What is the #1 Way to Build Your Business?


You can build your business, increase your influence, and grow your income easily by growing one of your best business assets . . . your email list.


Your email list is one of the most valuable resources in your entire business. And, finding the right subscribers is as easy as making a few subtle shifts in your overall business strategy.

And people ask me all the time…

Do I REALLY need to work on building my list?  Even if I’m building my social media presence?

And the short answer is . . .



What if I don’t have a list?

Start building your list.

What if I already have a list of 10,000?

Build your list.

What if I already have a list of 100,000?

Build your list.

The answer is the same for EVERYONE.

The bottom line is, the health of your business (and my business!) is directly connected to the size and strength of our email list. 

And for the record…

We have worked directly with clients who have social media accounts with MILLIONS of followers.  And I can without a shadow of a doubt tell you this…

I would take an engaged email list of 10,000 over a Facebook audience of 500,000 (even if it’s an engaged audience) ANY day.

And I would take that same list of 10,000 over an Instagram audience of 1,000,000 as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are advantages to growing your social media audience.  But for direct sales, the email list wins every time.

So the next logical question is, where do you start with your list building efforts?

Here’s what I like to do..

Brainstorm a big list of external problems – as many as possible.

I would literally take out a sheet of paper and I would brainstorm a whole bunch of problems that your market is experiencing.  

Think about your potential customers looking at Google or YouTube.  What would they be typing in?  What are they searching for?  What problems are they seeking solutions for?

Brainstorm as many different external problems as possible. The bigger the list, the better. Aim for ten different problems, but if you can go beyond ten to twenty or thirty different problems, that’s even better!

Then. . .

Offer a high-quality piece of content that solves one of those problems.


All you need to do now is create an opt-in magnet, or lead gen tool, or list builder, whatever you want to call it – but it’s essentially something that will help to solve their problem and move them forward.  It’s all about helping them make progress.  And you’ll give them this opt-in magnet in exchange for their  email address.


Again, this isn’t super complex. First step is to take one of those problems. Create a P.D.F. document that outlines a solution – BOOM. There’s your lead magnet. And once you have one, rinse and repeat by creating multiple lead magnets for all the various problems you brainstormed earlier.

Make sense?

Now here’s another idea… you can also . . .

Create list building events.


Is there a way that you can bring the collective wisdom of a whole bunch of thought leaders in your market together to share some ideas around one core idea?

For example, not long ago, I reached out to some of my friends, who are online marketing influencers—people like Russell Brunson, Jeff Walker, and Amy Porterfield, and we held a live event called Marketing Forecast Live.


I asked two questions.  That’s all they answered. Then we combined their answers into one heck of an awesome P.D.F. document where we presented the experts view on the up and coming trends in marketing.  Next, we started posting and driving traffic to that through ads. And in the end, we raised a bunch of money for a great cause and ultimately added thousands of names to our email list.

Last and most important. You need to …

Be intentional about building your list ALL – THE – TIME.


You’ve got to be intentional about building your list. The reality is. . .  very few people do this on a regular basis, and so, I want to change that for you.

I want you to focus on building your list – and I want you to make time for it on your calendar.  The challenge is, if you don’t put it on your calendar, it will get pushed to the backburner – because list building is important, but not urgent.

Time to crank up the urgency.  Put it on your calendar.  Schedule time for it.

Take out the old calendar and mark a date on a particular month when you’ are going to have a new lead magnet finished.

As you begin thinking about your new list builder, I thought about how I could help make this even easier for you.

So, I’ve put together a checklist to help you think through ideas you can run with right away.  It’s called the 4 Step Checklist for Low Stress List Building. And you can get it free by clicking below.


P.S.  Yes… I actually do the things I suggest you do 🙂  That’s why I created this checklist… to help you jump start your list building efforts by mapping it out step-by-step.  Click below to get it TODAY!

What do you do when you feel like marketing isn’t your strength?

Even though you may not feel as though marketing is your greatest strength, there is one simple step that you can take to make it WAY easier than you may have imagined.

One of the best ways, possibly the world’s greatest way, to market your business, is by selling through stories.

Share the stories of your clients

When you and I become focused on helping our clients get results, that helps us to craft better stories.

This is not necessarily about marketing you. Share the stories and the transformations that your clients are experiencing as a result of the product or service you are providing.

I like to think of it as celebrating your customers and your audience. Celebrate the transformation that they are experiencing and the results that they are getting.


Better results = Better stories to tell

Better stories = Easier Marketing


If our clients get better results, then we have better stories to tell. And, that helps us with our marketing efforts.

Let me show you what I mean…

I’d like to introduce you to Patty Palmer.

While working as an art teacher, Patty started her own blog. She wanted a place to showcase the work of her students for their parents.

Over time, art teachers began to find her blog and they had TONS of questions for Patty.

‘Where did you get that?’

‘Can I have it?’

So, she started to sell one-off lessons to teachers all over the country.

This only resulted in even more questions.

‘Which product do I buy?’

‘What do I do first?’

‘Is there a course?’

Then Patty considered starting an online membership to help other art teachers.

I started to understand what a membership model not only could do for me, but how it could help all of my readers and customers.” ~Patty Palmer


Fast forward just one year and Patty had a thriving community of over 900 members.

Today, that number continues to grow as Patty helps teachers, all over the world, create an art program for their needs.

Do you see how that story might make someone want to start a membership site of their own?

It’s not just the story, but the way the story is told as well. There are a couple of things to note about selling through stories. Notice, that neither my name or TRIBE are even mentioned in this story of Patty Palmer.

There’s a clear distinction between a testimonial and a case study.


The first thing that is important to know is that a testimonial and a case study are two separate and distinctly different things.

A testimonial would say something like, “Stu is amazing. Stu is awesome!” or “TRIBE is amazing. TRIBE is awesome!”  (Which, by the way, it is.)

