Everte Farnell is President at 9 World’s Publishing, Inc. and a freelance copywriter. He joins the show to share some secrets to copywriting and whether success within the publishing industry is dependent solely on copywriting. He also tells us about the hedge fund advertising regulations and whether hedge fund advertising makes it easier to defraud the public. Find out more about Everte Farnell at www.evertefarnell.com.
Narrator: Speakers, publishers, consultants, coaches and info marketers unite. The Speaking of Wealth Show is your road map to success and significance. Learn the latest tools, technologies and tactics to get more bookings, sell more products and attract more clients. If you’re looking to increase your direct response sales, create a big time personal brand and become the go-to guru, the Speaking of Wealth Show is for you. Here’s your host, Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Speaking of Wealth Show. This is your host, Jason Hartman, where we discuss profit strategies for speakers, publishers, authors, consultants, coaches, info marketers, and just go over a whole bunch of exciting things that you can use to increase your business, to make your business more successful and more and more passive and more and more automated and more and more scalable. So we will be back with a great interview. Be sure to visit us at SpeakingofWealth.com. You can take advantage of our blog, subscribe to the RSS feed and many other resources for free at SpeakingofWealth.com and we will be back with a great interview for you in less than 60 seconds.
Start of Interview with Everte Farnell
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Everte Farnell and he is president of E-Farnell Publishing and a freelance copywriter and known as America’s good news guy. And we’re gonna talk to him about copywriting and we’re gonna talk especially with a little bit of a focus on the financial services industry and hedge funds and what their advertising does to people and some of their techniques. I think you’ll find this interesting in multiple ways. Welcome, how are you? You’re coming to us from Florida today right?
Everte Farnell: I am. I’m doing wonderfully, I appreciate you asking. During the winter months I get to tease everybody because it’s a frigid 70 degrees or something, but ah. . .
Jason Hartman: It’s hot in here right?
Everte Farnell: I was gonna say right now it’s about 962 degrees outside so everybody else gets to tease me now.
Jason Hartman: Exactly. The problem with Florida is our humidity. It’s not really the temperature that’s even so bad it just gets really humid there right.
Everte Farnell: Well tell my hands that when the skin peels off on my steering wheel .
Jason Hartman: Yeah I guess the heat is an issue too. Tell us a little bit about your background and you’re a copywriter, but you’re particularly versed in the financial side of copywriting right.
Everte Farnell: I do. I do some work in the financial world as it were. I also work with small and medium size, really entrepreneurial businesses all over the country, and help them generate more sales, get better returns with their marketing dollar. The financial world, the financial newsletter world that I do a lot of work in is a lot of fun, but quite frankly the entrepreneur, the regular just entrepreneurial business guy really needs some help in the market today.
Jason Hartman: What kind of help do they need? I mean just getting their message out obviously. Be specific about that if you would.
Everte Farnell: Okay. Well really when it comes to marketing they need help with understanding the type of marketing that works very well with their size business. And when I say their size business I mean like for example I used to know a guy who had a local pool business. So a very successful pool business, but he had inherited it from his parents, and it was successful based on the reputation it had in the area. But he was having an incredibly tough time with marketing, because his wife had been the president of Philip Morris in Europe, the president of their marketing division in Europe. So she ran Philip Morris’s marketing across Europe. Well her marketing budget was 10 times his gross revenue. You know what I mean, there’s no way. So she was telling him how to market, he was trying to market that way and it was a miserable failure, because when you’re an entrepreneurial business these guys don’t have 10 million, 20 million, 30 million, 50 million dollars to devote to a marketing campaign to try and sway the thought processes to the entire large population of people. They have to narrow in specifically who they’re talking about and they have to do something that will generate direct revenue. It’s called direct response marketing. And you see the thing most people are familiar with are is Billy Mays, screaming actually about OxiClean. But that’s a direct response commercial. It pops up, here’s a response mechanism, here’s how much it costs, call and order now. And that’s what we try to help small businesses do, so that they know that when I mail this letter, or when I run this ad, I spent this much on it, I got this much in revenue, I made this much in profit. Was it a profitable ad to run or was it not a profitable ad to run? If it was profitable, great keep it. If it wasn’t profitable, scratch it and move on to the next ah to the next media or to the next ad or you know etc. etc.
