"Copywriting" w/ Justin Goff 210


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Today on the show we’re sharing a presentation from the Maximum Lawyer Guild by Justin Goff on Copywriting.

Justin is best known for helping marketers and business owners to convert their offers on cold traffic. He grew his own supplement company from 0->$23 million in sales in just under three years by focusing on cold traffic growth. After selling his supplement company in 2017, Justin now helps some of the biggest names with their marketing like Golden Hippo, Dan Lok, Agora Financial, V-Shred, 4Patriots, Mike Geary, Danette May, Six Pack Shortcuts, Natural Health Sherpa and more.

You can experience these trainings Live and have the opportunity for real time questions in the Maximum Lawyer Guild community! For membership details and all the member benefits head on over here: https://maximumlawyer.com/theguild/

Thanks so much for listening to the show! To keep on maximizing your firm, please join our Facebook Group – Maximum Lawyer, like us on Facebook – Maximum Lawyer Conference, and subscribe to our YouTube channel – Maximum Lawyer!

You can also go to MaximumLawyer.com or, if you’d prefer, email us at: [email protected]

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Run your law firm the right way.

This is The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.

Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux.

Let's partner up and maximize your firm.

Welcome to the show.


Jim: We are live with Justin Goff. I've been on Justin's email list for a while. He was on The Hustle and Flowchart Podcast with our friends from San Diego. I've been following him ever since. He's an expert on copywriting. Everybody in the group’s been after me to get copywriting experts on. His real specialty is helping to convert cold traffic.

Justin, I hate to say it, but I think some of our members are even going to need to know what cold traffic is. Welcome to the show and thanks for making time for us.

Justin: Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me, guys.

Jim: Why don't you tell everybody a little bit about your background, how you got into internet marketing. I know that you've worked in some really interesting verticals. Why don't you tell us a little bit about that to start off?

Justin: My kind of whole journey started when I was in college, from a $1200-dollar gambling debt that I could not pay. I was trying to figure out a way to pay this off and came up with a great idea that I was going to make a website and sell my sports pics on it. That, basically for about six months, seven months, or whatever, flopped. Nobody bought a thing. I had no idea what to do to get customers. I'm spamming forums and posting links everywhere thinking, this is what you're supposed to do, but I was too stupid and too stubborn to realize that I should have just quit.

I basically kept doing that. And then, probably about seven-- it was like six or seven months later, someone actually bought something. That was just shocking to me. I still remember. Like I said, I was in college, and I was at my parents’ house at the time because it was over Christmas break. I remember literally jumping up and down in their computer room and like screaming and running around the room because, up until this point, I know this was like real. It was just like oh, this pipe dream. That's when things kind of like turned real, I was like, “Oh, you actually can make money online.” That was kind of my first taste of how to actually make money online and be an entrepreneur. It evolved from there in many ways.

I was really big in the poker affiliate world when poker was booming, kind of the mid-2005-ish, somewhere in there. Made money as an affiliate. That all kind of hit the fan when the government outlawed online poker in the United States in like 2009-ish.

Moved into fitness and health stuff. So, started selling information products online. We were kind of one of the first ones who were on the paleo diet trend before it got really big. Sold a lot of cookbooks and courses around helping people lose weight. I built a couple of companies up to about a million dollars to $2 million doing that stuff.

And then, kind of my biggest win, back in 2017, I built a supplement company to about $23 million in sales. And then, I sold my stake in that. That was really off the back of copywriting which is really just salesmanship in print. It's a way to sell stuff to people. That's kind of what we're going to talk about today.

Jim: Awesome.

I remember when I got my first client off one of my YouTube videos because, just like you, I had been putting out these videos and I didn't know if anybody was watching them. I saw that we had a little incremental increase of subscribers.

That feeling, when it happens the first time, is so awesome, because you're like, “If this happened once, it can happen twice.” Yeah, that totally made my day. I get that.

Justin: Nice.

Jim: When you were done spamming people on online forums, how did you start to teach yourself copywriting?

Justin: I kind of learned copywriting from just like old school books. I studied a lot of like Gary Halbert, and Dan Kennedy, Clayton Makepeace, stuff like that. There's a lot of actually really good copywriting books you can just buy on Amazon for 10 bucks and learn the basics of copywriting. Especially if you're in a niche, like someone who's a lawyer. You don't have to be a world class copywriter to write better copy than the lawyers you're competing against.

