Marketing Rules I Broke on the Way to a Six-Figure Revenue Stream in 73 Days

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Jump Through Hoop

[Note #1: IF you are potentially interested in learning how to generate a six-figure revenue stream, AND share your gifts and talents with high-end clients… I’m considering offering a free program for you.

But I’m not going to do it unless enough of you on this list want this.

More details near the bottom of this post.

[Note #2: In case you’re just getting to this party now, this post is a FOLLOW-UP to THIS POST.]

In the last blog post, I wrote about my journey from practicing plastic surgery to working with entrepreneurs. To say “this isn’t how I thought my life would unfold” felt to me like the understatement of the new millennium.

And contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t like I conveniently left my plastic surgery practice and immediately started working with entrepreneurs. Hardly.

Instead, I wandered about for the next 18 months [next 18 months after what? making the decision to leave PS?], trying to figure out what I was going to do when I finally grew up …again.

I Know What It’s Like to Struggle Without a Safety Net
Fail #1:
At first, I thought I was going to set the world on fire by helping parents and teachers support their children in growing up financially aware. After putting a great deal of effort into that brilliant idea and having trouble getting people to show up for a free workshop, I figured out that I’d better move on.

Fail #2: Then I came up with another brilliant idea about helping people to get fit, stay fit, and be healthier for the rest of their lives by upgrading their “fitness blueprint.” Well, it only took one live workshop for me to realize that this wasn’t my calling in life.

Fail #3: With my self-confidence now at an all-time low, I decided my path to salvation was to become an eBay guru. I bought a $1,500 “eBay Riches” home study program and eagerly listed and sold several items I had lying around the house; I knew I had hit the big time after making about $150.

All the while, I was wondering how I went from highly-trained surgeon to eBay dilettante. Predictably, this was as good a time as any to go through a serious identity crisis that no medication or surgery could cure.

Backup Plan: Beverly Hills 90210
When my wife asked me what my backup plan was and I said, “You’re looking at him,” ummm… well, that didn’t go over very well. She had other, more reliable options in mind, like a real job.

So I “threatened” to go back to practicing plastic surgery. This time, I had a gig lined up to do cosmetic surgery in Beverly Hills (for those of you outside the United States, this is one of the “hot beds” where celebrities go for cosmetic surgery.)

I didn’t want to do it. I just felt that if I had a little more “running room,” I could figure things out.

Until I started coaching two local companies, I didn’t realize that I had become the business guide and mentor that I wished I had had when I was starting my plastic surgery practice in 1995.

Honestly, I Didn’t Plan on Using “Fire, Ready, Aim” Marketing (But It Worked)
Once I finally admitted to myself that I really wanted to work with entrepreneurs and was good at it, I decided to turn this initial foray into coaching into a full-blown business – which meant I needed to get real, paying clients. And fast, because the plastic surgery group in Beverly Hills was calling – literally every other day.

I spent a lot of time making contact with my hot and warm circles of influence – I sent information, followed-up, told them about my new business. But after talking with over 80 people, I still had no clients.

So I decided to “burn the book on marketing” and go with my gut. Within a few weeks, I had generated a relatively predictable six-figure annualized revenue stream and in just over a year after that I had doubled it!

Here’s what I did NOT have and some of the rules that I broke:

  1. I did not have classy, “real” business cards; I printed a bunch on my inkjet printer. Yikes!
  2. I did not have a web site as a central portal of information, education, and promotion Hmmm. (I admit, I did at least have a one-sheet executive summary).
  3. I did not have a Core Issue Article, one that laid out my audience, philosophy, problems I address, and outcomes I produce. (Ugh!)
  4. I did not pay for any advertising. (Good!)
  5. I did not have case studies or success stories. (Oooo!) I did not have what I’d call an extensive circle of influence of small business owners and entrepreneurs (my target audience). (Uh oh!)
  6. I did not have easy access to free media for publicity. (Aww!)
  7. I had no information products to offer. I had no “funnel” of products and services. (Weeping violins, please)

After a couple months of striking out (and I went to bat every day. I mean EVERY day), I figured out that I need to get past whatever limiting beliefs I had that were keeping me from producing results.

So, I decided to abandon calling my “circle of influence” and I resolved to set up a 3-hour seminar to showcase what I had to offer.

