point…

Generosity

This is a really big one.

Let me remind you for the final time that CULTURE STARTS AT THE TOP! If you want an organization full of generous, dependable people who have a habit of giving first and asking later, guess what? You need to set that example first.

Now I hope I don’t need to remind you to be generous to your clients/customers…however, I’m about to give you a business insight that a shocking number of people miss out on.

If you want to build a truly successful business, you need to treat your employees with even more generosity than you treat your clients/customers.

Does that sound crazy? Trust me, it works.

I’ve been putting this idea into practice for years now and even though I’ve had a few people take it for granted, the vast majority of my team appreciates it. And I’m proud to say that they deserve it. I’ve got my team of superstars, and they’re happy to keep doing amazing work for me well into the future.

So be a go-giver. Demonstrate the value of generosity with your own actions, and one day you’ll turn around and find a team of wonderful people supporting you.

Committed to your success,

Bedros

5 Ways to Increase Your Creativity

If you have made it to this page, you are a creative professional.

Does that sound weird? Are you used to thinking of “creative professionals” as designers, writers, architects, etc.?

Well the truth is that you are just as creative as any of those guys…

IF, of course, you’re doing your job right.

I’m always telling you that your top duties as an entrepreneur are marketing, selling, and leadership. Well, if you want to excel in all three of those areas then you need a lot of creativity.

And again, I want to really be clear about what I mean when I say “creative.” See, there are a lot stereotypes surrounding the idea of creativity. A lot of people want you to believe that anyone who is creative is automatically an artist, and that you can’t be creative if you’re not an artist.

This is a lie. I’ll give you the true definition of creativity right here:

Creativity is finding elegant solutions to serious problems. Creativity is finding connections between things that don’t seem related. Creativity is taking the boring and difficult parts of life and making them fun and easy.

Now with that definition, think about all the people who have found massive success in the worlds of business. And I don’t mean the people who lucked out and accidentally landed in positions of power, I mean the true entrepreneurs who built something amazing using their own vision and leadership.

See how these people made a habit of solving problems? See how they were able to combine things that nobody else thought to combine? See how they turned “boring and difficult” into “fun and easy”?

Here, let me show you an example. (If you want to just skip right to my tips, scroll down until you see a picture of a window.)

The Insult

Obviously, this example hits close to home for me as a lifelong fitness professional, but the image I’m about to show you will probably look familiar to anyone who as a set of eyeballs. It’s just that iconic.

Ah, yes, “The Insult That Made a Man Out of ‘Mac’.” Even if you don’t recognize this exact image, you probably have seen one of the dozens of parodies that have turned up over the years. It’s a legendary piece of marketing, and it’s become thoroughly stuck in our cultural memory.

Now, to really understand why this image is important I’ll need to break down the history surrounding it.

The ad, of course, was created by Charles Atlas. He was a marketer, bodybuilder, and public figure who had his heyday in the 1920s. He was also a fine example of the Immigrant Edge, by the way, since he originally came from Italy.

Obviously, bodybuilding had existed in one form or another for centuries before Atlas came along. However, it had always been a niche culture. For example, “musclemen” lifting huge weights were popular in the 1800s, but they were usually included alongside the freak show. Audiences were fascinated, but they didn’t daydream about looking like musclemen themselves.

Charles Atlas changed that completely. In fact, a lot of experts credit him as the grandfather of the modern bodybuilding industry. Why?

Because his ads created an EXPLOSION of interest in personal fitness. What was once a niche rapidly became a booming industry, with thousands of newcomers clamoring to snatch up every piece of workout advice Atlas could sell them.

Even athletes, who had mostly stuck to their own world and their own specialized training, started showing up to bodybuilding competitions.

Now here’s the funny thing…a lot of people look at Charles Atlas ads now and say that they’re “cheesy” or that they are “painfully obvious.”

And that leads me to an important insight about creativity: truly groundbreaking creativity only looks “obvious” after the fact. Until someone puts in the hard work, careful thought, and leadership to create something important, the next great innovation is a total mystery.

