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Fool’s Gold

by Pete Godfrey · 16 comments

Fool’s Gold

I want to share with you two facts of life that many folks, especially online, just don’t get.

FACT OF LIFE #1: Just because you’ve put a website up based on an idea you think is brilliant, doesn’t entitle you to any monetary success. This is a biggie. This insidious thing called entitlement. Many folks feel entitled to the great outcomes, without doing the work needed to bring about such a rewarding result. Look, this may sound silly to you but I tell you, this is what many people feel.

Case in point: A couple of weeks ago I made an online offer to do critiques for just 500 bucks. This was a one-off offer and only 10 critiques were offered. Anyway, I knocked them off over a two day stint and I spoke to each client about his or her marketing piece. In many cases, I discovered three critical flaws in what they were doing.

First: They had spent a lot of time and money on building the perfect product without first identifying exactly who was going to buy the product; who exactly was their ideal market. (101 marketing mistake.)

Second: They slapped together a sales letter they did themselves having had no training in copywriting because they think it’s not that important and besides the product is that good it will sell itself.

Third: They get defensive and go into denial when confronted by my observation that their sales letter is crap. “No, no, no, Pete… you don’t understand… what I’m doing here is…” They try to explain to me that the letter is good, that I do not see the point they are making. Basically they are telling me I am wrong and they are right.

NOTE: Not all talks were like that. I had a great chat with a sharp-minded lady who is a friend of Private Wealth Group Member Lindy Bonnet. Smart lady and she was very open to my suggestions.

Look there are many lessons here I’ll briefly touch on.

One, market first then product.

Two, copy is king.

Three, listen to good advice.

There, the secret to online biz success in under 140 characters; shit, I could even fit that on Twitter (if I twitted).

FACT OF LIFE #2: The last thing we need is another (fill in the blank). In the Western World we have an abundance of choice and we do not need another pizza shop, restaurant, make money product or whatever you are selling. We have ample choices and we can compare quickly and easily between offers online.

This doesn’t mean all the good opportunities are gone and that you can’t be successful in a cluttered marketplace. It just means now, more than ever, you need a clear and compelling reason for your existence, a clear benefit-driven message on why they should buy from you and not your competitors.

This is your U.S.P., in our world it’s marketing 101.

However, just because the idea is old and maybe you’ve read it a hundred times doesn’t devalue the importance of a clearly defined U.S.P. And creating this message is harder than you think. Living up to it is even harder. But now, more than ever, you’ve got to be about something; that special something that connects with your market so they know instantly that what you’ve got is for them.

POST SCRIPT: I’m all for pumping people’s tyres to make them feel good and inspired and bursting at the seams with motivation. That’s what a good coach does. We coach. We motivate. But filling people’s heads with unrealistic expectations is just plain wrong… and those who do this are causing real damage and need a good kick up the arse!

It’s something I have taken note of these past few years; these leaders who hide the truth behind vague ideas and unrealistic expectations… giving folks ideas without any consideration of the economic reality of such advice and without any clue on how the hell they are gonna implement the advice. Makes my blood boil. That’s why I give it to you straight. I’d rather you take the time to do your due diligence, do the research needed, before blindly plunging into something that anyone with experience will tell you is doomed from the start.

I’ll coach you. I’ll motivate you. But I’m not gonna bullshit you and tell you the lemon you’re holding is in fact a juicy sweet orange. I’d make more money pandering to people’s fantasies… but I like to sleep soundly at night, with a clear conscience, knowing that I’m giving it to you straight. Might upset a few, but the ones who embrace my kinda thinking seem to have success… they seem to get actual results in the real world.

POST POST SCRIPT: If you’re following any mentors at the moment, here’s a quick way to find out if they are the real deal. Ask them for results based testimonials. Don’t settle for anything less like: “I love Joe Blow’s ideas, he gave me a tip that’s worth millions.” Yeah? Bullshit! That’s feel good drivel. Get them to show you something like the one below from Catherine Powell after she did one of my master classes.

$112,368.00 in 3 days then $178,625.00 in 7 days!
“Based on what Pete taught me at the Master Class, I sent an email to my database and I was hoping for a $50K response as the ticket items varied between $69 to $97. The email was sent on the Tuesday morning, and by that Friday we had $112,368.00! I was so excited that I carried it through for another week … the end result was $178,625.00 in the bank paid up front over the phone by credit card. I didn’t stop with this I continued on I ran another campaign that went for Xmas, which resulted in 2,968 NEW clients joining my website. I then followed through with a Xmas Gift Voucher promo that was sent out via email our Xmas gift voucher sales were up my 60% on last year’s figures.” Catherine Powell, Business Owner, Melbourne

Now that’s a real testimonial and I’ve got plenty of them. Not all advice is equal so be careful who you listen to.

About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

margaret August 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

Please please let me know if ever you are offerin gthe $500 website critique again.
Many thanks


Pete Godfrey August 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

Hi Margaret, I make that offer occassionally to help out folks that normally wouldn’t have the funds to invest in me… and it gives me a great opportunity to talk to folks on my list and get to know them.