Really, like we said, copywriting is really just persuading someone to buy something from you, to come on as a client, however you want to look at it. It's really about talking to someone one-on-one, showing things like proof, showing things like “I understand your situation”, showing how you can actually help them. Things like that, like I said, in a one-on-one situation.

Probably, one of the biggest mistakes copyright people make, especially non-copywriters, when they try to write copy is they try to sound very corporate-y because they want to have this professional image. The reality is really good copy actually sounds like me and you sitting across from each other in a bar and talking to each other. It feels like me and you are actually talking to each other. We're one on one. This is like a real, genuine conversation. It's not corporate speak from a PR person at Microsoft or something like that.

Jim: One of the things that I've learned from listening to you and reading your emails most days is that people -- and especially lawyers, but people who want to sell things, don't do a good enough job understanding what motivates their avatar clients or what keeps their clients up at night. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Justin: Step one of writing really good copy is truly understanding who you're writing to, at their core. This is actually something that we teach to a lot of the copywriters in our groups. A lot of people will make the mistake of just starting to write. They’ll be like, ”All right. Here's the product I'm writing for and here's how I want to sell it.” They just start writing.

A lot of those people, you can tell very, very quickly. You're trying to sell something to a 75-year-old woman, yet you don't really know anything about what it's like to be a 75-year-old woman. You're a 26-year-old dude who has nowhere near any of the problems that she has. 

We see this a lot. I coach a lot of copywriters who write health stuff. I actually do stuff. I'm like, “Get on the phone with your grandma, talk to her, and ask about kind of stuff that's going on in our life.”

Like I had a really eye-opening experience with this, talking to my grandma on the phone, where she said-- she's like, I don't know, 86 or 87 now. She mentioned she was really, really nervous about this big event coming up. I'm asking her about it, I'm like, “What are you nervous about?” She's like, “Well, we're going to this charity function in like four weeks--“ and she's like, “and there's three flights of stairs there and I have to walk up all three flights of stairs.” This is like a month away and she's like panicking about this. She's in her house doing like stairs daily to prepare for this.

Me, I was a 36-year-old person. I would never think of that as a big worry in my life. But, when you truly get to understand who the customer is, what they want, what's their kind of like big fears, what's their worries, what do they really kind of want to accomplish in the best case scenario. Then, you can write exactly to those fears, exactly to all those other kind of pain points that are going on.

Jim: Do you think people are motivated more by something that they want or some pain they want to avoid?

Justin: Definitely, getting out of pain more than getting the end goal.

You see this a lot in weight loss. Someone who's like really overweight is actually much more motivated to not be overweight anymore than they are to be skinny. They want to get out of that personal hell of being overweight, of taking their shirt off at the beach and feeling insecure about it. Stuff like that hits them way, way harder than the promise of being 20 pounds lighter.

Jim: Okay, so people should talk to their grandma, if that's their target market.

Here's what I get from a lot of lawyers, Justin. Let's say we're talking about lawyers that handle car accidents. They say to themselves, “Well, I've had a lot of clients who've come to my office, I sort of feel like they know what it is to go through a car accident, maybe I've even been in a car accident.” What's missing beyond just sort of the daily interactions with clients? Are there specific things you should be asking them about?

Justin: Are you talking about kind of like a personal injury lawyer-type thing?

Jim: Yeah.

Justin: Okay.

Think about it from the person’s standpoint who gets in a car accident. I think I've probably been in one car accident my whole life. Most people don't get in tons of car accidents from what I believe. I've gotten in an accident before and gotten all the direct mail from all the personal injury lawyers three days later. Some of it is actually really good. Some of it’s awful. Some of it’s you could tell they hired someone who knows what the hell they're doing because there's probably big money in those cases, I'm assuming. So yeah, really, truly--

Something like a car accident, you might not have a defined demographic. It's not going to be women from the age of 45 to 70 or something, like it is in a lot of niches, but you are going to have a lot of the same of emotions and feelings among all those clients. One of which, just off the top of my head, like they're confused and they don't know what to do is probably a huge one. “I've never been in an accident or I've been in a little fender bender before and now I just got T-boned at an intersection. I'm not really sure what the hell I'm supposed to do.” That is probably a huge one.

