One of my first internet marketing lessons

I may have told this story before and due to my dodgy memory it probably changes each time, but here’s another version….

Some years back – quite a few years back actually – when I thought I knew everything about running a business and ‘portfolio working’ (that wonderful thing where you derive your income from a collection of businesses or jobs) I learned a lesson about how to sell.

I was part of a recording team working at The Royal Festival Hall in London, recording a three day classical music event. I was a freelance sound engineer and I’d never recorded a live orchestra before so I took the job although I do remember the money wasn’t very good.

(I actually forgot to turn on the main microphone and a the BBC Radio 3 announcer looked like a complete t*t as he started to speak and nothing came out, because I was busy chatting up a harpist but there you go).

We stayed in a nice hotel and were wined and dined by the company we were working for every evening, and everything went on the company bill so the grub and the booze flowed freely.

The comany was owned by a serial entrepreneur who I learned a lot from by just listening to, and especially during a car journey the two of us shared back up North after the event was over.

After the first day of recording, our entrepreneur boss took the whole recording crew – 5 of us I think – to an Indian Restaurant – a proper ‘curry house’ .

Because the food was on expenses some of the lads ordered crazy meals such as ‘lobster curry’ and farrr to much to eat, but the boss just watched with a smile on his face.

He watched as food was wasted, pints were ordered that just sat on the table becuase their owners were simply too p*ssed to drink any more.

Quite honestly the amount of food wasted in front of us was scandalous and while I’m no saint I’m proud to say that I only ordered what I wanted (and maybe a couple of beers too many!)

Nothing was said – the bill was settled, the recording finished and we went home.

A few months later I got an invitation for another job from the same company. It was a much better deal – much better paid, more fun and a lot of experience.

I’d expected to be working with the same team but found only one other bloke there that I knew from the Festival Hall job.

That night after a few beers I asked the boss why he hadn’t used the other engineers – they were good at what they did and were available.

He told me that he’d never forgotten the ones in the Indian Restauarant who’d taken the mickey and thoroughly abused the expenses.

He just leaned across the bar and said to me

….’In business, people remember’

And they do – they REALLY do.

If you help people out when they’re starting in business they remember. And what goes around comes around.

This is no mushy sentimental crap – it’s very true.

I know a lot of people in this business, some high fliers and some just starting out. The guys who ask your advice one day are the same guys who are earning millions years later, and they remember who’s been helpful and who’s not.

Even if you’ve got to tell someone ‘no I can’t JV with you’….

If you treat them with respect and explain your reasons they’ll remember your honesty.

Yet I’ve seen top marketers be so dismissive with newbies and people who have come to hear them speak even that it makes me cringe. It’s not hard to just say hello to someone even if you don’t have the time to speak to them.

And why am I blogging about this right now?

Because I’ve just looked at one of my Clickbank accounts and seen a shedload of sales come in from a new affiliate. I didn’t recognise the nickname so did a bit of digging.

Guess who it is –

Someone I helped out a while back.

It’s too good a chance to miss out on a blog post about it – so that’s why you’re reading this.

But remember the old adage – sh*t travels downwards.

It does.

And the time to remember that is BEFORE you’re snotty or offhand with a newbie because you’re making $5,000 a month.

Because chances are at some point – HE’S going to be making $50,000 a month and then you’re realise that the brown stuff does indeed travel downwards –

YOU’LL be on the bottom and HE’LL be pouring a large bucketload on the top of your head.

And it sticks.

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10 responses to “One of my first internet marketing lessons

  1. I don’t make alot of comments on blog posts, but when I do it’s because the entirety of the post created a spark in me that I don’t get very often, a good spark that is! Here’s what I mean by that; I’m a newbie Internet marketer that tries to seek out other sucessful marketers who can teach me the ropes. However, as any newbie comes to know in a very short period of time that you can’t follow everybody. You have to start weeding out the good from the bad. Okay I’m getting to my point and tying this all in together. I agree with tony’s post 100% and feel very passionate about it! Everybody, especially new internet marketers will remember your kind words, mean words, did you sincerly and honestly try to help them and you get the point. I don’t care who you are or how much money you make in this business, treat everybody with the utmost respect, honesty, and sincerity. People do remember and that might be good for your business or not so good! Thanks tony for your post and keeping it real. This is why I read your post and articles because you provide real value. Again Thank You!!

  2. Tony Shepherd

    Thanks for posting Toni.

    You’ve also hit a few home truths for any marketers reading this too – YOU weed out the bad from the good – YOU decide who to follow (which usually means whose products to buy)….

    …so in short – you’re the one making their businesses happens.

    I know it just doesn’t feel like you have any clout at all sometimes, but without newbies, customers, call ’em what you will – this whole business would grind to a halt, so …..