That’s a testimonial, right?

A testimonial will praise you and your product or service.

A case study, however, is about the person you are featuring.

It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Now, will they mention you and will they mention your product?

Sure, but it is a totally different thing.


It’s about them. It’s about their story and about their transformation.


That’s a really important distinction to make. When it comes to selling through stories, people are far less likely to share a testimonial.

However, people love to share a good story. And, if you make it easy for them to share through social media, it is even more likely that they will share it.

Most importantly, your clients and potential customers will resonate more with a great case study story.


People will resonate more with case studies.


You will notice that case studies are positioned differently.

They are positioned to sell the benefit of whatever we are selling, but it’s not positioned to sell the actual product or even to sell me as the creator.

It’s all about the client’s story. It’s all about creating connection points throughout that story that your audience would be able to relate to.

That is the most important thing when you’re selling through stories.

The fact is, when your clients get results, they have a better story to tell. And, better stories make it WAY easier for you to market and grow your business.

So, at the end of the day, if you want to market yourself and your products easily, celebrate the success of your customers.

You and I want to be focused on helping our clients get results.

If we do that, we’ve got better stories to tell. And if we’ve got better stories to tell about our clients, our marketing becomes a whole lot easier.

Check out Patty’s Case study to see this in action. I hope it gives you lots of ideas on how you can share the success stories of your clients. 

When it comes to marketing your business, the basics still rule.

They’ll never change.


A recent article proposed that online marketing is about to change, as we know it. While some of the points may be valid, I also think the “doom and gloom” proclaimed over the industry is grossly over exaggerated.

I’ve been in this game of business for a long time.  And during that time, I’ve seen MANY people come, and many people go.  Big names who were once the “go-to” person in their niche, now obsolete or irrelevant.

This happens ALL THE TIME.  It’s nothing new.

So how do we last the test of time?

Three things to keep in mind…

1)  Things are going to change… but the fundamentals NEVER do.  

Sure the “tactics” are going to change.  Even the “tools” and platforms are going to change too.  But the fundamentals behind what made these tactics work will always last the test of time.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “online product launches don’t work anymore” propaganda… but the reality is, launches work… and they continue to work really, really well.

What doesn’t work is when people use the same strategies year in and year out without updating or adjusting their marketing.  They get lazy.  That’s why their marketing has become less effective.  It’s boring or outdated.

It’s NOT that product launches don’t work.  It’s that their marketing doesn’t stand out. It doesn’t connect.  

I have many examples of this, but the first one that comes to mind is a coaching client of mine who essentially ran the EXACT same launch for nearly 3 years in a row (and it’s run twice a year).  It has always worked well, but recently, the results started to level off. Her launches weren’t growing.

So, what did we do?

We reimagined the launch.  We changed things up.  We gave everything a facelift in the way that we positioned the offer, in how we delivered the marketing, and ultimately how we connected with her audience.

Doing that is SCARY.  Because innovating means that you are trying something new. That means you’re entering the unknown.  And the tension between leaving what you’ve always known to try something new is real (and hard… which is why we avoid it).

But here’s the thing…

The innovation doesn’t mean that you completely abandon the fundamentals of a good launch.  It doesn’t mean that you completely throw up your hands and cry “launches are dead”.

It means that you have to get creative about your approach while STILL relying on the fundamentals of what makes a great launch work.  The anticipation, the social proof, establishing authority, community, providing value, connection, having a great offer, a deadline and everything else.

So, what happened with my client’s launch?

She was scared OUT OF HER MIND.  But… she trusted the process.  And she innovated anyway.

The results were…

Her biggest launch ever.  A HUGE discovery that simultaneously dropped her refund rates by almost 70%.  And FAR greater client results (which is only going to help her even more in her next launch).

2)  Tell great stories, win more sales.

At the end of the day, marketing is nothing more than telling stories.  It’s not “tricking” people into buying something they don’t want.

That’s what REALLY rubbed me the wrong way with this article.  The author kept saying things like “customers are getting smart” and “customers know what to look for and how to avoid it”.  

I don’t know about you, but I’m not trying to “trick” my customers.

Great marketing is NOT brow beating someone into a sale.  It’s not “tricking” or deceiving someone into buying what you have.

Great marketing inspires.  It tells a story.  It bridges a gap between where the customer is and where they want to be.

That’s why I am OBSESSED with the “Circle of Awesomeness”.  Which if you’re not familiar goes like this…

STEP #1: Make a sale

STEP #2: Get client RESULTS

STEP #3: Capture client’s STORY

STEP #4: Share client’s STORY

STEP #5:  Make more sales

But here’s the thing…

Long-term success for you and I depends on #2… helping your clients get the RESULT they’re looking for.  If you don’t do that, then your marketing instantly becomes WAY more difficult.

However, if you help your customers get the result they’re looking for, you have a great story to tell.  And if you’ve got a great story to tell, your marketing becomes SO much easier (and dare I say effortless?)


Because at the end of the day, people buy stuff because they have a need.  They have a problem they want solved.  And as long as your product, service, coaching, consulting or whatever you’re selling solves that problem (and you have a TON of evidence to showcase that), you’ll always last the test of time.

So, I’m not in this for the quick win… and I don’t think you are either.

We’re in this for the long-haul.  That means that we are crystal clear about the #1 factor that influences our long-term success… our client results.

3)  Love on your people.

At the end of the day, business is all based on relationships.

If your core approach to marketing begins with a commitment to serving your people and helping them get results, people will want to work with you (no matter what “tactic” you’re using for marketing).  


Because it’s just about communicating that commitment and showcasing the evidence that the results are real (aka… your stories!).

And when you do, your audience will realize that you have their best interests in mind.

That’s why this feeling that marketing is “tricking” people or “deceiving” people REALLY ticks me off.  It has NOTHING to do with that.