I think a lot of stuff for a lawyer is more about being an advocate and having someone in their corner because that person coming in kind of feels almost like a little child, in a sense, where it's like, “I don't know what to do. This is very foreign to me. I'm afraid I'm going to screw this up. I'm afraid I'm going to get screwed over in a court case or whatever. I need someone in my corner who's going to fight for me and show me exactly what to do.” Like I said, I don't really know a whole lot about the lawyer niche but I just know like people that's probably a pretty common emotion that's kind of going on from someone who gets in a car accident.

Jim: Do you think that you think that lawyers can teach themselves how to be good copywriters or do you think they should hire people?

Justin: A lot of it really depends on how you run your business. If you are running a well-oiled machine, and you have multiple employees, and you kind of like to run a bigger kind of company where like you're the CEO, kind of dictating stuff, I would 100% probably just hire someone. It's not worth your time to learn how to write copy.

If you're kind of more of the one-man show, doing stuff on your own, I think you definitely could hire a copywriter. The big thing with hiring a copywriter is like even if you hire a junior copywriter, who's pretty cheap and, say,-- I don't know, pay him 2000 bucks to write a direct mail piece for you that's going to get clients. That $2,000 is going to be well spent because, even if you're trying to learn on your own, he's going to write it better for $2,000 than you probably would right out of the gate, unless you have some real copy chops yourself.

Jim: Besides knowing sort of the pain points of your avatar, what are other good markers of good copy?

Justin: Okay. So, that's number one, really knowing who the market is, knowing exactly who you're writing to. When you actually, let's say, send something out to them. Let's say you're sending a direct mail letter to their house or you're writing an email to them, whatever it is, probably one of the biggest mistakes I see is not grabbing their attention right away.

People will write something and it'll be like seven sentences in or eight paragraphs in that they finally say what the thing that actually like grab somebody's attention. They do like-- we call it throat clearing. You basically like put out all this stuff to try to lead up to what you really want to say. The problem is people's attention spans are like, as soon as you're boring for three sentences, they just stop reading. They go back to checking their iPhone, or they're playing around on Instagram, or whatever the hell they're doing. Whatever is more exciting than what you're saying.

Gary Halbert, who's like a famous copywriter, always had a saying that, “The most deadly sin in marketing is being boring.” That's for sure true. Whether you're writing emails, whether you're doing Facebook posts, whatever it is, if you're boring and you're talking about just like the technical speak, especially if you're talking like a language that only other lawyers would understand, that is another huge issue where it's, you communicate--

I wrote an email about this to my email list the other day. I had a call with one of my financial advisors. I connected him to my parents to kind of help them with their portfolio stuff. A lot of stuff he was talking about just flying over my parents. He was using words like index funds and equities and stuff like that. I had to stop him four times and explain to them what an index fund is and equities are the same thing as stocks. So, “when he says equities, he means stocks.” That type of stuff.

Especially in professional niches. You see this a lot with doctors, too. The doctors will talk about hypertension instead of just saying high blood pressure. Well, your average person knows what high blood pressure is. Your average person doesn't know what hypertension is. They don't even realize they’re the same thing.

So, using the actual words that the people you're trying to sell to or you're trying to get as a client, that's a huge, huge thing.

Jim: And it's hard. You're right. It's hard because we go to law school and they teach us all these big words and big concepts. And then, we're expected to turn that all off when we're talking to our clients. I think you're right.

For me, I'm an immigration lawyer, so I deal with immigrants. Not only am I dealing with people who aren't used to hearing legal language, they’re not used to hearing the English language. It's a whole other level. I've really worked hard to try to make my messaging to people really simple, but it's easy to slip into that overly lawyer stuff. You know, the other thing with lawyers is lawyers love to talk about how smart they are, how many years of experience they have.

Talk to us some more about, as an outsider, looking in at the state of lawyer advertising, what are you seeing?

Justin: I've done a ton of work in fitness with gym owners. They run into a lot of the same issues. A lot of professionals do this. Gym owners or personal trainers tend to talk about all their certifications and all this stuff they've gone through and your average person doesn't give two shits about that. They don't understand what that certification is. There's four letters behind your name. They don't understand any of it. What they really care about, though, is a lot of proof and credibility type stuff. 

Jim: What do you mean proof and credibility?

