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Why Entrepreneurs Go Broke
Last Updated October 19th, 2015

I’ve got a confession to make: I love reading about business owners who went broke…

…and luckily for me there’s a new trend where business owners share their sordid story in public.

Like this story about Dinnr. Or this story about a failed Yoga Teacher.

You might think this is weird. Or strange. But I do it for one important reason: I’m paranoid about my own business failing, too.

Not “unhealthy paranoid.” I just look for mistakes other people made so I don’t make those same mistakes.

Makes sense, right?


Now, what was the BIGGEST mistake?


In almost all cases, businesses went broke because they didn’t have enough money. And they didn’t have enough money because they couldn’t generate enough profitable sales.

Yes, sometimes the lack of sales was a symptom of something else. Something like creating a product that people didn’t want, inexperienced co-founders, or sometimes, people just created a bad product or service.

But in almost all cases, had they just had more revenue coming in the door, they could have prevented these problems (or had time to fix them).

Plus, when you know how to make people buy, you don’t really need to worry about these issues.

Someone who knows how to sell would never create a product that people don’t want. Why? Because they know their product development STARTS with understanding what people want. And then they figure out how to give it to them.

Now this doesn’t mean you don’t need a product or service. You do. But something magical happens when you combine “sales skills” with a desire to create a great product or service.

It’s truly a 2+2=6 relationship. Meaning, the sum of each individual part – the product, and the sales – is worth more than the individual pieces.

I should know, too.

Let’s take a look at one of my products, ZippyCourses. I launched this into private beta in 2014. And we sold a few hundred units.

In the beginning, our sales process was simple: we asked people to sign up for the wait list, and then we asked people to buy Zippy Courses. And that’s it.

However, fast forward to today, we’ve now sold a few thousand copies.

We actually sold more copies in a single day than we did in the entire year of 2014.

Yes, we continued to improve our product, but what’s more important is this: we created a scaleable system to generate MORE sales.

A system that works 24/7.

A system that helps us generate more sales each month on auto-pilot.

A system that turns new prospects into paying customers like Midas would turn anything he touches into gold.

Would you like to learn how to create a system JUST LIKE THIS for your product or service?

Well, you’re in luck.

It’s Sales Week at Social Triggers.

And I’m going to show you how to do just that. I’ll show you how to create a simple system that can help you generate “sales on demand.”

More specifically, I’ll take you behind the scenes of how I write emails that get opened, sales pages that convert, and webinars that generate revenue.

Plus, I’ll show you how I launch products (and how I teach other people to launch products and services).

So, look for an email from me tomorrow with the “first installment.”

For right now, here’s what I want you to do:

Are you currently struggling to generate sales for your business? Are you confused about product launches? Do you have any questions about copywriting?

Leave a comment right here and I’ll do my best to address it in this series.

Feel free to leave your name as “anonymous.” And if you do leave it as Anonymous, shoot me an email at news@socialtriggers letting me know your comment (in case I have some feedback).

Spread the love!

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106 comments Leave a comment

Hey I want to create an online product/an online product series.
Could you do more specific stuff targeting problems like How to Launch or How to market your product the best way? And also could you do something about content creation?

sarfraz khan

Hi, Derek. I have been following mainly you of all the entrepreneurs I know. I am making a short ebook probably a 100 pages ebook on building a gaming computer on my website. My niche is the same but I am doing it in a practical way this time. But I don’t know what mini course should I make so that I can get subscribers and make my this product sell? I would love to know your suggestions:)


When you take people who are great at what they do, and show them how to make a lasting impact on a large amount of people, you can change the world.

Learning to sell is everything. Without sales you are never truly capable of focusing on the thing you are truly incredible at. You can never make the impact you are meant to make. You can never help the people you could have helped.

I had the exact opposite problem. I started my first company with $105 and turned it into just under $1million in 2.5months. Then I lost it all in 7 days.

Why? Because I was still thinking at a $105 level, rather than at a $1million level. I didn’t ask the right questions at the right times, questions which now I would ask immediately. I trusted my new team, but I also handed complete responsibility to them without proper management. I started listening to what I “should” be doing, rather than what was actually working.

I turned that enormous loss into something that I am now extremely proud of. Showing coaches & consultants how to grow their businesses rapidly and sustainably & become Million Dollar Experts. And I’ve grown that even faster than I did my other company.