It has EVERYTHING to do with serving people and communicating how what you have can help them get the result they want easier and faster.

So all this “doom and gloom” is ridiculous.  

Do we always need to adapt and change?


Do we need to constantly look at our marketing and try to improve it?

Of course.

But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

Online launches are NOT dead.

Lazy, boring marketing is dead.

But the fundamentals of great marketing are ALIVE and THRIVING.

So, don’t be lazy.  Don’t be boring.

Stick to the fundamentals.  Commit to getting your clients results.  Then share those stories.

Do that, and you’ll win long-term.


What if you could predict the future of marketing the way a weatherman predicts the weather? How much better could you plan for your business knowing the forecast ahead of time?
I’ve been at this game for a long time and, along the way, I’ve developed some amazing friendships with people who are important to me. As a part of being in these great relationships, I periodically reach out and check-in with these friends.

And, inevitably. . . we geek out on marketing.

During these conversations, all kinds of magic happens. Because this is where we share the details on the things we’re doing and trying that aren’t “mainstream” yet. The experiments. The discoveries. The nuances that are making all the difference in our results.

And through sharing with each other, we find out what’s working and what’s not. We celebrate each other’s wins, and we help one another overcome hurdles.

Coming out of those discussions, I always end up with a few key ideas I use to build on top of the ideas that I already have. And when I look back at the progress I’ve made in my career, so many of the breakthroughs came from things that were discussed during these conversations.

But here’s the problem…

For a long time, I wasn’t privy to these kinds of discussions.

It’s only come because I’ve spent nearly 15+ years pouring into my friends and taking the time to develop these relationships.

And I know how frustrating it is if you don’t have this kind of opportunity. Things can feel slow. You can feel like you’re out of the loop.

So it got me thinking…

What if I could bring this kind of intimate conversation about marketing to you?

Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Imagine a discussion between friends. Geeking out on all things marketing. The good. The bad. And most importantly, the future.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

In just a few days, I will be getting together with some of my friends to bring you some of the top marketing strategies that they have been using during the last year.
I’m going to jump start the discussion by asking them questions.

“What was your #1 marketing strategy of 2017?”, and . . .
“What are the big opportunities you’ll be focusing on in 2018?”

It’s one thing to think about what worked in the past, but it’s also another thing to think about where your mindset should be moving into the future.

AND . . . as entrepreneurs, we want to help you make more money so that you can make more impact.

So, I’m asking my friends to forecast the future of online marketing and we’re going to bring you the best marketing advice for this year and the best marketing advice going into 2018.

So why are we motivated to do this now?

Well, there was a very serious incident that got the wheels in motion.

As you’ve probably heard, there have been some devastating natural disasters that have taken place this year.

We all know what it feels like to watch from afar. And to be honest, I felt a bit helpless as the lives of others were affected in such a negative way. I was so far from them. And there was so much damage… what could “I” do to really help? (limited thinking I know… but that’s what I was feeling)

But when you see something devastating like that happen, it impacts you. And I think it impacts me more now as a husband and father of two young kids. I just kept thinking “what would I do if I was in this situation?”

You can’t help but have compassion for those people.

But that compassion goes to a totally different level, and those feelings of helplessness are magnified, when you know somebody you love and care about who is on the ground experiencing it.
And Hurricane Irma, did that to us.

Two of our team members live in Florida .

They were experiencing everything in real time. And our team began living the hurricane through their updates on Facebook and in Slack…

and as the days and hours of preparation passed, it became obvious that they would be directly in the storm’s path.




As the storm began to bear down on them, the rest of us were thinking, “What can we do?” And our team began to experience this sense of helplessness. Two of our team members were in Florida but the rest of us were watching from here, in Canada and from other parts of the world.


Then it happened. The hurricane hit. And the devastation was so crazy.


Like I said, it can feel surreal when you see it on the news.

But when you have people you care for in the middle of it, we felt compelled to do something. Anything. We had to find a way to help.

As the slack conversations and Facebook updates came through, we wondered, “What can little ol’ us do?”

At first I just reached out to Bree because her house had been destroyed and she and her family didn’t have anywhere to stay. Even though we are in Canada (a long ways from Florida), the first thing I thought of was to help her get a roof over her head.

So it started with this message…


Then our TRIBE community rallied behind them.

But then, something even more surprising happened…

Our two team members, in the midst of the devastation themselves, began to reach out and help those in need in their communities.

THAT inspired us.

It was like, despite all the craziness and chaos that they were dealing with, they were still thinking of others. There was so much need and they were doing whatever they could to help… even while dealing with their own situation.

And that got us thinking… what could we do to help?

How could we help Leslie and Bree in these efforts?

Because the reality of it is, even this many weeks later, there are a lot of people who are still dealing with very real challenges. And challenges that I know I can’t even comprehend.


There are people who still do not have electricity. Can you imagine? Think for a minute about how much we take that for granted. How much we depend on it. And people went from “normal life” of having it available all the time to nothing… for weeks. People are still trying to live without it.

There are those who have been displaced from their houses and are fighting with insurance companies to get their homes restored. And we know (because this is the exact situation Bree is in). Her home was completely destroyed and even though she had flood insurance and hurricane insurance both companies are trying to do everything they can to avoid fulfilling on the service that they’ve been paying for.

Many small businesses were impacted, and the losses were so great that they had to close their doors, putting many out of work. The list goes on and on.

So, we just brought it back down to… these are two people that we love. They’re on our team. There IS something that we can do.

I’ve been blessed to own a business helping others achieve. Not only their business dreams, but also their dreams of earning more so that they can give more to the people and causes that matter most to them.

And, at the end of the day, we believe that the more money you make the more impact you can have.

I am so proud, that my team lives by this philosophy day in and day out. And I want to continue to be an example of that philosophy and demonstrate what that looks like.

