Looks Like We Have A Future Rockstar On Our Hands…

LEAP subscriber Gareth has been pretty busy since he signed up.

For the first month I wasn’t sure he was really getting it, and he wasn’t really asking many questions either.

But the last few weeks he’s been sending me smart questions and updates on his progress, and dude… he’s going great guns.

So I said: “Oh yeah? What about a little testimonial then, matey?”

Sends me this:


I was hesitant to do the Leap course. Part of me believed that I could do all this online business stuff by myself. And although theoretically true, in practice that wasn’t happening – even though I am a passionate artist and want to turn my passion into a full-time business!

What surprised me about Martin’s newsletter is how it leads to things getting done, you look back and realize how much you have done. And the fundamental changes in your perspective on selling.

The best thing, though, is the chance to ask Martin questions. This has been so helpful. It’s [almost, Ed.] like having a mentor and personally I believe you really need one.

I can’t believe that I am now enjoying the business side, enjoying writing newsletters to my list which is beginning to slowly increase in number, enjoying the connection with people who like my work and enjoying getting all those practical things done which make it possible to sell your work online.
I have now received my third newsletter and am looking forward to number four.


Ha. Remember how a few weeks ago I was waxing enamouredly about how I had suddenly discovered art, how I had turned?

Gareth turned, and not in any small way.

No ‘maybe I’ll put up an optin form’ – instead, it’s action and results, bam bam bam.

And dig it: he even enjoys the business side of being an artist now.

My Stellar instinct is tingling, telling me that he never in his life thought that was going to happen.

He’s enjoying the stepping out, the expositions he’s putting up, talking to people, doing the practical things to make it all happen…

In other words: Gareth got over himself and went from being a (severely good !) painter, to a being (budding) professional.

Shows in his sales too: four new watercolours sold, if I’m correct. And no, not at $75 each.

On top of that he’s initiated a collaborative project with other artists, to create a very useful ebook.

And to make it even more fun, he just sent me an email with some seriously good ideas for spyhole products, plus he’s thinking on how to sell them for more cashflow.

The spyhole product being, if you don’t remember, what I explain in the Spyhole Salesman’s Business Secret Cheat Sheet that comes free when you subscribe to LEAP.

It’s a way to create a product that you can at any time promote in order to get more cash in, or which you can use to create a foundation of cashflow for your business.

So yeah: this stuff works. My man G sez so.

Want to be a professional too, and earn like one?

Check this: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



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: http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



Word of Mouth Will NOT Save Your Business

Went in to get my shoes repaired yesterday.

Ramon used to be an employee, but last spring he decided to open up his own shop here in town.

He resoles, he stitches – he can even do some saddle repairs.

“So how has your summer been?”

Tells me it’s been pretty good, getting by, paying the bills.

So I ask him: what about winter, what plan do you have for marketing and promotion, now that all the tourists and summer residents are gone?

Tells me: “Word of mouth, mostly”.

Obviously, he ought’nt have said that, not to me..

I mean, I understand that if you’re good at your work, and people refer others, and it all seems to roll along, you’ll be inclined to think it’s going to stay that way.

Problem though with word of mouth is that by itself, it’s as unpredictable as the weather.

Besides, there are far too many factors involved: Local economy, horror stories in the news, the panicky garbage people ingest through TV – all it takes is for enough people to reserve their money for whatever national holiday is coming up, and all the good word of mouth won’t bring in a single punter.

Ha, and on this coast, even the weather can murder a business: Come November, we’ll see entire weeks full of rain, and not piddling drizzle: when it rains here, it rains cats and dogs, hammers and nails.

And yep: Nobody ventures on the streets when it rains unless they absolutely have to.

Besides, they couldn’t go out if they’d want to: their shoes are damaged and leaky.

So, recap: Word of mouth matters. It’s important. Your quality of work and your customer service should be good enough to merit it.

But never rely on word of mouth.

Instead, create systems and strategies that foster word of mouth.

Ramon could print 20 simple posters and hang them around town in strategic places: library, supermarket, Casa de la Cultura, and so on.

“Throwing your shoes away is wasteful – why not give them a second round?”

Some good before/after pics, a phone number and his portrait on it as well – there, a simple, nearly free method of creating more local awareness.

In itself it’s a small effort, but it’s a great way to get people to notice you – and when they do, they’re likely to remember you when your name gets mentioned.

“Oh yeah that’s right, we’ve a shoe repairman in town now – someone told me about that.”

THAT is word of mouth. And it’s easy to get, if you give it some thought (and put in the effort).

What’s also easy to get is Martin’s email marketing mentorship.