Sales is something everyone needs to learn, and I’m so glad you’re taking the opportunity to share your knowledge with your tribe.

Elna Cain


Can’t wait to read about product launches and the do’s and don’ts of it all. I’m in the midst of setting up a course launch. I have a beta reader and set up a waitlist. I’m enticing my list by giving them nuggets of the back end of my course as well as a free lesson they get. And in the end, a nice discount for being loyal and waiting.

I’ll be looking forward to your content!

Surya Konduru

Hi Derek,

I m facing problem in pulling more people to my site as there is a lot of competition for same product.

At the same time, people who land aren’t making much conversion. Is it because I am targeting wrong audience or I am not able put forth my point with them properly? I don’t know.

Thanx for the help in advance..


    What’s your site?


    Competition is good. It allows you to create a monopoly of control in your market. You just need to create an experience that no-one else can replicate.


Hi Derek! I struggle with finding the sweet spot between what I like doing (writing, singing, health and fitness…) and what people want.


I have some problems writing sales copy. And writing valuable content in my emails.


    Hi Lucas,

    Have you ever heard of CopyChief? They will give you effective content to copy which will increase your ability to write yours in an authentic voice that will generate more sales. They will also train you and give you feedback on your current copy.




I’m looking for information – that ties in the selling of an information product – to build a following and establish a culture and then to sell and deliver on the backend – tangible products.

My frustration is the founders of the company I’m with – decided to develop a product first and seek out a market to sell that product to afterward… Yikes!

We have a solid product and with the big trends in this market – our product has legs… But now I need to establish the following to spread word and ultimately sales (especially repetitive sales).



    What kind of information product is it? The best way to spread buzz and create hype is by giving a portion of it away. So, if it is an ebook that has templates inside, give one template.

    It is hard to know how to help without specifics.


I’m in the UK and grow and sell local, chemical free flowers. Started off with the model of selling at farmers’ markets, but have now decided that weddings, events and funerals are better sales models as people spend more on flowers for these occasions and also it is organised in advance rather than an ad-hoc basis.

People love my flowers because they are so different from standard fare and buyers of bunches for delivery and at my markets often become repeat customers. Feedback from my brides is great, but I just need to work out ways to generate more sales more effectively – selling is the thing I’m least comfortable with. Writing – a breeze, Photography – fine, even website building is a reasonably enjoyable learning curve. I’m OK at sticking my neck out and getting outside my comfort zone, but face to face selling is just not what I enjoy. What is the best way to access more potential customers and to build an email list of people who are interested in what I do?


I have a small ecommerce business selling men’s grooming shaving kits and accessories but due to lack of sales and no repeat customers. I’m thinking of quitting. Help me find a profitable niche unlike this one.


Hello Derek,
I want to launch a tech product (not app), but lack funding to build a mvp. Should I focus on the prototype instead? That way I have something tangible to present to potential investors? Thanks in advance.


I am a physician and breast cancer survivor. I am transitioning from a traditional OB/GYN practice to health coaching and lifestyle medicine. I have yet to create any products or courses. I would like to do some online coaching to start while I build a list and create products. I struggle with what to do next. Where should I be focusing my time. Do I need better copy? Do I need to sell myself more? I get side tracked by all the available courses and information out there.


Hi, I recently bought your fantastic Zippy programme, however right now have put it aside because am doing a course with Danny Iny. Problem: I don’t have an email list or any followers as yet. I’m very interested to find out how and where I could/should give away my mini course to help me build a list.


My courses are open ended so always available. Subscribers get a small discount. Each course takes a while to produce even though they are short. My USP is that they are accessible to all and not expensive – I have broken down what others offer in one course into lots of mini courses. So although the courses I have sell, I need more volume of different courses, which takes time. I want to learn how to get my subscribers more excited about what I have on offer presently, plus how to present partners offers better. Does that make sense?


I’m a health coach, and I have trouble finding people to help, even for free! How do I get people in the door, let alone make a sale? I’ve tried facebook (mostly facebook), and don’t really find any takers.


