Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

So Martin, How Much Do You Charge For Your Handmade Suits? + a Valuable Free Bonus for You

It’s 2006 or so, I’m standing in a bar off Savile Row, London, having a beer with a world-famous marketing expert, and I’m wearing one of my creations, hot off the pressing board.

(In case you didn’t know, I used to be a fancy-pants bespoke tailor way back when).

I told him my price, and in reply he gave me 13 words that I’ll never forget.

That one reply of his opened my eyes and turned my business around.

I took the 13 words home, upped my prices by 300 Euros, and within a week or so a lawyer called me and ordered himself a fine 2-piece.

Those 13 words, + a whole truckload of smart pricing psychology, is what you get if you sign up for the LEAP December issue before the end of the day.

And, you get a bonus: Every new subscriber who joins today will get a 30 minute free consultation with yours Stellar, free of charge.

We’ll have to schedule it for next week because I’m flying to Dublin on an art sales project this

Wednesday – but I’ll confirm a date and time with you tomorrow.

Want to finally earn more, and know the psychology and tactics behind higher prices and more profit?

Then LEAP ye to more sales.

Start here –>

Looking forward to talk to you.



Tips, strategies and tactics for earning more, courtesy of a sales expert

Today’s the last day to sign up in time for number 7 of the highly praised LEAP Marketing Newsletter

Number 7 being the Pricing Issue.

Here’s what’s in it:

* Why you get to charge more if you tell people about their crab grass instead of your weed killer

* How charging high rates is actually a generous and ethical move

* How I managed to go from $8 per page  to a whopping $600 on bidding sites (netting me $5000 in some months)

* The exact words I used to achieve that and make prospects see the value in working with me: you can use the exact same messages in your own communications, free for you to swipe and use

* Why, and how, to never – EVER – start a job without at least 50% advance payment (this is key for any freelancer, artist or otherwise, and it’s surprisingly easy to achieve)

* How you can raise your overall revenue constantly by sticking to the 10% rule

* A simple maths formula to help you determine safely if you can afford to lose clients when you raise by 10%

* How you can earn more by working less

* Freelancer economics: how to calculate your total needed revenue in order to have a healthy and sustainable business

* How to protect your sanity by building an F-You fund

* Why your billable hours should be only a fraction of your total workweek – (meaning 50% or even less)

* What to do with the rest of your hours (aside from promoting your business, which is a given)

* How to increase sales by offering package value

* A surefire way to never give discounts again but earn more and get more sales instead

* The slap-in-the-face principle you MUST use when quoting for your work

* How to eliminate bargain hunters and tire kickers with your pricing model

* The simple ‘more quality’ principle that automatically follows from charging more, which makes people fall in love with your work and increases repeat purchases

* The one thing you must avoid at all cost when negotiating with a prospect (mess this up and what looked like a great gig is almost 100% guaranteed to become a disaster)

* How science proves over and over again that people want to pay higher rates and happily so

* How to use price anchoring to make it easier for people to decide (and for you to sell)

* Exactly which numbers to use and how to format them (the Bible may or may not have been involved – but regardless, this too has been tested and proven in controlled experiments, over and over again)

* A simple negotiation technique that is both highly ethical as well as great for closing a sale

* A stupid-simple question you can ask to find out what your prospect’s budget is so you don’t undercut yourself (no, it’s not ‘what’s your budget’)

* What a psychologist told me about loss aversion and how you can use it to your advantage so as to filter out bad seeds from your prospect list

* Your shop, your rules and what John Cusack can tell you about the attractiveness of confidence

* What a world-famous marketer told me over a beer in a London pub, and which changed my life forever

* Why they don’t need to ‘understand’ you, but instead need to feel that YOU understand THEM

* The attitude another world famous marketer taught me when I started out – this alone has helped me close nearly every sale I ever made

Seriously. If you want to earn more, these 16 pages will make a huge difference for your business.

And, there just might be a bonus for new subscribers, I’m not sure yet.

If so, I’ll let you know later today.

In short, LEAP 7 will make it easier for you to close deals, and at higher rates, and raise your overall earnings consistently

Get it here –>



The Pshychology of Achievement: Buddha Says Throw Away Your Goals

Bryan Harris over at Video Fruit is developing a nifty little app.

The idea is that each time you open a browser window, you’re shown your list size, the percentage of growth, and the total number of subscribers you’ve set as a goal.

Handy, and useful.

He’s about to make a massive mistake though.

See, he plans to have the total target number stand out most prominently, followed by smaller numbers that indicate the percentage of growth, and below that the number of subscribers gained in the last 24 hours.