So . . . while we are streaming this live event to you totally free, we are also going to use it as a fundraiser to help improve the lives of some of the residents of Florida.

The hope is that you’ll see the benefit of this, will improve your business, AND you’ll therefore have more resources to improve the lives of others too.

Please join us


The fastest way to succeed in business, is to become known for solving a specific problem.  


Let that sink in, because this is SO important.


The fastest way to succeed in business, is to become known for solving a specific problem.


Becoming known as a specialist is the #1 way to create tremendous momentum in your business, even if you are a complete beginner.

Because when you’re known for solving a specific problem, it becomes very easy for other people to spread the word about what it is you do.

“Oh, you want to grow your YouTube subscribers? You need to talk to James Wedmore.”

“Oh, you’re struggling with managing a business and balancing motherhood? You need to talk to Kate Northrup.”

“Oh, you want to eat a plant based diet? You’ve got to check out Kris Carr.”

The point is, people can’t spread the word about what you do if you try to help people with “everything”.

This is especially important in a large market. Buyers are searching for answers and they are looking for someone who really knows a lot about that particular subject.

So, you (or your company) want to be known for solving a particular problem.  You want to be known as THE go-to expert (or resource) in a particular area.

Let me give you an example:

The goal with my business is to help all entrepreneurs. That’s my big “why?”.

I want to help entrepreneurs build a business that is high profit and low in stress.

Because, I believe when we as entrepreneurs have a business that’s high in profit and low in stress, we’ll be much more open to giving to the people and causes that we’re passionate about.  And when we do that together, we have the power to make this world a better place.

That’s my objective… but that’s a really big objective, right?

So, I’m not starting there.

I started in a particular niche that I’m knowledgeable about.

I serve entrepreneurs by helping them develop a recurring stream of revenue using membership sites.

By being known as the “go-to guy” for membership sites, I’m able to consistently help entrepreneurs gain high profit with low stress by using the recurring revenue model in their business.

So, if you want to become known as a top specialist, here’s what you need to do:


STEP #1:  Start with a specific niche you want to serve


If you want to gain the maximum amount of momentum, you need to first narrow down WHO you want to serve.

And, I “get it”.  You want to help everyone.  That’s natural.  But it’s VERY hard to build momentum trying to serve “everyone”.

So, narrow it down.

Do you help beginners in your market?  Seasoned pros?

Is there a group of people within your market that you serve?

You narrow down your niche the same way you honed in on your specialty.

For example, last night I had dinner with an entrepreneur that has seen her business grow like gangbusters over the last three years.  And as I began talking to her, I could understand why.

Her website is http://www.workingagainstgravity.ca.  It’s a site that helps create customized nutrition plans for people looking to live a healthy lifestyle.  They then have coaches that work with you to make sure the plan works and you get the results you’re after.

Ok, sounds good, right?

But then I started asking a few questions, and Adee (the founder), mentioned something that immediately grabbed my attention.

I asked, “Who typically signs up for your site?”

She responded, “We have a lot of CrossFit athletes who use our service.  In fact, some of the top CrossFit athletes in the world use our service”.

Stop right there.

Customized nutrition plans for people looking to live a healthy life is broad.

But, customized nutrition plans for CrossFit athletes, much more narrow.

So, what’s happened is that word has spread amongst the CrossFit community that this is the service you need to use if you’re looking to improve your performance and recover faster from your CrossFit workouts.

CrossFit athletes are driven people.  They are always looking to better their performance.  So, if these customized nutrition plans will give them an edge, they’re all ears.

And now, she can’t onboard coaches fast enough to meet the demand that she’s facing.  And, in three years they’ve grown the service to serve thousands and thousands of monthly, recurring members (gotta love that subscription revenue… yeh baby!).

The point is, when you narrow down your market, the word will spread faster.

Next, is to identify one to three major problems that your market is facing. Then, pick one of them where you can offer specific solutions that get results.


STEP #2:  Look for pain points


One of the strategies that I highly recommend is once you know WHO you want to serve, now start looking for specific pain points. What are the external problems that your market is facing? What are they going to Google and seek a solution for?

People are online everyday searching for answers. They are always looking for a way to solve their problems. One of the best questions you can ask yourself is, “What solution do I have for someone else’s pain?”

One way to do this is to research Facebook groups, forums, or other places where people gather online. What are they struggling with? What kinds of questions are they asking?  What frustrates them?  What do they want to do faster?  Easier?

You want to make note of the struggles and challenges they are reporting to their peers. The more frustrated they are, the more likely it is that they will be willing to connect with someone who can help them.

So identify the specific pain points that stand out.

Here’s the key…


I know.  It’s not sexy.  It’s not fun.  But this is the stuff that makes your marketing efforts 10X more effective.

So do the research.  Find the problems!


STEP #3 – Become a specialist at solving a specific problem


This is where it all comes together.

It’s very valuable to you and your business when you can become the go-to guy or gal for solving a specific problem. You want to be top of mind when somebody has that problem or when they have a friend who has that problem so that they immediately think of you.

So, for me, when anybody brings up the topic of membership sites or recurring revenue, it’s common that my name is mentioned.  


In fact, recently someone (Michael Lovitch) who hosts really high events for entrepreneurs, made a Facebook post and asked the following:

Do you see what happened?

Within minutes, I had LOTS of people referring my name.

Sure there were a couple other people that were mentioned.  But for a lot of people, my name was the first one that popped into their head.

I am the person that comes to mind and that’s where I’ve been building my positioning and my particular platform. As a result, I get requests every single day for coaching, consulting and all that kind of stuff based on people who have referred me, and the reason is because I’m known for something specific.


To sum it all up . . .


The fastest way to become THE go-to guy or gal in your industry is to become a specialist.

