Eyes Wide Shutter

I’ve never noticed exactly how much vegetation actually bursts out in blossoms here on the coast, in May.

It’s amazing: the colours, the shapes, the sheer tenacity of things clinging to the side of a rock, broiling in blistering heat – yet flowering.

One reason I started to notice could be that it was only last year that I developed a habit of going for walks.

But that wouldn’t really make sense – I did go out often enough, just never noticed.

Maybe this year I noticed because I walk different routes, instead of to the supermarket and back.

Or, it could be because I started experimenting, taking photos.

It’s really odd though:

It’s not just the flowers.

It’s the very way I look at the world – it’s changing.

The more I look for views and details that inspire me to whip out my phone and snap a shot, the more I see things.

Shapes. Colours. Lines. Spaces. Harmony.

It’s very different these days, to walk along the beach or through the narrow streets.

Quite a beautiful experience.

So yeah, I um, I’ve decided I want to be an artist.

And no: while there’s no sane person in the world who would say Martin is devoid of arrogance, I’m not about to call myself a photographer. I know my place.

Nor do I have the inclination to become one, or learn what it takes.

All I want to do is develop a habit of looking, of seeing in a different way, and to record things that inspire me.

In other words, I’m giving myself permission to not be a pro, and to not sell.

I’m doing this for its own sake, for my own enjoyment, and for the one or two people who might come across a pic on Twitter and say ‘Hey, nice one’.

Maybe one day I’ll give myself permission to become Really Very Good.

Permission to sell.

But not today.

Today I just want to enjoy the process, notice the scenery.

Smell the flowers.

I have permission for just that without anything more.

Just like you have permission to not sell, and to simply enjoy making art.

You don’t HAVE to sell.

But if you want to, and if you want to be successful, you have permission for that too.

Question is, are you willing to learn to love selling and marketing and being in business as an artist?

What’s that?

You are?

Hey now, then why not LEAP? –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

Act With Confidence: Let Me Show You How It's Done

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Scaffolding of the next LEAP, ready to fill in…

Last night, Jimmy and I did a little test drive for this week’s upcoming call, during which I’ll answer questions from last week’s survey.

I found it… difficult.

Unnerving, actually.

I mean, usually I’m not easily lost for words.

But with a camera staring at me, it wasn’t quite the same.

I felt self-conscious: aware of my um’s and ah’s, my stammering, my looking off-screen while thinking…

Not at all the kind of ‘professional webinar’ type stuff that other people make.

And if it were completely up to me, I’d probably skip it and write something instead.

But, that takes a lot of time (just the 16 pages of LEAP take anywhere from 5 to 8 days each month).

And I just don’t want you to wait until I have enough time for that.

Besides, my intention isn’t to produce a highly polished, professional looking, semi-informational-but-50%-sales-pitch event for you.

I want to answer your questions, as many as I can, as fast as I can.

So with the help of Jimmy I’m just going to go ahead and do it, whether I’m confident or not.

Whether I feel like it, or not.

And to be completely honest, I don’t 100% feel like it.

But guess what?

That matters nought.

So to make sure I actually do it, I’m telling you about it in advance.

What can I say? I know myself…

Anyway, that will be next Friday.

Will I answer all questions?

Probably not, since we have one hour but I have 15+ pages of questions.

Besides, I simply don’t know all the answers. Nobody does.

But anything that I can answer, I will.

And whether I feel confident that it’ll turn out right, I’ll do what Seth Godin preaches:

Ship it. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, go here to get on board LEAP in time –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/
Only a few days left to get the email marketing instructional…

Cheers,

Martin

What's Love Got to Do With It? (Oh, the Things I Don't Know)

If you ask a biologist, love is a biochemical reaction that maintains species.

A neurochemical process to do with hormones and instinct.

If you ask a religious believer, he or she will tell you it’s God.

Ask a philosopher and he’ll ponderously expound on themes such as existence, humanity, and truth.

If you ask a psychologist, they’ll likely tell you it’s emotions.

Ask a linguist and he’ll tell you it’s a socio-semantic construct.

And if you ask me…

You get no answer.

I’d just smile at you, most probably.

Because for all my years of introspection and meditation…

Despite having ‘fallen in love’ many times – with women, with life, with meditation, with music, and most recently with art…

I just have no clue what it is, what it means, what it’s for, or when it’s real.

No idea.

But I do know one thing: if you do love, or if you are in love – act on it.

This life is too short to shield ourselves, or to hide our emotions, or to play safe.

Be brazen, be audacious – be in love.

Like Brendon Burchard likes to say: “Live openly, love fully, and make a difference”.

Today, I wish for someone special to show up and express their love for you.

Peace.

Martin

One thing useful to fall in love with? Daily email-writing.

