Believe it or not, I turn away students for my 30x500 Product Launch Class all the time.
That sounds kinda crazy, doesn’t it? Here I have somebody trying to give me a fistful of hundreds, and what do I tell them? Oooh yeah, fork it over!? No. I tell them to keep it.
Why? It’s in my best interest – and theirs.
Case Study: Consumers are Death?
Today I got an email from somebody who’s interested in taking my class. He wrote:
Your 30x500 offer is really good. My web developer said it’s the best copywriting he has seen.
One thing that stood out for my case.:
(NOTE: It is not for you, however, if you are in love with & committed to serving a consumer audience, such as hobbyists, yoga teachers, musicians, etc! That way danger lies, and 30×500 is about skirting around the danger & ensuring your success!)
My blog [redacted] is about proactive health for concerts and travels. I will offer some guides and classes etc…
I understand that Musicians are a tricky target to go towards. (I will be going especially to all creatives involved in that world)
But to the point for you to exclude anyone who is thinking about taking your class!
Could you explain to me why?
Yep, as you guessed, I could.
Here’s what I wrote back:
Yep: Consumers Are Death
Here’s the reason: selling to consumers is the second best way to kill your business. The first best way is to never start your business to begin with.
Selling to consumers requires a zillion other skills that most people simply don’t have.
You cannot sell simply, based on value – e.g., “pay x and earn y!” – because consumers aren’t going to earn money from what you do. You cannot charge a lot, for the same reasons. And consumer support is worse – they are pickier, more demanding, and less professional.
On the other hand, if you can master cool, and sex, and fashion (or maybe manipulating fears & guilt), then you can sell to consumers easily. But…
The people who most reliably, comfortably, & happily pay are businesses. That could mean anybody from “a person who makes and sells custom jewelry” to “a freelance developer” to “a 5-person consulting firm.”
The point is, they have an upside. They are constantly thinking about money, and about earning more money, spending less, and having a smoother, more enjoyable time – 40 hours+ a week.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to sell to consumers – but it is a major strike against you from the outset. It’s like deliberately picking a bad hand when you play poker. Who would do that on purpose?
That’s why I don’t “allow” my students to do it: my job is to give them as many chances for success as possible.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to nip that in the bud.
Footnote: It’s Possible
Of course, many folks have made a great living selling to consumers.
But that can be like a selection bias. Obviously, if millions of people are trying, some will succeed. But most won’t. It’s far more fool-proof to sell to business.
When you sell to consumers, you have to be better at writing and design – because consumers hold more tightly to their hard-earned cash. It helps, too, if you’re especially talented at capturing the zeitgeist and spotting trends.
And in case you were tempted to say, “But APPLE…” – well, Apple is special. I wouldn’t bet on any plan that requires me to be Steve Jobs.