Not as cheap as free posters, but a lot more fun than a kick in the chest.

And pretty effective too. My students tend to get real good, real fast, at writing their emails.

And, you’ll learn how to convert readers into fans and customers – word of mouth or no.

Access? Over yon –> http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



Harsh Realities: Waiting for Your Trees to Bear Fruit

Had a nice little exchange with someone who connected with me on social media, the other day.

She’s a pretty resourceful gal, by the looks of it. Community management, design, development – seems she knows what she’s doing.

It even landed her a job with a big name blogger a few years ago.

But then she wrote this:


“I know everything he knows. I actually know more, because I know design and development. But yet, I spent 6 years working for him for just over minimum wage instead of doing my own thing.

“It’s because I needed financial reliability. And now with a daughter and a partially disabled spouse, I need it even more. So I’m doing work for other people and not spending enough time (because I don’t have it) on my stuff.”


Ay – poor girl didn’t know you can’t say stuff like that to Martin.

I know where she’s coming from though and I can’t blame her, but man: 6 years is a long time if meanwhile the employer is making it big.

The problem, as is usually the case, is mindset.

Here’s what I wrote back:


Right, so basically you’re selling tree saplings, because you can’t afford to plant them and wait for your own trees to bear fruit. I get that, but look: That’s going to continue until you stop it. You, and your decision.

Ideas for getting seen: Well, you’re the promo girl who knows how to work platforms and so on – I’m the guy who keeps talking at people until they like him so much they can’t help but buy. I can show you how to do that (sign up for my list if you want to see my particular flavour of it), but you’re the one who can generate views.

So if I there’s any idea I can give you on how to get seen by more people: Make a plan, build a list, talk to them. Do it. Ten minutes a day is plenty to start with. Give me your best excuse and I’ll blow it outta the water :)

As for preaching without practicing: I’m the same, just look at the post I wrote today [yesterday’s post]. Also: I used to be a fancy tailor, but for myself I only had two suits.

And here in Spain, they say: En la casa del herrero, cuchillos de palo – at the blacksmith’s home, the knives are made of wood.

And yet. All of that is only the consequence of our actions or lack thereof. You have ten minutes of action a day in you. Why not put it to use?

It’s no use wanting to be a successfully selling artist – but it’ll sure help you to be a soon-successful artist who for the time being keeps putting in small bits but very consistently.

And why not?


Guess what next: She writes back saying I’m so right and that she already got started.

*Stellar dusts hands, looking smug*

Smart girl: she agrees that action gets results and she gets into gear.

What about you?

You can afford 10 or 20 minutes a day, on an activity that you know for a fact will bear fruit in one, two, or three months.

Everybody can find 20 minutes.

If you can’t, you have an excuse, and you know that those are made to get rid of.

So,  ponder that.

Meanwhile, ponder an email marketing mentorship, where you get not just your own action, but also my feedback and guidance.

And the caning when I find you’re getting slack.

On that note, a special message for one particular client, who knows I’m talking to her: better get in touch and send me new drafts today, yeah? Summer holiday’s over. Back to work, chop chop :)

Anyway, have a think.

If you want to prepare your business for a good winter season, turning yourself into a skilled email marketer will do the trick.

Bit of traffic, some conversion optimisation on your site, an email a day: the makings of a healthy business.

And remember: daily emails will transform your business. With or without my help.

It’s easier and more fun with, though.

Here’s where to start: http://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/



Disclosure: The Hypocrisy of Being Martin

This one will be short, sweet, and painful.

Painful for me, that is. No pot-shots, today you’re safe.

You know how I’m always saying that it’s your duty to market what you do?

That if you solve a problem and you’re not doing whatever you can to show up for people and let them know what you can do for them, you’re falling short of your moral and ethical duty?

Yeah, um… about that.

I’ve failed miserably at that and I’ve let everyone down. Myself first.

I could have been guest posting and getting more people to see my work – but I didn’t.

I could have tested paid traffic – adwords, Facebook ads – who knows. I didn’t.

I could have been hosting free seminars here on the coast – my fellow costeros sure could use the help.

All kinds of things I could have done – to be seen more, to sell more, and to help more.

But, I didn’t.

I just wrote my daily emails without growing my list, chirping away about how great email marketing is (it IS great, don’t get me wrong).

Now to you, this might not be a big deal: you’re on my list, you get my updates, you hopefully take goodness from them.

You wouldn’t notice the difference much, whether I promote my work or not.

But what about the others?

I mean, it’s not that I’m a godsend or the end-all solution to any business’s ailments.

But there are things I can do and ways I can help – ‘cept I can’t if nobody knows about it.

Dammit Martin, grow up already.