Anyway, email me at and I’ll send you out the details.




Glen Parker August 4, 2010 at 11:05 am

Yep, couldn’t agree more with all of this Pete. Always amazes me how people are willing to spend money to get help from someone more experienced, someone how has generated results, and then begin to question the solution they get! But as you point out, those who shut up long enough to get over themselves, swallow their pride & actually do what you say get the results 🙂 Love your writing style & attitude, keep up the good work.

Warmest regards

P.S. Awesome testimony too!


Pete Godfrey August 4, 2010 at 11:38 am

Thanks Glen as long as I have readers like you I’ll keep telling it as I see it.


Dave August 4, 2010 at 11:18 am

…and you know the ground breaking thing about the Internet? The research to finding out whether there is a market or not for what you’re offering doesn’t take weeks – don’t get me wrong — it’s still work and you have to take action to do it…. but with tools such as PPC, Social Media or email list – combined with surveys you should know whether you have a market or not within a week or so. Then having good copy, and having someone with reputable experience look over your sales funnel to optimize conversions just sweetens the results!


Pete Godfrey August 4, 2010 at 11:40 am

Too true Dave… lot easier these days to reach your market and find out what they want than it was when I first started all those years ago. Yet the same fundamentals mistakes keep getting made. Sad but true.


Jean August 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm

You are SO right Pete. And didn’t I learn that the hard way which is why you are my mentor now because I have learned so much from you and I want more. My business has certainly changed in both message and profit since working with you. Thanks!


Pete Godfrey August 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Thanks Jean and I’m looking forward to working with you inside The Boardroom Express.

PS. It’s fun working with clients who listen and then take action.


John Anderson August 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Thanks Pete.

I completely agree – what is it that differentiates you is key – and it needs to be a unique benefit that the customers actual want.

Especially in this crowded market place. As Dan Kennedy says Maybe once upon time ‘success was just showing up’ but not now…

I wrote a blog post about this the other day – Common Wealth Banks latest campaign ‘determined to be different’…

Yes, but how?…be specific….fill us in…how are you different…pleeeaseee…tell us we want to know! lol

Anyway, thanks for telling it straight Pete. It’s refreshing!


Pete Godfrey August 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Great point John and thanks for sharing. I’m going to get on over to your blog later and have a read … cheers buddy.

Anyway, here’s how I summed up the whole “message” theme in last month’s Emotional Ad Writing & Marketing Letter

Message: In the New Economy, the consumer has many choices, so it’s imperative you match your message with your market with precision. Your marketing messages include such things as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), Irresistible Offer, Overwhelming Proof, but your messages can and should convey Personal Branded Stories that I covered in detail at my Cash Characters Academy workshop. A few stories you need are:

Who I am stories
NOTE: Also called your Legend Story, or Signature story.

“People can’t trust someone they don’t know.” Annette Simmons, Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins.

Here’s an important point I want you to get: To influence someone, he or she must know who you are. Understand that any of your attempts to influence is filtered through people’s assumptions about who you are.

Why am I here stories
People will buy into your passion because remember, mostly they are buying you more than the product itself. You must have passion for your subject.

Vision stories
“A good vision story makes otherwise ambiguous promises for future payoffs come alive with carefully crafted sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings that eclipse the work we do today for tomorrow’s payoff.”
Annette Simmons, Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins

NOTE: Sell hope, sell place, sell the future, are the BIG 3 when it comes to creating vision stories that captivate and inspire your audience.

Back Story
Your back story fills readers in on your past, where you came from, your core skills… basically bringing new tribe members up to speed about you and what you are known for.


Dave August 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Dude what u doing giving all this info away for free? You should be charging for this ha ha… Just joking, shows you’ve got much more up ya sleeve 😉 hint…


Pete Godfrey August 9, 2010 at 6:35 am

My well is deep Dave… and I really believe you’ve gotta give to get.


Scott Junner August 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I currently have an offer on for a select group to do some keyword and market research for them. What they get is a real clear, by the numbers view of who is looking or not looking for their idea. Who their competition is online, and what they will need to do to even come close to ranking in the search engines.

It baffles me that even in the face of the numbers, some people still can’t let go of it and listen to reason. I think maybe we get bashed about so often by people telling us things can’t be done, that when we finally get up and make a real commitment to an idea and someone gives some negative feedback, we label them dream killers and try to just step over it to our “dream”.

Thanks for the article. Do you mind if I use the idea with my own experience for my own blog?


nursing schools August 5, 2010 at 3:41 am

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!


Exercise Balls August 5, 2010 at 8:53 am

It’s posts like this that keep me coming back and checking this site regularly, thanks for the info!


Pete Godfrey August 9, 2010 at 6:38 am

Hey Scott…good point… to me, dream killers are those who are not qualified to give their opinions on certain subjects, but they do, and usually it’s out of fear that their friend is changing. However, when someone qualified to give advice gives you advice and you still refuse to admit it…well then you’ve got a problem.

And Scott, feel free to use this idea for your own blog mate… and send me the link when it’s up, cheers!


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