    Hi Esther, I’m in the same boat right now: I’m a vegan weight loss coach with 30 years experience specialising in helping post menopausal women with their dietary needs. I am finding the transition to an online business rather difficult. Just had a look at your terrific website and must congratulate you….it’s terrific. You are certainly offering a great range of products. The never ending problem of how to create a meaningful email list with high quality followers that can be marketed to… is a top issue for me. So let us hope that soon we can both find the “holy grail” 🙂


When I was a massage therapist, I realized, while working with some clients who were recovering from mastectomies and andominal surgeries, that there were very simple ways to reduce their pain, restore mobility and accelerate recovery from their surgical procedures. Their doctors sent them home with little to no instruction on what to expect nor what to do. If the client did see a physical therapist, the therapist rarely followed what I felt were obvious clues.

I see the potential for classes or networking with oncologists or plastic surgeons, however I stopped myself white the fear and dilemma that:

a) it really was a simple process that could easily be copied or stolen and cut me out of the development and reward.

b) if I work in a doctors office, I’m only one therapist doing the treatments or classes, not repeatable enough to actually make a profit but also not getting the technique to enough people to benefit the hundreds of thousands of people who need these simple therapies.
Also, if I taught a clinic staff for a doctor, they don’t need me once they know the system. Same if I went to work for a massage school.

I’d like to develop the techniques and be able to use online marketing/selling. I’d also like to eventually speak at medical conferences and in medical clinics. Naturally, massage schools could bring me in as a speaker as well.

How do I get started on protecting/copyright? All the techniques are known and regularly taught. But the application to these post surgical clients is just not being put together.



Hi Derek,

I’m building a digital product that I plan to launch soon. I have a blog with a domain name I purchased but I still do not have my own website. Can you give me some more insight into what would be the best thing to do at this point? My blog is still young and I do not have a large audience yet.

Thank you so much!


Hi derek,

I am an artist,i draw sketches and also i have created two graphic novels in raw form.But i just cant figure out how should i make sales…how do i get my graphic novels or story book published…what should i do with my sketches….also i just dnt know whether to start my own website or not…kindly give me proper guodance.



I run a upmarket type coffee shop in a place where there are not enough visitors.


Interested in advice re approaches to create a successful business selling courses to overseas markets that have high volume but low budgets. Thanks.


Derek, hi.

I have a subscription based record label – monthly micro-payments for monthly releases, delivered to your inbox and accessible via the site (along with the entire back catalogue).

So $2 a month gives my customers access to almost 40 releases imediately, plus if they continue to subscribe, they get access to every new release as it appears on the first of the month.

My problem is I can’t seem to scale things beyond a few hundred subscribers.


Hi Darek,

We want to sell WordPress themes. But we are not sure what are the adequate marketing efforts involved in making it a ravishing success. What all does it require to make your product go viral? With the hope of getting the eyeballs, we even offered our product as a giveaway (with subscribe and tweet to enter the contest kind of set-up). But no success. Can you help us identify how we can gain momentum for our products? Why is it so difficult to sell and what all does it need to turn the game plan?

Do we really need to do a lot of networking or we need a dedicated marketing partner?


I find it hard to have my emails read or forwarded. I do email marketing. I send out emails every day.
But few replied. So that’s the question.
You think it’s better to write to management members in a company or just customer service and ask them to forward the email to the right people.
Thank you.


I have a newborn photography business, and my biggest struggle is getting clients. I don’t really know how to market, and I feel like I’m getting left behind. People here always seem to want the cheapest photographer, I don’t know how to show them that quality counts too! I also do voice over, and would love if I could get both those things bringing in enough work together to have a full time freelance career.


    I would suggest you define the type of customers you need, then go after them. For voice over work I would suggest Fiverr.com, there are many successful voice over pros offering their services


I do volunteer work with getting kids, mostly teens, outside in nature. I’m super busy doing this and having a lot of fun. That market is there and then some. I’m starting a non-profit to try to help support what I do. I just can’t seem to be able to get in front of other people who see the value and want be part of it and help. I can’t get nought email subscribers.
I have Facebook, Twitter, some Google +, and some YouTube. Just no real traffic.


    Allen- Connect as a subcontractor with existing organizations like the YMCA or city parks and recreation

Anna Lee

My biggest problem is that I do not have a degree or accreditation or anything that stands me out as an expert so I do not have a way to charge or even think about asking people for money.

I am going back to school now & will be graduating in the spring with my A.A.S. but then I will need two more years in school. Till then I am just working a part time job and creating content till I have the credentials I need to be able to charge people for a product.


    Anna Lee,

    You don’t need a degree, just experience doing something better than most people and the confidence to charge for it. You can do this girl! More education isn’t the answer unless it leads you to exactly where you want to be. Most often though, it just leads to a job you don’t enjoy that much and are just doing for the benefits.


