Writing for Influence,
Authority and Impact
An Exclusive 12-Person Intensive & Retreat at the Prestigious Blackstone Hotel in Downtown Chicago,
May 7-9, 2013
Dear Marketing Professional:
The #1 song on the 1979 Billboard charts was “My Sharona” by The Knack. Have you ever been to a Knack concert?
Neither have I.
Have your kids ever heard of The Knack?
Neither have mine.
Great song. Tons of energy, slammin’ beat and a brilliant hook. I personally love the song. The rest of the album might have been good too – but I really don’t know. No staying power.
The following year, an obscure album called Boy reached #63. It was from an Irish band called U2.
Now… if we were all placing bets on U2 vs. The Knack in the year 1980, which band would have most folks put their money on?
A couple of years ago I saw U2 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Sixty thousand breathless fans. Their opening band’s lead singer took a picture of himself on stage in front of the crowd, savoring his lifetime achievement – because he was opening for what is arguably the world’s greatest living band.
That was just the first night. U2 returned the very next evening to play for sixty thousand more fans.
Dang. 120,000 people in two nights. That’s something like a ten million dollar show. My friend, that is INFLUENCE.
One smashes the pop charts, then slips into oblivion. The other enjoys an escalator ride to the highest levels of global respect and recognition.
The Knack vs. U2 drama gets played out every single day in your world. Your industry, your audience, your niche, your “herd.”
Are you The Knack? Or are you U2?
After your first “album,” will you march off into ignominy… or will you echo the early brilliance of “I Will Follow” with more masterpieces like War and The Joshua Tree?
Will your staying power be great enough to survive a few not-so-stellar efforts like Zooropa? Even the best of us churn out a dud every now and then.
Now if you literally want to cut a best-selling album, I’m not the guy you’ll want to hire as producer. Phil Ramone or Daniel Lanois or Jeff Lynne would do ya better. But in the world of Niche Celebrities, Information Marketing, Seminars and Business Authors, I’ve outlasted a big pile of hombres – also-rans who began admirably but finished as unknowns.
The very fact that you’re reading this in the first place suggests that you’ve had at least one “hit” in your career. Now the question is, are you going to go on to stardom and acclaim – or fade? U2 or The Knack?
Leaders, experts and influencers do not prevail – or evaporate – for no reason at all. There are reasons why U2’s tortoise beat The Knack’s hare, and there are reasons why even in swirling economic uncertainty and after more than a decade of consulting, my fees are at record rates, my books are selling very well thank you very much, and people are flying to Chicago from all corners of the world on a monthly basis to seek counsel.
We disbanded my hourly rate of $1300 because it’s not congruent with other offerings we have waiting lists for, and I don’t like doing one-hour, one-off consulting. An appropriate hourly rate for me would be something like $2500.
This did not happen by accident. Your success and longevity will not either.
Barely a week goes by that somebody doesn’t say something to me like, “I look forward to getting every one of your emails. After four years and 100 gurus, you’re the only one that I’m still listening to.”
Last fall at my Rainmaker Alchemist Seminar, literally six or seven conversations began with, “I’ve been on your list since 2005 and…”
Customers and staff alike have been bugging me for quite awhile to teach a course. You can take lots of copywriting courses, and copywriting can earn you a lot of dinero. But copywriting alone does not make you influential. It does not acquire a huge following, it does not confer to you a sustainable advantage. In fact some of the best copywriters in the world are completely unknown. Worse yet…
Half of Everything You’ve Ever Been Taught About Copywriting and Persuasion has Already Sown the Seeds of Your Own Destruction.
Most marketing courses teach you to think like an automaton, treating customers like walking ATM machines, pulling levers and pushing buttons like the Wizard of Oz. Which is why most marketers secretly dread being found out.
That is why it’s a huge mistake to believe that simply converting or selling is the real answer to your question.
Toto tugs on drapes and insecure man bellows into the microphone: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. I am the great and powerful OZ! It eventually stops working. Influence is lost. You have to start over with new peeps. Ugh.