On the surface it looks like a good idea: Your goal, how to get there, keep working on it.

Except psychology doesn’t work hat way.

Imagine two guys set out to climb a  mountain.

The first one keeps look at the top, always up, and no matter how many steps he takes, the top keeps looking remote.

The other, he takes one look, gets out a map, and from then on only looks at his feet. Each 100 steps he plots his progress on the map.

Which of the two do you think will have the most stamina?

The guy who keeps seeing his progress in front of him on a map of course, not the guy who keeps his eyes on the mountain top.

Buddhists say: “The path is the goal” and that’s no joke.

I can tell you from personal experience that if your goal is ‘enlightenment’, or even just ‘being happy’, you’ll never get there.

Trust me, I’ve tried both and it didn’t work.

Until I discovered that if I just paid attention to my steps, that if I tried consciously to make my every day good and positive and constructive…

… by and by things started to change.

I’m not saying I became enlightened (what folly that would be) but I sure become one hell of a happy dude.

Can’t you see the smile?

Like my friend Kathleen says: “Progress is progress”.

Very important.

Why does this matter to you?

Because if you want to increase your earnings, the worst you could do is say “I want to get to $75 per hour” or “$1000 per painting” and then doggedly stare at that number.

All it will do is frustrate you, because while you keep your eyes on that high lofty goal, you’re not paying attention to the progress you’re making.

And your mind wants to continuously see that progress, it needs it.

It’s that progress, seeing the proof that each effort adds a little increment to your results, that’s what will keep you going, give you momentum, and inspire you to keep adding bits to it.

So if your goal is to earn better, stop looking at the goal, and start by adding 10% to your prices.

Like, as in, today, and then keep repeating that over the weeks.

Afraid that it will cost you customers?

Then get on board for LEAP 7, the pricing issue, and I’ll explain in fine detail how to do it, how to phrase it, and how to lose the customers that you shouldn’t be working with anyway.

Registration closes tomorrow.

Access here –>



How to Safely Raise Your Prices With Some Simple Maths

It’s good to have good friends.

For example, I have no idea about maths, but I needed a formula created.

So I asked my friend Colin, certified rocket scientist to put it together for me.

It’s pretty simple.

It’s highly useful though.


Because for most entrepreneurs, the sheer though of losing a customer petrifies us.

When in actual reality, nearly all of us can safely lose a percentage of our customers due to raising our prices by 10%.

See, if your overall pricing goes up by 10%, the total amount of revenue you earn stays the same provided you keep on enough customers.

And, interestingly enough, not all your customers will jump ship if you raise your rates.

Some will, but others will be happy to pay more, understanding that you’ll be able to deliver better quality.

But you want to be sure before you make the decision, and that’s why there’s some simple maths you can do.

So in the December issue of LEAP, you’ll find a very simple formula that you can use to calculate whether or not it makes sense for you to up your rates.

Most likely, it will. And the maths will tell you.

Want to earn more?

Get paid what you’re worth?

Then sign up before December 1, and I’ll show you how.


Here –>



Why, and How to Fire Your Customers

Customers come in all shapes and sizes.

Some are a dream to work with, others make you want to set fire to your computer.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to filter the good from the bad: your pricing models.

Like I said before: If you use higher prices, you’ll increasingly attract the right kind.

But, you can also use price increases to get rid of the bad apples.

And believe me, it’s really worth your time.

You don’t want to work with scope creeps.

You don’t need hagglers in your life (It’s your shop so you set the rules, remember?)

You don’t want to deal with serial refunders.

And you certainly don’t need people who micro manage you or tell you how to do your job.

So it makes good sense to fire certain clients.

You know the ones I talk about.

But how do you do it?

You’ve got bills to pay and a schedule to fill.

Just dropping a percentage of your clients is bound to cause trouble.

Here’s what you do: you simply use a strategy.

Works like this: For every new inquiry, you raise your rates by 10%.

And each time you close a new deal, with a  good client, you stop working with one of the bothersome ones.

Think of it as a scale, from left to right.

On the left you have the $10 a page jerks, and on the right are the ones who are happy to pay $75 for a page.

You add one on the right, at $75+10%, and you let one of left ones fall off.

Keep that up consistently and you won’t have to see a dip in your revenue.

In fact, you’ll start earning more at each turn.

Over time, the entire range of pay will gradually shift to the right, into higher earnings.

And that means you get to have more time to relax, to study, and to deliver stellar work for your best customers.

There you go: pricing strategies that improve your life and raise your income.