Also: take your own medicine, you big dork.

Ok then, hand me the pills.

How can Martin justify this?

Preach what he doesn’t apply?

Contend himself with a small list and not doing anything very substantial to be more seen?

To maybe, hopefully, solve more problems?

There’s no excuse – except, maybe, partially: “Timing is everything”.

If you’re not ready, don’t feel ready, then maybe it’s not the right time.

Though in stark naked truthfulness, that too is a cop-out: being ready is a choice, and a consequence of preparation.

If I thought I wasn’t ready, it’s just because I procrastinated on preparing, on getting myself ready.

So, let’s sweep this entire mess off the table, and let’s see Martin do what he’s supposed to do.

This week, I’m going to hit the pavement and walk the beat.

I’m biking into the next town over, where there’s a bit more business going on, and I’m going to be talking to entrepreneurs 1 on 1.

I’ll be (finally) sending the guest posts I’ve been writing.

I’m going to advertise on an artist’s website, see how that pans out.

I’ll be pushing on to get my podcast launched (anyone interested in designing and running a proper launch strategy, raise your hand. Knowing Martin, by himself he’ll probably do another one of his non-launches).

Maybe I’ll even get back on Twitter, who knows.

Anyway, just a little update on the goings-on down here.

Meanwhile, go here if you – like me – are ready to get over yourself, and you want to learn email marketing from a pro –> htpp://martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/

Cheers, guys ‘n gals


Water Cuts Stone, Habits Transform the Mind

Today is the official final day of the holiday season here in Spain.

In the next few hours, the great exodus will start: endless lines of cars waiting to inch their way up North, back home.

Me, I cheer.

Finally, the relative ratio of skin to garments will be back to normal.

Not that I know anything about maths, but it’s weird: when summer starts, the number of people in town increases by a large factor, yet the total amount of clothing in town stays more or less the same.

The result is that during July and August, nearly everyone seems to be nearly naked here.

Which, I can tell you, is distracting for a man. Ex monk or no.

That said, I came through this summer unscathed.

While I’ve been led into temptation more than once, I’ve stuck with my resolve.

I’ve categorically ignored and/or refuted any attention given, and I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone.

Action, baby. Action.

Consistent, relentless action.

The result?

Not bad, actually.

A novel in the pipeline, a long term business partnership with my man Jimmy, a newsletter that gets some pretty amazing results and kudos, a handful of podcast recordings waiting to go live…

And that’s without telling you about my secret masterplan, the big one I mentioned back in May.

Yep, this summer has been good so far.

Would never have been possible though, had I gone and whiled away my evenings and my weekends having fun with a chica.

Nope, I decided I wanted to build something, so I took stock of what it would cost me, and said: “That’s worth it, I’ll pay”.

Time, energy, more time.

Little fun, hard work, no nights out, no lassie by me side.

Man I feel good.

Listen, whatever fear you have, whatever insecurity, or old damage, or hangup, or limiting belief – you can change that and you can get rid of it.

Not today, not by magic, but you can start today, right now.

And I guarantee: If you commit to change, and you create a consistent practice out of some small behaviour, you will over time see improvement.

Water cuts stone, given enough time. Billions of drops create a hole. The rock has no choice but to yield.

And whether you believe me or not, your mind works with a similar principle.

If you persistently practice a behaviour, your mind WILL follow suit, and change its patterns.

Take it from an old monk.

Then, take this from said old monk: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/


Because it’s a fantastic jumpstart manual for writing daily emails.

And guess what, young grasshopper: writing an email a day is one fine example of an action-practice that gets you results, and change.

And, yes, sales.

And more – when I say it’s therapeutic, I mean that. You’ll find out when you start.

You’ll be amazed by the effects.

With my help or without, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

It’s easier with my help included, though.

And today’s the last day for registration, if you want to get your little hands on issue #4: the email marketing special.

Do it.




I'm Excited. You?

Busy times at the Stellar residence.

Preparing to ship LEAP 4 (registration ends tomorrow).

Doing research for a client project (yes, I made an exception and took on a copywriting gig – don’t tell anyone)

Planning for the last months of the year – I intend to be in Ireland by December 1st, to spend 6 weeks holed up next to a fireplace, and write my novel in one fell swoop.

Friends over from the UK.

Recording podcast episodes.

Talking lots with Jimmy – he and I are forging some plans and a partnership that you’re going learn a lot from, and he’ll probably be a regular on the podcast.

Oh, and preparing a bunch of guest posts.

Yes yes, yer little Stellar isn’t letting this summer pass him by.

I’m getting stuff DONE, and it’s exhilarating.

