SEP Episode 3: A Unique Approach to Copywriting

Podcast

Today on the show we have Eric Bakey. I am really excited to share Eric because he is a brilliant copywriter. He has studied the greats, the very original direct response writers, and he can apply the same concepts that were working in the 1920s to something that you’re selling today. All of the best copywriters I’ve ever met are all about looking at the classical copywriting formulas, and strategies that have stood the test of time. He’s also going to share a lot about how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market, and how to communicate your value and your pricing in a unique and engaging way.

Key Takeaways

[4:47] Working with veterans and why Navy Seals are good business CEOs

[8:24] How you can make more money with fewer people

[9:44] Creating a Unique Selling Proposition and evolving it into a Unique Strategy of Preeminence

[12:09] How copywriting can snap your customers out of their haze and reach for their wallets

[15:55] Eric’s proprietary Commander’s Intent Process and how it can be successful for you

[18:50] Be more profitable without spending on advertising

[21:35] Driving profitable results for clients

[27:24] How to frame higher price with higher value

[34:27] Why the hard-sell may win you clients, you don’t want to work with

[36:30] The Dream 100 and how to apply it to your business

 

Eric Bakey Information

Eric Bakey Site

Contact Eric:eric@ericbakey.com

Facebook

Business Model Canvas Template

The Ultimate Sales Machine

David Ogilvy on Advertising

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

Dan Kennedy

Jay Abraham

Sean D’Souza – Psychotactics

Gene Schwartz 33 Minute Secret

Gary Bencivenga Marketing Bullets

Transcript of Podcast

Kyle Gray:                       

Hello everyone and welcome to The Story Engine Podcast. Today we have Eric Bakey on the show, and he is a direct response copywriter. But, before you kind of picture what a direct response copywriter is like, Eric has a really unique story, a really unique approach, and he has a lot of yeah, unique ways that he does direct response copywriting. Eric, thank you so much for joining us today. Share a little bit with us about who you are, and what unique things you bring to the copywriting world.

Eric Bakey:                          

Sure. Well, thanks for having me. I really came to the copywriting world in an unorthodox fashion. I joined the army right after high school, learned how to blow stuff up and dig ditches. Neither of them are very lucrative, so I started over again in the civilian world and came up in the elevator trade, which again nothing to do with copywriting or persuasion in print whatsoever. But I got sick of working 12 hour days and stacking steel and trading my time for money. I realized that sales was the escape to leverage my time, and so I studied direct response and salesmanship in the evening after working long days in the field sweating my butt off.

Eric Bakey:                          

Finally, I created a book on body weight strength training, because it was the only thing I knew how to do, so it was my first widget to sell in the entrepreneurial world and learned that the only difference between my ads working and not working … Now, the only difference between a $1 bill and a $100 bill was the message on the paper. I decided to go down this rabbit hole of direct response copywriting and have been infatuated with the power of messaging. Three years later, I’ve written some professional promotions and sales funnels and the whole nine yards of both online and offline media, and I’m really just getting started with where I want to be.

Kyle Gray:                       

That’s amazing. What’s really fascinating to me about you is, bringing your story as a … I believe it’s a combat engineer, right?

Eric Bakey:                          

Right.

Kyle Gray:                       

That’s the title? Yeah. It seems like at least what I saw on your website, you serve a lot of veterans through that site. I’d love to know how you make that connection. One of the things you say is, veterans have a problem working with a normal, a civilian copywriter. They just don’t quite get them as much. I want to know, what’s the mindset of veterans, and how can you bring your unique experience and your unique background to serve them better than any other copywriters?

Eric Bakey:                          

It took a while for me to have the courage to share my military background. It’s something that’s very sensitive amongst veterans. It’s something that, I didn’t want anyone to hire me just because they felt sorry for me, or patriotic. I really wanted to have a value. But the more I told stories about how I came to experience life and really had the ability to articulate my background, the more I realized that I liked working with people that were also rough around the edges, that are not afraid to go into some dark places. We’ve got the sick sense of humor, and it’s beyond just the work product. As an entrepreneur, we get … I love copywriting. I can nerd out on it so much, but there’s so much more beyond just the work product that I need to be able to connect with somebody on.