It’s easy for us to look back on Charles Atlas now and see his work as an “obvious success.” But that’s only because we weren’t there for the many painstaking hours he and his team put into researching people’s problems, building those into a compelling story, and drawing those eye-catching comics.

So if you’re already daydreaming about Charles Atlas levels of success, then start thinking like he did: look for problems to solve, try combining existing solutions, and make your work FUN for you and others.

In other words, GET CREATIVE! These tips will help you get started:

Tip #1 – Work in Front of a Window

This may not seem like a big deal to you right now, but try split testing it. Spend one day working in front of a wall and another day working in front of a big, clear window.

What you should notice, according to research (not to mention my personal experience), is that you work faster, think more clearly, and come up with better ideas in front of the window.

Weird, isn’t it?

It has to do with psychological framing. When you have a window in front of you, you can see the open sky. That means you’re getting a ton of the color blue (which is a very creative color) AND you are constantly visualizing a wide open space.

Visualizing an open space gives your mind room to have BIG thoughts and explore many different possibilities, which is exactly what you need for creative thinking.

Now obviously, you don’t need to spend every second of your day in front of a window. That would be silly. But do keep the window trick in mind for when you get writer’s block on your sales copy, or you just can’t quite picture how you want your logo to look. The window might give you the extra space you need to get the idea stream flowing again.

And of course, if you can’t find a window to work with, you can substitute it for a large, well-lit room with blue walls. Same effect.

Tip #2 – Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule

People get so weird about sleep. I see so many ambitious people trying to get by with 4-6 hours of sleep per night. That’s silly enough to begin with, but then they try to wear it as a badge of honor and say “Look at how hard I’m working! I barely ever sleep!”

Guess what? If you spend all your extra waking hours doing sloppy work, you aren’t productive. In fact, odds are you’re way less productive than the people who sleep reasonably.

Because here’s the tricky thing about sleep deprivation: the first things it takes away from you are the exact things you MUST HAVE to do great creative work. These include patience, focus, a stable mood, and alertness.

So get your sleep. 7 hours is good; 8 hours is better. Every night, preferably at the same time (this helps you get a better rest and have more energy during the day).

Tip #3 – Write Out Your Bad Ideas

This is good for when you’re really stumped on a particular problem.

How often have you found yourself grasping for a solution to a problem in your life, and you’re sitting there fidgeting because your head is swarming with obviously wrong answers and you’re just waiting for the right answer to rise to the top?

Happens pretty often, doesn’t it?

When that happens, just write out or doodle all the wrong answers until you’ve listed them all. Seriously, take a second to not care about being right and jot down EVERYTHING.

This exercise will almost literally clear the bad ideas out of your head and make room for good ones. Or, you might notice unexpected connections between bad ideas that actually morph them into good ideas.

Tip #4 – Get Curious About Art

Part of your job as an entrepreneur is to know a little bit about everything.

So while you’re at it, why not learn a little about the arts?

Sure, your top priorities in your reading time should always be business, sales, and leadership, but make some room for the artistic classics too. Literature, poetry (a favorite of Tom Hopkins, by the way), paintings, sculpture, music – take your pick.

I say “classic” because you don’t want to waste your time on mediocre art. There’s not a lot for you to learn there. The classics are usually a safe bet, but really, any piece of art that jumps out at you and sticks in your memory is worth a closer look.

All artists are, on a really deep level, problem solvers. Just like you. If you take a close look at their process, it’s really a series of careful decisions that all center around the basic problem of “How can I make this thing say what I’m trying to say?”

So keep an eye out for hints about the way great artists think. There’s a lot for you to learn there.

Tip #5 – Rest Actively

Some of our best ideas come to us while at rest. Esteemed geniuses in business, the arts, and the sciences will often admit that their best ideas came to them in the shower.

Of course, the kind of rest matters quite a bit…

If you really want to open your mind to new ideas, steer towards “active” forms of rest.

This can include thrilling activities like surfing, which I know from experience creates a helpful blast of dopamine and lets me release a lot of muscle tension.

This can also include slow, repetitive movements like nature walks, meditation, or yoga.

