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Learning to Sell: The Beginning

A few months ago I was talking to my friend Tony, a video producer.  He said his business was going well but he’s relying too much on his former company referring him business and has no idea how to generate business for himself.  Since I am interested in marketing and selling, I told him I would market his services for him with a 30% cut.  He agreed.

I started off as clueless as he was.  I knew that marketing required segmenting the population, and really zoning in on the target niche.  However, almost anyone with a product or service could benefit from video production.  My assumptions were that those who demanded video production services didn’t need much convincing, but I had no idea how to find these people.

I posted in Sebastian Marshall’s community section and someone commented that while he (the commenter) was working as a web developer, clients told him that they needed these services.  This gave me an idea.

I could target the middleman, the people whose clients may demand my services:  marketing agencies, graphic design agencies, and web development agencies.

Lucky for me, I had already located an example email script.  I pulled the email script from Ramit Sethi’s book, “Finding Your First Profitable Idea” and tweaked the wording. 

Lessons Learned from the Firestorm of Controversy

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Two days ago I wrote the Genius and Tragedy post. It was extremely controversial - very popular on one hand, but got some very strong visceral negative reactions. I'd like to share with you what I've learned about writing, so I can step my game up and improve. Also, I got some downright hateful comments made about me, some really bad and terrible stuff. If this has never happened to you, maybe you don't know what it feels like, and I've got some advice on how to deal with it. I also did some detailed reading and analysis of the kinds of comments I got, and there was some fascinating results that I'll share.

So, first and foremost, I made a mistake - If you're writing to help someone, it can be pretty presumptuous to do it without touching base and clearing it with them first. I made that error for a few reasons - first, two of my best posts have come from the same format, and both achieved their desired objective. ("How do I write so much, you ask?" and "I think greatness is something you do, not something you are" both publicly called people I like out - and both times it worked) - so that's the first thing, I'd had a good track record with this, however those were people I'd been touching base with already.

Second, as a general principal I believe in working really quickly. I analogize it to "fighting out of formation" - quick, lightly edited writing is always worse than well-edited best practices. But, the more you do of it, the better you get at it. And by producing anything really quickly, you get better faster. If someone produces 10 times as much content, how long until their lightly edited work is superior to the other person's highly polished work? This isn't a rhetorical question - check out "Quantity Always Trumps Quality" on codinghorror.com sometime. If you produce quickly and of lower quality at first, you can iterate and improve, and eventually your quick production work is better than the obsessively refined person's work who isn't getting as much done (and thus not learning the lessons). Pablo Picasso talked about this quite a bit, if you're particularly interested on the topic.

The downside, of course, is that you make mistakes. And I did - I should've touched base before writing that post, or had it vetted, or at least, spent more time editing it to be clear, concise, and unambiguous, and even more polite. Mea culpa - my mistake! It's okay for me to work quickly and bring errors upon myself because of it, but I need to be more careful when involving others.

Then, why is that post still up? This is what I wrote as the episode was winding down, it was well-received by the community -

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