Eric Bakey:                          

I just found out that I like people who are just as stubborn and tenacious and maybe move toward the sonic empire the same way I did. I resonate with these people who are not afraid to get hands dirty. We can really go in to … I write in the self-protective, personal protection market. I work with these people who really challenge me to bring my A game, and it’s competitive … copywriting, it’s really not just about feeling good, we gotta make sales. Talking business and talking marketing and messaging, and building something beyond just Google Box, that they copied and pasted and put into some kind of sales funnel. I found out who I really like to work with, and found out that Navy Seals are pretty cool business CEOs and all that kind of thing. I get to work with fellow badasses, and I don’t like to work with people who shrink away from challenges. I think it’s a common thread that goes with the people I work with.

Kyle Gray:                       

Do you think that’s a common thread? Do you think entrepreneurs, in general, could learn a lot from specifically the group of people you work with, people that don’t shrink away from conflict, or problems, that they really want to lean into them more?

Eric Bakey:                          

I think that an entrepreneur’s biggest struggle is that we are rugged individualists. That we go off and we’ve built the courage and commitment to go chase our dreams, but we end up working on an island and removed from the feedback and some of the stuff that creates a world-class business. You have to guard your confidence. You have to guard your headspace. You really don’t relate to your friends. You remove yourself from the business world because you start your own thing.

Eric Bakey:                          

And also, when you leave the military, you leave behind a brotherhood that you really cannot replicate in the civilian world. Part of what I like to do is tap into that brotherhood and say, hey … It’s like a certain insider handshake kind of thing. We work mostly digitally. To be able to speak the same language as these people, regardless of whether they are … I was an Army guy, so regardless of whether they were Navy, Marines, or Air Force, doesn’t really matter. They still sign a blank check with an amount up to and including their life. It’s a common thread that differentiates us from everybody else, even though the businesses they might be working … I work with a gun range. I worked with a commercial window blinds company. I’ve worked with all kinds of weird businesses, but the common thread being that we had that … Again, I go with the rough around the edges, because we all seem like we have a chip on our shoulder.

Eric Bakey:                          

We have something a little bit more to prove when you come from the military. Maybe that’s just the kind of clients I attract because I come from an unconventional background too, so I guess you’re a reflection of the clients that you get. I think that’s a roundabout answer to say, yes, I think we need to create a community with our clients because you’re not going to work with everybody, especially as a copywriter, I can only work with a handful of clients at any given time. I show my clients that they can actually make more money by working with fewer people as well. It’s kind of like teaching by doing, so it’s more than just a work product. I’ve differentiated myself as a copywriter and it goes through my entire business.

Kyle Gray:                       

That’s powerful and that’s inspiring. I love the deeper roots behind who you connect with and what you do. I think that that’s, being able to create that deeper connection with someone, the more human connection and have that personality beyond just a normal offer that a copywriter would make, or any business would make is one of the most powerful tools that you can have. Several times just there you were talking about differentiation or standing out. I think one of the most challenging messages we can craft is a USP, a unique selling proposition.

Kyle Gray:                       

This is something that you are quite good at doing. What this can do is just in a line, in a simple phrase, you can explain your value, what you do and who you are in a powerful way that can connect. I’d love to know your process for discovering and crafting a good USP for your clients.

Eric Bakey:                          

First thing, I started with the USP. That’s a marketing term, came up by Rosser Reeves. That’s how I started. I’ve shifted it to … I read Business Model Canvas, which took it to another level, so it became a unique value proposition. Then I’ve taken it one step further. Now, my USP is a unique strategy of preeminence. How do you position yourself to be a category of one, to be completely different than anyone else in your marketplace so that you can stimulate demand? Basically, when I look at a brand, I look at them and I say, why should I do business with you? Or, does any other option available to me at all, including doing nothing. Because really the enemy is inertia. More often than not, especially in all my marketing, your prospect is welded to the coach, bored distracted, and does not care about you. They only care about themselves. They are so inundated with so many different distracting messages. They don’t even know what they want.

