This is a fascinating concept, that applies to all areas of business thinking…
I was talking to Joseph (my coach) this morning, and a topic came up in the course of setting priorities and establishing productive focus.
“One step away from the money.”
He’d picked up that quote from Daymond John, at the Genius Network Annual Event. Daymond was interviewed on stage by Joe Polish, who puts on the event, and Jay Abraham.
Daymond said he likes to look for and pursue opportunities that are “one step away from the money.”
What does that mean?
Basically, one of his strategies that turned FUBU into a billion-dollar brand is to look for opportunities that will generate cash flow. And the more directly correlated anything is to cash flow, the bigger priority it becomes to pursue it.
Here are some ideas to apply it…
Let’s say you have a pool of prospects and leads to follow up with. Which are the most likely to convert? Reach out to them first.
Or maybe you have a contract sitting on your desk (ahem, Roy) that needs to be reviewed and signed so your client can send you a big check. Get that turned around, pronto.
Maybe you have a couple different opportunities in front of you, one that’s more directly linked to generating sales than another. Prioritize generating sales.
This isn’t just about being greedy — although it does require you to make money a priority. It’s about recognizing where you create value and get paid in exchange, and making that an important factor in your business decisions.
Because we all go into business to make money (whether we’re talking make a living or make a fortune), this is absolutely relevant.
How I’ve applied this as a copywriter…
This is something I’ve actually recommended, in a different form, for a long time.
If you want to make a lot of money as a copywriter, you should write the copy as close to the sale as possible.
That is, if you write a sales letter and order form that direct generates a million dollars (my latest has surpassed that in a few weeks), it’s easy to justify high fees and even higher royalties for your copy.
On the other hand, let’s say you come up with a content marketing campaign that brings in 100,000 leads. From that, 10,000 of those become paying customers, generating $1 million in revenue. But to get there, they had to read your copy, sign up, get email follow-up, be presented with an offer, and then buy. Although your copy may have been an integral part of the $1 million in revenue, it’s very hard for most folks to connect the dots and think that you automatically deserve the same pay-for-performance deal as the copywriter who writes a $1 million sales letter.
When you hear the legends of our industry, such as Gary Bencivenga’s magalog that bought him a home in the Hamptons, they only made so much money with their copy because they focused on the copy that generated the sale.
The copy projects that make the most money are, in Daymond John’s words, “one step away from the sale.”
Thinking beyond this…
Of course, you may have even bigger opportunities.
While in the short term you may want to focus on the cash flow generating power of “one step away from the sale” opportunities, you also have to think long-term.
In copywriting, this may also mean helping your client figure out how to drive traffic to the copy that makes the sale.
In broader business strategy, you may want to think a few steps down the line, and see what kind of “one step away from the sale” opportunities you can pursue today that will only magnify the results of future opportunities. (Such as getting one type of product into the market because you know it will attract buyers of another, more profitable product.)
But no matter what, you want to at least consider your “one step away from the sale” opportunities. Figuring out where they should be prioritized can ensure ongoing cash flow and set you up for even bigger paydays down the road.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
PS — My coach’s name is Joseph Rodrigues, and while for the most part he’s not taking on new clients, he does a ton of really interesting YouTube videos, mostly focused around books he’s read. Click here to check out his YouTube channel. There’s some good weekend viewing on there!