Bring Your Tools

This last entry from Colin Theriot's list of report types in his Facebook group The Cult of Copy is my absolute favourite, because it is the true essence of badassery: the Backpack. This is a report describing tools and techniques - offered separately in one "toolbox" product or several individual offers - which can be used to solve problems.

Principle five of the Badass Manifesto is "Badasses prefer doing their own things." And the Backpack is what makes that possible, because instead of providing you with the solution to a single problem, it provides you with the means to solve any problem you've got.

And that's just objectively better than a single left-handed Langstrom seven-inch gangley wrench no matter how you slice it. Because you know what they say - if all you have is a Langstrom seven-inch gangley wrench, every problem looks like a Finley sprinkler head.

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Building It Up

Fourth in the series of awesome shit Colin Theriot was talking about in his Facebook group The Cult of Copy, we have basically the opposite of yesterday's report format: the Bad Road.

This is where instead of taking a big problem and breaking it down into little ones that can be solved, you take an apparently problem-free situation and point out all the little things that can go wrong, then gather them all up into a big problem and say "see, look, you need help."

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Breaking It Down

Third on Colin Theriot's list of five types of reports, which he discussed on the Cult of Copy group on Facebook, we have something we're all familiar with at least in theory: the Obstacle Course. (Well, third on my list that I made from Colin's list. I think it's second on his.)

The key to the obstacle course is to take the massive problem facing your audience... and break it down into smaller, more manageable problems. What you're creating here is the desire for the audience to understand how each piece is handled... and this works well with a series of products, which cover each obstacle and how to surmount it.

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The Doctor Is In

Continuing the expansion of Colin Theriot's list of "freebies that always work" (as he listed in a post on the Facebook Cult of Copy group last week), what we're looking at today is the Diagnosis - a detailed analysis of a problem many people have.

This is particularly useful in one specific situation that I like to call the un-problem. An un-problem is a problem you don't even know you have until someone tells you how to fix it. In the most extreme cases, you still don't know you have the problem until it has actually been fixed.

As you might guess, this can be kind of a hard sell.

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Types of Reports

As I've gone over in the past, one of the things you want to do in your lizard-brain activities is build a list, and the conventional wisdom is to give away a free report on something or other. Even if you're not giving away the report, but selling it, there are five kinds of reports which traditionally do very well in terms of building your list; I got these five types from Colin Theriot at the Cult of Copy on Facebook, and it's a fantastic group that you should really consider joining if you're into the "deep magic" sort of analysis and marketing we like to do there.

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The Secret Club Part

Okay, so you've got a couple things you blast out there for the general public. Things you show everyone, Because you aren't in this for your health, you want people to look at you.

Now it's time to reward the faithful. You know that central post or product or promotion you just did?

Go to your email list and take it one step further. Just a little more. Something nobody else got. Something you can only have if you've handed over your contact info and "jined up."

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It’s Where The Money Is!

Now that you have a mailing list, everyone is going to be telling you "the money's in the list!" as though this is some great master key to success in business. This is stupid, because the reality is that people are on your list and that the money is in those people's pockets.

Now, that said, there are some simple truths that do kind of revolve around the list. First of all, when someone is on your list, you can talk to them whenever you want. That means you control the timing of the message. Someone who goes to your blog might be there the day you posted a particular article, or three years later. But when you send an immediate email to your list - one you wrote to send out just once, today, to the whole list - that email gets to all your subscribers right now.

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Bridges and Chasms

There's an old analogy I like to use about what makes video games fun or not-fun. And it deals with the nature of a challenge. Some challenges are bridges, and some are chasms.

A bridge is a sequence of challenges where partial success gets you partially there. You can meet the challenges that are at or below your skill level, and when you get to the point where your skills aren't up to the challenge, you have to stop there and grind until your skills improve. If you can't make it all the way to point B, you're stuck partway there.

A chasm, on the other hand, is all or nothing. Partial success doesn't exist. If you fail anything, you fail it all. When you jump for the other side and you don't make it, you fall to your death and have to reload your last save. Or, in the worst cases, start the fucking game all over again.

The key to an effective online business is to build a bridge.

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