    The problem is not your lack of degree, it’s your lack of confidence to ASK for the sale. You don’t need accreditation… You need confidence.

    CAN you do the job? Get creative in how To frame that, do some jobs for free, get a website going… The world can be yours!


    Question: if my business requires that people name their (health) problems and concerns, how can I help (&sell) people without personal Individual interaction?

    AnnaLee you dont need the credentials. Read the Dinnr blog mentioned. Learn as you go!


Selling gamification consultancy services that are as scalable as my time and focus is. In dire need of finding a way of generating a steady income stream while chasing after the larger and interesting projects and building relationships


Initially, when I first contacted you I had one business but now currently working two. I have a handmade soap business and I am also a registered life agent.

I have problems with finding customers and or clients. I have always been hesitate when it comes to sales but these are currently my only options for employment and I enjoy the rewards from both.

    Glen Hoddinott

    Ok, I have to ask, what on earth is a registered life agent?



I have recently purchased a new business and am struggling to get the product to market. I know it’s a great product, I know it’s reasonably priced, but getting sales is difficult. There is literally nothing else like it and I have a lot of faith in the product.

I recently did a mailout (only 134), but conversion rate was only 0.75% with an open rate of only 50%.

Not sure how to go about direct marketing.




My courses are always open (I don’t do the open cart-time pressure-close cart thing, nor do I want to). They sell decently well. But I have a list of 60K and traffic of 350K/mo, and I’m sure my products could be selling BETTER.

For the past three years, my #1 successful growth strategy was creating new courses. But now I have 12 of them, and I don’t want to keep churning out courses forever (plus, that would increase buyer confusion). So how can I increase sales of my evergreen courses, without resorting to tactics like fake deadlines/countdown pages?

Looking forward to seeing the upcoming content.


    Focus a marketing plan around promoting just one of those courses, the most popular for example. Work on getting that program out to more people. You’ve been spreading yourself thinner but haven’t been taking advantage of going deeper. There are more people out there who would benefit from your course, now you just focus on finding them. This could be through webinars, guest posting/podcasts, creating valuable freebies and promoting those in FB groups, buying FB ads to promote your free content that leads interested people to a solution that solves all their needs, etc.

    You are obviously talented and smart, you’ve done an amazing job building a list and a reach, now you just need to go deeper. Another idea, is finding someone with a compatible product and reach and cross promoting for each other.


I really enjoy and learning from these articles. My company creates Parole Packets and right now we are part time and we get our business by word of mouth and customer referrals. No website. No cards. Just referrals. I have read and read about how to generate more income and how to market but I’m still so nervous. No lie. So, I am comfortable with how we work now but I wouldn’t mind finding out how to grow without a huge risk.

Shauna Lynn

I have a business that can often depend on seasons, so I want to build up my coaching/mentoring services, and a training program that I offer, to help to supplement revenue throughout the year, and provide better cash flow especially during the slow months, but I’m struggling to get the message out there and start generating revenue. Looking forward to learning from you!

Victoria Donahue

This article is great Derek. Both articles bring up excellent points, points that many people don’t talk about. There’s so much talk about how much money people are making, how “successful” they are (trying to sell people on the dream) and not about the hard times and challenges. I think that discussion is equally, or as you’ve said, maybe even more important to be having as we tend to grow the most during our times of struggle.


We’re a team of professional consultants/freelancers who have purposely banded under a brand so that we can represent a single brand instead of many silos. In all of our industries, inside sales and referrals have been the primary selling tool and still continues to be the most effective sales tool, where inbound marketing generates less than 10% of our total client base combined. How can we put a sales process into place that bridges this gap? (We’re working on this right now, but I’m very curious as to what you might say about it.)


The sales I have are a good start but it’s time to move to a stage where they’re sufficient to support the team that fulfils them, leaving me to run rather than do the business. Been a podcast listener of yours for ages so I know I’ll be getting good stuff.


Hey Derek
You rock!! Love your simplicity in communication. It’s so helpful to both grasp what you at teaching and help me to feel that I too can simply do as you recommend.

I have yet to do my first launch. I know that I value your teachings. And I’m super pumped to learn about this!

Thank you in advance!