Hustling and starting over and doing things over and over again might seem normal when you’re 30. You’ll be friggin’ weary of it by the time you’re 50. It’s like getting remarried after divorce #4. Or starting all over playing bars late at night, lugging drums and equipment up and down rickety flights of stairs, trying one more time to kindle an eager following.
Have you ever asked yourself why some authors, speakers and thought leaders’ legacies extend long beyond the physical span of their life? Stephen Covey, Napoleon Hill, Peter Drucker, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar all possess influence that extends for decades.
Let me ask you a question:
Did these men achieve their tremendous influence by being….
Was it because they knew how to write punchy headlines and sensational bullets?
Was it because their material survived the rigors of The National Enquirer and the next direct mail drop?
Remember, this is just a list of business guys who influenced people in the late 20th century.
What about Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird? Or George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four? Or Charles Dickens? The framers of the U.S. Constitution? William Shakespeare? How about Charles Darwin or Adam Smith?
How about St. Thomas Aquinas and Augustine? St. Paul and St. John? Solomon and Moses? Homer and Aesop and Plato?
It may seem strange, perhaps even otherworldly, to be talking about Aesop and Saint Paul and Charles Dickens in a letter that’s essentially about making more money in 2013 and beyond as an author, speaker, consultant, coach or thought leader.
But it’s precisely the Saint Paul Factor, the Tale Of Two Cities Factor, the Aesop’s Fables factor that defines the difference. The difference between you being U2 vs. you being The Knack.
Precious few people even have a conception of this, let alone get it.
This is why, if you learn writing, copywriting and persuasion based on What cuts through the clutter in the National Enquirer or What gets a standing ovation at your next talk or How many dollars per head you close when you pitch on the platform, you literally are sowing the seeds of your own destruction. Because the most enduring acts are usually like U2’s Boy and often make their debut at #63 on the charts.
Rush is one of the most popular bands of all time, but their most popular song “Tom Sawyer” got no further than #44 on the Billboard charts. It took a year or two for that song to gain a full head of steam.
Do you want flash in the pan, or do you want staying power?
Who would you prefer to be: Adam Ant or Rush?
Amazingly, as hard as it is to pick a winner before the game, it’s quite a bit easier to recognize the endurance runner after the very first match. I know this because I’ve played a part in the success stories of so many people. Ari Galper, creator of the Unlock The Game selling system. Glenn Livingston, the renowned market research expert. David Bullock, who introduced Taguchi to the world of marketing.
My Roundtable members have been and are a who’s who of niche celebrities – Susan Kruger, the world’s foremost authority on Study Skills. Mickie Kennedy, who leads the world in small business press releases to the news media. Bill Seagraves is one of the top small business funding experts, Ethan Kap is a force to be reckoned with in the financial planning world – in fact his approach is rapidly making the independent agent obsolete.
Nancy Singleton leads one of the largest networks of chiropractors and natural health practitioners in the United States. Derek Naylor is THE alpha-dog marketer in the multi-billion-dollar self-storage industry.
All of these individuals have not “one hit wonder” success stories, but enduring reputations, solid growth and tremendous prospects for long-term success.
The #1 difference between Enduring Influencers and One Hit Wonders is: One hit wonders speak to the Lizard Brain. Enduring Influencers speak to the soul.
Now the thing is, lots of people speak to the soul. Would-be influencers who speak to the soul are a dime a dozen. And the problem is a lot of them are poorer than the folks who pander to the Lizard Brain, the Human Animal. The trick is to Wield Influence and Earn Profits AT THE SAME TIME.
You really must do both. Yes, unfortunately, even Stephen Covey has to compete with the National Enquirer. Yes, you do have to hit your numbers in the next mail drop. Yes, you do have to get people to run to the back of the room and buy your stuff.
How do you do that and establish an enduring legacy, influence that perpetuates itself, content that sells to the lizard brain yet speaks to the soul?
That is the subject of this intensive retreat. I’m gathering you and eleven other people in Chicago May 7-9.
This will be held at the prestigious Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.
This will be a 2½ day total immersion experience. You and I and the other 11 participants will enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks together. We’ll begin at 8am each day which will be packed with excitement, conversation and discovery.
