Monday Tip – Sticking to The Rules

I had planned to do a blog post today about setting up simple sales funnels but several things came up over the weekend that I thought were more important and so I decided to save the funnel post for a another day.  Also when you get to the end of the post why not answer the question i posted and the first right answer gets one of my products.

Final word On List Building …For Now

Hopefully you will have read the last two blog posts and you’ll now have a good idea of what type of emails you should be writing and how to construct them. However all that means nothing if you aren’t building a list.

The biggest regret I have is not building a list earlier and I know that is the same for many marketers. Learn from out mistakes… Start building a list NOW!

Derek Halpern recently did a blog post and in it he said, If you aren’t building a list you are an idiot, I am too polite to say that out loud or in a blog post but I do agree with him 100%.  He sent a tweet and an email to a similar number of people the tweet drove 300 people to his blog post  the email 2400.

Thats 8 times as many if that was a promotional email that would be 8 times as much money…

Thats the difference between beans and a great steak for dinner tonight, it’s the difference between an apartment and a really nice  house.  I hate bringing things down to money but it’s what a lot of people understand. If you build a list you’ll make more money it’s as simple as that. I don’t care if you just get 1 subscriber a day thats still 365 a year and I know someone who made over $20,000 for a 200 strong list.

Don’t think about it do it!   (I’ve set up a free private email marketing Facebook group at  come and join us!)

The Rules 

Which brings us rather nicely on to what I really wanted to talk about today and that is “Rules”.  Not the type you need a referee  to enforce but the ones that allow you to thrive and prosper as an internet marketer.  This was brought to mind by a conversion I was reading in a private mastermind group and it got me thinking what rules do I live & work by.

We should all have a set of rules that we market by, rules we are loath to break and rules that guide the way we work. Once you have those decision making becomes so much easier.

 1. Money isn’t the driving force

It’s all too easy to think short term in terms of money.  You should be thinking in terms of what is best for your subscribers and what will help them to succeed.   You need to look long term,  which would you prefer a few quick $9 sales or a customer who sticks with you for years and grows and prospers and goes onto buy regularly from you over several years?

Both aims need not be mutually exclusive, I recently promoted Michael Christon’s WAAR report and I got great feedback from people who purchased, I made money, Michael made money and my customers got high quality information that will help them to earn more money on a regular basis (if they Implement what they learned!)

Promote if you feel its a Win Win for both you and your customers.


2. Work from a Stable Basis.

Before investing in tools and programs make sure that you are financially secure, don’t spend your rent on the latest greatest tool… there will be another along shortly. Initially work to ensure that you have enough to live on comfortably, if that means writing for people and charging 1 cent a word or providing a service on Fiverr do it!

Even though I can pretty much afford to get any program or tool that comes out I still use this to this day. I always ask myself

Do I need this product  now?

Will I use it in the next few days?

Do I have something that can already do the job?

Will it potentially improve my profits


3. How can I provide the greatest value to my customers while still providing for my family.  


This is quite closely related to rule number 1, but there is a subtle difference, in the past I’ve gone months without creating any new products or promoting anyones products, while I am sure many of my subscribers appreciate that I don’t promote everything that comes along Internet Marketing is still the way I make my income. There has to be a balance between promoting too much and promoting too little and thats the reason I try to focus on this rule a little more often than I used to.

Ensure you have enough for sudden disasters and crisis’s … they can happen at the worst possible time!


4. Maintain a Sensible Life / Work Balance

It’s all too easy to put customers first, up to recently I would often be checking emails at 2am and working 7 days a week, I am trying to change that a bit at the moment and try to only work between the hours of 9am and 9pm  Monday to Friday, outside those times I do monitor emails and deal with anything important. On the other hand I will happily take an afternoon a week off and play some golf and maybe take my wife shopping or go for a walk or cycle.

You need to have a sensible balance, there is no point in working too hard to build a better life for your family if you never see them.


5. Market to people the way you want to be marketed to!

That goes without saying If you hate getting emails from marketers who  promote everything then don’t send emails promoting everything, if you hate emails with headlines saying  “Important Open Now” then don’t use them yourself. Just because other people do it it doesn’t mean that they are right!

Be sensible in your marketing and you’ll do ok!

 Over to you now.. 