Julie B


I’m an energy healer, teacher and spiritual coach. I will be leaving my day job in less than 6 months. I have a website and Zippy courses that I haven’t yet used, Leadpages and Get Responses subscriptions… All the tools but no vision. I really have no plan on how to launch my business and succeed. I plan on offering online courses on self-healing and spiritual mentoring, and I have no product at the moment. Most people I know are lukewarm about alternative therapy that has no guarantee. I’m diving in regardless. What are the top 5 things I need to secure or complete now? Thanks Derek!!!


I am not making enough sales and I am extremely worried now. I give dance lessons every sunday afternoon. The dance style is called kpop. A lot of Korean singers perform in Paris and people spend 150-to180 euros tin ticket. If they alreadu have an interest in Kpop why are they not interested by what I offer. My dance classe is 35 euros per month.



    Chris – your comment caught my eye as another Kpop fan.

    I think the reason people might not be interested in your offer (from this small bit of info) is that you may be confusing people’s desire to watch hallyu idols is different from either a)wanting to be able to dance like one, and/or b) having the confidence to take a dance class.

    I might spend $60 on a concert ticket to see my favorite rock band play, but that doesn’t mean I’ll spend any money on guitar lessons…


Hi Derek
I’m loving reading your emails & posts – thank you for what you are bringing!

I have a small service business – very much one-one clients – and am looking for ways to create passive sales in that space.

But, I am also setting up a new online business with my husband – utilising all our “old” corporate skills. I love the ideas we have, think it has a huge opportunity for passive income in a space we are passionate about & bring integrity to, but I’m feeling overwhelmed thinking about how to generate online customers from scratch. I can’t use my existing client list to market to as the new business is separate & Privacy Act regulations in Australia prevent me from doing that. Hence the starting from scratch

So, long story short – I’d love to know more about building a strong supportive customer base quickly online who will then refer us on to build further 🙂



We would like our retreats to reach a national, even global audience and we are not sure how to go about doing that. One consultant offered us a internet saturation for $1500 a pop and didn’t fully explain how that worked. What are your ideas?


    Internet saturation sounds like a scam. If someone doesn’t explain to you how their marketing strategy or process works, you should find another consultant to advise you. I wouldn’t trust someone’s “proprietary” marketing tactics or “internet saturation,” unless you’re in the market for pie in the sky.


I really want to know how people keep up with all the new rules and tech ? Changes to FB ads to Google searches security updates to WP and all the plug in’s. it’s maddening. Many of my clients won’t run flash anymore I don’t blame them I just don’t know how one person can do it all.


Hi Derek,

My main issue is the technical one (not so much sales): how do I get to “catch” suscribers from a pop up window or a lead page, and then have an automated reply with the follow up and all that? (plus payment processing, etc etc). That is my main hurdle why I haven´t been able to implement a sales course, as my web is built on joomla and everything has to be done manual.


    Brittany Moore

    Have you looked at implementing mailchimp in your joomla site? If joomla isn’t working for you, I recommend switching to a different platform. Developers charge a lot of money and you can get what you need if you know the right tools to use.


My thing is a sales problem. I don’t have my clients immediately around me in my network the way people have friends and family. So I have to go find these people. I’ve gotten work before – I just wish I could “bring these people to me” (hope that doesn’t sound arrogant) a lot faster. I wish I just had an existing community of them around me already, I mean physically existing that is, would make life a lot easier.


I would like to learn on how to actually get a client. With my team we have sent a lot of emails to prospects and a lot of them get opened and they even respond positively for us asking for a free consultancy or stuff like that. But when we actually make the big offer they just do not answer anymore. We have been trying to find out where we are failing in the last part of our funnel. Any advice on how to close a sale? Thanks a lot.


People either want security help for free OR say they want security help and then won’t pay for it.

Extra points that most of my traffic comes from what look like hackers 🙂


I have a wonderful product selling Spice Packs and everyone who sees them and buys them, loves them. The problem I have is that there aren’t enough people actually buying. I need help in driving traffic to my site and converting them into sales. I can’t wait for the next instalment!


Writing copy, having a website, a sales page, a small list a product and every other component you may need isn’t too difficult to work out or even outsource where needed As standalone components most people get this.

Whats difficult for a complete newbie to intermediate is how those component pieces fit together. (i.e. What should i do first? How should i do it? Who should do it? Where do i do it? etc etc.)

This i feel is where most people are stuck and where most marketers brush over the point. (They assume)

I understand you like many started with lesser quality products and you start small scale big but imagine your sat at home in your room wanting to build an online empire, simply, what’s the next step?, then the one after that? and so on….