Justin: Let's say you're a lawyer in Austin, Texas, where I live, and you write the weekly column in the Austin American-Statesman about-- I don't know, traffic tickets or whatever. That is proof and credibility to a lot of people. Or, you represented this person and this person - that's proof and credibility. That type of stuff goes a lot further. Or, maybe you just wrote a self-published book on immigration and how you can-- I don't know, whatever your topic is, in terms of immigration law. You're then now seen as the expert in that niche. Most professionals don't do enough in terms of that because the more you can be seen as like the go-to person for your niche, the better you're going to do.

One of the big things there, you see this all over, is people are really scared to narrow their niche and specify who they serve. Like you’re saying, you do immigration stuff, that's much better. The majority of people I know who are lawyers, they do seven different things. 

I'll give you a really good example of this. The guy who does my taxes, when I was referred to him, he bills himself as a tax strategist specifically for entrepreneurs who make between a million and $5 million a year. That is a crazy specific kind of niche that he goes to. Yet, I've also sent him probably-- I don't know, nine people because any time one of my buddies, who's an entrepreneur, who I know makes good money asks me about tax stuff, I'm like, “Oh, yeah, you need to talk to Jeff.” That's how you get really good referrals too by being niched down to a really kind of specific kind of category.

Jim: Yeah, I think that's true, for sure.

Somebody joined the Facebook group the other day. They said that they specialize in car accidents, wills, criminal, DUI, and divorce. I don't know how you can specialize in five things. There's lots of reasons why that kind of marketing doesn't work.

Justin: Yeah. It's also-- if you just look at the general landscape of specialists vs generalists, specialists always make more. If you look at it in medicine, the heart surgeon is always going to make more than the family doctor. The brain surgeon’s always going to make more than the pediatrician. The more you can specialize-- even in my world of copywriting, the copywriter who's really damn good at writing health and weight loss stuff and doesn't write anything else usually makes a lot more than the person who's like, “Oh yeah, I write articles. I can write blog posts. I can write your sales copy.” You're kind of all over the map and it's really hard to be a specialist when you do that.

Jim: Yeah, for sure.

Talk to us a little bit about the state of internet marketing - how are things now. I know that, with the coronavirus and everything, things are unusual. Is this a good time for lawyers to be advertising online or trying to get into social? What are your thoughts on that?

Justin: Yeah. I'm a huge fan of continuing to do what you're doing as long as-- if there's money coming in and you're still able to get cases or you're still able to build up a list of leads, 100%, because it's really smart to be doing stuff like that while everybody else is kind of pulling back.

The one thing you kind of mentioned is kind of how stuff is happening right now, with the coronavirus, a lot of the huge brand advertisers that have really pulled back on Facebook. You can get clicks now for half the price that they were just three months ago on a lot of niches simply because the big advertisers have really pulled back all their budgets.

Jim: I know a lot of people that think that they should just hop on Facebook, run a few ads, and see what happens. Talk to us a little bit about the funnel afterwards. What needs to happen? What setup do you need to have if you're going to run Facebook or Google ads?

Justin: It really depends what you're going to specifically run them for. I would say, for lawyers, it's a little different because there's a lot of lawyers where let's say you'd have an ongoing relationship with them. And then, there's other lawyers like probably a car accident one where you kind of use them once and then there's probably not a whole lot of an ongoing relationship after that.

Now, I'll give you an example. The guy I used, the lawyer for my business. He actually is niched down specifically to-- he works with all kinds of online entrepreneurs. If you talk to any of the biggest kind of like CPA affiliate networks, they use him. If they talk to people like me or people who are running $10- to $20-million businesses in online space, a lot of them use this guy as well. Like, someone in his situation, he'd be really smart.

I'm a huge fan of having some way of getting in front of your customers and your clients every single day. For my personal business, I do that with my daily email. I write an email every morning to my email list, that's both informational but more entertaining. It's a lot of storytelling but there's always like a bit of something they can take away - a golden nugget that's like, “Oh, that's really good reminder, something to know.”

You can do this in any niche. Going back to, let's say, the tax guy that I use. I've been trying to encourage him for a while, I was like, “You should do a monthly print newsletter that you send out to all of your clients and all of your prospective clients that tells a bunch of stories of how you've helped people basically save a bunch of money on their taxes. Don't tell them like an accountant would tell them but tell them in a fun and entertaining way.” That's cool. I would love to see that each month - how you took this guy from paying $300,000 a year in taxes and now you got him down to $150,000 by doing this, this and this. That's really valuable information. Just kind of being in front of someone every single month or every single day, however you want to do it, really changes the game because that just keeps you front of the mind. Probably one of the biggest mistakes you could do is not being in front of the people that you want to sell to and the people that you're already currently selling to.

