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, include a link to your salespage, and let’s see if we can fix that puppy.



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:



How to Woo Yourself and Seduce Your Mind Into Achieving More Success

Let’s say one day you fall in love, but the other person, sadly, just doesn’t notice you, doesn’t consider you a candidate.

How would you go about ‘getting’ them?

You could try to get them drunk, but that’s hardly a way to start a relationship.

You could try to pull all kinds of dating and seduction tricks, but then they’d fall for persuasion and not for you.

Or, you could simply commit to your mission, to be recognised by the other as someone worth a chance.

And so you’d show up, time and time again – not to be pushy, but just to be relentlessly committed.

Small actions: a smile, helping out with something, making a compliment.

Over and over again, until finally, the person has no choice but to take another look at you, and go: “Huh, she’s actually quite nice. Maybe yeah, why not have a coffee”.

I’ve seen it work: This girl I see in town: I’ve found her attractive for the last 8 years, and she never gave me anything but a long face.

But I just kept saying hello, a smile here and there… and this year, she started smiling back at me – and not in any small way.

Of course by that time I’d switched back into celibacy mode, but still.

More proof?

My first ever girlfriend, when I was a wee little Stellar – I was madly in love with her for years.

Two whole years, we’d rehearse the words for the school plays, always at a safe distance.

Until finally she fell into my arms, and many months were spent, mutually madly in love.


It works.

What does this have to do with your mind, and your success?

Well, with synchronicity running at full speed, Brendan Burchard just launched a new book and a training course, to teach people how to excel, be motivated, to achieve what they’re made for.

And guess what the first thing is that he tells us we need?

Small, strategic, and very persistent actions and changes in behaviour and mindset.

Which just so happens, is exactly the same thing that I’ll be teaching you in the next issue of LEAP.

That is, if you want to get out of the ‘here’, and get ‘there’.

If you know that you’re made for more, that there’s more achievement, happiness, fulfilment and success waiting in you, then let this ole’ ex-monk tell you that the way to get there is by committing to very simple, very manageable changes in your daily routine.

You take a simple set of attitudes and behaviours, and you commit to putting them into practice daily.

Things that take hardly any time, but that over time compound to a huge transformation in your mind and your life.

That way, you woo and seduce your own subconscious into more productivity and creativity and achievement than you thought possible.

The kind of stuff you’ve always known should be part of your life, you just didn’t know how to get there.

Read LEAP #6, and you’ll know.

Put the teachings in there into practice, and you’ll see the changes happen, day after day after day.

And I’ll be there to help you along, with the 5-minute email direct access for questions.

Want to grow, achieve, perform, excel?

Let me show you how –>



A Disappointing Experience, and Why the Starving Artist Myth is Alive and Kicking

Back in the days when I was still a tailor, I used to get good results  by participating on forums.

I’d got to places where people talked about good dress, how to choose a tailor, how to knot a tie, and I’d chip in with my two cents.

Being (wassing?) somewhat of a skilled tailor, people liked me showing up, and over time my reputation grew.

Folks would click on the link in my signature and some would join my list.

That’s a good strategy, btw: for one thing, each time you comment on a forum, there’s another backlink to your site.

And, if you truly do know your stuff, you do get the clicks.

So last week I figured I’d do the same thing, but this time for artists.

With the intention to provide free help, in return for some extra visibility.

So I signed up on a forum, filled out my profile, and happily started commenting on question threads in the business and marketing section.

In the morning, there was an email from a moderator: According to their policy, the site is non-commercial, and linking from a signature to a page that offers something for sale is not allowed.

Fair enough – policy exists for a reason.

But it was the general feel of it – the “Eew, a marketer in our midst – how gross” kind of thing I sensed.

Had a quick exchange with the moderator who seemed to understand that I was there to deliver value to the community, and he suggested I contact an administrator.

So I did, and proposed that I could write a weekly instructional article and post it, but on the condition I could use a byline such as ‘if you’d like tips like these delivered to your inbox, I invite you to visit my site and sign up’.

No reply.

Now, I understand that it doesn’t fit within their plans, that the site is truly and only for artists congregating to talk about their art.

But that does mean they aren’t doing artists any favours.

There’s no merit in getting together with fellow sufferers just so you can bemoan the poor state of the industry.

Besides, I agree that there’s a lot of bad marketing out there, but let me ask you: How does anyone sell anything, if there’s not some form of promotion or marketing happening?