Help here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Alright, FINE. I'll start drawing

Many are the times that I’ve been told that I should start drawing.

A few times in my life, I’ve tried.

Most all of the time, what I created was pretty bad.

Each time I’d draw a person, it would invariably look like it was made out of wood.

And so, I’d stow away my charcoal, or Indian Ink, or pencils, and move on to Things I’m Good At.

Like writing, or making suits, or building stuff in the monastery.

But you artist lot, you just won’t leave me alone.

Every so often, an artist will come at me and say that I should, that I’d enjoy it, that I might actually even become good at it.

Obviously I rejected those ideas, but you know what?

Sometimes good advice should be followed.

Especially if it’s from someone you trust.

Last week on the weekly consulting call I have with Irish artist Jimmy Kelly, he too started laying the hurt on me.

And by golly, after a year of working with him, he’s sure become persuasive.

So I relented.

I’ve started sketching.

And you know what?

I actually enjoy it.

Happy now, Jimmy?

No, I’m not showing it.

I’m just practising for now, this is for me and not for showing.

Next year, who knows. But right now, not yet.

Anyway, I’m glad he pushed me to it.

‘sFun.

And as far as advice goes, and picking up a new habit, may I just proffer you some solid advice of my own?

As in: write a daily email and send it to your people.

If you practice a bit, it gets fun. And easy.

And it gets you sales, if you do it right.

And I’ll help you if you want –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers,

Martin

Do You Have Any Idea How Important You Are?

To me? You’re the world.

Without you, I wouldn’t have any reason to do this work.

Without people who create art, in whatever way, I’d still be stuck writing sales copy for people selling e-books about dog training and whatnot.

“Hey Martin, we’re developing the ultimate Facebook killer! Can you write copy for us?”

Sigh. Very glad those days are over.

If it weren’t for you, the person whose mission it is to make a dent in the universe with the creations that you feel matter, I’d have nothing.

No audience, no readership, no business.

It’s by virtue of you giving me permission to send you daily updates that I have a reason to vigorously rub my hands together each morning, while firing up my brain with the question:

“What can I possibly say that just may shine a light in their day?”

You are important, you matter a lot.

You are my sine qua non.

And I thank for for reading me.

Cheers,

Martin

P.s. If you want to learn how to write emails like a pro in less than 30 minutes daily, consider my writing mentorship program.

Your mind will change, as will your business; your readers will thank you, and yes, they’ll buy from you.

Details here –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

"Are You Doing Anything Fun This Christmas Eve?" (The Answer is Not What You Think)

“Not really, just…“

I paused and thought for a moment: “Yes. I’ll be on Twitter”.

No my friend, I’m not a social outcast: I just like being alone.

Besides, I don’t have any special feelings about the event.

I remember as a kid, it used to be a duty, getting dragged along each year.

And I can still see myself in the doorway of the living room in my grandparent’s house.

Aunts and uncles in the overcrowded room, one next to the other, on chairs brought in from upstairs and the garden.

And I’d have to go greet each one of them, one by one.

Uncles would smell of cigars.

Aunts would have a prickly chin or a scary mole when I leaned over to kiss them a greeting.

Fun times. *shudders*

Anyway, I could say I was traumatised, but my therapist assures me I really am over it now, and pats me comfortingly on the back while handing me the invoice.

Point is, I just enjoy being alone, and for me Christmas is pretty much a day like any other.

For others though, it’s not the same.

Some people would absolutely love to spend time with family and friends, but aren’t, for one reason or another.

And I find it painful to think how badly that must hurt, on a day like this.

So the other day on Twitter, I asked myself: “What about those people? How must they be feeling? What will they be doing tonight and tomorrow?”

Then: “What can I possibly do, in my own small little way, to make a difference?”

Because making a difference is what I’m here for.

So I invented the hashtag #XmasSolo, with the purpose of hopefully finding and connecting with a few people who do wish for some company, but don’t have any.

People who would like to see something other than the constant retweets and ‘buy my stuff’.

Can I actually make a difference?

Who knows.

If I can make one person smile, I consider it mission accomplished.

But if you’ll help me, it might be two. Or three.

So if you’re in the mood for some giggles, and you want to make a nice friendly gesture, hit me up on Twitter: https://twitter.com/martinstellar

Use the hashtag #XmasSolo, and retweet with that hashtag whenever you see me or someone else tweet something warm and caring.

Together, we just might shine a tiny ray of light into the day of a few people.

See you on Twitter?

Merry Christmas,

Martin

Lucky I Didn't Get Married, and Why Some Sales Just Aren't Right

Before this day is out, my oldest and best friend will be married.

But I won’t be his best man.

I won’t even be present.

It’s not because he’s getting married to my ex-girlfriend.