I will be reading what you write, critiquing it, honing, polishing. We will meet together in seclusion. Everyone will bring high expectations of every other group member. We’ll forge a community. And we will find your VOICE.
Discover Your Voice As a Writer and Artist
All great writers are artists, and all artists have an artistic signature. The most valuable thing you’ll develop in our days of seclusion is a keen awareness of your own writing voice.
U2’s guitarist, The Edge, has a host of imitators but is utterly, instantly recognizable. Carlos Santana is an equally talented guitarist but sounds completely different from The Edge. Also instantly recognizable. Jimi Hendrix, singular in style. Alex Lifeson has his own signature. As does Eric Clapton.
As a fan and fellow drummer, I can listen to Neal Peart or Mike Portnoy or Gavin Harrison and even after only a few bars, they sound exquisitely like themselves and I can recognize them almost instantly.
You can recognize my writing even when you don’t know I’m the one who wrote it.
You will acquire that singular voice too. In fact it’s already inside you. The Venus de Milo is already inside the carving stone. In Chicago, we’re going to call her forth. And the key to your christening as a writer is the other members of the group. You will be astonished at how quickly they will help you hear and recognize your artistic, linguistic signature and bring it out so it can flourish.
Artists who have fully developed their voice attract fans who want nothing other than the sheer pleasure of hearing that voice one more time. This is the highest form of personal magnetism and it’s fundamental to your longevity and influence as a writer.
Our second evening will be a deep, inside look at the phenomenon of Second City. Second City is the Chicago comedy club that gave birth to Saturday Night Live. Have you ever heard of….
Second City is the place where they all built their chops.
Sometimes I take clients to shows in Chicago, and I can take them anywhere. Any Broadway show, or Blue Man Group; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a range of world-class jazz and blues clubs. Rock concerts. One time I even took ‘em to a Cubs game. But Second City is the #1 long-time hands-down winner. It’s the most consistently riveting show in Chicago, period. (Visitors from Great Britain always exclaim, “BRILLIANT! JUST BRILLIANT!)
We’re all going to get an eye-popping, behind-the-scenes view of Second City. Because I’m going to show you exactly how they write their material!
Their method is deliberate, strategic, scientific. Not even close to “Hey, why doncha pull something funny out of your ass,” they have engineered an exquisitely tuned formula for creating, vetting and perfecting comedic performance. One of their staff members is joining us at our retreat to deconstruct the performance and reveal the process behind the magic.
After dinner, we will go to the live Second City main stage together where you’ll experience three hours of some of the funniest and most enduring comedy you’ve ever seen, in person and on the razor’s edge.
Then the following morning, our Second City amigo will return, explaining everything you just witnessed in fascinating detail. You’ll understand the science behind the world’s most famous and successful comedy club, the craft they use to develop their own voice.
During Our Private Time Together….
I will take you on a tour of the inside of my brain and share with you not only the steps, the handy-dandy formulas, layers and thought processes, but also the path that got me here. The challenges, the anvils, laboratories and schools of hard knocks where I’ve honed these skills. Even con men and studies in sleight of hand. But they will not be employed the way most courses use them.
This is stuff that I seldom if ever talk about in public. Entire boulevards of personal excursions and journeys deeply color and flavor my writing, not only style but content.
I’ll take you into the inside of my most advanced writing projects and show you how I’ve repeatedly re-invented myself. This will go miles beyond anything I’ve done in Autoresponder Boot Camp or any other course, even 4-Man or Roundtable. I’ll go deep inside the most challenging project I’ve ever attempted (not yet released), showing the many dimensions of persuasive elements.
Between pre-event group sessions and the retreat itself,I will distill five years of learning for you into a couple of months, crowned by three unforgettable days sequestered together, so you can achieve a level of mastery and influence that you would not ordinarily attain on your own, years faster than if you did not do this.
I’ve never taught a copywriting course, never written a copywriting book, never explained more than maybe 40% of what goes on inside my head when I sit down to write. Before the Look Over Perry’s Shoulder Email Bootcamp, that number was 30%. Maybe it’s because what most people call “copywriting,” I find nauseating. You can only digest so much substance-less, lizard-brain head-pounding before you finally get sick of it and unsubscribe.