Jim: How did you settle on once a day for your emails?

Justin: It has really evolved. My old supplement company, we started off mailing - we sent emails twice a week. I remember, at the time, a buddy of mine was telling me, he was mailing five times a week and I thought that was crazy. I'm like, “That's too much. You can't mail people that often. They're going to get mad and they're going to unsubscribe from your emails.” He's like showed me his revenue compared to when he was mailing twice a week, like I was, and he was making three times the amount of money. And I was like, “Oh, okay.” So, I switched to mailing five times a week.

And then, a couple of months later, this same guy, he's like, “Yeah, I'm mailing seven times a week now. We just mail every day.” He showed me kind of the stats. I was, “Okay.” Moved to seven times a week. I know some people who mail twice a day. If you do it correctly, if you do it in a fun and entertaining kind of way, people actually look forward to your emails. It's not seen as a burden.

One of the things I really related it to is I'm a huge Howard Stern fan. Every time I'm in the car, I listen to Howard Stern while I'm driving. I don't see it as a burden that Howard Stern's on the air every day for four hours. It's not like, “Oh, shit. He's here, harassing me for four more hours today. Why can't this be a one-time-a-week show?” No. I, actually, really, want to listen to him because I love listening to the show. If you can write emails in a fun and entertaining kind of way that people look forward to, you can kind of create that same thing where people want to tune in each day to hear what you have to say.

Jim: Well, I think your emails live up to that to that test. I can remember specific stories that you've told from your emails months ago. One of my favorites was the one-- I think you sent out a couple about-- it was like a dog hospital or something that you were helping. Can you tell everybody that story?

Justin: Yeah, the dog rescue. The one I did kind of like around Christmas time?

Jim: Yeah.

Justin: I do a lot of direct mail and fundraising stuff for Great Dane Rescue that I used to help with when I lived in Ohio. They're really, really good at saving dogs. They're terrible at marketing and raising money. They have no idea what the hell they're doing. I basically reached out to them and did like a pro bono campaign and told them I'd help them raise some money.

I just got to share that story with my list because it really is all about copywriting and all about storytelling. I just kind of went through. I think, the one you're referring to, I basically broke down the whole campaign. It was like, “Here's exactly why I made the decisions that I made. Here's why I chose the story that I did.” The main story in it was about this great dane that they rescued who had kind of been, basically, abandoned. Their family just took him out to the country and dumped the poor girl on the side of the road and left her there, like in the middle of winter. That's a pretty heartbreaking story for any dog lover. That was like the crux of the fundraising letter that I sent out.

Yeah, that campaign did great for them. Like I said, they're a small rescue who maybe needs like $16,000 to $17,000 a year to operate. We raised like 12,500 bucks just with one simple letter.

Jim: Yeah, and that reminds me of your email this morning where you’ve contrasted two different paragraphs. In the first paragraph, you talked about how much things suck in Africa. And then, the other paragraph, you told the story of one little girl who was being nursed by her mother and about the difference. I mean, just reading the two paragraphs, you could see the emotional contrast and it was the power of the story.

Justin: Nothing grabs people's attention and moves them more than an emotional story. The example you're referring to. Basically, you'll see in like, let's say a lot of fundraising letters for charities and stuff, they'll rattle off a bunch of stats. The one I kind of put in an email is like, ”There’s starving kids in Africa. There's over 4 million of them. They don't have the food they need. A lot of these kids are going to grow up to be sick because they're malnourished from a young age.” It's really just like a lot of facts. It's like “One out of every two kids dies before the age of this.”