Marketing is what enabled Winsor and Newton to still produce paint.

Marketing is what enabled Steve Jobs to revive Apple and bring us the iPad.

Marketing is what failed when Kodak bit the dust.

There is no economy without marketing.

Oh wait, you mean people should hire you or buy from you, just because of the quality of your work, and the pretty blue of your eyes?

Yeah, good luck with that.

But there’s a bigger problem: If you go and hang out with people who are having the same problems as you have, you’re each feeding each other the same Kool-aid.

Telling each other that people just don’t spend money on art.

“I know! It’s terrible!”

And you all feel so connected, in your misery and frustration.

Look, if you have a problem and you want it solved, you seek out people who have been there and who know the answers.

The worst possible thing you could do is sit and get into daily bouts of navel staring and shared pity.

If you want to learn maths, or chess, or bridge – do you go and hang out with people who are at your level?

Of course not.

You find someone better than you, you thrill them with your insatiable appetite to learn and improve, and they reward you by teaching you how it’s done.

If you’re smart and if you do actually really want change and improvement.

There’s a few days left to sign up for LEAP.

And if you do want change, this November issue is going to give you a whole slew of ways that you can benefit from the experience and authority of others, most of it for free.

Get on board here –>



This Might Be a Really Bad Idea

Then again, it might be exactly the thing I need to do.

See, I’m not very good at asking for help.

Sure, I’ll ask a friend to help me with my site, or to give me a tip on something they know more about than I do.

But actually coming out and saying: “I don’t know where to go next. I need some help”.

That kind of thing – yeah, um… Stupid pride in the way.

But I’m not a rock, not an island.

And asking for help is important.

You should do it.

So should I.

And, I should practice what I preach.

So here we go:

I need some help guys.

I need to get more traffic to my site, so that I can get more subscribers on my list.

So that, in the end, I can sell more LEAP subscriptions.

Because hey, the subscribers that I do have all are raving about how much it helps them.

LEAP changes lives. You can check that for yourself on the page I just linked o.

Which means it’s my mission – nay, my duty to get it in front of more people.

But over the last year, I’ve done very little to grow my list.

I’ve tried a few things, but nothing has made a substantial difference.

Not sure where to invest in paid traffic.

The guest posts I’ve submitted either went dud (that one Liz Strauss published for me got a round 0 traffic to my site – while it wasn’t a bad piece at all), or they got stuck in revisions, or they were accepted but simply never published.

Tried my hand at an artist’s forum last week, only to hear something like ‘no commercial activities here’. (While actually I was trying to be helpful there, and I wasn’t selling anything.

Thought about doing solo ads, but that’s a shady industry and I don’t know how to choose someone who’s actually worth the money.

Twitter: I used to love going there, but these days it seems nobody is actually being social anymore – it’s all link link link, share retweet and share retweet.

Facebook? Blegh.

Adwords? Way too technical for me.

Podcast – that was recommended a s a good way to build a reputation and attract traffic.

But on my own, running a podcast and keeping it up every week is too big a task.

So I just don’t know right now.

I need some help.

Got any ideas?

Want to lend a hand?

Let me know if you do…

Much appreciated..



The Customer Isn’t a Moron – The Customer is Your Wife

Thus spake David Ogilvy, one of the most famous advertising professionals, and one of the original Madison Avenue Mad Men.

A customer isn’t a moron, and if they are you should do everything you can to NOT sell to that person.

Someone who buys for the wrong reasons won’t be a happy customer.

I’m writing this because I just watched a video by Derek Halpern of Socialtriggers fame, where he quoted Ogilvy.

Smart dude, that Derek.

Bit shouty, but hey. Good solid thinking.

‘Cept, he keeps saying that if you persistenty ask people to buy, you’re doing it wrong.

I’d like to take a moment to disagree in the strongest possible terms.

One of his arguments is that you should ask for a sale when you think the prospect is ready to buy, and only then.

So I wonder how that works.

Does it require us to be clairvoyant, so as to know when?

Seems a bit difficult, if you ask me.

Look, I don’t want to stomp on Derek. He’s a good dude.

I learn a lot from him.

But in this, I just can’t agree with him.

For one thing: What if today someone is ready to buy, but you don’t ask?

Guy sits at home, he’s got the money available, he’s wanted to buy for a while, but just never got around to it.

If that day you don’t ask for a sale, there’s a good chance he won’t buy.

If you do ask, however, it might just be the perfect timing – and ka-ching will ensue.