Jason Hartman: Well tell us about the financial services industry. Are they deceiving people in your opinion with their advertising and specifically hedge funds?
Everte Farnell: Well hedge funds specifically advertising has just come online for them. The rules about advertising have changed, but the rules about who they can accept have not changed. In general, big broad umbrella do much of the financial services, advertise and mislead people. Well, I will just say this. You don’t see any of the big brokerages putting up track records in their advertisements. They talk about how wonderful they are, how trustworthy they are, how this, how that and in general the truth is the brokers are salespeople. Stockbrokers and financial planners are salespeople. Their job is to sell you on buying stocks and other investments through them, or in the alternative sell you on hiring them to advise you if they are not take a commission, if they are a fee only organization. As far as specifically to hedge funds, now hedge funds are not dissimilar. If you look at the industry, now I am not talking about specific hedge funds, but if you look at the industry their track record is pretty dismal, but they do a wonderful job attracting gobs and gobs of money. So of course the question is how do they do that? Well, they do that because they’re brilliant when it comes to marketing. They are not doing the same kind of direct response marketing that as many as the newsletter business and the financial publishing business is doing. They are also not doing much of the direct response marketing that I teach with local businesses.
When you are George Soros, the rules change. You have more money, you have more influence, you have the ability to do things that smaller players can’t do. So a lot of these places are attracting huge sums of money because people in general are looking for a wizard. The old joke in the direct marketing business, and I am probably letting the cat out of the bag here which I shouldn’t be doing, but the old joke is people are walking around umbilical cord in hand looking for a new place to plug it in. When they find a wizard, like Soros or some other fund manager with whom they have something in common. It doesn’t even have to be that the fund manager is that great, but they have some kind of link in common, then they will often put their money in even if it is a losing proposition. The case in point while it’s a very, very, very these sorts of things happen very rarely the case in point would be Madoff, the Bernie Madoff scandal. He had all the credentials. He made a ton of his money off the wealthy Jewish community around the United States.
Jason Hartman: But Madoff didn’t advertise. He was just a networker right?
Everte Farnell: Right and that’s what these organizations have done in the past. Advertising and marketing are two different things. So you are right. He didn’t buy an ad in a magazine, and for the most part the average person is not going to see a lot of hedge funds advertising in a magazine because you still have to be a certified investor which means you have to have a million dollars net worth between you and your spouse, not including your primary home.
Jason Hartman: Accredited investor or $200,000 a year in come, right?
Everte Farnell: For the last 2 years with a reasonable expectation that continuing or $300,000 in marital income. So it’s per $200,000 personal, $300,000 marital, and yes you’re right I use certified instead of accredited, my apologies.
Jason Hartman: Right, no problem.
Everte Farnell: They are not going to be running ads in Time most likely. A lot of people are not going to see advertisements from them, but what they will do is they will see marketing take place in positioning where these guys, meaning the people who are out in front of the crowd will present themselves as brilliant investors and some of them are brilliant and some of them not so much.
Jason Hartman: I just think it’s amazing how much money Wall Street has to advertise. In all of their commercials, they hide behind the SEC, so I will just mention that in a couple ways. First, their commercials that you see on TV are so generic. They’re just absurdly generic. They’re like well if want to have a better of future, and it’s kind of like these drug company commercials, as they’re listing all the terrible side effects of these drugs, you might die, you might get diarrhea, all these things are going to happen to you, splitting headaches, whatever, and they’re showing people enjoying life and living the good life. It’s like unbelievable how contradictory it is. These commercials on television for these investment houses are so esoteric. They are just meaningless. When I see those I say where’s the beef? Show me your rate of return. Then they say when you even ask them that they say well I can’t mention that because it’s SEC regulation and all this stuff. I called the SEC, I heard this name from somebody else, I can’t remember who, the Scoundrel’s Encouragement Commission. That’s what the SEC stands for. Because what these advisors do is they love being regulated secretly. They’ll never say that. They always act like it’s a big burden and a big pain in the rear end, but reality they love it because it makes their job easier and it allows them to promulgate all sorts of BS onto the public. Whenever you ask them well show me your performance, your track record, oh well I can’t send that over email because it’s an SEC regulation they’ll always say. What a bunch of crap. I don’t believe that it is, but maybe it is, who knows. It’s like you can’t evaluate these people. They are so squirrely. They never give you anything that you can actually sink your teeth into in terms of numbers or return on investment or anything.