The point is to hit that sweet spot where you have just enough activity to keep your brain going, but not enough activity to keep it distracted. That’s when the best ideas, and the best connections between ideas, really have room to grow.

There you go! Now go out there and get creative!

Committed to your success,

Bedros

1 Big Lesson on Greatness and a Gift from a Friend

Scott Dolloff, a friend of mine and creator of RainMaker Martial Arts Software, recently sent me an awesome gift: a replica of Alexander the Great’s helmet.

Not only does it look incredibly cool sitting on my desk, this helmet reminds me of a great story…

A story that has an important message about how to achieve greatness.

On this blog I talk a lot about how to have an empowering mindset, how to reach your full potential and achieve the most you can in your life.

So who better an example to follow than Alexander the Great?

For a guy who only lived to age 32, he accomplished more than most people could ever imagine. In his lifetime, his homeland of Macedon went from a moderately sized Greek kingdom to one of the largest empires in world history.

And Alexander did all that without losing a single battle!

Now you might think that success like that would go to the guy’s head… that he might have been a bit egotistical in life…

You’d be wrong. And that’s why you need to read the story I’m about to tell you.

Before I can tell you the story, there’s one other guy I need to introduce…

The Philosopher

Alexander the Great is pretty well known (just look at the dozens of cities that still have his name today) yet you may not have heard of the other character in this story.

This guy may not have dozens of cities named after him, yet he was still an important man. To this day he is one of the most influential philosophers in world history…

…who also lived in a brass tub and mostly made his living as a beggar.

AND he coined the word “cynic.”

His name was Diogenes.

Diogenes sounds weird, doesn’t he? Maybe you’re wondering why anyone would ever want to listen to him…

Two things:

First, when he used the word “cynic” it just meant “dog-like,” which mostly describes his personality. He was a man of simple needs, he was happy to be alive, and he had zero patience for scoundrels and liars.

Second, Diogenes truly was a wise man. A lot of his most thoughtful quotes are still with us today, like this one:

“Simply to live is not evil, but to live a worthless life is.”

See, for all his strange behaviors, Diogenes respected hard work, and he was quite optimistic about human life. He just thought people needed a little more humility and little more honest hard work.

Now, by the time Alexander the Great was emperor, Diogenes was an old man. A humble, old, somewhat grouchy man living in a brass tub. Alexander was young, full of glory, and traveling around the world with a posse of brilliant advisors and loyal, elite soldiers.

Here you’re probably wondering how on Earth these two men relate to each other. What could they possibly say to each other? How could they possibly cross paths?

The answer is shockingly simple…

Alexander the Great was a huge fan of Diogenes, and he went out of his way to visit him one day.

The Story

That’s right: Emperor Alexander, the most powerful man on the planet, specifically chose to visit Diogenes, the beggar living in a tub.

That’s pretty mind blowing already, yet wait until you hear their conversation…

It’s a warm afternoon. The city bustles with people, the roar of their conversations echoing through the stone streets and alleyways. Diogenes sits half asleep in his brass tub, sprawled out like dog to soak up all the sweet sunlight.

In comes Alexander and his posse. Their presence is unmistakable – crowds part before them and sit watching in awe. Their heavy armor clanks and glimmers. They walk with high heads and stoic, unflinching faces.

Alexander spots Diogenes and walks directly to him. He stands so close to the humble philosopher that he casts a shadow over him.

“Greetings,” he says, “I am Alexander the Great. I come to you as an admirer. Much of the world belongs to me. Tell me what you want, and you shall have it.”

The crowd goes quiet, wondering why their emperor would stop to speak with such a strange man. Diogenes only groans and waves his hand.

“I want you to move,” he says, “and let me have my sunlight.”

The crowds’ jaws drop. The soldiers rattle their blades. An advisor approaches Alexander.

“How dare he insult you my lord!” says the advisor, “We will have him arrested – or worse.”

But Alexander raises a hand for silence.

And he steps aside and lets sunlight fill the tub.