But, I do have a few copywriting tricks up my sleeve, thank you very much, and I’m gonna teach them. And I’m also going to show you spices I seldom if ever see marketers use elsewhere, crucial ingredients in the long-distance relationship. The other day I told Paul Lemberg: “Every morning I wake up and send some love to ten or twenty or fifty thousand people.”
The Happy Face vs. The Soft Underbelly
Imagine that you’re ten years old and you live in the 2nd floor apartment across the street from a bar. You see it from your living room. Your mom makes you go to bed at 9pm every night and your room’s in the back of the building, not on the front facing the bar. So every night when you look out your window, you see the warm glow of incandescent lights and neon signs in the windows and guys and girls walking in the bar, arm in arm.
Man, this looks like such the amazing place, doesn’t it? A veritable repository of health and happiness.
What does a ten year old not know about that fine-looking pub across the street? (And hey, weren’t the beer and cigarette companies touting the health benefits of their wares 100 years ago?)
He doesn’t know the ambulance siren last night was from the college senior who got a beer bottle broken over the top of his head. He doesn’t hear the brawls of boyfriends and girlfriends driving home and mom didn’t tell him about the drunk driver and the 19 year old girl who was paralyzed from the neck down after he struck her at a crosswalk.
The boy sees the happy exterior, but the dark side is hidden from view. The boy only sees half the picture.
The Cosmo Curse
Cosmopolitan magazine is a stellar source of Lizard-Brain copywriting headlines and I’ve liberally stolen ideas from them for years. But they are also a prime example of sowing the seeds of their own destruction.
Cosmo is like that bar, Cosmo’s reader is like that ten year old boy. In the name of women’s liberation, they really sell slavery. They seriously dispense advice about whether and when she should sleep with her boss to score a promotion. Cosmo turns teenage girls into tarts.
The very thing they attract customers with becomes their own rat poison later on. It’s a good thing their audience is a passing parade and it’s a good thing most people are stupid. Because people with discernment know better.
Cosmo is an extreme example. Fortunately, most marketers – even the loudest hypesters – aren’t nearly as bad. But no matter what you sell, your message in all likelihood harbors this problem. “Cancer lurks deep in the sweetest bud” as Sting sung. If your customer comes to you because they’re angry and frustrated about ______, and all you do is shift their problem from their left hand to their right, they’re gonna come back at you.
It’s almost like Karma. I don’t believe in Karma per se, but it’s not terribly different. This is really just another version of “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” Which translates into: “He who solves only symptoms of problems inherits… lots more problems. He who solves problems at their deepest core inherits… not symptoms. Not problems. But enduring rewards.”
Einstein (another man with influence and longevity) was getting at this exact thing when he said, “You can’t solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them.”
This challenge is the very essence of leadership. Influence – Authority – Impact must have deep roots. The roots are the underlying truths that have trumped the falsehoods.
Ari Galper sums it up so perfectly: “Get to the truth, not the sale.”
If You Want Sustained Success,
You Must Draw from the Deepest of Wells.
I have a question for you.
What ONE THING do all of these people have in common? Besides the fact that they’re characters in famous stories?
Every single one of them is an orphan.
My friend and colleague Joshua Russell, a screenwriter and film director says: If you want your audience to bond with your character early in the movie, subject your character to an orphan moment. Kill one of his parents.
Then the audience will feel empathy for him and root for him – the underdog – for the rest of the movie.
You may not have ever realized this – that almost every epic film and especially every DISNEY movie is an orphan story.
Orphan stories are devastatingly alluring. And the best gurus and copywriters tell, in effect, orphan stories. Most are not explicitly aware that they are using an orphan story strategy, they do this subconsciously. They just know people root for the underdog.
At this retreat, I will show you how to harness the full power of Orphan Stories for maximum impact, persuasion and longevity – to get into your customers head so deep that he or she cannot get you out. The right kind of Orphan Story will jettison your sales efforts.