Everte Farnell: If you look at the ads, who was it who had Sam Waterston on Law and Order fame? He came on…
Jason Hartman: That was Ameritrade I think possibly.
Everte Farnell: Was it Ameritrade?
Jason Hartman: Maybe. I could be wrong.
Everte Farnell: He didn’t even say he invested with them. He just said you know this is…
Jason Hartman: Even if he said he did, what’s he going to do, invest $1,000 with them. Okay, I’m an investor, I’m a client, whoop de do. A $1,000 versus my couple 3, 4, 5 million a year that I earn or maybe a lot more than that if he was on Law and Order. So what?
Everte Farnell: That’s what I mean when I say that what these guys do is they work with, and I use Madoff because he is a high-profile example and not because he’s the norm. I don’t mean to suggest that these guys are involved in illegal activity.
The perfect example is Buffett. Now he is undoubtedly very successful, but there’s the Buffett premium. He doesn’t actually run a hedge fund obviously or even a mutual fund or any kind of, but there’s the Buffett premium. Companies that Berkshire own trade at a higher premium than their peers because Buffett owns them. Well why is that? The only reason is because Buffett has gotten on TV and done a brilliant job of marketing himself. He didn’t advertise necessarily, but he marketed himself in a way that made people believe that he is brilliant. The Oracle of Omaha and all this stuff. He may not have been out there coming up with those names, but he sure as heck has done nothing to discourage their use I promise you that.
Jason Hartman: Right, yeah.
Everte Farnell: He’s brilliant the way he has done these things and the way he’s done this, and that character, that grandfatherly old man character that he puts on that’s all I promise you. That’s all contrived and specifically created for a reason. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. What I am saying is if you have money that you are investing you don’t want to invest it with somebody based on the image that they are putting on TV or the image that they put in a magazine or the image that they put in an advertisement. You want to invest with them based on what they’ve done in the past. You don’t want to look for a place to plug your umbilical cord in. If you want to trust somebody because of their marketing or because of their position, they’re going to come clean your house, well fine. They might miss a spot on the floor but not with your investing. That’s very, very dangerous.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, very good point, very good point. It’s hard to say that’s an unfair advantage though because I’m sure that everyone in the public eye manages their image to some extent. People even do that in social situations. They probably do it at home with their spouse to some extent.
Everte Farnell: No question about it, and I’m not beating up on Buffett. From his point of view it’s exactly what he should be doing. He’s brilliant about it and he’s done exactly what he should be doing. I’m not even saying he is doing something wrong.
Jason Hartman: The think that I think is very wrong what Warren Buffett does is like during the financial crisis a few years ago he was saying I’m buying stock in BFA and then I think he bought some stock in Goldman Sachs too. He went around backing up the government’s position and trying to act like you should invest in these companies too. It’s such a bunch of crap because he is an insider. He’s not buying at the same price you’re buying, and he has all sorts of special privileges and insider information and it’s just not the same game. But what they do is they use this to influence the ordinary middle class investor to the detriment I would say of those middle class investors. So that’s the problem.
Everte Farnell: Absolutely. That’s why it’s so important that you educate yourself and not just go with what these guys say. I’m constantly, now part of it is because of clients that I have I have to stay up on the news, but I’m constantly working to learn about another piece of the market, learn about another strategy, constantly studying some sort of economic textbook. You might say well that’s unrealistic to expect people to do that in a general sense and yes I do have a professional motive for doing it. However, if this was my livelihood I wouldn’t really be interested in learning how to invest from the brokerage company that’s investing my money. I want to go find the independent information and gather information from truly independent completely unplugged sources. That’s really what is missing. It’s to the detriment of the investor as you mentioned. They watch what Buffett does. They watch what these guys do who are as you said they are insiders and play by a whole completely separate bit of rules. They watch what these guys do and they think if they do the same thing it’s like the small business without thinks if I could just advertise like Philip Morris advertises, only I do it in my county instead of around the whole country. But you don’t have the millions and millions and millions of dollars you need to get the results that Philip Morris can get because like you said they’re playing by different rules. They have different amounts of money. They are getting different ad rates. They’re not paying as much as you are for the same piece of media, etc., etc., etc. People have got to educate themselves and not just look at the marketing.