He looks out over the confused crowd. Everyone’s jaw is hanging open. He explains himself with just one sentence:

“Truly, if I were not Alexander, I would wish to be Diogenes.”

The Lesson

Ever since that day, this story has been told and retold by countless different people in cultures all around the world. As you can probably see, it is quite a memorable story.

But what did Alexander mean by those famous words? What lesson was he trying to teach the crowd and his men?

Scholars and historians have come up with all sorts of answers here, yet I think the answer is really quite simple…

Greatness and humility go hand in hand.

This is such an important lesson, and it’s one that needs to be spread far and wide. See, I meet a lot of ambitious people in my work, and so I’ve come to recognize a lot of the mistakes that come with ambition.

Heck, back in my younger days I made a lot of these mistakes myself…

Too many people think that greatness comes from shoving your way into power, thinking you’re the smartest person in the room, and stepping all over the little guys on your way to the top.

However, that kind of behavior leads directly into failure.

True greatness comes from solving other people’s problems. It comes from making big promises and delivering even more than you promised. It comes from being warm, and generous, and kind to the people you want and NEED to help you.

And most of all, greatness comes from recognizing that you are always coachable. It comes from letting yourself be humble in front of those who are wiser than you and willing to challenge you to do better.

I’ve been a business coach for a while now, long enough so that many of my clients are far along on their own paths to greatness.

And I can tell you that 100% of the people who made it big and continue to make it big are the people who have grand visions and big ambition, but who still allow themselves to be coached. These are people who graciously accept constructive criticism and work their butts off to turn it into action.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

Do you understand the power of greatness and humility?

Are you ready to learn, take action and grow a business that will help thousands of people and let you live a lifestyle of freedom, happiness and abundance?

Committed to your success,

Bedros

5 Tricks That Will Take Your Video Sales Letter to the Next Level

I can make your video sales letter get more sales than it’s ever gotten before…

I just need to you pay attention to the 5 all-important tricks I’m about to give you.

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of you fitness business owners are going for video over everything else. You don’t want to blog, you’ve already automated your email, and you certainly don’t want to mail out letters.

Personally, I’m all about having as many poles in the water as I can get…

But I understand – video is fun! And it’s getting a lot of attention right now. You probably already know this, but I’m big on YouTube marketing.

But I gotta tell you…video sales letters require just as much care and technique as any kind of written content.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of 5 amazing tricks you can use to take your VSL to the next level.

Trick #1 – The Benefit Headline

What, you thought headlines were only for articles and blog posts?

Nope, headlines are just as important for videos – if not more so.

Think of all the millions upon millions of videos on the internet. Why should anybody watch yours?

You’ve got to grab their attention with the title – or headline – of your video. And I’m going to show you a simple, proven formula for doing that.

Here it is:

# Things + Amazing Result – Pain Point(s)

# Things is an odd number of some powerful object that your prospect will get from your video. It can be “Tips” or “Ways” or “Steps” or “Secrets” or, hey, even “Tricks.”

Amazing Result is a very clear benefit that is important to your prospect. “Lose Weight” or “Get in Shape” or “Shed 40 Pounds” – something like that.

Pain Point is something that your prospect doesn’t want to do OR doesn’t want to lose. Maybe your prospect doesn’t want to lose “Eating Ice Cream.” Or maybe they don’t want to “Spend Hours on the treadmill.”

Put those all together and you have a must-click headline! If you want to see an example of an effective headline, check out this video of mine. (Since this video isn’t exactly a VSL, I only follow part of the formula. Still, it worked!)

Trick #2 – Paraphrase

Odds are, you’re going to have text in your video at some point.

If you’re camera shy, maybe you’ll just talk over a PowerPoint-style slideshow, or you’ll have an animator draw little doodling over a white screen while you talk.

Or you’re like me and you consider it part of your 5% to hop in front of the camera and get your face out there.

You’ve probably noticed in my videos that I usually have a wipe board behind me where I write or draw out whatever I’m talking about.

And if you listen really carefully, you’ll notice that what I say out loud is different from what I write on the board.