Want more of that, and in more detail?

You can get it in issue #7 of the LEAP Marketing Newsletter, which you can acquire for yourself right here




And if you want a salespage that talks to people in such a way that they’ll be happy to pay those higher prices?

Then I’ll fix your copy for you, right here:

They All Said it Couldn't Be Done. So I Showed Them They Were Wrong

People tell you that if you want to earn a decent living, the worst thing you can do is write for content mills.

Places like Elance and – everybody tells you there’s dragons, and don’t go there.

Funny, that.

Because it just so happened that I got a ton of work through one of those sites, in the past.

And not for small money either: By the time I quit copywriting, my standard fee for a salespage was $600.

I sold batches of emails at $175 each.

Yes, the same type of emails you’re reading now.

The kind that take 15 minutes to write, and that are great for getting stales, and people were happy to pay the premium fee.

I had months where I earned $5000, just from one freelancer site.

Can’t make a living on a freelancer site?

Of course you can.

But, you need to know what you’re doing.

For example, you can start small, at $10 or $15 for a simple article.

You deliver great work, the client leaves a review, and you instantly increase your rate by 15%

You keep doing that, and you repeat until Ferrari.

(No, I don’t have a Ferrari. I don’t even have a car – I prefer my motorbike. Vroom vroom.)

Anyway: you also need to understand psychology, and sales.

Which goes for any type of business you run, any product or artform you sell.

If you don’t have an astute grasp on things like pricing, value, and sales communication, any business will be hard to run.

See, the marketplace – whether it’s on a bidding site or offline – is filled with idiots.

People who think they can get top notch quality for a pittance.

“Because hey, Philippinos charge only $3 per page, so Martin, I’ll give you $75, and then you’re happy. Yes?”


Delete inquiry.


If you create something of value, of quality, and you want to earn what it’s worth, you must, gotta, have to understand which clients are or aren’t worth your time.

And, how to convince the others, the smart ones, that they do themselves a favour by paying you good rates.

How that works?

It’ll all be revealed in the December issue of the LEAP Newsletter.

Amongst a whole bunch of sales and pricing strategy, I’ll include verbatim the pitch emails I used to send, and the exact words I used to reply to inquiries.

You can swipe and adapt them for use in your own business, whether you’re trying to corner a sale by email, on Facebook, or on a bidding site.

Sign up to receive your copy here –>



Meanwhile, if you want me to fix your salespage for you, go here –>

What an Ex-Monk Can Tell You About 'Paying the Price'

Yesterday I told you that when someone pays a high price, they are more likely to benefit from their purchase.

Aside from the research that backs it up, I can also tell you from experience that it’s true.

When I went into the monastery, it was all fun and games. There weren’t many rules at that stage: I was a novice there so all that was required of me was to attend the meditation, be kind, and show respect.

Not very difficult.

After a few years though, I wanted to commit on a deeper level: I wanted to take the vows, and bcome an actual monk.

And those vows, that was a ‘ho bunch of severe restrictions.

Celibacy, poverty, obedience, 7 rituals a day – it was a lot.

And it meant I had to basically give up my normal life, and dedicate my every minute to the common goal.

A tough choice to make, as I’m sure you’ll understand.

But at some point I decided that it was what I wanted, and I gave up everything I had.

Autonomy, individuality, friends, family, money, sex – all gone.

A very high price to pay.

And I must say that to this day I’m grateful and happy that when I resurfaced, my closest and dearest friends were still there for me.

But to the point: by deciding to pay the highest possible price – my life as I knew it – the result was that over time many changes happened to me.

I look back at Martin, age 19, and I see that it’s been extraordinarily beneficial to my life, my mind and my well-being.

I became, literally, a customer of change: I paid the price, and received the transformation.

The reason this matters for you, your business and your prices:

If you take a deep breath, and you raise your rates, you’re doing everybody a favour.

Yourself, because you’ll finally earn what you deserve.

Your prospects, because you’ll filter out people who would buy at a lower rate and who would very likely not be completely satisfied.

And your buyers, because they will be the ones who really – REALLY – want what you offer.

And if someone really wants something, to the point they’re willing to pay a high price for it, they are bound to be happy and satisfied.

The psychology of pricing, in a nutshell.

Today I’m starting LEAP #7, in which I will crack that nut wide open for you, and give you the tools, the mindset, and the exact words you can use to raise your own prices.

She goes to the printer’s in a few days from now, so sign up here if you want to finally earn what you deserve –>


Some former monk

Meanwhile, if you want me to fix your salespage copy, hit reply and include the link so that I can have a look. At only $95, it’s the best possible copywriting deal you’ll find, so let me help you get more sales…

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.