Like I always tell you to do something, get busy, take action?

Yeah – I’m taking that medicine myself, and dude – it’s the bomb.

Anyway, what with me being all excited and stuff, and LEAP #4 being a handy little manual to get you off on the good foot with your email marketing, let me keep this short and proffer an action.

It’s simple.

Just LEAP: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

You get:

– email marketing action steps

– do’s and don’t’s to make sure people keep opening your emails and are actually looking forward to them

– a special section on writing subject headers people just have to click

– an instructional for writing calls to action people don’t even notice – except for those times they click and you make a sale

– the condensed version of many years of study into psychology, influence, triggers, (email) marketing sales and persuasion etc, neatly packed into an action manual

Plus, extrafree bonus: a heavy dose of pure motivation, injected straight into your veins. I’m kinda clever that way.

I’m also ridiculously (embarrassingly?) cocky, it would seem, so let’s tone that down and look at the essentials:

Whatever I know, I learned from people, books, study, observation, meditation, asking questions, listening…

It’s nothing special – but it’s many years and altogether it’s a lot.

Each month I pick a topic (email marketing for September) and stuff as much as I can into 16 pages.

It’s expensive, and it’s not easy.

You’ll find it confrontational at times, you’ll notice there’s little room for excuses.

It’s also something exclusively for people who take action and stick with it.

And, only for people who understand that something like a monthly expert marketing course is a (valuable!) investment, and not a cost.

Meaning: you buy it so that off the back of making the investment, and putting the material into action, you make more money.

‘s called ’investor mindset’.

So that’s it.

If you want to invest in yourself and your business, this is one way.

I don’t think it’s a bad way, either.

So go on the: LEAP –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Oops – Sorry for Breaking Your Worldview

The weirdest thing happened yesterday.

That LEAP subscriber I mentioned – she signed up last month, in time for Issue 3.

She read it, took action, and broke out of her comfort zone like the Hulk breaks out of chains.

Her work in an important venue, inside of a week from reading the newsletter.

And, then she proceeded to cancel her LEAP subscription.

Yeah I know, isn’t it weird?

I mean, the idea of the newsletter is to get your head around business, to show you new and different and useful worldviews, and motivate and enable you to take action and get results.

Which is precisely what happened.

Says she: “You turned my worldview upside down”.

Heh… I love doing that to people.

Is that naughty?

I don’t think so.

I think we all need out paradigms pruned and replaced, as often as possible.

Can’t wait for someone to show up and do it to me.

Problem is, she was expecting a different kind of lesson – more handholding and more step-by-step instructions.

Basically, she thought she’d buy strawberry flavoured slimming yoghurt – but when she grabbed a spoon and dug in, it turned out to be cherry flavour. Not at all what she expected.

But, it instantly got her to slim down, regardless of the flavour.

The thing worked like a charm, even if she was completely unaware of it.

While she wasn’t looking, while debating whether or not to stay on, she got exactly – and fast at that – what LEAP is supposed to do:

Break you out of your fetters, and into the world.

Get your work or your art seen by people.

It scared the bejeebies out of her though, and I’m not surprised.

It’s a pretty brutal way to step out of one’s comfort zone, the way she did things.

If you’re at the sauna, you wouldn’t just jump into the ice bath – you’d start with your feet and slowly ease in, right?

Not she. She walked out of the steam and right away plunged herself into the freeze.

No wonder it freaked her out. Poor girl.

Breaking out of your comfort zone is one thing, but radically transgressing every fear you’ve ever secretly cherished is a whole different ballgame.

It’s not exactly what the doctor prescribes, though it’s not without merit.

And, many kudos to her, obviously. A grand display.

Now if she’d written in with questions, as is your prerogative as a LEAP subscriber, I could have maybe helped her move in smaller increments.

It could have saved her the shock, and it wouldn’t have cost me a subscriber.

Not that the latter matters, because once I wrote her a reply explaining my view on her actions and how massively impressive her results actually are, she instantly got back saying she’ll re-subscribe.

The word AHA-moment was used with quite a lot of cheer and merriment.

I just love, love, love it when someone turns.

When a person drops old habits and thought patterns, dips a teeny toe into the water, and says: “Hey, this is actually much nicer than I thought!”

You could be next to have the experience, you know?

That is, if you dare to leap.

Here’s what to do next:

IF you’re ready – and only if – meaning you are ready to get over yourself and start getting out of your comfort zone –

Then go here to sign up for LEAP –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

She’ll go to the printer’s in a few short days and you’ll have it on your doorstep by priority mail.

Once you’re done reading that baby, get in touch and let me know what you’re struggling with or unsure about, and I’ll reply best I can.