Eric Bakey:                          

So, how do you create something that’s such a draw that you can snap them out of their malaise and make them pull out their credit card and really get involved in a future idea that’s bigger than themselves? Because really the biggest thing that you need to overcome is beyond skepticism at this point, that they don’t even believe that they can get the result you’re promising for themselves. You really need to be able to reach through your computer screen, grab them by the collar. Make them read the damn message, and then inspire them to not only spend the money but get a result that you’re promising them.

Eric Bakey:                          

That’s done through copywriting. Whether you use a simple sales page, or a three or four video launch, like Jeff Walker … whatever webinar you do, the through line needs to be consistent, a golden thread of preeminence that you care about your client. That they’re under your protection and that you can get them a result that’s better than they can even expect themselves. That’s the challenge. I’ve got some tricks to do it but it’s also, you can look at something and say, why should I even care about this?

[bctt tweet=”You need to have a consistent golden thread of preeminence that you care about your client. -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

It’s easy to use websites because it’s our language, online marketing, and stuff. But, if you go on someone’s website and it’s all about them, if they have a beautiful brochure and it’s all about how great the company is, that doesn’t inspire any kind of action. I want to see a company who is a champion for the customers, and a guide for their clients. Kind of like a Yoda helping Luke Skywalker achieve their dream. How does the company become a guide for the person to become a hero of their own journey? That’s the strategy. When I started, it was a little more hippie. The more I advance in my career, it’s more of a, let’s put my arm around a shoulder and walk behind the woodshed and have a heart to heart conversation about how do we get you the results you want to get? I do this via media. It’s a fun process but it really requires a lot of unpacking. You can’t just say, okay, how much do you charge for a sales page? Because I do a lot of inner work with the business owner and really sit on the same side of the desk as the CEO and make sure we’re moving the company in a strategic direction they want to go in.

[bctt tweet=”Be a company that is a champion for your customers and a guide for your clients. -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

It’s a lot more than copywriting. It’s the strategic underpinnings of the entire business, and you create the golden thread to preeminence throughout the whole things. That’s why I hold this copywriting thing in such high reverence because spending money is no laughing matter. The power of persuasion is nothing to really turn your nose up at because you could get yourself sent to jail if you do it wrong. I hold it in high regard because I want to persuade people as powerfully as I possibly can, but I also want to get them a result. But I also like my freedom. That’s why I gotta be copywriting, to begin with. Maybe I don’t like wearing a striped shirt. I really make sure that I work with somebody who can really champion the customer’s needs and fulfill on their promises.

Kyle Gray:                       

That’s really funny. I love that little note about not wearing striped shirts. I have a particular aversion to baby blue, starched office shirts, that I can’t stand wearing those. That’s one of the reasons I’ve gotten into entrepreneurship. Not necessarily the shirts, but there’s much more to it than that. But we can leave it at that for now.

Kyle Gray:                       

One of the reasons I think you’ve been really successful, and you’ve just shared it with us, is you’ve been able to get better results, work more for you and your clients by working with fewer clients, and really focusing in on people you know you can drive big results for. I think that it was a challenge of mine in early stages. I think it’s a challenge for many entrepreneurs to figure out, who do I need to serve that …

Kyle Gray:                       

To figure out, who do I need to serve that’s really going to, A, understand who I am and my value, and will be able to work together and get a good result quickly and powerfully? I’m wondering with the clients you work with, you mentioned some inner work, do you help them get clarity on that very specific niche of people that they can work with? And, do have a series of questions or discovery work? How can somebody get clear on who they want to serve and really hone in on an incredibly valuable segment?

Eric Bakey:                          

I have my proprietary process. I’m a copywriter, so I got to call it something. But my command is intent process. To be simple, you need to have a one-page strategic plan to accomplish anything. It comes from the military in that if the lowest private doesn’t understand what the commander wants him to do when bullets start whizzing by his head, you’re never going to accomplish the mission. So if the private doesn’t understand that they need to take the mountain and why which mountain, that’s the commander’s fault. It’s a through-line through the military understanding two levels up over you and making sure everyone two levels below you knows exactly what the mission is and as simple as possible.