What Rules do you live by in your business life?


How is the image I used related to this post?

Simply post the answer as a comment and I’ll pick the first right answer.. I won’t publish the answers until midday tomorrow (CET)

The winner gets one of my products..

If you want a bonus point share the post on FB and I’ll give you 2 products ;) (Ya’ can’t beat a good bribe!)

If you enjoyed this post and learned anything… share it!

Have an awesome week


  1. says

    Don’t think short-term. Decide what you went the end to look like and then take the steps necessary to get to that point.

    It could be your overall life – what do you want people to say about you at your funeral, and then live your life with that goal in mind.

    It could be your business – If you want to build something that you can sell for $1 Million dollars in ten years it may mean sacrificing short-term profits in exchange for building a more valuable entity.

    It could be your health – If you want to live to be 90, you’d better get rid of that extra 30 lbs you’re carrying around your midsection.

    Decide what you want the end to look like and then back-engineer the steps to get there.
    Dean Martin recently posted..Tagging On Facebook – The Magical @ SignMy Profile


  2. says

    I am another one who avoided building a list and have still been failing to take it seriously. I also read Derek’s post and now I plan to make it a priority.

    I’ve thinking about the basics of marketing recently, one of them being that all other things being equal, people would rather buy from somebody that they know, like and trust. Email is a great way to establish that if you do it right.

    It’s hard to get your focus off money if you are not making any but looking after your subscribers is the way to make more and probably faster.

    On tools, I also think, don’t buy a tool to save time if you don’t spend the time. That is, you don’t need a tool to auto post your articles if you only write one article a week.

    Competition time. The image could relate to work/life balance and not waiting until you are dead to take some time out. It could also refer to the fact that your email list could still be making money for your family after you’ve popped your clogs.

    Rich Russell recently posted..How Long Should You Work? Maybe Less Than You ThinkMy Profile


  3. Carolyn says

    Life is short. Take time to enjoy while putting a lot of effort into what you think is worthwhile. Think about how you want to be remembered and let that guide you in both your personal and your professional life.


  4. says

    The tombstone is from the 25 year old movie “Robocop”. A police officer was made into a cyborg, and programmed with rules – to serve and protect the public. So the common thread is having rules that you operate by.



    Well done Alan yours was the first correct answer.. so send me an email and I’ll give you access to the product of your choice!


  5. Chris Harris says

    If you don’t build a list your marketing dies.



    Chris, I assume that you are referring to the image not it’s not that…


  6. Martin says

    To be honest, I did not like the image on the post. I did not even notice it until you called attention to it. Afterwards, I thought “what the hell is that?”

    It does not, in my mind, relate to the post. Heck, it is not even funny, or something I would ever use myself. How good can it be if it is not worth stealing. Just my opinion.



    Actually It has everything to do with the post if you know the context.. Pop back tomorrow when i’ll publish all the answers..


  7. John allan says

    If you don’t build a list your business will die, If you don’t follow the rules and don’t get the work/life balance right, well it may be more than your business that perishes :-)


  8. says

    Well the first thing that came to mind was Murphy’s Law – also known where I come from as Sod’s Law :) Namely – if it can go wrong it will. And in gaming, a “Murphy’s Rule” is one that doesn’t make sense logically.

    So in context, I think it means – take into account anything that can go wrong and prepare for it. Either that or you drink a lot of stout :)
    Isobel recently posted..Halloween Zombie Decorations updated Thu Oct 18 2012 5:25 am EDTMy Profile



    ‘Fraid not Isobel


  9. says

    I try my best to live by the same 5 rules you’ve outlined here. From the marketing perspective, #5 is most important to me. And it applies to all areas of marketing, not just the email.

    Integrity is important to me and even if I could get away with something and make money with it, I would have trouble living with myself.

    As for the contest, I’m pretty well stumped. At first I thought of Murphy’s Law, but it doesn’t really apply (and Isobel beat me to the punch on that one). So I looked up Alex Murphy and came up with 3 hits — a rugby player, a basketball player and RoboCop.