Select a particular niche that you want to work in. Then, search out and find the specific problems people in that niche are experiencing.  Then, make it your mission to become a specialist at solving a particular problem. That’s how you become the go-to expert and that’s how you gain the most momentum.



How do you know when to just give up on an idea?

Sometimes in business we get stuck.  And being stuck for a while can make you feel like a failure. It may seem as though you’ve had countless ideas, but no progress beyond that.

When this happens, we say things to ourselves like, “I’m trying to build my tribe. I’m blogging. I’m reaching out on social media. I’m trying all kinds of things and it’s going nowhere!”

It’s not a fun place to be. It makes you feel as though everything you’ve tried is coming up short.

Trust me when I say this, we have all been there.  The early stages of growing our business is hard!

It can be really hard. And those of us who have been in business for a while often forget just how difficult it is in the beginning to build momentum.

But, regardless of  whatever stage we are in of growing our business, the most powerful force we can have on our side is… momentum.

When you’ve got momentum on your side, everything becomes easier.  In fact, you can do things completely “wrong” in some cases, and still come out on the winning side – all because you’ve got momentum propelling your forward.

So the question becomes…

What’s the easiest way to build your momentum?

I’m going to tell you 🙂

You ready?

Write this down…

Help people with a specific problem.


The fastest way to build momentum

is to solve a specific problem.


One of the things that I always advise, is for you to first identify the specific problem that you are solving for your market.

Try to get really specific about the problem. How will somebody in your market describe that problem they are experiencing?

People are always looking for a solution to their most pressing problem. And when you become “the” person who solves that problem, guess what happens?  

You start gaining momentum… quickly.  Business starts coming to you vs. you trying to chase it down.

So what solution do you have for someone else’s pain?

And here’s a VERY important distinction…


Be sure your solution aligns with the client’s problem


More often than not, when it comes to identifying whether an idea is good or whether it’s bad, make sure that you’ve got alignment around the solution you’re providing with the problem that people are experiencing.

I have worked with clients many times where they’ve had a product that just wasn’t resonating with their audience for whatever reason. It just was not getting the traction that they were looking for.

That didn’t mean the product was bad. It meant that they were not marketing it in a way that resonated with the audience which they were intending to serve.

So, their messaging was out of alignment.


Use the language that people use to describe their problem


There are a couple of ways I look to get my message in alignment. I like to use surveys.  Then I look at the results and look at the words my market is using to describe their problems.  So surveys are my first choice.

If I can’t do a survey for some reason (like when you’re in the very early stages and you don’t yet have an audience to survey), I dive into the comments on related blogs or forums.  And when I’m combing through these comments, I’m looking to find the language that people are using to describe their problem.

For example, if I was in the “parenting niche”, one of the problems that I know young parents might be experiencing could be related to getting their toddler to sleep at night (ask me how I know this could be a problem for young parents!  LOL).

So I would do a simple Google search like this:

And from there I’d pick a result and starting digging.

In the example above, I could see a forum thread right away where someone was describing the issue she was having with her toddler.

So I clicked on it and look what I found:

There is SO much gold in that response.

This woman not only describes the problem she is having (took the dummy away… now child is not sleeping and is crying out “I need you Mummy”).

But she then describes the ripple effect of that problem (her day time sleep is messed up)… and she is taking over an hour to fall asleep.

Of which…

This woman said “I feel like I have failed her”.


But that pain is real right?

I mean I can totally relate to that tension.

And more over, as a parent with young kids I can TOTALLY relate to when she said “I am desperate to give it back to her but I know that is not right either”.


This forum post is ABSOLUTE gold.


From a copywriting standpoint, we have everything we need.

We have a description of the external problem (the thing they want solved).  In this case, “get my toddler to sleep”.

We have the “costs” associated with that problem.  In this example it’s her child not getting rest, constant crying, routines been thrown off and the time it’s now taking to sort it all out.

And we also have the “internal problem”… meaning, the mental and emotional costs associated with this issue (ex. “I feel like I failed her”).

Plus there are SO many other nuggets or marketing angles we could run with – all based on this one response.   

And this is where the magic begins…

When you start using this language to reflect back the problem to your market, they instantly feel understood.  And furthermore, when you describe the solution you’re offering using the same language, you begin creating MASSIVE momentum.

It almost sounds too simple right?

(and it is).

But most business owners NEVER do this kind of research.  They “assume” they know.  

Big mistake.

But if you take a little time on the front end to get intimately familiar with how your market describes their problems, you’re going to begin gaining momentum.  Because when they see your materials, they’ll be instantly attracted to it.  They’ll feel like “you know them” – which you do.

And they’ll feel compelled to what you’re offering because it solves their specific problems.


The right problem, with the right solution, described in the right way, equals a home-run, winning combination.


Now, if, after doing that, you find that things still aren’t happening, then you may want to look elsewhere.  That’s when you move on.  

Make sense?

Listen, it’s hard to move on.  Especially if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your idea.

But if it’s not a problem that your market is looking to solve, you’ll ALWAYS be fighting an uphill battle.

And at the end of the day, that’s not fun.  That makes doing business hard. And there are already all kinds of challenging things about running your own business.  So if you’ve got your messaging dialed in and your market is still not responding, then it’s time to move on.  You’re going to save yourself a lot of heartache and headache.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t actually help people in the way that you want.  But maybe you can do it by focusing on another angle.

I’m not saying that what you’re doing is wrong and I’m not saying it’s a bad idea. I said first you want to make sure that you are not out of alignment in the way that you’re describing your solution with the problems that people have.

But, if there is alignment there, and you’re still not getting traction, then maybe you want to move on to something else.

First and foremost, check to see if your message is out of alignment, because this happens a lot.

Adjusting the alignment of your message can make all the difference in terms of the traction you get when you’re marketing your products and services.