Think back to the very very beginning what did you ACTUALLY do step by step?


Hey Derek,

I created my mini class and got great feedback. I loved hearing what didn’t work and what did work. 80% of the people who did the class were at a 10/10 for buying the product. Now I’m finishing my $100 class, and I am about to launch it. I think I’m slowing down a little bit because it’s totally going to bum me out if it fails because I LOVE it so much and would love to keep working on it. If people don’t actually but the product like they said they would, then I’ll have to move on to something else that works. That’s what makes me sad and slow. But I have a deadline, so here goes nothing (but really everything).



Thank you so much Derek for sharing all this very, very inspiring and useful information. I’m looking forward to every newsletter coming from you, improving my thinking of marketing and sales and hopefully also my acting to reach an audience.

In our company we have the exact same problem as the anonymous writer above. We have a SaaS that is not too expensive to our users and we therefore need to sell a lot of subscriptions to make a profit. We know our service is a little bit tricky to get going with (some configuration to adjust to the needs) and we have some ideas how to improve, but, we really don’t have the money to do it. Well, we will do it anyway since we cannot leave the project like this, but it cost night hours and family relations. To find the time balance between product building/improvements and marketing is so difficult when time is just too short…The customers we have love our service so it would really be a shame not selling it to more businesses.

The question I have to you is – how can you reach an audience and make a demand for your product before it is super easy to use? I mean, the service is there to try for free 30 days, so we cannot make the trick of pretending it will soon be launched, or can we make a kind of re-launch thing building the audience in between?


I am creating a course on copywriting/ telling your story for entrepreneurs and I am getting hung up on how to funnel sales – actually way more than that – I am not sure which program to use to create and offer the whole course. Can Zippy help me with this? Thank you!



I am starting a supplement business right now and I have a private label brand. My initial plan was to sell online but I realized that my products wouldn’t move not because there’s no demand for the product itself but because there’s no demand for my brand.

I chose an industry with many competitors, however, I designed product to be perceived as high end one. Hence, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to penetrate the market with ease since price point is not an advantage for me.

Can you please give me an advise on how I’ll be able to create demand for my brand and if I am hitting the right channel.

Thank you!

    Michael Feldman

    Be careful in diving into a highly competitive market with a high-end product. If the product is expensive to make it might eat into your budget fairly quickly. Do market research first and make sure you can get potential clients, commitments or at least a pool of interested people before production.


I want to know how you research your niche’s need or desire for a new product/service.


I get stuck with the scaling part. I’m making sales for now, but I want to scale and I’m not sure how to go about it. Thanks!


I have created a ‘your money, sorted’ course that is getting fantastic feedback from all those who have completed, however I am struggling to see it. I would really appreciate learning some new tips from you.


    I have created a ‘your money, sorted’ course that is getting fantastic feedback from all those who have completed, however I am struggling to sell it. I would really appreciate learning some new tips from you.


Sales are not my strong suit. I don’t understand how to make the connection and get people interested without being pushy.


Thankfully sales are very strong in all my offerings – however, it is the process of delivering, the systematization that seems like it needs to be invented each and every time I must deliver to a new group or individual that makes me feel unstable.

I look forward to your insights,


My business is my Plan B. I still work for corporate America and no, my job does not suck the life out of me and no, I’m not quitting, yet. However, my business as a writer/yoga teacher/podcaster, etc., bother suffers and benefits from my “multipotentialite-itis.” I would love to write better emails that get people to open them. I would love to write an eCourse that sells 24/7 with little to no intervention on my part. I guess in an online world of complete and total overwhelm, I’m looking for a set of instructions that I can follow and implement in my own voice.


Looking forward to it, Derek. 🙂 I’m curious as to what you will say about writing interesting copy.


We provide a service that saves people time and money when they’re shopping for outdoors equipment. It’s retailer agnostic, so the client gets the best price for the product they need. We also do the research, eliminating the time the client spends comparing brands or retailers. Of course we think it’s a brilliant idea. We’ve solicited neutral-party feedback as well that supports our opinion.

The business is, to be blunt, slow. We get some bites, but super-low conversion. We rely on content to generate traffic and place a call to action within each post directing readers to the service page.

The service generally costs the client nothing. Are we missing opportunities by making it a free service? Do we need to make it seem valuable by charging for it? Is there another sales path that we aren’t exploring?

