It’s the End of the World as We Know It
(And I Feel Fine)

Worlds Collide

Matter meets antimatter, cats are sleeping with dogs, and President Obama is going to grab a venti soy latte with Rush Limbaugh.

And in other end-of-the-world news, I’m going to be having a chat with the most curmudgeonly marketing guru of all time…

Dan Kennedy.

Actually, I’m not chatting with Kennedy himself, but with his business partner Bill Glazer. Bill and I spent about an hour on the phone last month, recording an interview for Dan Kennedy’s “Gold” CD membership. It should be in the mail to Kennedy’s subscribers in the next week or two.

If you know my work and Dan Kennedy’s, this looks a little weird. It would be hard to come up with two marketers who have more different styles than me and Kennedy.

He’s known for harshness, sometimes crossing the line to brutality. (His recent book on managing employees was generously laced with quotes from San Quentin prison guards.) I’m a happy peace-n-love marshmallow.

He mistrusts the Internet and has no use for it personally. Creating online and email content for smart people is how I make my living.

And as for politics . . . well, let’s just not go there.

What Kennedy-style marketing can show bloggers

So why do I read Kennedy’s books and subscribe to his monthly newsletter?

Because no one else lays out the fundamentals of direct marketing like Dan Kennedy does. He’s branded his blunt, straightforward style as “No BS,” and actually, it is.

In Kennedy’s world, you live or die by your unique selling proposition. He has no patience with your opening a fine art gallery in Taos because you’ve always wanted to do that. His relentless cry is So What? and How Do You Justify Your Existence?

Kennedy’s also a longtime proponent of personality-driven marketing. His greatest marketing sin is being boring (and it should be yours, too).

He might not look like a direct descendant of the 60s, with its emphasis on self-expression and individuality, but in that one (and only) sense, Dan’s as big a hippie as I am.

(He’s definitely going to send hired killers to my house for saying that.)

What blogging can show Dan Kennedy

I met Bill when I was giving a talk on blogging at Yanik Silver’s most recent Underground Conference. (That weird and fascinating weekend planted the seeds of the Two Tribes idea.)

Glazer’s known for being a tough-minded, no-nonsense guy. Before our conversation, I was expecting a hard-nosed approach that would have me spending a lot of time justifying this warm-and-fuzzy blogging stuff.

So I was a little taken aback when Bill told me that a cornerstone of his business philosophy is that “you can’t give good away. It keeps coming back to you.”

It turned out that Bill and I were on the exact same page. We both believe in generosity as a core business value. We both believe that relationships with customers are the cornerstone of success. And we both know that giving freely is actually a smart investment.

If you want to check it out

The Glazer-Kennedy folks offer a nice fat free trial for their newsletter and CD product. (They’ve modestly called it the Greatest Free Gift Ever. No one ever accused these guys of false modesty.)

You get two months free of their newsletter-and-CD combination. Every month they cover direct response techniques with lots of examples, sample marketing pieces, and stories. Plus Dan calls a couple of people wimps, weaklings, or idiots. They also send you a truly gigantic box of stuff that will let you decide if their stuff is right for you.

It may not be. The tone and the voice they use are about as far as you can get from the blogging universe. There is nothing remotely hip, countercultural, or web 2.0 about it. You may find, as I do, that you can spend hours translating their ideas into the web 2.0 space.

Which is exactly what makes for content that’s sharp, engaging and captures attention. And, oh yeah, at the end of the day, content that can sell something.

My guess is that if you want to get the free trial in time to hear my interview, you should sign up fairly quickly. It was an interview that had some twists and turns that surprised me, and I think you’ll get a lot out of it.

Click here to check it out. (The link launches into a video with Bill Glazer explaining the offer, so turn your speakers down if you need to.)

About the Author: Sonia Simone is Senior Editor of Copyblogger and the founder of Remarkable Communication.

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Comments

  1. This post gave me quite a few laughs. Bill sounds like an interesting guy.

  2. Sonia,

    I need more “No BS” direct marketing inspiration in my life. I have been hanging out near the cool kids and commies for too long and they’ve really messed with me head – causing me to think it’s all about venti lattes, venture capital and cool iPhone cases.

  3. You are such a flipping awesome writer!!! Everytime I read copyblogger and LOVE an article, it always seems to be you!

    Enough falling at your feet in admiration – great article, will check it out!