She and I split up years ago, and the flame has gone very out, long ago.

It’s not because I wasn’t invited – to my great surprise, he did invite me.

Nor is it because I’m afraid that her family will await me with pitchforks and shotguns.

Though I do admit that I’d feel slightly concerned about having to face her mother.

Then again, my ex and I messed things up together, both of us. There’s nothing that I’m particularly guilty of.

Problem is, the invitation only came last week and tickets are hideously expensive just before Xmas.

Besides, I’m busy, I’ve got work to do and LEAP to write – I can’t just take a week of, spur of the moment.

Not that I mind: I’m not a big fan of weddings.

But I would have liked to see this one – it’s the first time my friend gets married.

First time she gets married too (yeah I narrowly escaped that dance).

Well, better him than me: I’m thoroughly enjoying my current state as a bachelor.

Anyway.

What does this have to do with your business?

Not much, other than that there’s a lot to be said for choosing carefully.

She and I – we just weren’t a good match.

And some prospects, well they’d be a bad match for you as well.

It’s easy to grab any sale you can, but sometimes you should decline.

Like yesterday: The owner of a fashion website in Australia gets in touch with me.

They lack conversion, and can I give them consulting?

Well sure I can.

But before booking them, I go to their site and have a look.

Nothing glaringly wrong, nothing that tells me why their visitors aren’t converting.

So I could easily close the sale and get a few hours of my time sold – but should I?

No, of course not. Not unless I know for a fact that I can solve their problem.

Not before I know more, not until I actually know what the problem is, and how to fix it.

Because if I can’t solve a problem for someone, I’ve nothing to sell.

And that’s what I consider ethical marketing.

Getting that sale would be easy, but I need more data first.

We’re in business to solve problems, so that people pay us for the solution.

Not the other way round.

Anyway, I’m off, I’ve got a Saturday to enjoy.

If you’re not getting enough conversions either, and you know that there’s conversion strategy missing on your site, go here to get a custom conversion customisation report –>
http://martinstellar.com/convert-your-site-into-a-conversion-machine/

Cheers,

Martin

Get Rid of Those Stinky Curtains Already

My friend the interior designer is going great guns.

She launched her site, put on an optin form, started calling people.

Next, she placed an ad somewhere online.

Comes into my office, all excited: My ad is live!

So I had a look.

It started with the headline: Interior designer

Next, it went: x years of experience, I can do your home, your office, your bedroom and living room…

So I told her: nobody’s going to care what you can do.

They don’t want to know that you’re an interior designer.

They want to know what you can do for *them*

You want to get straight in there, and with your headline give them an unmistakable, compelling reason to read the body text.

I don’t know, maybe something like: “Are you sick and tired of those old curtains?”

Or: “Isn’t it time to get rid of those smoke-stained curtains?”

Or: “Tell me, how bored are you with your home’s interior?”

It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you hit the painpoints.

Rub salt in the wound. Tell them that yes, there’s a fix for furniture dating back the the 1990’s.

And then, only then, do you tell them that you are that fix.

So in the body copy, why not say: “What if you could gift yourself a new home, this Christmas?”

She’ smart, she got the point instantly.

Trundled off to her laptop, and clickity clickity tap.

20 Minutes later she comes back, flustered an blushing: “I think maybe I overdid it”.

I looked, and what I saw was great: A proper ad, one that identifies a problem, aggravates it, and then offers a solution.

And, very important, one that didn’t end in ‘Call me’.

Instead she took the ‘incremental yes’ approach, the way I’d explained it to her.

Meaning, she invited people to click on over to her site.

People do that, it’s a yes.

If they then sign up, it’s another yes.

They read her daily emails, more yesses.

Until they take the next step, the bigger yes: Let’s get in touch.

Of course she has it easy: she’s got me helping her every day – we’re close friends and have been for years.

I can’t do that for everyone, but what I can do is take my pen to your copy – ads or website or what have you.

And then I fix it, and you get it back looking like a million bucks.

More information here –> http://www.martinstellar.com/special-offer-exlusive-to-subscribers/

Cheers,

Martin

Selling Time vs Selling Solutions + a Way to Sell More at Better Rates

Most of us creatives, we tend to make a fundamental mistake when deciding how to price our product or service.

We tend to base our rates on the number of hours it takes us to do our work, multiplied by what should be our hourly rate.

On the surface it might make sense, but there are several problems with this.

For one thing, the hourly rate should compensate for the overhead, and especially for many the unbillable hours that go into running a business.

And those add up quickly – which means that if you don’t factor in those hours, you end up like a hamster in a treadmill, running frantically doing client work just so you can keep paying the bills.

I’m sure you’ve seen that hamster in your neighbourhood.

But then there’s another problem: People aren’t interested in buying your time – they want to buy a solution to a problem.

