Perry Marshall’s Wisdom Part 1: My Notes and Collection

Perry’s influenced my thinking a lot because where others “think outside the box,” he helps you understand that there is no box, just opportunities to solve problems and get equity in a business and become a market juggernaut by doing so.Read his Rosetta Stone salesletter and focus in on the equity strategist section to see what I mean (And yeah, I know John writes most of his copy.)

The end goal is always Ownership, Ownership, Ownership! as Felix Dennis said.

Think deeply about and apply Perry’s wisdom and think about ways you can own the market, a business, a niche, etc. or even get equity in a star company.

Some of the notes are disjointed, almost stream of consciousness style. Don’t let that stop you though.

What “ordinary” thing do you possess that’s really extraordinary? Answer that question and adding some zeros to your income might not be as impossible as it seems.

In the modern world what you IGNORE is far more important to your success than what you pay attention to.

Books I’ve read 5X: Proverbs, Star Principle, Koch’s SIMPLIFY, Magnetic Marketing, 21st Century Evolution by Shapiro

My insight: What books have you read 5 times? For me: 80/20 Sales and Marketing, Scientific Advertising, and The Art of Learning.

Most powerful money-making question of all: “What assumptions am I making that I don’t even know that I making?”

What rules am I blindly following that someone needs to break?

My insight: I remember Dan Kennedy saying someone could almost dominate a market just by making a list of all it’s sacred cows and then doing the opposite. Lesson in there.

If you need an interesting story, just dig for the truth.

Almost every biz problem = working on wrong side of 80/20 equation and vice versa

On the 80/20 of a Market:

100 businesses -> 20 winners, 4 game changers, 1 juggernaut.

What I really came to understand was that everything in marketing and everything in business, if you just go to any of the basic good advice or the best practices, there’s always an 80/20 explanation for why it’s done that way. It became my ultimate simplifier. When I started to realize like every time I get stuck, there’s almost always some sort of an 80/20 answer to the question that I’m asking.” Basically, what I did for the next five years was I started embedding 80/20 in everything that I did.
AES Interview

Adwords tigers are the last to starve in the jungle.

My insight: Learn media buying. Specialize in Google Ads or GDN. is the best place to start. Even though they won’t say it, most gurus swipe from Justin. He’s your favorite guru’s favorite guru. He put retargeting on the map in the direct response online marketing space.

You have to be doggedly, ruthlessly selective [with your time and how you consume information]

GOAL: Remove yourself from your business, step by step, until your business is worth more WITHOUT you than it is WITH you…Here’s what I mean by that, Every major project that you begin from now on must NOT have you at the center. In other words Project MINUS you must be more valuable than project PLUS you once it’s complete. This is your new rule. You don’t get to violate it, cheat on it, postpone it, rationalize it.

My insight: Don’t confuse activity with accomplishment.

Almost everybody has at least one passion where they’ll gleefully spend irrational amounts of money.

The things that are holding you back in business are the same things that are holding you back in the rest of your life

Good marketing is not sleight-of-hand. Good marketing is backing up truth with persuasive proof.

Say it louder for the blackhats, cloakers, and account-farmers in the back. #cloakgang

Be a big fish in a little pond. You can’t be any kind of fish in a puddle.

There are MANY markets and passions where there is no money. Just because you’re interested in something doesn’t mean it has the potential to be profitable. 30 second, over-simplified sanity check: How many Google advertisers? I just typed in “sociology” and there were zero. Not promising. “Drumming” – 6 advertisers and 5-10 cent clicks; hardly any better. On the other hand, a market that’s $1-10 per click and 50+ advertisers means there’s lots of money to be had by a shrewd marketer.

“Sell results, never air” (paraphrasing Perry Marshall)

Insight to end this section:Like Perry Marshall and Jay Abraham say, innovation hardly comes form inside of an industry, so:

1. Adopt the SUCCESSFUL practices/strategies/tactics from one industry and bring it to YOURS

2. Find someone in the corporate world and apply some of their stuff to your biz

Merge 2 or separate ideas, and you might end up with a star business.

Let’s go deeper…

Stop “Optimizing” Your Web Pages and Optimize This Instead

You do NOT succeed by optimizing web pages. You optimize THOUGHT Sequences

Via the Lizard brain. It cares about:

Contrast: how is this different from anything I’ve seen before?

Color: does this make me sad, mad, happy, joyful, sorrowful, regretful?