Jason Hartman: Let’s not make this all about the modern version of organized crime that I call Wall Street, but I can tell you if anybody listening wants to become a millionaire in the stock market, it’s really not that difficult. Just start with 2 million and you’ll probably have a million left after you’re done.
Everte Farnell: That’s like the old Richard Branson quote, if you want to make a million dollars it’s not difficult at all, just start with a billion then open an airline.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, exactly, exactly. The best way to become a billionaire in the airline industry is to start with 2 billion. Same with Wall Street. Give some copyrighting advice out for small business people for speakers, authors, information marketers, people with any kind of small business that want to promote themselves and want to have more success. What are some of the fundamental rules of copyrighting? And I guess this also makes the question, can someone do it themselves or do they need to hire somebody?
Everte Farnell: If you’re willing to put the time in, and when I say the time it is not a difficult skill to learn but it does take some time to get it down. But if you’re willing to put the time in, you’re far better off writing for yourself. Just because you’re going to know your business, you’re going to know hopefully know your customers better than any copyrighter is ever going to know somebody. With that said, most people won’t put the time in unfortunately. Most entrepreneurs won’t put the time in. But if you’re willing to put the time in, do the study and do the background and learn the skill, then you’re far better off writing for yourself.
Jason Hartman: So explain to us though, just for someone who wants to take a crack at it, what are some of the most basic skills that someone can know about copyrighting?
Everte Farnell: The first thing is get rid of the institutional voice. When you’re writing a piece of copy you want to write it from somebody to somebody. Don’t think that your market is too sophisticated. Believe it or not, the same ads that work in the National Enquirer also work in investor’s business daily. It’s not just the same gambits. I mean the same ads in the past have worked in both areas. So, you’re market is not too sophisticated number one. Number two, you always have to have a headline, and the headline should be something that grabs attention but more than grabs attention that really touches somebody on a deep emotional level. So you’ve got to understand what your market really wants on a deep emotional level, not just what they say they want
For example, when I’m marketing to entrepreneurs. I understand that entrepreneurs, they all say they want more money. That’s like the easy one. But in reality there are a couple of things. First, most of them got into business with the idea of getting out. They got into the business looking to sell their business number one. Number two they don’t want to be told what to do. They have a fiercely independent streak normally speaking, and along those lines they want freedom. So I know those are the emotion keys that if I can get that in my headline somewhere then I’m far more likely to get their attention. So you have to have a good headline when you’re putting an ad together, and as a matter of fact the standard wisdom on that is 80% of your market is going to read the headline only. One in five people are going to read the whole ad. Four and five are only going to read the headlines. So you really make the headline powerful. If you ran it by itself with a phone number, would somebody call? That’s the headline test as it were. The other thing is a call to action. Zig Ziglar once said, if anybody know who Zig is, he was…
Jason Hartman: He was great.
Everte Farnell: He was a sales trainer, he was a great sales trainer.
Jason Hartman: The late great Zig Ziglar. I went on a speaking tour with him once. We did several speaking engagements together. It was a real honor to share the platform with him and he is so darn funny.
Everte Farnell: Yeah, I never had the pleasure of meeting Zig, but fantastic. I learned a lot from him. But he said one time that timid salespeople have skinny kids.
Jason Hartman: Yep.
Everte Farnell: Don’t be afraid to be a call to action and a very clear call to action. I’ve seen people go so far, and they’re more right than wrong, goes so far as to say in an advertisement or in a sales letter, stand up off your couch or wherever you’re sitting, walk over to the telephone right now. Pick up the telephone, dial this telephone number. Get out your credit card. It sounds silly, but I’m telling you the more specific and the stronger call to action you have, you’ll be more right than you’ll be wrong. So do whatever you feel comfortable with and crank it up by 2 or 3 times. Chances are you’re going to get a better response and try to be conversational. Now of course we have a very limited period of time, but I would say the headline, the call to action and a conversational tone will get people a lot further than what they try to put together.
Jason Hartman: What about the length of copy? There’s these two schools of thought, but it seems like the world of copyrighters is this really long, long copy and frankly I subscribe to all these lists so I get that stuff and I think it’s just incredibly compelling. The problem is it’s so darn long I don’t read it.