Thanks Derek!


I’m ready to start building!


I am afraid to sell, and do not know what to say in my copy, or in person. 🙂


How do I even begin!!!
I have ideas to test but let am not sure how much foundation needs to be laid first.
The technology requirements are the big unknowns to me.


I want to launch my product in Jan 2016 but haven’t created it yet. I know the content in my head. It’s a weight loss info product.

I’m turning my coaching into a course. I don’t know if I should pre-sell heavily discounted from now for my current (very small) list.

I just don’t want to launch and get 0 sales.


I am at the stage of prototyping my physical product idea, and I am coming to the realization that validating the demand for this product is rather important. I would really like to learn more about how to do this… How to sell people on something that doesn’t even exist yet.

Eddy Baller

No concerns in particular, but looking forward to see the new content.


I am scared to get started with my email newsletter because I keep comparing myself to the awesome-geniuses that I get emails from and have no idea how to create that level of powerful content. I want my first one to be perfect…so I haven’t sent one out at all in the year I’ve been in business.


Hi Derek – I started my site a few months ago and have a very small email list. I need to figure out how to grow my list. I am wondering if I need to have a broader domain name so I can cover more topics. Thoughts? Thanks!

Richard Ford

Hi Derek,

Thank you for the e-mail. I have been dealing with a couple prospective clients, that ended up flaking out on the appointment/sale. If you have insights to this, I am all ears!

I’ve determined that for me to play my cards right, I will keep working my part-time gigs, while prospecting for yet new clients. I can only see those failures as opportunities to get better.




I have a product that the companies that use it love. However I have a very hard time getting new prospects to look at it even though I know they could use it and it fits in their budget. Obviously, my marketing is not getting the right message to those prospects but I don’t know how to reach these people to get their attention. Any ideas?


I’m working on creating a new online course that’s already been validated, and I’m really interested in a step by step process specifically for launching, starting with an email list of zero.


Plenty of people need and want the high-quality services that we provide, but finding funding sources and people who can afford the services is very difficult. How can I find more of the decision makers and convince them to provide this valuable treatment option to their communities?


For a couple years I worked on promoting the information an websites I had knowledge in. I made videos wrote blog post an spend hundreds of hours and got nowhere. I subscribed to every Internet gurus email finding most of it was outdated incomplete info.
It seems every successful YouTube and Facebook program has the same format an is managed by the same marketing company out of California.
I tried to manage all the info coming in about lead pages and split test and found that only a team of marketers could manage that kind of campaign.
Facebook ads had to be the most frustrating.
I started to wonder if even the most popular ads generated anything more than attention. Everyone is so use to getting everything on the net for free.
I have valuable information about health, lifestyle, and business that I know could help a lot of people.
Figuring out the platform and “triggers” has been daunting. I could literally walk out on the street an talk to people personally an generate more business in an hour than spend a couple months on the Internet. ??? Am I the only one or is this 99% of entreneurs trying to use the net to advertise??? Daniel


I am in the training business. I offer internationally accredited NLP and coaching courses in Eastern Europe and every year I struggle to get enough participants, and when I get them, almost every single one wants a discount, wants to pay in gazillions instalments and even though people who go through my courses have amazing breakthroughs they keep it to themselves and do very little I. Terms of spreading the news and doing a bit of word of mouth marketing.Every year, out of desperation of having too few people on the course, I invite friends and acquaintances for FREE just to fill in the empty chairs! The product I offer is amazing, unique and people pay me compliments for it, but when it comes to commuting and buying it, they are nowhere to be seen!
Thank you!


Hi Derek I’m interested in writing emails that get opened. Thanks so much for your help 😀


I have a great vision, well-trained staff, and well-honed services in the spa industry, but we just cant seem to generate enough clients walking through the door, even though we have a big social media presence and working on the organic website SEO. Our services are a good value for the quality and are more high-end. We make sure everything is as professional as it can be, but until we get people in the door, they wouldn’t know how great we are.


I’d like to learn copy and how to launch a new online coarse. I like the honest and realistic approach you take and look forward to more insight. Thanks!


Selling what people want…. Absolutely! I feel stuck at what to pick and then get overwhelmed by the idea of presenting it right the first time or…. I don’t know…something bad will happen like no sales.