Just Listen, and They Themselves Will Tell You How They Want to Be Sold To

You might not think so, but even as an artist you sell solutions.

In most cases, the problem that an art buyer wants to solve isn’t as dire as, say, finding a reliable garage to get your car fixed.

It’s not the same as selling a tested solution to fix dandruff or indigestion.

But just the same, at a deep psychological level, someone looking to buy art has a problem of some sort.

Buying your work solves that problem.

Could be that he’s a collector, always on the lookout for a new, up-and-coming talented artist.

Could be she just can’t for the life of her find that one painting or photograph that will really make the living room live.

Maybe it’s a company that needs that one perfect canvas that brightens up the conference room and instills a sense of friendliness and cooperation in the team.

Or maybe it’s nothing more tan the satisfaction they feel when they can fork over a few thousand buckazoids on an original piece.

(Bonus points if you can tell me where that word came from without googling it)


Point is, when someone – anyone – buys something, it solves a problem of some sort.

This is, of course, great news.

Not only does it justify your marketing and promotion efforts: it also gives you a fantastic tool to improve your results.

Look at your existing clients, think back to the reasons they mentioned for buying from you.

Consider the wordage they used when they thanked you, happy with their purchase.

In that use of language lies hidden the type of problem that your work solved.

Whether it be art or a service or your music or your writing.

Worth your time to spend a few hours and list all the words and phrases you can remember.

Once you have a clear picture, it means you have a list of pain points.

And with that, you can improve your marketing – by speaking directly to those pain points.

If your painting makes people joyous, or peaceful – then that’s a tangible quality.

All you need to do increase sales is then make that aspect a clear part of your communications – whether it’s in ads, or your sales copy, or the emails you send in response to an inquiry.

Like I always say: If you listen closely, people themselves will tell you how they want to be sold to.

That’s why the name LEAP Marketing was chosen for a purpose.

It’s a system you can apply to your marketing, and it goes like this:

  • First you Listen to people, to figure out what their problem is.
  • Then you Explain how you solve that problem.
  • Next, you Ask if they want to buy it.
  • And that gets followed by you making a Profit.

Provided of course you price your work right.

Which, incidentally, is something I’ll explain exactly how to do in the December issue.

You read those 16 pages, and you’ll never undercut yourself again.

Get it here –>

Cheers, happy Saturday


Why You Should Never Give Flowers If You Want a Healthier Business

As long as I can remember, I’ve always resented the idea of buying people flowers.

Just seems wasteful to me: it’s so short-lived.

For a few days it looks nice, then it wilts, and then it’s gone.

So instead, when I like someone, I go out of my way to look for a plant in bloom.

Uncommon perhaps, but it lasts so much longer.

Each year when it flowers, the recipient thinks of me.

Fondly I hope, but one never knows.

I’m looking at a small plant that a friend gave me this summer.

I don’t know what it is: something hardy, a type of succulent, if I’m not mistaken.

There’s a ton of flower buds on it, and I expect it to burst out in splendour in the next week or so.

Lovely of her to give me that. Fond memories each time I step out on my balcony.


When you work with customers, you want to achieve the same: you want them to remember you fondly.

Not just the work you did – you want the entire experience to be something remarkable.

This goes way beyond ‘under-promise and over-deliver’ – it’s about meaning something to the other person.

In such a way that there’s more than just the memory that lingers.

What you want to achieve is in a way becoming part of their history, their mission and their journey.

Even if the interaction was just selling a painting, or some articles.


Like LEAP subscriber Gareth did, for example: a while ago he published a calendar with his paintings.

And I just LOVE his work, so I bought one.

When it arrived, he had included an original A4 watercolour.

Probably something that to him was a study, not fit to sell.

But I absolutely love the piece, and the fact that he sent it along means I can’t forget the guy even if I’d want to.

THAT’s the kind of residual memory you want to achieve when dealing with customers.


Surprise and delight.

Works every time.


On another note:: In a few days, I’ll be announcing a special offer, where you get a ton of my knowledge for an extremely low price.

Two deals, in fact: one is a ‘fix your copy’ setup: you send me your sales page, and I massage that puppy for you, to make it convert like never before.

The other one is my custom site optimisation report, where I go through your pages and list all the things you need to fix in order to keep people reading and get them to take action.

And yes, both will come with a whole bunch of extras – but no flowers.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, here’s where to sign up for the LEAP Newsletter –>

The December issue will be all about pricing and earning what you deserve.



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