This isn’t just me be lazy or forgetting my lines – there’s an important reason for this:

When you paraphrase the text in your video, your prospects pay more attention.

Weird, isn’t it? But it makes sense when you think about it…

If the words you speak and the words on screen match up perfectly, that means your video becomes predictable.

In other words, your video becomes boring.

BUT, if the words on screen and the words you say are different, your prospects’ brains will naturally pick up on that and try to reconcile it. As a byproduct of this effect, they’ll absorb more of your pitch and have better odds of converting.

Trick #3 – 3X Your Money Back Guarantee

You probably already know that your video (along with everything else you do) needs to include a money back guarantee…

But HOW are you including that money back guarantee?

Let me tell you: if your prospect only has one way to get their money back, you’re making a huge mistake.

Remember, the whole point of a money back guarantee is to build trust with your prospect. The last thing you want to do is make it look half-hearted for feel like a formality.

So that means you need to give your prospect three different conditions for when the guarantee kicks in.

The first one is obvious, and it’s probably the one you’re already using:

“If you don’t see the Amazing Resultafter using my product, you can have your money back.”

Makes sense, right? Now the next one is where you prove how generous and trustworthy you are:

“If you don’t feel good about my product after using it, you can have your money back.”

Notice how this condition technically still works even if your product does what it’s supposed to. It’s basically a loophole, right? Some unethical person could enjoy your product for free at this point.

But that’s not a problem, because 99% of people will read that condition and feel really touched that you trust them so much. And because you trust THEM, they will trust YOU.

Finally, the third condition is where you make yourself look even more generous:

“If you don’t like the sound of my voice, you can have your money back.”

You can come up with your own version of this one, but the basic idea is that you want something silly that has nothing to do with your product. This keeps your prospect paying attention and show them that you don’t take yourself too seriously. That way, they see you as a trustworthy, real person instead of a sleazy salesman.

Trick #4 – Imply Your Prospect Has Already Decided to Buy

This trick is so incredibly simple, but you have to keep it in mind all throughout the writing process.

And if the spoken part of your video is different from the text, you need to use it there as well.

This trick has to do with frame of mind – both yours and your prospect’s.

Here’s how it works:

Whenever you describe what your product includes or how to works, always use words that make it sound your prospect has already bought it.

For example, if you’re listing off some of the topics of an info product, you say “Youwill discover this, this, and that.”

Or if you’re reminding your prospect of the benefits, you say “Your waistline willshrink by 3 inches or more once you use my product!”

If you want to see a full demonstration of this idea in action, check out the mini VSL I have included on one of my sales pages.

Remember how I said this trick has to do with frame of mind? Here’s what I mean:

You prospect will think of your product as something they have already decided on, making them more likely to commit.

YOU will project an aura of confidence in your product, making your pitch more convincing.

Trick #5 – Highlight Subliminal Words

This last trick is also incredibly simple, but perhaps more difficult to master…

For this one, you want to pick your power words and put their font in red.

Now the really really important thing to remember here is that it doesn’t matter WHERE the words show up, only WHAT those words are.

You want to choose words that capture the overall feeling of your pitch – the primary emotion or action you want your prospect to associate with your product.

Here are some example words: Yes, Buy, Fast, Easy, Great, Simple, Life-Changing, Best, Purchase.

When you make a point to have these words pop out, most of your prospects won’t even notice the difference – but the will FEEL the difference in a big way.

This trick may sound like a really tiny thing, but it’s not – picking out the right power words is one of the biggest topics of my live coaching event, Bedros Live.

Committed to your success,

Bedros

The 2 Stories You Must Tell if You’re Selling an Info Product

Stories are more memorable than facts.

Want people to remember a fact? Stick it in a good story.

People connect with stories by default. It takes a ton of work to make people care about facts (why do you think the news channels have so many entertainment programs?)

So learn to tell stories. Learn to sell with stories.

The fact is that you have an idea for an info product…or maybe you even have the product already. The fact is that you’ve used your unique knowledge and skills to create something that will change a lot of people’s lives.

The fact is also that you can make yourself a great living off your idea if you know how to sell your idea.