Could be the problem is ‘need content written for my site’, or ‘just can’t find a painting to go with my living room interior’, or ‘need a reliable web designer’, for example.

So if you base your rates on your hours (or worse: charge by the hour), you’re generally attracting people who are looking to get value for money.

When actually, you’d be much better of working with people who have a pressing, urgent, bothersome problem they want solved.

That type of buyer isn’t looking to get value for their dollar: they want a solution that works, and they are willing to pay good money for it.

That’s the kind of buyer who’ll pay what you’re really worth.

And then there’s another benefit: people value and appreciate a purchase more if they paid more money for it.

That’s been tested over and over again and the findings are consistent: The more people pay, the more satisfied they tend to be.

So by charging higher rates everybody gets better: You earn more which enables you do to your work better and deliver more value, you filter out the people who are only looking for a bargain, and by virtue of that, those who do buy are more inclined to be satisfied.

Now of course, it might not be easy to pull off.

It takes explaining, and building trust, and some ethical persuasion before you can charge – and earn – what your work is really worth.

Which means that if you run an online business, you need professionally written sales copy to get people to know, like, and trust you enough to pay you well.

But, very likely, you’re not a copywriter.

Of course you could hire one, but the good ones tend to be pretty expensive – I sure was, back when I used to take client work.

So here’s a possible solution: Starting today, I’m offering you a way to get the same persuasive, high-conversion copy I used to sell at $600 or more per page, for just a fraction of the cost.

If you’re willing to invest less than 100 dollar in selling more of your work and at better rates, then I’ll cast my sales voodoo over your salespage.

If you’ve taken the trouble to write one, and it’s alright but not converting well enough, then I’ll fix it.

Here’s how it works: At just $95, I’ll fix your salescopy, up to 500 words, within a week.

If you’ve got visitors but they’re not converting…

If you’ve got a solution for people that you know they need…

And if you want to corner more sales from the traffic you receive…

Then I’ll help you make it happen.

Send me an email at martinstrella@gmail.com, include a link to your salespage, and let’s see if we can fix that puppy.

Cheers,

Martin

The Mindset, the Strategies and the Attitudes That You Need If You Want to Make it

Alright, today’s the final, final day to register for LEAP 6 – the Bushido Issue.

Meaning, the one that outlines the mindsets, attitudes and behaviours that will make you pretty much unbreakable in business.

Which is why I liken this one to Bushido – the Japanese ‘way of the warrior’, as applied to your being in business.

Here’s what’s in it:

* A mind-work trick I learned 20 years ago as a meditation exercise, called ‘spacesuit’ and which I recently discovered, enabled Victor Frankl to survive a nazi concentration camp

* How the thoughts and opinions you put into your mind – friends, books, media and so on – have a direct correlation with your everyday reality

* Or, as Pablo Neruda said it: Remember that your present is the consequence of your past, just as your future is the consequence of your present

* Why you MUST make time to work ON your business instead of only IN your business – and ways to do it without reducing your income

* How making that shift in your routines brings in MORE income instead of less

* The massive power of habits and even rituals – as told by an ex-monk who’s been there and done it – but in ways you can apply it whether you’re religious or not. Psychology, baby!

* How imposing specific limitations on yourself brings enormous freedom

* How one simple practice can free up endless amounts of creativity. You’ll be unstoppable if you just put this into practice

* The three things you MUST have in your days if you want to grow your business

* How to use setbacks and frustrations as tools for progress instead of put-downs

* The dangers of believing everything you read and how to distinguish between detrimental / uplifting topics and sources

* Why all of us are as tame as a circus elephant (true fact), and ways to break free into what you’re meant to be

* How to use the principle of osmosis on your mind in order to reach success, and how foregoing using that notion guarantees (I mean that extremely literally) frustration and failure

* How taking ridiculously small steps – so small that even the biggest procrastinating excuse-maker can not avoid doing them – is a tested and proven way to change your life

And so, so much more.

And if you’re not sure I know what I’m talking about, consider what my friend Juana says:

“Martin is a lucid writer, brilliant, capable of making the psychological fundamentals of sales and business something simple, within reach of all of us. Martin tells us captivating stories, filled with useful advice and strategies, which, in most cases, are supported by psychological science.”

~ Juana Chinchilla Calera, PhD in psychology and philosophy

If you’ve been struggling to get ahead, if events bring you down, or if sometimes you simply don’t know if you’re ever going to make it, you want this one.

Remember: Your subscription comes with daily email access to me, and if the price is a concern: it’s worth it.

Besides, I won’t complain if you get just this issue and then cancel – though it’s likely you’ll stay on for more. Just so you know there’s very little risk.

Anyway, just a few hours left…

Access  here: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Cheers,

Martin

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