[bctt tweet=”You need to have a one-page strategic plan to accomplish anything. -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

I take out a piece of paper, or go on a whiteboard, and say, “vision, goals, strategy, and the tactics.” I make sure that we are moving towards the right vision. You have to see a thing in your mind before you’ll ever see it in reality, so I help create them create a vivid vision of what success looks like. Then we break out three clear measurable goals, and then we start talking strategy in order to accomplish them. And, what are the milestones we’re going to be successful in. And then, the tactics are the deployment of the scarce resources.

Eric Bakey:                          

I have a streamlined process that I can take a C-Suite through or one-on-one if the client really wants to dive in, but it’s really if they have a team I make sure that everybody’s on board ’cause I refuse to be relegated if I work with a company, if I just become some kind of project that gets delegated down then it doesn’t end up being as successful as it could be, and that really frustrates me, so I make sure that everybody is on the same page. We all agree on this one simple document, which it seems like everyone knows their vision statement or their mission statement, all this kind of stuff.

Eric Bakey:                          

But until everyone in the company from the janitor to the C-Suite can articulate that, a very simple, “What is my job? What are we doing? What is the unique value this company provides?” Until they can all speak the same language, working from the same sheet of paper then they’re really not in alignment. And so, that’s why it’s important to get everyone on board so that even like the first people that need to be sold are the people inside your company, and then your vendors, anyone that’s associated in your three-foot world needs to be on the same page. And then, you go out and get new customers.

Eric Bakey:                          

I make sure we get the information dialed in, and then we can start working through some of the more … I’ve got some more advanced modules that my consulting practice has. And then once we have all the stuff, we basically build a copy bank, a copy platform because we record and transcribe everything. That way we don’t need to do the double work. I hate repeating myself and I hate doing double work, so we just copy and paste all the work we’ve done together, make sure we populate their website and all their sales conversations, all their email stuff, all of the stuff internally before we go out and get new customers. All of a sudden you find out that 60 to 90 days later you’re more profitable without even spending any money on advertising ’cause everybody’s in alignment, and you’re able to get more referrals naturally just getting clearer on exactly the value that your company provides. We’ve raised the standard for the company to provide value for the customers.

[bctt tweet=”You will become more profitable when everybody’s in alignment with the company’s unique value proposition. -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

It’s really very simple, but it’s an elegant way of implementing something that’s very simple, that if you can’t explain something to me on a single piece of paper we’re never going to make a seven-figure shift in your business, so it’s really like back of the napkin type simplicity that I go for, which then has massive ripple effects throughout the entire organization.

Kyle Gray:                       

Now, this is so … You’re speaking my language here. Everything you’re talking about makes so much sense for a company that is building remote teams. We’ve got people everywhere and communication needs to be geared towards getting results and everybody needs to be on the same page in a very clear way. With remote, it’s kind of a blessing and a curse where you don’t have that same office context, not everybody’s together, and you can’t really get those subtle cues of culture or vision that happen just between conversations or in seeing how someone behaves not just seeing what they’re typing into.

Kyle Gray:                       

But I think something that seems very powerful for a lot of people I work with and I think is powerful in your business is using these systems you’ve probably developed a lot of very simple templates that you can use when moving in with a new client that helps you. You’ve kind of got most of the scaffolding already laid out in a good system, and I would love to know if you’re willing to share just, what are some of the most valuable templates you’ve created in your business that are really driving results for you and your clients?