Here’s what I did and more rules that I broke:

  1. I spent two weeks planning and making the necessary arrangements for the seminar and designing it. I set up a one-page web site that was a “flyer” for the seminar and gave people a way to register.
  2. By the time I was done getting the “infrastructure” for the seminar in place, I only had two weeks to promote the event.
  3. Conventional wisdom: Promote a paid event at least six weeks in advance. Promote a free event starting any time up to the event.
  4. I charged $15 for my event, as a way of pre-qualifying the participants, even though I had limited time to promote.
  5. And, I started promoting only 14 days before the event.
  6. I promoted by calling my circle of influence and asking them who they knew who would be interested in my event.
  7. I visited several networking groups, even the day before my event.
  8. I presented my seminar with little rehearsal. Now, I think I’m a pretty good trainer and speaker, but one of my friends, who has trained with me extensively on training, presenting, and selling from the front of the room, thought I was absolutely, certifiably lousy.
  9. I had my own business coach, who helped me see my blind spots and helped me do something about it.

Results:

  1. 18 people pre-registered. 19 people showed up.
  2. Three people became business coaching clients at $1,500 per month.
  3. Within two weeks of that now historic seminar, I had seven coaching clients (generating $ 10,500 per month in revenue for me).
  4. Within a year, two additional participants from that seminar became coaching clients. By this time, I had raised my rates to $1875/month with a 12-month commitment.
  5. After that, I started coaching clients at $2,250/month, again on a 12-month commitment.
  6. I began working with my first marketing consulting client (as opposed to pure coaching) on a 6 week-long project worth $17,500!

In retrospect, the approach I took to marketing really was “Fire, Ready, Aim.” That’s one way of saying it. You see, I simply took the next logical step in implementing a marketing action plan. I had tried a lot of things that hadn’t worked. So what did I have to lose?

My planning and preparation wasn’t perfect, but so what?

If You Could Better Serve Others by Generating More Revenue, I’m Interested in Helping You Out – For Free
But here’s my serious warning:
This business-building approach to generating a six-figure revenue stream in record-time works only if there is a strategy behind it and, even more critically, there’s a big belief in yourself behind it.

You’ve got to have a ton of guts to go for it, even when things aren’t looking so hot. And, you’ve got to have clarity and structure to what it is that you have to offer. You have to be clear and supremely confident about the ultimate value that you have to offer.

If This Sounds Like It’s Up Your Alley, Here’s What I Want You to Do…
I’m making a special list of everyone who is potentially interested in this program.

If you’re interested, then

  1. enter your email address below and
  2. leave a comment on this post with any suggestions on what you think you need to get from the training program.

If enough people get on this “Special Interest” list (I’m thinking at least 250 or more), then I’ll create this training program and give it away to EVERYONE on this special interest list.

As I’ve written before, I’ve taken for granted all the moving parts that need to come together at the same time for this kind of success to happen. So I haven’t been completely open in the past to the idea that a lot of people would care about this kind of training. But if not many people are interested, it’s not a problem; I’ll find plenty of other ways to keep myself occupied! To freedom, contribution and prosperity, George P.S.A while back, someone unsubscribed from my email list and criticized me for writing so much about money and how to make money quickly. It’s ironic. Because I care more about being of service and contribution, than I do about money. But you can’t stay in business to contribute anything unless you make a profit, at least on this planet. So let me put it this way: If you’re interested in accelerating the breadth and depth of your contribution to people and the planet, then doesn’t it make sense to get your business to a place of sustainable profitability as quickly as possible? If you agree, then go ahead and put yourself on the list:

21 Responses to “Marketing Rules I Broke on the Way to a Six-Figure Revenue Stream in 73 Days”

  1. Duke Worthington

    Apr 5th, 2012

    George, I’ve been following you since a teleconference you did with Robert last year. You provide great info and I’d be very interested in learning more of the nuts and bolts. Step one etc.provided in a way so I can move forward without so much second guessing. Thanks in advance – - -
    Duke

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Duke,
      Thanks for chiming in. One of the things that complicates existing self-doubt is being unsure of whether the “next step” is the “right next step.”

      So I complete hear what you are saying.

      The thing is, it may seem like you have to do so many things, all at once to be successful. And there are lots of things.

      BUT there are only a few of those “many things” that one needs to focus on to rapidly accelerate your revenue.

      If I do create this program, I’ll be sure to emphasize this concept and layout the program to address this issue of what specifically to focus on.

    • rachel

      Apr 7th, 2012

      Hi George your business plan is well structured, and easy to duplicate. Just what is needed in case of diseaster.