I have a talent for speaking and acting. I take pretty good pictures and I have noticed I can spot trends before they go big. But none of this seems good enough to succeed or stand out in any market. Lots of people are good at what I’m good at too. How do you know what niche to pick and then go for it?



Hi Derek,

I have a similar problem to the writer who posted above. I am writing a memoir. I can’t come up with an idea to sell. I don’t want to provide writing instruction. But I’d like to develop an idea from my memoir to create a platform. How can I go about this?



I am a Younique presenter. My first month I did awesome. This month I have sold nothing. My upline is ignoring me because she is bringing on so many new recruits. I don’t have support I need to grow. I’ve worked in the insurance industry since 14, and now 27 yrs old being laid off I’m trying this. I need help with selling


Hey Derek,

Here’s my problem. We are a global database vendor and we have more than 32 Million B2B records and over 250 Million B2C Contacts, based on different demographics across the world. With a history of over 10 years in the B2B marketing offering services of providing targeted email lists, email campaign, digital marketing, company profiling, SEO, MPO etc.

I’ve done a lot of research but couldn’t reach my prospects who will be needing these kind of services. To say it in a simple manner, i am finding difficulties in Lead generation.

I want to hit a big in sales. Please suggest me something which helps me to drive some leads into my inbox.


We are having a couple of issues:

1. We have a membership product that is fairly cheap, so we have to sell A LOT of them. We have some methods that sell some, but the growth isn’t as rapid as we would like. Part of the issue is that our product is very valuable to a good number of people, we just aren’t sure what the MOST EFFECTIVE way to reach those people is (note that we do know how to reach them, we just don’t know if the methods we are using are as efficient or as effective as something else.)

2. We are struggling with the balance between product development and marketing. Our product, as it stands today, has value to a number of people, even if those people are a little bit hard to find. However, one of our problems is that the memberhsip isn’t really easy or intuitive to use. Even when people sign up for a free or paid membership, they often don’t use it. We think it is because it is not as intuitive as it could be, but we can only speculate about how to make it more intutive. We tried polling our members, offering a prize, but we didn’t get much of a response. Basically, the meat and potatoes of the product are there, but it doesn’t function in a compelling way, and we think that is holding us back from converting people into long term members. I would say, while it is very possible for our members to more value out of it than what they paid for it, very few of them do.


I’m a writer – i.e. a starving artist – and I want to create a course to become my main income source.

I can’t for the life of me think of where to start. I don’t solve a PROBLEM for people; I create fiction!

I don’t want to go down the road of marketing to my peers (a course on writing), but how do I figure out what my product could be when I don’t help people with their pain in my work?


    Thanks for the input, Jane and Victoria. I’ll brainstorm 🙂

    Victoria Donahue

    Yes, to what Jane has mentioned. Why not a course in writing or developing stories? You tell stories. And I think that/s so important especially for entrepreneurs. People/prospects want to hear stories, they want to be entertained and feel connected to the person who’s blog they’re reading, or service they’re buying.

    Jane Grey

    Why not market a course on writing? People who need it aren’t really your peers – they’re a step or more behind you on the path. What are you good at? Idea generating? Plot development? Dialogue? What comes easy to you about writing, or anything else? Other people’s pain is often about something that is simply difficult or tedius for them — but if it’s easy for you, teach it in an online course and they will be glad to pay you for it. Good luck!


I’d like to see more information on how to find out where your audience is online, and case studies or examples of tracking them down through research.

Steven Schragis

If you go to our our website (www.onedayu.com) you’ll see we partner with 24 different major newspapers – and that has generated significant sales (ie registrations).
But despite a few years of trying, have never found any other cost effective methods to generate sales…

Steven Schragis
One Day University


Okay Derek, here’s my problem. I have little trouble selling my business plan services to clients at $3000-$4000 (no, that’s not the problem).

But as part of my business plan writing service, I also give out a ton of valuable business knowledge in the process. And my clients love it – that’s where they get huge value. For a long time I’ve thought about how I could impart this knowledge and business planning advice to people who don’t have thousands of dollars to hire me to write a business plan for them, or would rather do it themselves. But most of my product and course attempts have failed quite spectacularly.

I’ve done a lot of research and surveyed my audience multiple times but nothing I’ve produced for them has been a hit. I really want to help a larger group of people and scale my business beyond the one-on-one.

I want to launch a big hit, finally. What are your tips for starting over (again)?


    Would love to see your answer to Jessica’s question too!

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