Eric Bakey:                          

I think if you don’t have a system for your clients; if you think that you’re just going to rely on your brilliance to come up with some kind of marketing campaign, you’re really doing yourself and your clients a disservice. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I take stuff that already works and I just make sure that we implement it. That value canvas, whatever it’s called, it’s called business model canvas, and all those strategizer stuff, that really … I’m a big fan of Dan Roam and all these visual communicators. You can’t make it so simple and catalyze it into, again, an icon, you can’t really see what you’re communicating. It’s impossible to see the building. And so just as a frame of reference, the bigger the hole you dig in the ground, the higher the building can go. So it’s very important to show what we see at the end is like a beautiful rooftop and a big, beautiful building. What you don’t see is the underpinnings and the frameworks that have gone into that.

Eric Bakey:                          

I come from the construction world, so really, I think it’s funny that we all talk about building houses and stuff, but I’ve actually stacked steel and welded it together. I’ve actually built ten-story tall escalators and built 80-story elevators, so I come from a world where if you cannot very simply draw on a piece of paper exactly what we’re going to build, you’re never going to get a team of people to build it. It’s even crazier in this online marketing world where there’s so much abstract, we’re selling the invisible, we’re often selling an invisible product. We’re asking people to take large leaps of faith when there are people in the business that can’t even articulate their unique value.

Eric Bakey:                          

So that’s why yes, take the frameworks that have already been proven. In copywriting there’s a very simple structures that have continued to work for … human psychology has not changed very much over the last 2000 years, but people keep on looking at these brand new marketing books and all this fancy stuff, but I go back to Claude Hopkins, these old-school direct response guys that have leveraged the human psychology of buying for thousands of years, and I study salesmanship, and really salesmanship in print is all that I do, so I don’t need to take frameworks from really anything newer than like the 1960s.

Eric Bakey:                          

I’d rather implement stuff from breakthrough advertising and the old school, the older we can get the better because I’ve taken an ad from the Civil War and repurposed it. I put some new language into it to sell the same system of product. I would rather work with somebody who had to take a check like they didn’t have checking. They had to put greenbacks in an envelope, mail it away to an invisible person, and wait six to eight weeks for some kind of book to come back to them. And so, I like taking frameworks that have worked a hundred years ago, and putting a modern spin on them, and synthesizing new ideas because there really is nothing new under the sun. It’s just recombining old stuff to make something really incredible in the future.

Eric Bakey:                          

I’m kind of dodging the question a little bit, but really it’s taking frameworks that have already worked and put your unique spin on it because you’re not going to outsmart the market. The market demand already is there. Human desire is to get paid, get laid, or live forever. They’re going to be consistent from now and forever, so don’t think you’re going to outsmart your prospect, or really try to do anything. You’re not smarter than the people who have already laid out the framework. The framework is proven, so take something that already works and make it work for you.

Kyle Gray:                       

I think this is not the first time that I’ve heard really brilliant direct response marketers saying that they pretty much try to go as old as possible with their teachers, and their learnings, and their frameworks just from time-tested philosophies. But also, yeah, I think that this is a common thread among many great copywriters is they look farther in the past, which is something that I think is very easy to miss as an entrepreneur in this digital age with all of these new technologies out here with all of these new, there’s just a new shiny object every week being released.

Kyle Gray:                       

I’m wondering that before the call you’ve built up quite a reputation for yourself and you’ve used these techniques to get great results. Something you mentioned before the call was that you were reassuringly expensive. I think this is a really cool and really charming way to kind of share your pricing, and I think a lot of people listening here are going to want to learn especially if they’re consultants especially if they have services like you they want to charge more for what they’re doing. And so, I would love to know how you frame your higher price as higher value, something that, again, is reassuring, something that people actually feel better because they are paying you more and happier with the result.

Eric Bakey:                          

People come to me because they want copywriting. They’ve seen what I’ve done for other people. They want copy. “Okay. Great.” They say, “What do you charge?” Right?

Eric Bakey:                          

Well, that’s interesting because of how much do you think the copy is worth? Do you think that the copy is 50% of what the result, is it 98%, is it 1%? What percent do you think the copy is going to have an effect on whether your product sells or not? So they don’t really, “Well, I don’t know.”, that’s interesting. Do you think that it would be fair to say that the copy might be worth 20% of the success of this campaign? Sure, we’ll just say 20%. Okay. If we’re going to take, say 20%, what is 20%? What kind of metrics are we going to …? How will we know we’re being successful? Is 100 sales successful? Is it 10 sales? Is it 1500 sales? What exactly are we really trying to accomplish?