What is the story that connects all these facts?

What is the story you can tell your prospects so that they’ll buy your product and give back some of the enormous value you’re giving them?

I know what the story is, and I’m going to explain to you.

Actually, it’s two stories…

Two stories: the Nightmare Story and the Dream Story.

Think of them a little like Good Cop, Bad Cop… they both have the same goal, but two totally different ways of getting there. And both halves depend on each other.

So let’s look at how to write each one.

The Nightmare Story

The Nightmare Story is about you.

In fact, the Nightmare Story should be a true story from your life…with one caveat.

You can and should rearrange the order of the events to create the best possible story.

I’ll explain that more in a moment, but first we need to make sure you understand the point of the Nightmare Story.

The point of the Nightmare Story is to position yourself as an expert from necessity who is only slightly better off than your prospects.

Let me break that down a bit…

An expert from necessity is someone who was forced to become an expert in their field because of outside circumstances. This is important to your story for two reasons:

One, it gives your prospect something they can relate to, since they are probably dealing with similar outside circumstances right now.

Two, it makes you look like someone who just barely made it out of their bad situation and has come back to prove that ANYONE can fix their own situation with the right solution.

That second point is especially important because it gets you past the “Expert’s Paradox.”

The Expert’s Paradox is this weird little thing where people want to get top-quality, expert solutions to their problems… but they don’t trust people who actually look like experts. Instead, they just get intimidated and self-defeating because they see the experts as something they could never become.

So back to my original point: your Nightmare Story should position you as an expert from necessity who is only slightly better off.

And the best way to do that is to take all the embarrassing and painful parts of your life BEFORE you found your big solution, and describe them in order from mildly annoying to utterly devastating… even if the actual events happened in a different order.

Then, once you’ve built up all the bad stuff and created this emotional powder keg in your prospect, you hit them with the amazing solution (which would later become your product). This will cause them to experience a huge wave of hope and relief – which puts them in the perfect mood to buy.

And once you’ve got them in that blissful mood, you guarantee the sale by giving them the Dream Story.

The Dream Story

One last note about the Nightmare Story – that story should only appear at the beginning of your sales letter.

The Dream Story is in many ways the opposite of the Nightmare Story.

The Dream Story is all about your prospect, and it should be peppered in throughout your sales letter.

 

The Dream Story is also a lot simpler…once you’ve done the research.

By “research,” I mean looking very closely at your prospects to see what they want from their goals. Notice that this is not the same as knowing what their goals are.

For example, a lot of people will tell you that they are looking to lose weight. Great, so you sell them a weight loss solution.

BUT, if you really want to sell that solution effectively, you need to understand WHY they want to lose weight.

Maybe they’re looking for more confidence…

Maybe they they want to feel more energetic…

Maybe they’re struggling to get a date…

Whatever their WHY is, THAT is the thing you need offer them in the Dream Story.

In fact, you can pretty much write half your Dream Story by just listing out the whys with the word “Imagine” in front of each one.

Imagine wearing any piece of clothing without having to suck in, so that you can walk around with perfect confidence.

Imagine leaping out of bed every morning refreshed and wide awake.

Imagine walking into a bar and having the guys form a line to try to get your number.

The word “imagine” is important here because it psychologically forces your prospect to picture what you’re describing.

Work on those two stories, and I know you’ll see a huge increase in sales.

Make sure you check out my online info product coaching program. This is where I’ll teach you the same formulas I’ve used to launch my own HUGELY successful info products.

Committed to your success,

Bedros

9 Productivity Tricks You Can Use Now

In the next five minutes, your business is going to either make you a 7 figure income or it’s going to go bankrupt. No third option.

Okay, that’s not entirely true… but it’s also not entirely false.

The point I want you to grasp is that every second of your day is valuable.

That means if you want to make more money and earn yourself more freedom than ever before, you need to squeeze those seconds for every drop of value you can get.

It’s time for you to 10X your productivity.

How are you going to do that?

Like I said, every second counts… which means whatever changes you’re going to make need to apply to every second of your day…

Including this very moment!