  2. Eric Henderson

    Apr 5th, 2012

    George, this is fantastic stuff. Thanks so much for all this great information you are sharing and for being so open to share your experiences and successes. I am on the same page as you when it comes to building a business, especially how you said: “all the moving parts that need to come together at the same time for this kind of success to happen…” SO TRUE and most people do not understand this. But having it all in place is price;less and the best asset you can build – a simple, consistent, predictable, always improved upon sales funnel. I would LOVE to get my hands on the course you are thinking about putting out for everyone on this ‘special ,list’ of yours. Please keep me posted. Also, DEFINITELY let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help you out as well. thanks! My best to you always, Eric Henderson

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Eric,
      Thanks for weighing in here.

      You’ve helped already by affirming being on the “same page” and sharing your comments.

      Beyond that, yes, there are things you can do to help this cause…

      If I proceed with developing this program, I’ll be asking you for input on SPECIFIC challenges and problems that you are facing and struggling with.

      I NEED HELP getting into your shoes, if you know what I mean. The more I can do that, the better teacher, trainer, educator and guide I can be.

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      On more thing, Eric. And I’ll be asking for specific feedback on how to layout the training. I want to address all learning styles, if possible.

  3. Nicole Kirksey

    Apr 5th, 2012

    Hi there, George! I’m really hoping that your offer comes through.

    You write, “you’ve got to have clarity and structure to what it is that you have to offer. You have to be clear and supremely confident about the ultimate value that you have to offer.”

    This is what I’ve been missing–the CLARITY about what I’m offering and who I’m offering it to, and the transformation that results. I know in my head, but I’m having a hard time communicating it to my ideal audience.

    I look forward to learning the fire, ready, aim model! :-)

    Nicole

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Nicole,
      Without CLARITY, nothing else will matter or work. Clarity leads to power. Power leads to desired results and outcomes.

      The challenge is how to proceed with whatever level of clarity you have now.

      I help my private clients with this. But for this particular training that is being contemplated, let me ponder how to best help with that.

  4. Jesse Tuffman

    Apr 5th, 2012

    George:
    Good morning.
    One man’s opinion.
    I thought that you reached the high water mark
    of creating added value when you did the

    Get paid for the introductory session-or whatever
    you called it for Robert Middleton’s ezine list.
    I do hope you return to this.
    Ciao,
    Jesse

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Hi Jesse,
      You’re referring to: “Get Paid to Get High-End Clients: Introductory Sessions That Clients Gladly Pay For”.

      The interesting thing is, the “Get Paid to Get Clients” approach is an integral element of how I achieved a six-figure revenue stream in 73 days. And how I teach others to rapidly accelerate their revenue and contribution.

      So I”m not getting away from introductory sessions. Rather, I’m expanding on it in a more comprehensive, holistic, and integrated manner.

      Does that make sense?

  5. Kathy

    Apr 5th, 2012

    Hi George,

    I would be very interested in your offering, and my question is how to deal with the lows and moments of lack of success, because that is where I get stuck.

    Also I have a question about advertising, getting a following and growing my list without spending loads on googleads or facebook ads.
    I have been doing all the suggestions that the marketing experts tell me to and my list is not growing…

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Kathy,
      I can relate to what you wrote…

      …when I first started out, I tried to do the “right things by the book” and I didn’t produce any results. Lots of activity. Nothing to show for it.

      So I abandoned the “right” approach and followed my heart and used strategies and tactics that were best for me and my situation. It was still uncomfortable, but it gave me the best chance of succeeding.

      As far as dealing with the “lows and moments of lack of success,” that where having a business coach helped me. In fact, when I first started out, I had TWO coaches; that’s what it took for me!

      As far as advertising, I don’t recommend because there are LOTS of low and no-cost ways to promote your business and get high-end clients.

  6. Dolly

    Apr 5th, 2012

    George,

    I’ve gotten to know you through Yammer. I would absolutely love to see this. I’m just starting out….literally!…my website launches this month, and one of the things I want to start with is coaching. I’m willing to do my homework, work hard, make it the best I can, but if I had solid support system like your material, I think that just might make a big difference between keeping this into part time profession for several years, or enabling me to do this full time (which is what I would love), and quit my day job (oh I so dream about that day).

    Thank you.

    • George Huang

      Apr 5th, 2012

      Dolly,
      Consistent action, even small actions, can produce big results.

      Emotionally, it can be hard to take small actions, when it seems there’s a big mountain to climb.

      That’s why having a coach and a community to support you is important.