    So, I’m going with RoboCop. He had rules to do his job by and he couldn’t violate them.
    Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson recently posted..The 3 Little Pigs for the Modern AgeMy Profile


  10. says

    You’re certainly not Alex, I sure don’t want to be Alex, hope anyone reading is not Alex…This is my answer:

    Don’t be ‘Alex’ like all other ‘Murphys’… where sooner or later you read between the lines and everytime ‘Alex’s’ email turns up in your inbox, you click on the delete button. Heck! Unsubscribe rather!!!

    …. Be different!!!

    …and whether this is the right or wrong answer, I will still share it on FB and Ttwitter
    Isabel recently posted..CH5YA5WD8WCUMy Profile



    Lol…. Now that was random!


  11. Rufus says

    Alex Murphy – A.K.A Robocop

    Had 4 ‘Rules’ or ‘Codes of Conduct’ hard wired into his software programming that dictated how he lived and worked, i.e. the values of customer service he offered.

    Law 4 was a tad rough though!!

    Good post Mark


  12. says

    I think the image relates to Murphy’s Law – the law of life, which states that Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
    And so be prepared for the worst – and deal with it.
    By building a list you can deal with the Google slap and anything else that may happen in life….. providing you are treating the people on your list properly, you can count on them to help you through the hard times because they will respond to the offers you make to them (win win)
    Dave E Wilkes recently posted..Top Tips On Building Self Esteem From Nicola AdamsMy Profile



    Sorry wrong.. But Murphy’s law has been a common thread .. One I didn’t consider


  13. says

    Hi Mark as allways a post, which make one self considering if it is the right things you do at the moment.

    For the competition – my first thought was, like many others I think, Murphys law, however rethinking and rethinking I have wild guess – ROBOCOP. And the reason for my guess is that you tell in your post that you are moving away from being a human robot to be more for your family, so ROBOCOP (Alex Murphy) says goodbye to the robotics.

    Hmm – maybe not correct – but creative thinking.



  14. says

    Rules are like good habits. Develop them and you will move forward.
    One of my rules is that I always plan tomorrow today. During the evening I plan (was on paper) on Trello the things I want/need to get done the next day. The more detail I put down the better. But even short notes are better than nothing.
    Then when the next day arrives you will have a head start. Start With The End In Mind.
    Richard Gunstone recently posted..Why Can’t I Lose Weight – Recognizing The Problem.My Profile


  15. says

    Thanks Mark.
    Great informative post as usual.
    I think the picture is referring to Robocop (former police officer Alex Murphy) and it relates to your post because you’re listing out rules for listbuilding (listbuilding crime prevention unit!).
    Very witty!
    ML, Izzi


  16. Nathan "Spanky" Briggs says

    The image is Murphy’s gravestone from Robocop (the 2000 TV movie from the filename :)). Robocop always stuck to the rules.


  17. says

    Alex Murphy became Robocop, who was programmed with three “Prime Directives”:

    1. Serve the public trust
    2. Protect the innocent
    3. Uphold the law

    Any of those could relate, but I’m guessing #3 is more or less the same as the title of the post.
    John Lenaghan recently posted..Write A Letter To PaypalMy Profile


  18. says

    I see that ‘Murphy’s Law’ has been a common thread, but the way I’m taking the posting, you should work smarter, not harder. List building will help you towards that goal, and like you mentioned, you’ll find that you can take time off when you like eventually.
    Thanks for the ‘reality check’, Mark.
    Wanda recently posted..EDUCATIONAL TOYS AND CHILDRENMy Profile


  19. Mark says

    The Correct answer as you can all now see is that the grave stone is that of Alex Murphy who was rebuilt as RoboCop. He was given 4 rules he had to live by: (called prime directives)

    1. Serve the public trust
    2. Protect the innocent
    3. Uphold the law

    Number 4. was classified but was in fact that he couldn’t arrest or detain any employee of OCP.

    As an additional piece of trivia these prime directives were based on the rules for robots first established by Isaac Asimov and called the 3 laws of robotics which are still used today

    I might have to find another question for next week as i enjoyed that.. :) well done everyone who is as geeky as me


    Dave E Wilkes

    I think that the whole thing was very clever, Mark, and it certainly got me thinking…
    I even woke up in the middle of the night with another idea for the relevance of the gravestone image.
    But by the time morning came I’m afraid I couldn’t remember what it was..
    Dave E Wilkes recently posted..Top Tips On Building Self Esteem From Nicola AdamsMy Profile


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