Dimension: where does the relative size of various elements steer my attention?

Movement: what’s next? And next? And next? Is it in the right order?

Separation: how do you use SPACE?

Eye tracking: what do your eyes see in 0.4 seconds? What message instantly, imperceptibly sail right past your consciousness and into the deep recesses of your being, bypassing all rational thought?

When you “double your bid prices, you 4x your traffic […] your landing page is not just a bottleneck, it’s a compound-interest lever”

Perry’s Review on Richard Koch’s 80/20 Manager book

“What is scarce is rewarded.

Hard work is not scarce. Long hours, sadly, are commonplace. Loyalty to an organization is neither scarce, nor, regrettably, reciprocated. Business school degrees are almost ubiquitous. The tools of analysis – spreadsheets, discounted cash flows, snazzy presentations – are available to all. Even money is not really rare anymore. Everything is a commodity.

Everything except individual inspiration and innovation.”
—Richard Koch

Becoming a marketing master =

You ALWAYS are honing your USP, your Unique Selling Proposition. ALWAYS. Not only your product, but your company and most of all YOURSELF. This never stops. Not even for a single day.
The only way YOU are going to be THE one is focusing on the 1% of tasks that you are better at than almost anyone else, and building a team where the same thing can be said of every single one of them.
There is one thing there is not an abundant supply of and that’s people who have fully developed and expressed their God-given USP. And the great news, there can never be too many.

My insight: 80/20 Manager is a great book if you lead a team, run a company, or interested in working less by leveraging 80/20 at work.

Perry’s Webinar with Adam Libman

#1: Effort does NOT equal reward
#3: Wealth through equity (how the rich get rich)

Get equity not cash
—Warren Buffet

Get The Star Principle book by Richard Koch

The 3 “80/20 summaries” of the book:

A. Only invest in a company that’s in a market that’s growing by > or = 10%/year

B. Only invest in the #1 company in that market
(#1 comp. has much bigger advantage than most realize)

C. If you aren’t #1, redefine your niche or carve out a niche within the niche where you are #1
(invent a new category)

My insight: I feel sorry for the skimmers. The star principle is golden. You can apply it to choosing affiliate offers in a vertical, dating, and even for choosing a market to enter in various different ways (consulting, building an agency, etc.)

If it’s a growing market and you find a “niche within the niche” where there’s demand…Camp out there b/c you have a much better chance of success with less effort.

Star business = #1 biz in a niche where the mrkt growth is > or = 10%/year

“Once you’re in the lead, it’s easy to maintain the lead”

This could work in an emerging market with no clear leader as well

Perry’s example of Niche within a niche (Big fish in a little pond): The 80/20 of Sales and Marketing (Koch is THE #1 80/20 guy, but Perry decided to tackle 80/20 for a specific vertical.)

3 Quick litmus test questions for finding a Star biz

  1. Is this growing? (more than 10%/yr)? AKA is the # of people spending money on this going up?)
    • Not growing (or won’t be growing X years from now) = don’t do it
    • Symptoms of a new market = new ppl piling on, no clue what they are doing and they are STILL making money
    • Don’t get into something shrinking or flat
  2. Are we #1? #1 = You sell more (metric = revenue) than anybody else due to your USP
  3. If we aren’t #1, what slice can we be #1 in by adjusting a little bit and staking out a spot nobody has claimed

How to get equity as an outside consultant

Questions from webinar attendee:
1. Perry if you’re a consultant and found a star business, how do you trade your time for equity?

Perry’s Answer: When you do a consulting arrangement, get an option to buy X amount of $$ of stock in that company at a future date at today’s strike price. Get phantom shares until it actually flips (so there are no tax consequences)

2. How do you structure the deal to get equity?

Perry’s Answer: Maybe trade services for equity. Maybe invest in a certain part of a business (the part that is the “star”) and steer the company in that direction.

How most Fortune 500 companies make their money. Steal their strategies

Most fortune 500 companies got lots of money using 1 or 2 forms of simplification similar to McDonalds and Ford (#1) OR do what Apple did (#2)

1. “They took something complex, stripped it down and made it cheap and accessible” [Price Simplifier]

2. Take something that works, and made it elegant (like the iPad) [Proposition Simplifier]

Perry Marshall at @GrowthCon

“Marketing is trying to get people to respond. The 80/20 rules says find the hyper-responsives.”

20% of people will spend four times the money

“Everything about marketing is like racking the shotgun.”