Eric Bakey:                          

So we get clear on, “Okay. If this product will be successful at 100,000 dollars per se, do you think the copy is worth 20% of this new thing from start to finish, and all this copy that needs to be created for the funnel, like all of this work needs to happen, all these months worth of labor to create this copy that you will then be able to use as a marketing asset over time to continue to make a lot more of what we defined as successful?” Because after it’s created one time you can use it forever.

Eric Bakey:                          

We agree on what’s successful. We agree on what percentage the copy is worth. And then for me, I like taking 5% of the 20%, or whatever we agree on upfront as money to get started to start building out this copy platform.

Eric Bakey:                          

I hopefully explained that, were you still following along?  But yeah, I’ll take 5% of what we believe to be successful up front, start working, and if we don’t hit the numbers that we assume we’re going to hit over a clear timeline then I continue to write until we do. It’s really an advance on royalties, just like any other artist would take. Salesmen get commissions. An author gets royalties, and a copywriter who’s in charge of the entire strategic campaign should be able to get whatever he negotiates. If he can’t negotiate for something that’s worthwhile, why would you even trust him to do work on behalf of your business as the right-hand communication strategy of your business? I would never apologize for the price of my client’s stuff that he’s selling. We negotiate something that is fair for both parties. Until I get clear on their vision and what we’re really trying to do, I can’t price it.

[bctt tweet=”A copywriter who’s in charge of the entire strategic campaign should be able to get whatever he negotiates. -Eric Bakey ” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

So, they pay for a day of consulting. We over-arch, we do all this stuff. Then, if they want to hire me to write it or if they want to write it themselves or whatever the heck they want to do. Then we can start talking about the copyrighting. So it’s really they pay for a day. We lay all the stuff out and then we could talk about actually charging for copyright.

Eric Bakey:                          

So no, you cannot just hire me off of Upwork and charge $100 or even if I was trying to charge $500 an hour, it would not work for me, because I need to get clear on who you are, what you’re about, where is your company going. Are you going to use this copy for the next three years? Are you going to put 50 cent stamp on this thing and mail it out to 50,000 people? What are we doing together? We need to get the usage rights figured out. All this stuff. Are you hiring for three months? Are you just hiring me for a day because you need somebody to talk about a campaign that’s working or not working or whatever?

Eric Bakey:                          

I don’t let people beat me up, as a freelancer. Or pigeonhole me as just a copywriter, I really want to be viewed as a partner in the success of whatever we accomplish together. That’s the positioning I’ve created for myself and it’s been transformational. Especially, because I work with incredible entrepreneurs and we really are running some very lucrative campaigns.

Kyle Gray:                       

I love that and one of the things that was really resonating with me, as you were sharing this, is your … There’s definitely some great salesmanship in what you do. By in the pricing discussion you’re saying, what does success look like for you? How valuable would this be to you? Instead of, I think a lot of people when confronted with pricing, fall back on okay this is what I’m bringing or this is what I have or this is me or this is my background. You’re talking about yourself and you’re trying to sell yourself, instead of selling the vision of success. The vision of winning and by actually having people say okay, let’s start to picture what a really successful campaign would look like. Then, no matter how high of a price you charge, if it looks like, again 5% of that, it could be a really big number, but no matter what, relatively, there’s a much, much bigger number that looks like a huge win.

Kyle Gray:                       

No matter how much you’re charging them, they’re going to be delighted because they’re coming out with a big win on the end of that. I think that’s a very, very powerful lesson in salesmanship and positioning and getting people to value what you have to offer very quickly.