  4. @Sarah Mae is clearly a person of advanced discernment and intelligence. :)

  5. I agree with Sarah, Sonia. Your Copyblogger posts always rock the blog.

  6. You guys are going to make me all bashful. xoxo

  7. Oh… I really need to wait for that interview… Ya I had been in Den’s membership for about 6 months or so…. and sure is great in there, as every months the information provided was just in incredible…

  8. I went to the amazing no B.S. Mr. Kennedy’s web site and found plenty of B.S. For starters, I was led to believe that if I entered my name and email address I would receive $613.91 worth of his material for free. No, that’s not the case. He wanted my credit card number so he could charge me $19.95 for “shipping” and enroll me in his membership plan that costs $49.97 per month after a two month free trial. Have you ever tried to cancel one of those auto-bill monthly subscriptions? I have and it ain’t pretty sometimes. Ask yourself: Why would a guy who makes $16,800 a day be dabbling in selling CD’s? Why is he so “low tech?” Mailing CD’s is very out of sync with these times of instant downloads. Most of all, this is a guy who “won’t even go to lunch for free?” Do you want to be like that? I love people and love to spend time getting to know people. Charging another human being for sharing a meal? Shocking!

    • He sells CDs because he knows the difference between active and passive income. Passive = better. Since they have thousands of subscribers, I would hardly call that “dabbling”.

      The man has his flaws, but he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to marketing.

  9. Sonia,
    I like your picture illustrated, the end of the world.
    Thanks.

  10. ‘You can’t give good away. It keeps coming back to you.’ That quote is going straight up on my pin board. It’s a ripper. Many thanks! P. :)

  11. Giving something away for free can be an effective marketing stratety, but don’t give too much away. Too much free stuff can actually devalue a brand. There is a fine line here.

  12. @Ross–Well, Copyblogger has given away killer free content for three years, and we’re doin’ ok. :) I agree that you have to do it strategically. But I think more businesses, even now, could do better by giving more away. You’re certainly right that it can be a little tricky to find the right balance.

    @Rickie, their stuff definitely is not for everyone. FYI, the newsletter is very easy to unsubscribe for anyone who decides they’re not into it. The GKIC folks are aggressive marketers, for sure, but they’re not sleazes.

  13. I have been subscriber of Dan’s and Bill’s
    for nearly a year now and the info and the value
    they provide is worth way more than they charge.

    Igor

  14. Sonia, we can always count on you to tell us when to turn our speakers down. That’s part of what makes you so consistently endearing.

    On a side note, web 2.0 etc builds a stronger culture than the alternative. It doesn’t break the basics, it helps them work better.

  15. I interpreted the title literally, it makes me an idiot haha.

    Anyways the article give me a tickle. Its my first visit on copyblogger and i think i am going to stay here for long. muah!

  16. I learn from Dan Kennedy also in the membership.

  17. Sonia,

    Great post. I’ve been a subscriber to the No B.S. newsletter and Copyblogger for nearly two years and am a charter member of Teaching Sells. I just got my CD and listened to the interview. Great job and thanks for sharing such valuable information.

    I don’t think there are two worlds. Maybe two styles, but I think you, Dan and Bill agree on much more about marketing than you disagree on.

    And for anyone that is concerned about doing business with GKIC, don’t be concerned. Just like the folks here at Copyblogger, they do what they say the will do. And that’s rare in business these days.

  18. Just saying that I enjoyed your post. DK is not for me at this time but I love your writing style and got a few laughs with my morning cuppa :-)

    Good way to start the day.

    Peace

    Ade

  19. I went to the amazing no B.S. Mr. Kennedy’s web site and found plenty of B.S. For starters, I was led to believe that if I entered my name and email address I would receive $613.91 worth of his material for free. No, that’s not the case. He wanted my credit card number so he could charge me $19.95 for “shipping” and enroll me in his membership plan that costs $49.97 per month after a two month free trial. Have you ever tried to cancel one of those auto-bill monthly subscriptions? I have and it ain’t pretty sometimes.

  20. I agree with Sarah, Sonia. Your Copyblogger posts always rock the blog.

  21. ‘You can’t give good away. It keeps coming back to you.’ That quote is going straight up on my pin board. It’s a ripper. Many thanks

  22. I interpreted the title literally, it makes me an idiot haha.

    Anyways the article give me a tickle. Its my first visit on copyblogger and i think i am going to stay here for long. muah!

  23. Lori Anderson :

    Love these guys. Have been getting their stuff for years. lol loved the curmudgeon adjective for Dan Kennedy. He’s a legend!