To help you out with that, here are 9 productivity tricks you can start using right this second.

Trick #1 – Delegate

Odds are, you have at least one thing to do today that you dread working on. (You might even be working on it right now.)

Whatever this thing is, you know that you’re no good at it.

And, while you know that it does need to get done, you also realize that it doesn’t directly make you any money.

So delegate it! Right now!

Delegate it the first employee you see who can do it competently.

Or hire someone.

Or have a friend do it and offer to buy them coffee.

Whatever you do, don’t let that nasty little task ruin your productivity.

Trick #2 – Starve Your Bad Habits

Whatever your biggest productivity killer is, find a way to starve it out.

Are you a TV watcher? Hide your remote, or better yet, chuck it out the window. That way your temptation to sit and slack off in front of the TV will be forced to wither away.

Maybe you like going to the kitchen for healthy snacks… only to end up looking sorting through your mail or staring at your fridge magnets. Keep your snacks right at your desk – that way you can snack without taking your eyes off the screen.

(After all, studies show that people tend to forget their current task whenever they walk through a doorway. Stay put!)

Trick #3 – Ignore the News

I was tempted to call news-watching a bad habit and lump it in with the previous trick, but a lot of you think it’s somehow important to watch the news.

See, we get all these messages from popular culture that say news-watching is for intelligent, responsible people and that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t do it too.

I call B.S.

In your case, the smart, responsible thing to do will ALWAYS be growing your business, because that’s what allows you change more people’s lives!

And watching all the negative, fear-mongering, dishonest junk on the news will only ever get in the way of that.

Guard your time shamelessly and only devote your attention to what matters to you: growing your business and changing lives.

Trick #4 – Drink More Water

Sorry, but entrepreneurs can get dehydrated too. Go easy on the coffee and energy drinks and make sure you’re drinking tons of WATER.

I shouldn’t have to tell you the dangers of dehydration, but just in case: fatigue, emotional disturbance, and lack of focus to name just a few.

Dehydration means valuable seconds down the drain. Drink up!

Trick #5 – Script Out Your Day

I talk about this a lot, and for a good reason: this is one of the most common habits among hugely successful people.

You might be thinking you can’t implement this right now because you’re already halfway through your day…

But why not script out the second half?

And then script out tomorrow?

And then script out your next week?

Good happens start right now. No excuses.

Trick #6 – Set Aside a Designated Email Time

Emails… one of the worst productivity killers.

We all have to deal with them, but if you’re not careful, each email runs the risk of completely derailing your productivity.

So set aside a designated time each day just for emails.

Use this time to reply, take notes, and organize. Move emails into a “Complete” folder as you go and write down any tasks that come up.

Don’t use your inbox as a to do list – that’s just a recipe for distraction.

Trick #7 – Create Scripted Email Responses

This one will help you use your email time more efficiently.

If you ever find yourself writing the same email over and over again, STOP!

Most email services (such as Gmail) include some system to let you create email templates. The difference between typing up a short email and using a canned email may seem like only a matter of seconds…

But remember, every second counts!

Trick #8 – Script Out Your Breaks

What, did you think I was only talking about work time earlier?

I wasn’t. Scripting out your breaks is just as important as scripting out your productive time.

I’ll explain why:

What’s the point of taking a break? I’m sure the answer is a little different for each of you, but I’m guessing it’s something to do with relaxation, keeping your mind fresh, or breaking your day into manageable chunks.

Whatever your reason, your break time is something you can maximize, just like your productive time.

Need that time to relax? Make sure you pick your #1 most relaxing activity and only do that during your break time.

Otherwise, you’ll come back from break time wishing you’d done something different. Then you’re distracted, which defeats the whole purpose of break time!

Trick #9 – Stop Multitasking

I don’t mean stop multitasking in general – I mean stop doing it right this second.

Seriously, as soon as you’re done reading this, I want you to look through all your open Internet tabs and windows and close all but one of them.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

Whatever one window is left open will show your most important task, which is the ONLY task you should be working on right now.

Committed to your success,

Bedros