That doesn't hit you on an emotional level as much as me telling you about the little story of a six-year-old girl named Jaden who goes to bed every night with hunger pains in her stomach. She cries herself to sleep because she's so hungry. And her mom's sitting there, feeding her ice chips to try to make it better. That doesn't really help the situation, but she does it anyways. Jaden is going to kind of grow up hurt. Jaden, every single day, doesn't know where next meal is coming from. Think about if this was your six-year-old daughter.” Like that emotional story is like, “Oh shit.” Anybody who's got a kid, or nieces, or nephews, or whatever, that kind of hits you in the gut at an emotional level. The same thing happens--

Like I said, these are very prevalent in nonprofit charity-type fundraising stuff, but it works in everything. You could tell the exact same kind of stories if you were a lawyer. I'm sure you could probably tell some pretty emotional stories about immigration stuff with people getting their freedom or winning a case. I'm sure a lot of them probably revolve around kind of getting their freedom.

Jim: I'm lucky that I have a lot of good stories to tell. You know, one of my little niches, within immigration, is that I sue the Immigration Service a lot when people's cases are delayed. So, like, when I tell a story about how someone was like banging their head on the wall, trying to get the government to give them their immigration benefit so their wife or husband could come to America. And then, I include a picture of the person like right after they got off the plane. People love that stuff, much more than hearing about me and telling it like a story as opposed to talking about the legal doctrine of how I won the case. Nobody cares about that, right.

Justin: No. No one. Maybe some lawyers do but that’s about it. 

Jim: From a marketing standpoint, for lawyers, I think what I'm hearing you say is to tell your clients’ stories. Make them the hero and you sort of the guide and showing them sort of the path. And then, I think, people resonate.

You know, one of my YouTube videos last year, I've talked about how I help people with these lawsuits. I've made many videos about that. I made this one where I talked about this one client named Mohammed who wasn't able to come from-- I don't remember whether Jordan or some place. It was just all about Mohammed. So now, when I have consults with people, “Jim, I saw your video about Mohammed. That's my case. I'm just like Mohammed, right.” So, I totally get that.

What other tips do you have for people besides telling their clients’ stories? If you were in charge of a lawyer’s marketing budget, what would you have them do online these days?

Justin: The one you said, I think, is a great one. Actually, it’s very similar in my business where I interview people who are in our mastermind and I put these videos up on YouTube. They're great content because it tells their story of going from where they were before the mastermind. Now, kind of where they're at now. It's like, “I went from working at Abercrombie and Fitch and now I'm making $100,000 a year as a copywriter.” That's a super amazing story for someone who's a freelance copywriter and they want to hear about that journey. But, on the same note, it's also just a massive, massive amount of proof that what I'm doing works. I'm putting that video up on YouTube. People are seeing it. It's just proof, after proof, after proof, the more I put out those videos, that what I'm teaching or what I'm kind of doing in my mastermind really works.

I, 100%, would do that a lot, if I was a lawyer. The cool thing is you can repurpose that over, and over, and over again. That video you put on YouTube, telling that client’s story or maybe interviewing that client, that same thing could be turned into a Facebook post. It could be turned into an email. It could be turned into a direct mail campaign. Once you got good stories, man, just use them over, and over, and over again.

Jim: Good stuff.

All right. This one is a little bit personal for me. A little bit helping.

I know we're running out of time, so I want to be respectful of your time.

Let's say that I was going to start an online course, right. Right now, I have about 15,000 YouTube subscribers. I have an email list of about 9000 or 10,000 people. We get we get pretty good open rates. And so, for the first time and a lot of, in response to our current condition is, I've been wanting to do a course. Let's say it's a course on helping a US citizen bring their spouse here from overseas. That's sort of our bread and butter. I think a lot of people have a lot of misinformation about that. I want to have like an online course about that. What do you think about that and what would I wish I'd be thinking about on the marketing side of that? 

Justin: Are you selling this to lawyers or are you selling this to--

Jim: To people, regular people.

Justin: Okay. Is your email list lawyers or is it regular people?

Jim: Regular people.

Justin: Okay. What is your email list about - immigration?

Jim: It’s my immigration law firms email list. It's separate from this group. This is a lawyer group. But then, I have my own immigration law practice, so I email immigrants or people who've worked with us in the past. I only email them once a week now.

Justin: Okay. So, you're wondering what would be kind of the best hook or angle for selling that course?

Jim: Yeah.

Justin: Sorry. Tell me again, what it was - bringing someone over?