      From my view, there are five requisite business skills that every entrepreneur needs in order to be successful:
      1. Coaching/Consulting Skills
      2. Sales Skills
      3. General Business/Entrepreneurial Skills
      4. Marketing Skills
      5. Service/Program/Product Development Skills

      I think the product/program that I am contemplating offering could address all, except for developing coaching/consulting skills. Now, I could teach that, but that wouldn’t be the point of this program.

  7. George Huang

    Apr 5th, 2012

    I received this by email from a reader and she gave me permission to post this. I like how she was VERY SPECIFIC with her recommendations:

    Hi George, very interested in this. What I’d like to see:

    -A structured program from you with regular automated emails that runs for a certain length of time, fi 73 days.

    During the 73 days, everyone in the group will go through certain
    steps- goal-setting, housecleaning, building infrastructure, then actualizing a program they would like to offer.

    -Peer mentoring and support from inside the group (did you get x done yet, can you take a look at Y for me)

    You’d provide the structure and the group would provide the support to each other. Maybe via email list or the buddy system.

    I really agree that there should be a (free or very low cost) rung of the ladder for people who don’t have income yet, to get them started to create the income they need to hire a good coach, and to make more income.

    Of course not everyone will be able to climb up, but with a one-time investment in the automated program and with peer support I believe that many could make progress towards being your clients. And with a good group who is very clear on their challenges, you could develop more programs to help with specific challenges.

    I know I am very good at what I do. I am also very challenged with structures, calendars and timelines and I would like to following along with a formula and timeline that has already been successful.

    My other challenges are physical organization (relying on a routine, schedules to keep me organized)

    And my last challenge is the block that many share, feeling like I should give what I do away for free.

    I believe all of this could be addressed in a program and it could create many success stories and new clients for you.

  8. segun

    Apr 6th, 2012

    I’m definitely interested in you putting together the training together for the benefit of us all and a lot others.
    I was thinking the training should be structured around the Ease of Wealth, and simple strategies to meeting other peoples needs.
    I must say I admire the consultative marketing strategy you’ve put in place in order to serve us better and with more tailored solutions.

    Thank you and happy holidays

    SG

    • George Huang

      Apr 6th, 2012

      Segun,
      Can you expand more on your ideas around “Ease of Wealth”?

      I think the key word you laid out here is “…SIMPLE strategies to meeting other peoples needs.”

      Actually, I don’t think my approach is “consultative.” But now that you mentioned it, I think my approach is a “diagnostic marketing strategy.”

      Thanks for helping me come up with the catchphrase!

  9. Timothy S

    Apr 9th, 2012

    My comment/question involves how to stay motivated and work through the periods of low interest and lack of income.

    • George Huang

      Apr 9th, 2012

      Timothy,
      Great question. In retrospect, I didn’t have much time to lose interest, as I was intensely focused during this initial 73 day period.

      Having said that, I had to keep reminding myself to take it one step and one client at a time. After I got my first client, I remember thinking, “Where’s and when’s the next one coming from?”
      Well it turns out, it was later that afternoon.

      Anytime I get overwhelmed, I remind myself to break down the task into smaller, manageable steps.

      As far as income, the key is to be stay in touch with your compelling reason why you are driven to offer the value you have to offer.

  10. Geoff Reese

    Aug 16th, 2012

    George you’re killing me. Plastic surgeon turned financial nanny, fitness expert and ebay guru.

    I’m laughing with you. My first shot to online riches was trying to sell an IM PLR product. I made $14. My wife’s response: “Really?”

    This idea might be an older one and not something you’re going to do. No worries. I’m learning a lot just by reading your reply’s.

    BTW, my struggle is unleashing my inner “genius” and finding the platform to attract people. I believe we all have some “genius” inside us to offer others.

    Stay Strong and Be Inspired.

    • George Huang

      Aug 18th, 2012

      Geoff, I received your business “snapshot” and I’ll review it and then we’ll circle back around and I’ll give you some of my strategic thoughts, ideas, and insights.

      BTW, that’s a funny one… “financial nanny.” :)

      The challenge most of us have in unleashing our “inner genius,” is that it’s so obvious that we take it for granted!

      If you are indeed ready to unleash your “inner genius,” then give your wife a “heads up;” you’re in for the ride of your life, because expression of your authentic takes a willingness to challenge your identity, who you know yourself to be, break out of beliefs, thoughts, and habits that hold you back.

      Most “gurus” won’t tell you this when they try to sell you on some sort of program. Because people don’t buy “hard, challenging, and really difficult” as readily as “4-hour work week, fast, quick, and easy.” Although the growing popularity of physically challenging events like Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder have me challenge the statement that I just wrote!!!

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