My point with this: carefully consider advice before you follow any.

Including my advice, and including this advice.


What he says is true, but only in the context of the idiots he rants against.

According to his video, going “Content, and oh, please buy this” repeatedly, is dumb.

And yep, if your ‘content’ is a flimsy bit of pseudo-information, only there to serve as an excuse to throw a pitch at people, you’re doing it wrong.

But if you write good ‘n solid infotainment, if you tell people something they actually learn from, and you make them enjoy it too?

Then Mr. Halpern’s argument is null and void.

Next please.

Just write yer email, guys, every day.

You’ll get high open rates, personal and direct relationships, and yep: sales too.

Let me help you with that –>



Arrogance? Self-Confidence? Should You Care About the Difference?

“If there’s anything around here more important than my ego, I want it caught and shot now!”
~ Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy

Oh yes, my ego is big.



Truly very enormous.

In fact, it’s so big that researchers recently discovered it exerts its own gravitational pull on celestial bodies.

Like, all those comets and meteorites that keep nearly hitting us lately?

Yeah um… sorry about that. Gravity sucks.

Seriously though: sometimes people tell me I’m arrogant, that I have an inflated sense of self.

Ok fine, I plead guilty. That said, I’m actually a guy with a ho’ bunch of insecurities.

Do I hide them behind fake confidence, do I use arrogance to not appear insecure?

I don’t know. Maybe, but I don’t think so.

What I do know is that very often when someone reacts to me with ‘ego’ or ‘arrogant’ – there’s  a misunderstanding of some sort.

To me, being able to say: “This is what I do. I’m good at it” is not arrogance at all.

It’s just recognising that you have a strong ability in something.

Is that arrogance, is it egotistical?

Of course not.

In fact, I’d say that assuming a ‘small me’ attitude is a bigger form of ego-munching.


Well, consider this: if you bake a stellar apple-pie, and everyone goes: “Dude…. that is just SO succulent – you’re the bee’s knees at making pie”, and you go all: “Oh well, it’s just a pie, it’s nothing special, my neighbour now SHE makes great pies” – that’s when you’re polishing your ego.

You humble yourself, defer the credit and kudos – and what do we think of humble people?

We like them. Humility is a quality.

And making yourself look not good at somehing even if you are, that’s fooling everyone and probably yourself – and it’s a MASSIVE way to stroke your own ego.

“Aw, look at how humble I am…”

Even Anne Frank pointed out how ridiculous it is, and she was like 14 when she wrote it.

Now, back to you: Do what you do, do it well, and don’t be ashamed to say that yes – this or that thing – you’re good at it. Really good, even.

Not an I-fest, not to boast – but just state the fact, if it is a fact.

Bit too close for comfort, all this?

I can imagine.

Society is always ready to punch us down, tell us we’re not anything special, that what we do well is just something that others do better.

Well, society can take a running jump for all I care, if it teaches you to not value what you do, and disables you from neutrally stating it.

There are things you’re good at.

You know it.

You should be able to say so, too.

Say it: “I’m good at […]”

Then get back to work and go do that thing.

Then, do it again.

Before long, you’ll find that you no longer need fake humility and that hey, there’s nothing arrogant about saying you do things well.

And, you’ll also find that if you find the confidence in knowing and saying what you’re good at…

People will recognise that it’s real, authentic.

And guess what, Bubba: that makes them buy from you.

Like that scene in The Grifters, with John Cusack and Anjelica Huston:

“What is it that you sell, exactly?”



Want to sell your own self-confidence?

Lemme show you da way –>



The Day I Was Nearly Beaten Up By a Biker Gang

The drummer gave a final, mighty crash on his cymbals, and my guitar gradually overdrove itself into silence.

We looked at each other: sweating, exhilarated, smiling – wow, this new song was really coming together.

That was 25 years ago, when I played in a funk band.

We had spent 40 minutes, rehearsing one single song.

Over and over again.


And again.

By the end, it sounded like a brick * house. Solid. Thumping and pretty damn groovy. Tight, too.

Remember, Jeroen?

Jeroen is one of my oldest friends. He played bass in the band, and he’s on this list.

Anyway, right when we stopped, there suddenly started a hideously loud pounding on the door.

“Open this damn door NOW!!!”

We did as instructed and were faced with a burly bunch of very angry, very drunk bikers.

Kinda like Hells Angels, but worse.

Their clubhouse was below our practice room, in some delapitated warehouse on the outskirts of town.