Before giving up on an idea, here are the things I suggest you do:


  1. Identify a specific problem to solve.
  2. Ensure there is alignment between the problem you’re solving and the solution you provide.
  3. Make sure your messaging is in alignment with the way your clients describe their problem – AKA, do your research and use THEIR language.

If you’ve taken these three steps and you are still not getting the attention of your market, it’s time to move on to something else.

Be sure to follow these steps first though, because so often all that is needed is to bring your solution and your messaging into alignment with what the market is seeking.

What steps do you take when you’re not getting the support from your spouse or significant other when it comes to your entrepreneurial path?

First and foremost, I’m not a relationship expert. But I can share with you my experience of being a happily married entrepreneur for 10 years.
In the beginning, my wife, Amy, didn’t have any interest in business. In fact, she couldn’t stand it when I would come home full of excitement regarding my business. She had zero interest in “talking shop”.
Now, it’s much different. She absolutely loves business and has swung in the complete opposite direction. For example, I’m talking shop all day long at the office. When I get home, I don’t always want to talk about business, but now she does. So, we are still trying to find the balance LOL. But I think we’re pretty darn close.
Here’s the good news…
We didn’t just “arrive” at this point. We intentionally took a few action steps that made a big difference.
Starting with action step #1…

1) Create space to pursue your individual interests.

In the early days of our marriage, one of the things that Amy and I did really well, was to give each other the space to pursue the things that we were passionate about – without judgment. This is SO important.
For example, Amy absolutely loves to travel. If she is in any one place for more than two months at a time, she starts to get itchy feet. That girl LOVES to travel (and rarely ever does she like going back to the same place!). And some of the places she wants to travel, quite frankly, I don’t want to go (no offense honey 🙂 ).
But, I know it’s important for her. So, we create that container of space so she can still pursue those interests. Every year, she has a “girl’s trip”. Plus, we plan out our family and couple travel well in advance so that she always has something to look forward to.
(and I will admit, she even let’s me pick one trip a year! I told you she was a keeper 😉 ).
Similarly, there are things that I’m passionate about that she has no interest in. For example, I’m a very competitive guy and have played sports all my life (even won 2 National Soccer Championships while at university… ahhh the glory days).
The thing is, I still love to play. And I’ll go to great lengths to play at a high level (I used to drive 140+ minutes round trip twice a week to play a 40 minute game of indoor soccer).
Deep down, she thinks that’s crazy.
Me? That’s absolutely normal! LOL
But here’s the important lesson…
She gives me that container of space to pursue my individual interests without judgement.
We give each other that freedom. And we know it’s important for each other’s sanity so we are intentional about making sure the other person is pursuing those things.
Which brings me to action step #2…

2) Create space to be together.

See how this works?
The first action step is for you to do your thing and your spouse or partner to do theirs.
Now I’m suggesting you also do the opposite by intentionally crafting time to do things you both enjoy.
Sounds obvious right?
But it’s not.
You’ve got to make time to just be a loving husband or wife doing things that you both enjoy together. That may mean turning your entrepreneurial brain off for a while so you can actually be with each other.
If your spouse isn’t supportive in your business adventures, they may be overwhelmed by you talking about it non-stop.
I get it.
When you are starting out, in the midst of growing, or even if you have a thriving company it’s all you want to talk about, right? It’s exciting. Things are happening!
There’s opportunities and there’s people you’re meeting and all that good stuff.
And I understand, when you’re excited, you want to share it with your loved ones as much as possible. But the reality of it is, if they’re not excited about it . . . it can just be too much.
This even extends beyond your spouse. It extends into friend groups as well.
It took a while for me to get comfortable with the fact that I can talk about certain things with certain friends and I talk about other things with other friends. That’s because I know that some friends will not connect or relate to some of the things that interest me but they may connect with other interests I have.
Same goes with your partner. If they aren’t into business, talking non-stop about business is going to drive them crazy.
So identify those environments and those groups where you feel comfortable and safe to have those kinds of discussions and don’t push it with the people who it may not be ideal with.
And most importantly, make the time to actually do things you both enjoy.
For example, remember when I said I love sports?
Well there is one sport that Amy does enjoy… downhill skiing. In fact, she’s VERY good at it and would kick my butt every time if we ever had an “official” race. So every year, we make a point to go skiing together. Even though I’m an average skier, she puts up with me on the slopes because doing it together and being active outside is where the connection is made.
Another thing we do together is help others in our community. It fills both our hearts when we can help others in need. So we regularly pursue activities within our community where we get to do this together (and with the kids). And doing this creates GREAT conversation and a joint sense of gratitude for what we have in our lives.
Now I have one final example for you… and this one is a duesy (we’ll see if you get the lesson behind the lesson). You ready?
Ok here goes…

Amy and I also love real estate. So another thing we’ll commonly do together is take a drive and look at houses. And when we do, guess what happens?
We start dreaming together. We discover what each other likes and doesn’t like. And through this conversation, the dreams start to come to life (HINT HINT).
And guess what happens when your spouse who doesn’t like business starts dreaming about possibilities?
The inevitable question…
“What would need to happen for us to make this a reality?”
That’s the ticket my friend.
That was the question that sparked the entrepreneurial bug within Amy.
Because once she began dreaming, she realized that the most effective way to bridge the gap between our current reality and the one we were dreaming about was through our business.
Now I’m not saying this will magically happen for you. But what I am saying is that doing things together gives you the opportunity to have conversation. And if you sprinkle in some conversation about what you’d like your future to look like… well… you just never know what could happen 😉
Here’s the takeaway…
You want to make sure that you A, allocate time together, and B, make sure it’s time sharing the things that you both love to do and talk about.
(and be sure to slip in a conversation about your “perfect future”… you can thank me later 🙂 ).
So here’s the third action step…

3) Surround yourself with people who are on the same path.