Everte Farnell: The trick to that is called double readership path. There’s nothing wrong at all with long copy. As a matter of fact, kind of the joke is that would you set your salesperson out, if you have an outside salesperson, would you send your salesperson out and say okay you have 750 words on a sales presentation, don’t you dare say 751. It would just never happen. You would go out there and say whatever you need to say. I mean obviously within boundaries of ethics and morals and you don’t want to lie, but that goes without saying. But go out there and do whatever you need to do and be as long as you need to be to close the sale.
With that said, I came up years ago, 20 years ago I used to sell vacuum cleaners, and we walked into a house one day. This isn’t a long story I promise. I won’t bore you Jason, but we walked into a house one day. I was in training, and we were running late because we had been on a previous call. So we got there, we sold the previous call, we got there. The woman was there and she was not a wealthy woman, but she drove a nice car, obviously had good credit you could tell, and she kept a meticulous house. The house was beautiful. So she said you were supposed to be here an hour and a half ago. I go to bed at 9:00; it’s 8:30 at night. I go to bed at 9:00. You have 20 minutes and then you have got to go because I have work in the morning. So the guy who I was training with, his name was Bernard, he smiles and says okay. He gets his baking soda out of the bag. He sprinkles it on the rug. He says can you go get your vacuum cleaner you use for your house now? She sends her son to get the vacuum cleaner. He says vacuum that up and the boy vacuumed it up. I would say the boy was 16, 17 years old. He vacuumed it up and Bernard said lick your lips and the guy licked his lips, and he said what do you taste? He said I taste baking powder. He said that’s right you taste baking powder, but what you don’t taste that’s all over your lips too is everything that was on that carpet, everything that got tracked inside, all the dirt, all the grime, everything that was on that carpet is now on your lips too because it spit out of the bag. The boy looked at him, turned green, ran to the bathroom and threw up, and the woman said do you take payments? And that’s double readership path. We had a 2-hour presentation, but we had to condense it down to a very short period of time. We did it and got the sale, and that’s what you would have to do with the sales letter. You have to have a double readership path. So you have the whole thing where it’s laid out where if somebody reads it. If they’re an engineer type personality and they read everything, fine. But if they read the headline, read the sub-heads and read the PS’s, they should be able to get it.
Jason Hartman: So in other words, the theory is that double readership, because you write long copy but you also make highlights to where someone who won’t read the long copy can simply skim and hopefully you catch them as well. So you get the best of both worlds.
Everte Farnell: Exactly.
Jason Hartman: Okay. One more tip and then let’s wrap up.
Everte Farnell: Okay. The PS is the second most read part of a sales letter. So if you’re going to spend a lot of time on the headline and a lot of time on the PS, you want the PS to create curiosity so that the person will hopefully go back and read through the sales letter to try to find whatever you mentioned in the PS. So you don’t want to give prices. You don’t want to give anything away in the PS. You just want to allude to something that will create a level of curiosity so that you can hopefully get the person to go back and read the letter.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, good. So those are some good tips. Well what else would you like people to know in closing just to wrap this up, and please give out your website too.
Everte Farnell: Okay. Well just that things are trite, but what’s going on in the White House is a lot less important than what’s going on in your house. In the Great Depression, people became millionaires by selling air conditioners. So there is still plenty of money going around. Yes it’s not 2007 anymore, 2006 anymore. Money is not flowing up hill and you have to work for it, that’s fine. But there’s still good news to be had, and there’s still plenty of money out there, so don’t throw in the towel. My website is, probably the best would be copywriter in a kilt. I wear a kilt a lot, and what that will do is take them directly to my Facebook Page where they can like me and they can get all the information how to contact me and everything. The other one would be evertefarnell.com or copywriter in a kilt.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Thank you so much for joining us today, and I learned some good lessons. Number one stay away from Wall Street. I already knew that one, but I learned that one the hard way a couple of times in my life, and some good tips about attracting more customers and new business and certainly I share your optimism. There’s a ton of money floating around in the world. All people need to do is get a little piece of it, so there are definitely customers out there regardless of the economic times in which you find yourself. Thanks again for joining us today.
Everte Farnell: Thank you, I appreciate it.
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Transcribed by Ralph
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