I’m not sure, but I think they were called the Confederates.

They were worse than Hells Angels.

In fact, they reportedly used to raid the Hells Angels dive, beat up the boss, and steal his bike.

Or so the story went.

Anyway, they weren’t stealing anything that day, because they were angry.

And, not surprisingly.

Imagine the scene.

They: A few upturned beer crates and a second hand Sony boombox.

We: a vintage keyboard tube amp I’d rigged to play guitar through (rather viciously, I might add), a Trace Elliot bass amp, and one of the loudest drummers a guitar player has ever begged to please play softer.

And a song they’d heard stomping down through their ceiling for 40 minutes straight.

You bet they were angry.

They were an alright bunch though – they hardly beat us up at all.

Anyway, the moral of the story: I dug up the tapes from 25 years ago and have been digitising them lately.

‘sFun, we had some pretty groovy tracks.

That session is on there too.

And yep, by the time the guys showed up, we rocked that sucker like you wouldn’t believe.

Wax on, wax off. Yes sir. Does the trick.

Just an example of how practice and repetition get you results, and that goes for daily emails too.

It just works. You really ought to try it.

30 day challenge, anyone?

Bet you’re not up to it… ;)

If you want me to help you through the process, btw, we’ve got the Starship Mentorprise for that, departing daily.



Nope, Not Proud. Nothing, Nada, Zilch. (Well, Maybe a Little. Just Maybe)

Writes a LEAP subscriber:

“Can’t wait to get LEAP! You must feel proud. You are having a huge impact on so many of us… making the world a better, happier place. Thank you Martin.”

Clearly, today sees me with a massive smile plastered across my face.

That said, she’s wrong: I don’t feel proud.

(Well maybe secretly, on a deeper level. Much to your surprise, I’m not quite as perfect as I look).

Seriously though – it’s not pride I feel when someone advances with my help.

It’s gratitude.

I’m grateful people read me

Grateful people put my ideas to use.

Grateful that I finally discovered how to use that tool under my scalp to actually, concretely, help people break out of their limiting beliefs.

And yes obviously, grateful when people buy something from me.

But mostly?

Grateful to see so many people who really want to get rid of limitations, and who take action, and who discover that yes: you can actually create your own reality, so long as you’re willing to change your mind.

It’s taken long, but I’ve finally found my place.

And I couldn’t have done it without you reading me, and giving me feedback and asking me questions.

Where I am now?

I owe it to my hard work, and to you.

So, thank you.

How to bridge this into a decent call to action?

No idea.

But you can go here if you want to learn how to write emails like a pro:



The Money's in the List? Rubbish. The Money is…

… in the conversation.

Sure, you need to have a list of people, in order to have conversations with them.

But a list is just another asset – it’s not a result in itself.

You’ll never get a sale out of it, if you don’t understand how to use that asset.

Same thing with a website: it’s real estate, it’s an asset, and a tool.

So what, if you don’t put that tool to use?

If you don’t drive traffic at it, it won’t do you any good.

So, when you have a list, and you’re working to grow it, you do need a system to engage members of that list in conversation.

Obviously, email is my preferred method.

It’s fun, free, fast, gets read every day, and yes, it brings in sales.

But before those sales come, there’s actual real contact with your subscribers.

At first, it’s like a one-way street: every day you write your email, and hit send.

For a while, it might stay quiet: as if you’re broadcasting a message, and you just don’t know if people like it or not.

Before long though, people will start writing back.

Could be with questions, could be a thank you, could be a sales inquiry.

Whichever way or form people get in touch with you, it’s your task to treat that act as the start of a relationship.

Because it is.

See, people don’t buy just because of price, or quality, or need.

Purchase decisions are inherently emotional.

Unless someone feels good about their decision to buy, they won’t actually do it.

They need to feel it’s going to work for them, that they can trust you, that you’ll deliver quality – a whole bunch of emotive configuration.

You can do that with hard-selling sales tactics – and if you know how, you can close a sale within minutes.

But it’ll often require subterfuge or lies, and manipulation – not the way you and I work.

So instead, just write an email a day, allow people to get used to you, to develop their own opinion, and keep at it until they themselves are ready to respond.

When they do, that’s the moment the conversation starts.

From that you build a relationship, which will lead to trust, and off the back of that, sales will happen.

Just an email a day.

You can do this.

It’s worth it.

Pitch time: proceed ye here to enlist my help:



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