You should have an outlet where you can talk shop, trade strategies back and forth and build each other up.
I’ve been in a Mastermind in some form or fashion for almost 15 years.
Some were paid groups. Some were peer groups. Some were big. Some were small.
Some met more regularly than others, but it didn’t matter. The value of the Mastermind comes from being surrounded with people who you feel safe sharing your entrepreneurial experiences with. This is a group where you are able to ask questions and get feedback. They become your sounding board because they “get it”. They’re in the trenches too. And that support is necessary for you to be able to move things to the next level.
I can tell you that my business would not have grown anywhere near the pace that it has grown had it not been for a Mastermind in which I participated.
If you’re not in a Mastermind yet or you haven’t found a group of other entrepreneurs where you can exchange ideas, I highly recommend that you do so.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are plenty of paid masterminds (I run one called the IMPACT Mastermind). But if you don’t join a paid group, just get together with a peer group. The key is, you want to be organized so that you meet on a regular basis.
Trust me when I say, you need that supportive environment… regardless of whether your spouse is on board or not. That group of people will become your cheerleaders. They are going to support you and help get you to the next level.
And when that happens, guess what else will happen? There’s a good chance you can win your spouse over then too – especially if you’ve had that allocated spouse time 😉

Remember these steps for creating a supportive relationship with your spouse:

  1. Create space to pursue your individual interests. It’s important to take time to do the things you love to do.
  2. Create space to be together. You need time to just be together, doing things that are important to both of you.
  3. Surround yourself with people who are on the same path. This gives you an outlet to get support and talk shop without overwhelming your loved ones.

Your turn: How are you creating a supportive environment?

This post is all about maximizing your marketing results

…while minimizing the stress for you, your team (and for your audience).

This is what I call the “perfect marketing plan”.

If you’re committed to your marketing and you’re still not getting the results you want, it’s likely you’re trying to do too much.

When you do too much, you burn yourself out, you burn your team out (if you have one), and you burn out your audience too. When you do too much, you don’t have the time to invest yourself creatively to make all of your marketing world-class.

Here’s a simple way to think about it:

There are “A-level” promotions and “B-level” promotions.

A-level are your big promotions.

This is where you’re all hands on deck, pulling out all the stops.

You may use a variety different marketing components for this promotion. You may have a video series. You may have webinars. You’re probably running Facebook ads. You’re probably building your list ahead of time. You’re probably planning email marketing campaigns.

There are multiple phases to A-level promotions. You may even have a sales team and extra support. The bottom line is, these are massive promotions and they’re designed to bring in a LOT of new customers in a very short period of time.

B-level promotions are a lot smaller.

These promotions are often for one of your smaller products/offers, or for an evergreen offer that you run year round.

For B-level promotions, you may send out a few posts on social media or run a few ads. You may send a few emails to your list. At max, for these B-level promotions, you may do a feature webinar.

The bottom line is that B-level promotions designed to be low-key and largely hands-off.


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So you need to assign either an “A” or “B” to each of the products/services you offer.

A-level promotions should be reserved for high ticket items that bring a lot of attention and revenue to your business. Anything that doesn’t fit this description is a B-level.

Next you need to understand the perfect balance between A and B-level promotions. How many of each should you have throughout the year?

After working with several clients in all kinds of markets, I’ve discovered that most businesses thrive with a maximum of FOUR A-level promotions EIGHT B-level promotions per year.

Four A-level promotions means one major promotion per quarter.

If you’re a speaker/author/influencer, that might mean two promotions per year for your membership site, one per year for your signature course, and perhaps one major promotion for something else like your book release or a live event.

Let’s say you’re a software provider. You might have two A-level promotions per year for your main product, one major promotion per year for a live event or online training, and then you leave a slot open in case you develop a new product or upsell that you want to put in front of your audience.

When you’re designing your year and creating your perfect marketing plan, make sure you put your A-level promotions in first.

A-level promotions get top priority, and then everything else works around them.

When you have this level of clarity, it makes decision making super easy because now when you’re presented with a new opportunity you can look at your calendar and say, “Have we already got an A-level promotion? Yes. Do we have room for anything else? No.”

If you’re going to say “yes” to the new opportunity, it means that you have to cancel a promotion you’ve already scheduled. It’s not always easy but it is simple.

If you decide to run than four A-level promotions per year, you run the risk of burning out your team and your audience. When you and your team are burnt out, productivity and moral suffers.

When your audience is burnt out, you’re pulling their attention in too many directions and they get confused.

A confused mind never buys so you want to be really careful to make it clear for your audience where you want their attention and when you want them to take action. If you make everything seem like a top priority and you’re pushing hard on multiple campaigns, nothing becomes a priority for them.

Does that make sense? You’ve got to break it down. You got to be disciplined in this.

Four major promotions per year with a few smaller promotions throughout.

That’s how you maximize your results and minimize your stress.

When you design your year this way it’s going to allow you and your team to pour all of your creative energy into your A-level promotions.

When you stay true to that and don’t compromise, you take things up a notch and your marketing becomes world-class.


There is a question that you and I absolutely need to know the answer to.

If we don’t, our business and everything that we’re doing is in serious trouble.

More on that in a second…

I recently met with a client to map out her membership site strategy. She is a doctor who serves women over 40 dealing with menopause.

This is a market that I have never dealt with. It was fresh for me. It was all new.

…boy, did I learn a lot (LOL).

The key thing is that this particular client really wants to help women in this age bracket live a healthy and happy life. That is her ultimate goal.

But… that’s a really big goal for a really big market! It’s really hard to crack through and separate yourself from everybody else when you aim so broad.

I encouraged her, “Look, one of the things that we absolutely want to do is to get specific. Because if we’re trying to be everything to everyone, we’re not going to be anything to anyone. It’s going to be a lot harder to get people’s attention that way.”