Jim: Let's say Justin's a US citizen. Justin went over to France and fell in love with someone from France and wanted to bring that person to the United States. That's one of our main practice areas in the firm, but a lot of people think that-- my biggest competition is not necessarily other lawyers. It's people who think they can do it themselves. I think, with the economy going down a little bit, there's going to be more people trying to do it themselves because having me do it costs like 3500 bucks, right. If I can sell them a course to try it for $500 on their own and then maybe if they if they feel like they're in over their head, then they might know to hire us or they might just buy the course. I'm just thinking, what kind of message or what should I be thinking about when I'm talking about marketing that?

Justin: I guess, my first thing would be-- obviously, it is a needed kind of topic because you're already doing this for clients. My biggest thing, too, would be really serving a list and kind of running like, I don't know, six or seven ideas by them. Maybe that's one of them. Maybe another one's about some other type of immigration. You would know what the topics are, based on what kind of cases you're doing, because there's probably one or two of them that's going to be a little more of a hot topic than other ones.

That's the big thing. I learned this lesson the hard way, where I used to think I knew exactly what course I should put out. And then, I started surveying the list and I kind of gave them like seven options. I was like, “Here's the seven I'm thinking of doing. I’d just like you get your opinion. Which of these would you purchase, if I put them out?” I basically listed like six or seven of them on Survey Monkey, put like a name on them. And then, I put some little detail about what the course is about and I was like, “All right.” The price is the same for all of them because you don't want like the price to dictate their choice. And then, you send that out to the list and you watch the responses come in.

We started doing this in my old supplement company where we're putting out books for like our topics for books. The first time I ever did it, I put in five of my ideas for what I wanted to do. And then, I took three ideas that I knew were best-selling direct mail books. I just put them in there as well just to kind of see. The three that were the best-selling direct mail books just crushed all the other ones by a long, long mile. If I would’ve just stuck with the four or five that I had in my head that I thought would be great sellers, we would’ve never put out a winning offer. To me, that's the first step, is really nailing that what your list wants is what you're selling which is very elementary. The smartest marketers, I know, make this mistake and kind of put out what they think they want.

Jim: That's good because then you don't invest all this time and effort into a course that nobody wants, right?

Justin: Yes.

It's a very common mistake. It's, “I created this. Now, who's going to buy it?” The real way is, “All right. Here's a market that wants X. Let me go make that.” That's the way to create courses. That's the way to create products.

Jim: I think, that's how Tim Ferriss came up with the Four-Hour Workweek, isn't it? 

Justin: Yeah, Tim was super pragmatic about his testing, from what I've read on that, where he was testing all kinds of Google ads for kind of the hook and the angle and landed on Four-Hour Workweek which turned into a monster blockbuster bestseller.

It is a huge, huge mistake though that-- like I said, even very, very smart marketers. I made this mistake for years and years. I have friends that are smarter than I am that like, “Oh, I got this idea for this.” And I'm like, “Well, did you actually like--have you done any testing on it? Did you run a survey by your list?” “No. No.” And then, they’ll run a survey by the list, kind of a similar one I just did and their idea’s like the fifth best one out of seven and you're like, “I just saved you eight months of a nightmare trying to put that together.”

Jim: All right. Well, Justin, thanks so much for your time. We really appreciate it. I think everyone's going to get a lot out of this. I know that you have a very interesting approach to your email list. Do you want to talk a little bit about that real quick?

Justin: Sure. Like I said, I'm a huge Howard Stern fan. That's kind of how I treat my email list. It's very much something I try to get people to tune into every day. It's a combination of entertainment, me teaching marketing stuff, me teaching kind of persuasion stuff. And then, also a lot of like personal stuff that really helps with like the bonding and people see in me as a real person.

Funny enough, the posts I write, that I never think are going to do well are the ones that get the most responses. It’s always the ones are talking about my dog, or talking about whatever the hell's-- the restaurant I ate at last night. I could write like a 10-page, if you want, on these awesome marketing tactics and crickets, but it's always the ones that you don't think are going to do well that everybody tends to like.

Jim: All right. Great.

So, how do they get on your email list?

Justin: Oh, yeah. For people who want to subscribe. My email list is unlike most email lists where you can just opt-in. It’s actually by application. There's a little application with like seven questions you fill out and if you're a good fit, I'll put you on the list. So, if you just go to Justin123.com, that'll take you right to the application. It's a nice ugly Google form that goes right to me. I'll get the application if you fill that out.

Jim: Justin, thanks so much, man. Thanks for spending time with us.

Justin: Yeah, no problem. Thanks, guys.


Thanks for listening to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.

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