It took me years and millions of dollars to disabuse myself from the following:

1. “The customer is interested in me, my product, or what I have to say.”

* The customer doesn’t care about you.

* The customer cares about himself.

* If you talk about anything other than the customer’s own concerns, you’ll lose his interest.

2. “My product will sell because it’s the best of its kind.”

* You may be wrong about how good your product is. Most people overestimate the quality of what they do or produce.

* Even if you are right, there is no reason to believe that your customer will believe your claim. Everyone else makes the same claim, so why should he believe you?

* Even if he does believe your product is the best, he may not want to buy it. People buy second-rate products all the time for very good reasons: Price, convenience, and familiarity are three of them.

3. “Since the market is huge and I want only a tiny percentage of it, it will be easy to succeed.”

* The size of the market has no logical relationship to the success of any individual marketing program.

* If it were easy (and profitable) to penetrate the market, someone else would have done it.

* You’ll always get — at best — half the response rate you expect to get and a tenth the rate you hope for.

4. “If I could only get a celebrity to endorse this product, it would sell.”

* Celebrity endorsements seldom work.

* The few that do work are so widely seen that they give the impression they all work.

* Even if such endorsements do have a marginally beneficial effect, the cost is usually greater than the benefit.

5. “You need to run space ads several times to see if they work.”

* This is one of the most common lies advertisers will tell you — but there are no data to support this view.

* Generally, ads that work well do so from the first insertion.

* It’s usually better to test a single ad before committing to a spate of them.

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.