Here’s what I mean. Back when I was beginning to rebuild my personal brand, I knew I had to get specific.

I asked myself, “What are you known for?”

If you don’t know how to answer that question, chances are people have no idea how to share with others what it is you do.

I asked this client the same thing. “What do you want to be known for? What could you become known for now that would help you build a ton of momentum down the road?”

Building my brand, I realized that I want to help ALL entrepreneurs. I want to help them make a lot more money and I want to inspire them to give a ton of that money away to the causes and people they’re passionate about.

…but I couldn’t start there.

The thing that ended up bringing focus and clarity for me was deciding, “I want to be known for helping entrepreneurs produce recurring revenue.”

That made sense because it was built on my expertise and experience.

Having built a software company that powered tens of thousands of online membership communities, building multiple seven-figure membership sites, and working with some of the world’s top membership site owners, I know what works.

Because of this, it’s easy for me to focus on membership sites. It makes sense for me to be known as the membership site guy.

Even though I want to help all entrepreneurs in all kinds of different ways, to begin with I had to narrow my approach.

Being specific about what I’m known for helped me create a lot more momentum a lot faster than if I started with the broad approach.

The same goes for you.

Imagine your friends or colleagues chatting with somebody else who has a problem that you can help solve. They’re talking to your ideal customer.

Will they know that you are the person who solves that problem? If someone were to tell others about you, would they mention that very thing?

Your area of expertise should come across in your messaging so that when people have a problem that’s related to the very thing that you are known for, you are the one they think about.

That’s really where you’ve got to put your energy – especially in the beginning.

Later, you can branch out and go more broad. But, in the beginning, you are going to create way more momentum if you are focused on one specific thing.

Then, when people have those kinds of problems, boom … you are top of mind.

If you’re not known for anything specific, it’s really hard for people to spread the message.

You’re fighting an uphill battle trying to get attention in this world of nonstop noise, and you’re not standing out in any one particular way.

People want problems solved. They’re seeking solutions. If you become known for a certain solution, you’re going to gain a lot more traction.

Get specific. Ask yourself, “What do I want to be known for?”

You’ve got to be known for something and that’s got to come across in all of your messaging.

Focus on that and I guarantee you’ll gain a lot more momentum, and you’ll start to see better results from your marketing.


Marketing is simple.

Too often I see business owners making it way more complex than it really needs to be.

The fact of the matter is, it boils down to three specific things:

The first thing is getting attention.



How do you get attention? Well, there are a ton of free and paid ways to get people’s attention.

There’s content marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, affiliate marketing, direct marketing, email marketing. There’s mobile marketing, pay-per-click marketing, there’s point-of-sale marketing, referral marketing, SEO marketing, street marketing… Man, the list goes on and on.

The point is there are a LOT of ways to get people’s attention.

Let’s take content marketing as an example. What’s the whole point of creating content?

Well, we want to create high value content so that it grabs people’s attention and gives them value up front, in the hope that they’re going to want to continue to hear from us. Maybe they connect with us on social or join our email list, and if we provide them with high value content on a consistent basis creates a tremendous amount of trust.

It’s all about getting attention in the beginning because once we’ve got the attention, we can earn the trust.

If we look at email marketing, it’s the same thing. What are we trying to do when we email our prospects? We’re trying to get their attention with a catchy subject line and then hook them with the opening line. It’s all engineered to get attention.

What about in an actual store? As soon as you walk in you are bombarded with signage and marketing displays, and even as you check out your attention is being fought for by point of sale displays.

So just remember, the very first objective of our marketing is to capture people’s attention.

After capturing someone’s attention, we want to convert that attention.



This could mean turning a prospect into an email subscriber or social follower, or perhaps even a customer if you are making a direct sale.

How do we go about converting attention?

First, you need to have a great offer that people actually want. This ensures that they have a reason to convert.

Second, you need to make use of sales triggers such as scarcity and urgency. This ensures that they have a reason to convert right NOW.

Like capturing attention, there are many methods you can use to convert attention. On the web, we typically make use of landing/sales pages that are simple and direct visitors to a clear call to action. It’s on these pages that we make focused use of hooks and triggers, using copy, creative and layout to make it ultra appealing for the visitor to convert (and making it easy to do so).

Webinars are a popular method of converting attention because they allow us to share immense value with the prospect and compel them to buy all within the same presentation.

Then, of course, there’s traditional salesmanship via the phone or in person, where we use conversation to make our pitch.

Regardless, once we’ve captured someone’s attention, we need to deliver the goods in order to convert that attention.

The third part and final element of marketing is keeping that attention.



Again, this is really, really simple. It’s all about loving on your tribe.

It’s about continuously over-delivering and maintaining that high level of trust. It’s replying to comments and emails. It’s delivering unexpected bonuses. It’s finding out what your audience is trying to accomplish and helping them get those results.

Regardless of how you do it, always think about how you can continue to be of service to your customers/audience.

As business owners, we are problem seekers. We want to be aware of the problems our market is experiencing and create solutions for them. If we continue to create solutions, people are never going to want to go anywhere else.

As long as we continue to identify problems and provide solutions, people are going to want to continue to buy from us.

Here’s the final thing I want you to think about, though. Think about the experience your customers have when the buy from you and consume your product.

Because the marketing process doesn’t end once someone buys. It’s really like the pre-launch to whatever you plan to sell next.

So you want to engineer that whole buying experience to be a ‘WOW’ experience. You want people to be raving about the experience of buying from you, because that’s what’s going to set up the long-term relationship and repeat sales.

And it’s going to allow your business to continue to thrive because your customers are going to come back and buy from you again and again and again.

So that’s it. Marketing is really simple. It’s all about 1) getting attention, 2) converting that attention, and 3) keeping that attention.


Your turn: What are you doing to simplify your marketing?