  3. I remember Tony Shepherd 10 years ago before the internet really took off and he was writing in biz mags. Everything he said then struck an honest and uncomplicated chord. And now, when I think of IM Tony shepherd is usually the first and only name which comes to my head. And the one I recommend to listen to.

  4. Mike Horgan

    Hi Tony,

    I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with your post. As a newbie, I have got lots of information from a variety of people, some of which is excellent, some not so.
    Your Kickstart course is excellent, it has given me so much already, and I have put a post about it on my new blog. You and Sara are definitely in the category of the few that I feel will help me to achieve my goal.
    Many thanks,
    Mike Horgan

  5. Tony Shepherd

    RichPeasant, Mike…

    Thanks for posting guys. I remember some years back getting some great information from a big marketer.

    The information -like most information – wasn’t exactly mind blowing but it hit me at the right time so it SEEMED mind blowing to me.

    I was hooked – I was a fan.

    So I emailed this bloke and asked some basic questions about how I could promote his products. This was in the early days and the set up for affiliates wasn’t great.

    Now I wouldn’t have been that bothered if he hadn’t replied to me – surely this was a busy chap after all – but the bugger did – only to take the time to ask me not to email him unless it was urgent or I was buying something!

    He actually took the time to tell me (basically) to sod off!

    Needless to say I didn’t promote any of his products and the ‘mind blowing’ information always seemed a little stale after that.

    Rich Pez – you’ve been around the ‘scene’ since the early days so you’d know the name if I mentioned it 🙂 – but don’t email me because I’m not saying!

  6. Robert Bruce

    Tony a great post and very valid. About a year ago when I was just getting started on learning the internet business I purchased an e book from you and for some reason things didn’t work out between PayPal and e junkie and after waiting a few hours a down load link was still not forwarded to my e mail so I sent you an e mail about the problem.

    You very graciously sent me the link and I don’t think you ever received your $ unless you sorted it out with e J and PP. I never figured out what exactly what the original problem was and I didn’t even know where to start looking for an answer. At the time it was all very confusing to me.

    But you sure sold me on doing business with you and Sara. I have bought quit a few things from Laycock Publishing as a result of your attitude. All of the items that I have purchased from you and Sara have been top notch, no hype and no sour apples. Thanks for being straight forward and honest with people.

    If you ever need a testimonial feel free to copy and paste this.

    Thanks again! Robert Bruce

  7. Tony

    Great post, I know online some people think they can get away with treating people like s*** because they don’t have to say it to their face and probably wont meet them. However, people like nothing more than seeing those same guru’s or whatever they are falling like like a stone. Mutual respect is the best way like you have with your subscribers.

    By the way, may I ask what the position is with Sara these days? She was the one I stumbled across first and her genuine nature stood out from the crowd.

  8. >>>Rich Pez – you’ve been around the ’scene’ since the early days so you’d know the name if I mentioned it – but don’t email me because I’m not saying!<<<

    I’d know the name if you don’t mention it.

    “Someone said most people stop thinking for themselves the moment they’re born. I think the same is true of people the moment they enter Internet Marketing” – Tony Shepherd

  9. Kevin

    Hi Tony!

    One of your Kickstart course subcribers here and loyal fan! 🙂

    Tonight I was compelled to leave a comment due to an absolute fun read I had of your latest newsletter entitled “Experts can be bad for your wealth”.

    Such an interesting and plesantly humourous read. yet – so true were the messages you were trying to convey!

    Seriously, this last newsletter had me in stitches at certain places, and all I think due to the style of how you choose to write them! 🙂

    Still astonishes me how you find the time to write these newsletters and at the same time run a sucessfull Internet business?? Something I want to aspire to someday!

    Keep up the good work and – Thank You.


  10. Hi Tony,

    I have learnt only too well that if you help fellow newbies out for free and expect nothing back, they really do remember!!

    I remember helping out some of Alex Jeffreys students set up there blogs while they began there training course with him.

    Never herd from them again until i was hosting a free webinar and out of the blue a lot of then attended and bought my product !!! Shows what comes around goes around…

    I am also one of your Kickstart course subscribers here and love your straight talking no bullshit approach. (some people may ask why would i join another coaching program when i am already making money online right?)

    Well your never to old to learn new things and Tony has some great ideas…. Its a bit like why did Me and Tony, alex Jeffreys, John Thornhill, and many other well know IM attend Lee Mcintyres workshop in manchester this year!

    TO LEARN NEW IDEAS meet great people and have a few beers too !!!

    Tony always over deliver and offer great value with your products and you are someone people should look up to….


    Mark Terrell (Helping Newbies TOO)

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