“Marketing is a science experiment”

“If you’re going to outsource anything, hire a personal assistance first and foremost.”

“Don’t become so obsessed with the ones who aren’t paying attention, that you lose focus of the ones who are.”

Everybody’s counting the wrong stuff! Ask “who are the super stars?” and focus on the 20%

Art of Paid Traffic Interview Perry Marshall

Almost everything Google Adwords (now called “Google Ads”), is about 80 20

Almost every smart thing you do in marketing is 80 20

80/20 starting off = 80% of who you THINK your customers are, are the wrong people and only 20% are the right people

Finding that RIGHT 20%, will cause your ad spend to drop 80%, pouring that previously wasted ad spend into the RIGHT20% will 3-5X your results

Now the real fun begins: “Well what’s the 20% of the 20% and where is their sweet spot and how do we hit it over and over” i.e. 2 layers in, is when you strike gold

Everything in marketing is about racking the shotgun

The first $$$ you spend will always be education/acquiring data money (i.e. -ROI, but keep going)

Are you paying attention to whose paying attn?

Whatever you do for traffic, it needs to fit you.

How to armor-plate your mind and business for inevitable hardships

You wanna survive… then thrive?

Here are some wise precautions that will prepare you for adversity and ensure your success:

  1. Assume that vendors will be slower than they promise – and that you may have to stand on their heads to get things done (not that you should accept this if it’s going on though!)
  2. Assume click prices and advertising rates are going to go UP, not down
  3. Assume Google’s gonna slap you sooner or later, even if you’ve got the most righteous product on God’s green earth
  4. Assume your best source of customers could dry up with no advance notice
  5. Assume the buying cycle is longer than you think it is, not shorter
  6. Assume it’s gonna get harder to raise capital, not easier
  7. Assume some unforeseen problem, like a product defect, legal challenge or financial setback may pop up
  8. Assume your top 3 plans might not work out, so have #4 and #5 in place too

Once you’ve assumed all that and planned for it – NOW you can look forward to great success, knowing that you’ve anticipated virtually every obstacle and can make it through. Because when you put those constraints on your plan, you’ll NEED to add a magic ingredient.

This will force your creativity to add one

How to find your sellable skills

List out:

  • Every magazine you’ve ever subscribed to for any length of time
  • Same for newsletters & various publications that you consistently enjoyed reading
  • Every job or industry you worked in long enough to become really familiar – even if you’ve been out of it for a long time
  • Every “group” that you’ve been a member of. Examples could be – golf, Presbyterian church, girl scouts, cancer survivors support group, bowling league, pottery making class, David Hasselhoff Fan Club, horsemanship, stamp collecting, backgammon, owning rental property, investing, chess club, etc.
  • Every major schooling / training / educational experience you’ve had (like travel to Africa or airplane mechanic school or nursing degree)
  • Every hobby or fascination you’ve had
  • 5 topics you know a lot about, that most people don’t know you know a lot about
  • Specific products, services or experiences that you have great familiarity with (like a washing machine that broke down so much, pretty soon you knew how to fix it better than the repairman)
  • Topics you own more than 5 books on
  • A story of 2 major personal victories from each of the following: childhood; teen years; early adult; recent adult. Tell what happened and what made you feel GOOD about it.
  • Why don’t you chunk on that for awhile and let me know what you come up with. I bet somewhere buried in that list is a marketplace that would pay money for your skills.
  • From that you can form a USP, determine something unique to sell, have a ready-made understanding of the customers who buy that sort of thing, and have a MUCH easier go of it.
  • Finally: Take the Marketing DNA Test and pay very close attention to your results.

Misc. Bits from Perry

$0.01 book offer (instead of the “free + shipping” funnel that’s so common)

LTO (no-brainer offer) + Dynamic sales (based on info PM got from visitor, determines where they can go). “Behavoral response dynamic marketing”

“check this box if you want this” type of upsells after they by the book [Bump offer]

TELL TRUE STORIES…no matter how long it takes you to think of it

Take some of the money you’re spending on traffic and make your offer better (make offer a no-brainer)

His VSLs are about ~20mins

His #1 source of traffic = FB, retrtg then affiliate traffic + (some) YT traffic + publicity (Podcasts, etc.)