Eric Bakey:                          

Yeah, I’ve tried to hard sell … I come from salesmanship and studying these old school guys. I’ve hard-sold some stuff before. I used to walk into a business with four $100 bills and say, “here are four $100 bills, if I can go get you this, can I have one back?” That’s 25% and they would say, “no, get out of here. You’re being obnoxious.” So, I would take a $100 bill and I would rip it up and I’d say, “Well, this is what you’re doing, right now. Every single time … I know that your customer is worth a lot more than $100. I know the lifetime value of your customer is a lot more. I know how much money you could probably spend in order to acquire them and you don’t know this information, so I know I can rip up this $100 bill, but you’re doing this 5,000 times a month, when someone comes to your website and they don’t opt in to your list or you don’t estimate for any more money in the backend. You don’t ask for referrals.”

Eric Bakey:                          

I used to just go in there and really just whack them upside the head with a baseball bat. Be really brash about it and I got a couple gigs doing that because they can appreciate my tenacity, but ultimately when I hard sell somebody on copy, I end up creating a client I don’t really want. I’d much rather have a client that understands the value of what I do and is willing to work with me in order to achieve success for both of us. It’s very clear who’s doing what, when it’s going to be done and we both have skin in the game in order to accomplish it. I’d much rather make the selling unnecessary, for my services, rather than having to reach out and grab somebody.

[bctt tweet=”When you hard-sell a client, you end up creating a client you don’t want to work with -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Eric Bakey:                          

My nature is to just, “Give it to me.” That’s my nature. I’ve had to learn how to have a little bit more finesse and it’s made me a better marketer because, like I said, my nature is to swing a hammer of stubbornness and tenacity at all my problems. What gets you here won’t get you there, right? It’s been me growing as a business owner and a copywriter, is becoming a more well-rounded human.

Kyle Gray:                       

I think that’s great. I think that’s part of the journey of entrepreneurship. You’re always discovering more about yourself and I think there’s always a lot of internal work, like what you were describing with your clients, to pair with the external work and the hustle and the results that a lot of people see.

Kyle Gray:                       

One of the things that … One of your classic frameworks that you work with a lot and that I’ve heard used in many, many different contexts and so, I’d love to know your perspective on this, is the Dream 100. This is partially how you are focusing in on exactly who you can serve. Can you tell us a little about what the Dream 100 is and how a business owner can start to apply that to their work?

Eric Bakey:                          

Where I discover it is in Chet Holmes, Ultimate Sale Machine. I don’t know where he got it. I think I’ve heard David Ogilvy had it, so even further back than Chet. Really it’s, ask yourself, if you could only do business with 100 new clients, 100 either B to B or B to C. If you only have 100 new customers, clients, whatever, who would they be and how much value would you have to give them in order to create a sustainable business. You only had a 100 more transactions in your business.

Eric Bakey:                          

This could be 100 ideal neighborhoods if you’re a dentist or roofer. These could be the 100 most affluent neighborhoods, most likely to serve you. If you’re a B to B company, these could be the ideal buys of your software, service or whatever have you. It’s just a different way of thinking about how you’re going to move your business forward. If you Pareto Principle that, 80/20 it, 20 of those 100 will make the rest of them easier to get and if you do that again, you’re left with four or five that will really be the first dominoes to set yourself up for an incredible future.

Eric Bakey:                          

I just walk my clients through this very simple framework and exercise of what would it be like if you could only have 100 new clients. 100 clients for the rest of your business existence and it forces you to really be like, damn, we really need to get these people some results. We can’t just sell them a bag of dog shit. We gotta really serve these people. We gotta get them to want to be champions of our brand. Again, there’s that ugly word again. I hold they’re feet to fire like, what is a customer actually worth to you? What is the marginal net worth of a satisfied customer? If you can get them to refer one of their friends, over them doing business with you, it just doubled your marginal net worth.

Eric Bakey:                          

What happens if we ask them for more than one referral, more than once in their entire existence of doing business with you? It’s a mind-boggling concept, but something that they get results for somebody and say who else they would like to get results for them. Really you can create a word of mouth movement that is unlike any other brand. It’s more than just sending a daily email or whatever heck you do, it’s really creating a connection with your customers and having … Giving a shit. People want to relegate their marketing. Check I hired a copywriter. Check let’s go to Friendly’s, let’s go to TGI Friday’s and just get drunk now. I’ve experienced this.