But I’m going to deliver something else that’s even more important:
The orphan story harbors the seeds of its own destruction. The same orphan magnetism that attracts your audience to you will cause uprising, mutiny and treason months or years later.
Another ingredient – even more powerful, which almost no marketers ever understand let alone fully grasp – is absolutely necessary to dismantle this.
Most – though not all – of the movies I referenced above incorporate this ingredient too, which is why The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars are epics.
This ingredient does not find its way in there by accident. It’s the only solution to the “chip in the shoulder” which while essential to nearly all niche marketing success stories, is a ticking time bomb.
If the “orphan story” insight raised your eyebrows, this missing ingredient will rivet and beguile you. You will wonder how you missed it for so long, even though it has been right under your nose all your life.
This is not just a footnote or an interesting insight. This is a major, foundational element and I will spend a few hours demonstrating its power and unpacking it during our retreat together. This will completely alter and enlarge your conception of what communication with your audience is fundamentally about.
The Power of the Strong Persuader
Soft as a mother’s breast, yet hard as nails. The Strong Persuader possesses both attributes, speaking to the chambers of the human heart with art and nuance, yet possessing a command of realities that are unmovable and unshakable, even those invisible to the naked eye.
Your communication needs to be as resilient as… a live human being. Consider what human beings are, what we’re made of, what we’re like. We can be scarred for life by one harsh word; yet we climb Mount Everest. Lovers flare up over the pettiest of differences, yet Victor Frankl and legions of others survived the Holocaust.
We are fragile, yet mighty; delicate as spider webs and hard as granite. This is the essence of the Strong Persuader. Able to convey the most nuanced of encouragement, speaking words at proper time like apples in settings of gold. Yet we must also be immune from criticism, immovable in our convictions, impenetrable in our armor, resolute in our determination, able to stick our head far above the crowd, indifferent to the slings and arrows.
Your ability to succeed is largely proportional to your readiness to endure criticism and hostility. I will share with you the circumstances of my own battles with harsh, unrelenting criticism… false friends and true enemies… deep inner shifts I had to make to forge ahead. Again, you may have heard a tiny bit of this, at one time or another, if you’re a Roundtable member or for some other reason deeply familiar with my disparate endeavors. But none of my customers have ever heard the whole story. You will here.
Is Perry Marshall Qualified to Teach Influential Writing?
As of today there are 248,000 references to me and my work on the Internet:
At seminars and conferences around the world I’ve shared the stage with Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, Harvey McKay, Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, Ken McCarthy and Jay Abraham. I’m one of the most influential people in Affiliate Marketing, even though I don’t talk about it a great deal. (I’ve got over 10,000 affiliates myself).
My first-ever seminar had 300 people in attendance and I gave away almost two hundred Apple MacBook Pro notebook computers. I’ve consulted in over 300 different industries, from restaurants to psychotherapy, from cosmetic surgery to hi-tech manufacturing. I’ve seen some of the strangest and most unusual businesses, and my site overflows with testimonials.
I don’t really talk about this much, but I’m the only “Internet Guru” who owns a topic. There’s not one single copywriting expert who’s head and shoulders above all the rest. Or SEO expert. Or Affiliate marketing expert. Or email marketing expert. You could say that Jeff Walker owns product launches, but there is only one AdWords specialist who stands apart.
And it’s not like the landscape isn’t littered with would-be AdWords experts. Some of them are actually worth listening to. But the reason I’m positioned so well is: I know positioning. I know copywriting. And testing and tracking. And publicity. And speaking and Joint Ventures. And offline marketing, even print advertising and direct mail. I’m no one-trick pony. I’m successful because I practice what I preach in all these different areas.
From 2006 to present I’ve been one of world’s the top 10,000 authors according to Amazon – consistently:
Authors who’ve broken Amazon’s top one thousand or ten thousand are legion. Authors who’ve retained their position for years are far, far less common. Does longevity matter to you? It matters to me.
How much is it worth, Financially, to be
a Strong Persuader?
How much is it worth to be U2 instead of The Knack? You know the value of copy, of selling from the platform. You know how much money one sales letter or video sales letter can make. But what’s the value of extended longevity?