Do content marketing PLUS retarget those pages THEN follow those people around on Google Display and Facebook (FollowUp. Says most of the traffic is coming from content and the retargeted ads, not just cold traffic

Him describing one of his best funnels

1. Has them rank their problem

(asking them questions about where they are at…what they are doing, and what their problems are)

2. Get a series of VSL that say, “Based on what you’ve just told us, this is the best solution for your problem right now”

  • His is very similar toRyan Levesque’s SFF + VSL (LeadsHook is the best quiz funnel software out there right now. Hands down.)
  • Says the “caveat step” is asking them, “what’s your biggest bleeding neck” issue right now?
  • Says the VSLs are fixed, but which VSL and product they get depends entire on what their survey answers were (again, easily done with software)
  • Most VSLs just have diff intros

“When I put a step in a sales funnel that Disqualifies people…the response often doubles”

“80/20 is more about what you say NO to”

“Sell to people who want to be sold to”

Gets opt-ins before surveys…finds that opt-ins who didn’t buy (upfront?) don’t convert well. Says the opt-in step was still the best way to go for them

Says to use legit reasons to disqualify people not just “If you’re a schmuck, you shouldn’t buy this” b/c who labels themselves a schmuck in their mind? Call out specific reasons and specific people who shouldn’t buy. Still attempt to entice the the person on the fence however

Do not be afraid to push people away

How to dominate your market if you own a blue collar biz

Oh, and by the way if you do a business like handyman stuff or repair or remodeling, all you have to do is show up on time, answer the phone, tell people the truth, finish projects on-time and on-budget, and you’ll kick everybody else’s ass in town. In a business like that, half the secret to success is literally “showing up.” You’ll get lots of referrals, customers will love you, and you’ll make a good living. Even in an economy that sucks.

Advice to a commenter on thinking bigger about affiliate marketing

I think that promoting standard plain vanilla affiliate programs is an exercise in futility for all but the most sophisticated marketers. However there are MANY MANY brick and mortar products and companies who have no idea how to sell their product on Google and personal arrangements with them (think walking a trade show and talking to sales managers) could hold all kinds of legitimate, slap-proof possibilities for you.


(in response to person asking about Commission Junction and Google’s Slaps and bans) Make those other companies an offer they can’t refuse. Go to a trade show and talk to 100 vendors. Someone will work with you.

How to sell more by doing less (talk outline)

  • Leverage exponential power of 80/20
  • Rack The Shotgun
  • USe
  • Simplify your life with the power triangle (TCE)
  • Disqualify people
  • Split test each segment of your offer
  • Increase your sales 50 times in 10 steps
  • Increase profit with every customer

Give ppl at top of the heap (top 20%) more TLC

What does the guy at the top (the 20%) want…and what do I have to give him to make him part with his money?

Find the problem he wants solved…show him how you can solve it.

Focus on the top 20% (and the top 1%)…not really the bottom 80%

The Tactical Triangle

Sales (power triangle) =
Traffic (eyeballs from anywhere) +
Conversion (saying what will have them give you $$$) +
Economics (how much $$ you get from the transaction)

Then invest the $$ into getting more traffic

The 5 Disqualifiers

1. Do they have the money?
2. Do they have a bleeding neck?
3. Do they buy into your USP?
4. Do they have the ability to say YES?
5. Does what you sell fit into their overall plans?

A good salesman recognizes when they’ve reached the end of the line (i.e. they’ve tapped out the market and found all the ppl who do and dont’ qualify)

Split test each segment of your offer

All failures are just tests. “I tested X, it didn’t work.”

Every step in your marketing flow/funnel = a chance to improve…soon you reach a tipping point where the hockey stick kicks in and you’re dominating all your competitors. Conversion Optimization = THIS IS YOUR MAIN JOB

Tested his 80/20 book title by giving split-testing the sub-title in AW and giving away a free report on the LP

Put a chat box on your site and talk to people who come there to visit, and tweak your sales funnel (a la Ari of UnlockTheGame)

4 Questions for determining if your information and mentors are worthy

From the Star Principles page (great read, btw.)

1. Who are the top 5 people who have influenced YOUR business education?
2. What have they successfully taught you?
3. What have they attempted to teach you, that still has not materialized?
4. What do you wish they could teach you, that is sadly beyond their experience?


Soon I’ll have up my notes from the seminar that’ll Thanos everything you thought you knew about marketing, your business, yourself and if you put them into action the notes will show you how to position all 3 for an upward-spiral of wins.

So Thanos yourself, your business, your market and them re-invent something better with some alchemy from my Star Principle notes here. (Link will be live later)