Just a few days left: http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



5 Ground Rules to Improve Visitor Retention on Your Site

Seems some of my readers want more structure, more step-by-step guidelines for what to do.

While I avoid hard teaching in these dailies, I do have a few handy tips for you to implement on your site.

When someone lands on your website, you have just a few seconds to get your message across in such a way that the visitor will stick around and see what’s there.

Don’t think so?

Check your traffic stats: you’ll see most people leave in just a few seconds – your bounce rate.

Before anything else: Don’t worry, it’s normal.

When it comes to websites and traffic, it’s a numbers game, and most any site will see the majority of visitors drop away after a few seconds. Nothing wrong with that.

However, there are things you can do to make more people stay around.

It all has to do with first impressions and messaging.

Like I said, you only have a few seconds to grab someone, so you need to make sure your site delivers your message basically at a glance.

Like so: When I visit your site, there are five things I want to know instantly.

That means you’ll need to adjust the above-fold of your landing page in such a way that without me having to think, or search, or make any effort, you tell me these five things:

•    Who are you

•    What do you do

•    Why should I care?

•    Why should I trust you?

•    What should I do next?

Look at your site, and ask yourself if those five points are made eminently clear.

It’s not that you should recreate your about page all over your site – I’m talking about a coherent whole, a total body of message visible on all pags.

The combination of elements – images, design, banners, copy, etc – should support and reinforce each other.

Together they should come across as instantly recognisable, so that the first thought your visitor’s mind reflects is along the lines of:

“Ah, she does abc, has accolades from xyz, and seems like a fun and hardworking person. Looks good, let’s dive in”.

Does your site conspire to trigger that reaction?

Let me know if you have doubts, and I’ll give it a look and some recommendations.

Meanwhile, I’m busy getting LEAP #4 together, so there’s only a few days left to subscribe.

And judging by the feedback I received yesterday, it can have quite an impact:

A subscriber received issue #3, read it, and within  less than a week managed to get her art in a venue, and she has a setup for a second venue.

In less than a week…

And that’s a person who struggles with some serious insecurities – yet LEAP 3 gave her such a jolt that she sprang into action and got results nearly instantly.

So, you know… you could get yourself that too.


Careful though: this is strong stuff, designed to break the mould on your worldview.

Not for the faint of heart, but only for those who want change, are willing to sacrifice for improvement, and are ready to take action.

First action?

Sign up –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



Look, Do You Really Have a Choice?

Ran into a buddy yesterday while shopping for groceries.

We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so he invited me to have a beer with him.

Comfortably installed on a sun-flooded terrace, he told me that he envies people like me.

“It’s all so easy for you guys.

“You get up when you want, you fill your calendar just as you please.

“You do the work you love, you have no boss to tell you what to do.

“You guys have all the time in the world.

“People like me, we have to get up, go to work, get home, eat dinner, put the kids to bed, go to sleep… only to do the same thing again next day.”

I looked at him.

“To a degree, you’re right.

“But let me tell you this: there are days I wish I just had a job with regular monthly pay. There’s a lot of insecurity in being a freelancer, you know.

“Another thing is that basically, I’m never ‘off’.

“Every morning I have to force myself to read a book while eating breakfast, instead of opening my email inbox.

“At night, I often work until 10 or 11PM

“Nearly every day, I check my email at intervals, right up to the moment I go to bed.

“You, however, get out of work and you leave it all behind – no worries, no concerns, no lingering issues – when your day is done, you’re free. As a freelancer, I don’t get that luxury”.

My, we sure are a weird breed, aren’t we?

Choosing the hardest path, carving out our own niche, accepting insecurity and forcing ourselves to manually build our life as we want it…

Hard life.

Totally worth it though – I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Being an entrepreneur defines me, it’s what I do.

I’m a maker.

I make smiles, copy, lessons, training – I make whatever I see is missing or needed, including what’s missing in that thing called ‘Martin’s life’.

I’m happy. This is what I do. I was made for this.

The moral of the story?


If Enrique really wants to unfetter himself, he too can become a freelancer or entrepreneur. He’s plenty smart for it.

But he prefers the security over the struggle, and that’s a choice.

It serves him no purpose to be jealous of others.

Just like me: Maybe sometimes I wish I had a paycheck, but whenever the thought comes up, or someone mentions a great job opportunity, I go:

“What, put everything I know into building someone else’s business?

“Pah. I’ll build my own, thank you very much.”

If you’re the same, you just might want to add email marketing to your toolkit.

It’s great for getting fans, ambassadors and sales.

Learn it here, with LEAP #4 –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/

Good luck, strength, love and courage.


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