Eric Bakey:                          

I’ve written for some big guru’s and been frustrated with how little they actually care. That’s another reason why I do what I do is because I genuinely care and champion their customers. Typically, the people I write for are people who I’ve bought their services from and I’m like, I got this incredible result I think that more people should be able to do it, so let me rewrite something for you and really highlight some testimonials. I’ve got my process for getting clients, but I really … If you just care. We’ve never been so connected in the entire history of the human race, but never have we cared so little about the success of one another or creating a community around the result.

Eric Bakey:                          

This is another thing I do for my clients, I help them create a third place. For a gym, you’ve got your home, you’ve got work and you’ve got your third place, so how do I create a reason for going to this gym and creating a community around it and creating all the things that go on at a gym. Fat loss, building muscle, feeling good about themselves and creating this whole entire … CrossFit does it perfectly, so how do we create a little cult around your business and how do we position you so that you’re not just another gym because there’s always going to be more room at the top. Marketing to the affluent is a much different prospect than trying to make Planet Fitness work in a strip mall.

Eric Bakey:                          

It’s a big difference between the kind of client I like to work with versus … Planet Fitness, even though they’re a multimillion dollar company, they’re probably not going to spend big bucks on a direct mail copywriter, probably not. They’re probably just going to send out a branded postcard if they do anything at all because their margins are so low. I’d rather go after a high margin business and have them work with other high margin businesses and set myself up for success with them. I try to work smarter not harder and to have skilled ready algorithms to show that here’s how we’re going to get easy wins for you and for me.

[bctt tweet=”Work smarter not harder and have skilled and ready algorithms to show how you’re going to get easy wins for you and your clients. -Eric Bakey” username=”kylethegray”]

Kyle Gray:                       

Wow, I think that there’s been so much good information in here and I really like hearing and learning from you. I’m feeling a desire, I want to know some of these. You’ve hinted at a few of the authors and advertisers and people that you really enjoy, but to close out the show, first I would love for you to share a couple of your favorite people that you follow. That you’ve learned from. That somebody who just wants to start getting into copywriting and studying this themselves, who are the greats according to you. Then, close us out by telling us where we can learn a little bit more about you or if somebody’s interested in working with you or consuming some of the content or stories that you have.

Eric Bakey:                          

I am a … I come from the Dan Kennedy world, so he’s still a living legend. Jay Abraham, again, he’s a direct mentor and Sean D’Souza at Psychotactics, he’s been a profound influence on what I’ve been able to accomplish. As far as dead people, Gene Schwartz and Gary Halbert are fantastic copywriters. Someone who’s still living, but does not really share too much more copywriting information anymore other than his marketing bullets, Gary Bencivenga. You type in Gary Bencivenga marketing bullets. I think that those six people, you don’t need any more guru’s and these are long-time successful proven people who have been in the game for 30 years and will not point you towards shiny objects.

Eric Bakey:                          

Really they have so much free content for you to consume, if you actually just took the free stuff and implemented it, you would make plenty of money to then pay for their higher priced ticket stuff. The stuff that I see, downloading a free ebook and then get hammered with the content they produce … I don’t see people doing it as well as the six people I mentioned. There’s tons of awesome free stuff that you can really get after.

Eric Bakey:                          

If you want to see more about what I’ve got going on, you can look up my website and get an eternal relationship report, which shows you how to do the Dream 100, the Get Results Metrics that actually matter rather than subscriber based kind of stuff. You can make money with very small lists and I show you how to do all that at ericbakey.com. I’d be happy to have you as a subscriber and if you want to reach out to me, eric@ericbakey.com.

Kyle Gray:                       

Thank you so much for joining us, Eric. This has been a total pleasure having you and I hope people can get in touch, can take away some great stuff here and hopefully we’ll be talking again soon.

Eric Bakey:                          

All right, I look forward to it.

Kyle Gray:                       

Thanks, Eric.

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