In high school I took a class called Expository Writing with Dr. Anne Cognard. It was a great course, my first step towards real skill as a writer. Across the aisle sat a friend, Tosca Lee. She was one year younger and a friend of our family as well. Dr. Cognard busted our chops for a semester.
Twenty years went by and I knew little of Tosca’s comings and goings. But in 2007 I found out she was a fiction writer. She’d published her first book, Demon: A Memoir. Demon enjoyed a certain level of commercial success and Tosca quit her organizational consulting job at Gallup. She wrote another book, Havah, and then teamed up with bestselling author Ted Dekker to write a series of thrillers.
As a fiction writer, she was playing in the worst-odds pool a person can bet on, flirting with oblivion as she followed her passion. I have no idea how many copies she sold at first. A few thousand? A few tens of thousands? I can’t imagine that it moved the needle all that far financially.
But like U2, she kept at it. Then her recent trilogy with Ted Dekker hit the New York Times Bestseller list. In fact she made that list twice in one year.
Guess what that did for the sales of her other books. Her longevity and persistence of influence as an author gave new life to everything else she had ever produced. She is now earning compound interest on her previously released works.
People are still buying copies of Boy by U2, 33 years after it was released. Would they be buying them if U2 had never gotten to October and War and The Unforgettable Fire?
How much money is that worth?
How much is that worth to The Edge and Bono and Adam and Larry personally, emotionally? How much does the depth of everything they do contribute to their influence not only musically but spiritually, politically and ideologically?
While Bono was pouring his boundless energy into a gyrating crowd in U2’s now-legendary concert at Red Rocks in Boulder in 1983, did he ever envision that someday he would become “the face of fusion philanthropy,” speak for Amnesty International, appear at the United Nations, hobnob with U.S. Presidents, get named by Time as Person of The Year or sing duets with Frank Sinatra?
What is your Unforgettable Fire?
What seminal work do you want to be known for decades from now? What mark, what legacy do you want to leave on your niche, your marketplace? What lasting change do you want to effect in the world? What relationships do you want to forge with other influencers?
What favor do you want to enjoy – and from whom?
Long-time Planet Perry member Travis Smith says, “Dreams are forged in the fire of a restless heart.” Every day you carry around this wild spirit, this ambition, this burn. This need to leave your mark. You desire to be the hero.
You chafe at the deep vacuum of leadership in the world. You marvel that anyone can witness the style, fake-wrestling circus that is U.S. and world politics. You struggle to believe in… anybody.
Yet you know that entrepreneurship is the ticket, not only for yourself personally, but for everyone around you. You know that only people who rise up and broadcast their burning passion to the world have a chance of tilting the scales.
The investment for this experience of finding your voice, securing your longevity, establishing your authority is $12,000. The fee includes hotel, meals, materials, tuition, pre-workshop training sessions, material mailed in advance, personal attention from me and access to the other members of the group. (Fee is for one person only. You may bring ONE guest for an additional $1500).
This is a miniscule investment in relation to the overwhelming advantage, the compound interest that tilts the scales in your favor as you master the tools of Influence, Authority and Impact. Therefore, you must qualify. There is a $100 application fee and all applicants will be interviewed by Matt Gillogly prior to acceptance.
Matt’s charge: Find the U2s, weed out The Knacks. This may sound harsh, but this is not for everyone. A good fit is essential. We have the highest expectations. We expect you to have the same.
The event is May 7-9. I have already received five deposit checks in the mail to secure seats in advance, through an invitation I extended to a select group of customers. Seats are filling fast. If you want to participate, you’re advised to not delay.
In life it’s not the mediocre vs. the passionate. It’s the crazy sane vs. the crazy insane, the deranged dreamers vs. the directed dreamers. If you’ve got your shoulder to the wheel and you’re chasing your dream, you’re a directed dreamer. You may not even realize how much the people around you depend on you to hold their world together.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Seize the Day.
PS: There will be zero sales presentations at this exclusive retreat. No advertisers, no “brief messages from our sponsors”. 100% content, 0% pitch.