A $20 Million Secret You Can Use This Week…

A $20 Million Secret

I want to get right to the point today.

Fact is: I have a secret to share with you that led to the massive success of my seven free reports (and led to over $20 million in sales).

It’s one of the ways I’ve been able to create customers “out of thin air.” In other words: Clients seek me out, instead of the other way around.

It’s a writing secret that you can use in your own free content from now on. You can start using it as early as this week, to write much more compelling content.

It’s called “framing the problem.”

I have used this strategy in every one of my free reports so far, to not only give my prospects value, but to create demand for my products.

Let me show you how it works…

How I Turned One Problem Into $3 Million of Sales

In my last free report, The Entrepreneurial Emergency, I was selling a course on the Theory of Constraints.

That’s a tough subject. It’s certainly not something anyone in the Internet Marketing space was thinking they needed at the time.

In fact, most people didn’t know what it was.

Now I could have done what other marketers do. I could have made the case for “Why Theory of Constraints is what you need for your business.”

But instead, I framed my prospects’ problem in a way that they had to listen.

I wrote a report about why my prospects were not tapping into their full potential. I made a case for why doing more things was simply increasing their potential, instead of reaching success.

I pointed out their real problem: To fix your business, you must figure out the obstacle holding you back – your weakest link.

If you don’t know, Theory of Constraints is a study that shows you how to find your weakest link. But if I had come right out and said that – no one would have cared. I doubt anyone would have even listened.

I had to frame my prospects’ problem in a way that it needed to be solved.

In short, it worked. This report sold over $3 million in sales for a system that no realized they wanted or needed until I started teaching it.

Reframing the Problem = Value

That’s the power of reframing a problem. It not only makes you the expert – the “hero” – who has the answer. If done correctly, it also sets up your product as the solution for that problem.

More importantly, it gives your prospects real, actionable information that they’ll thank you for.

Framing the problem in this way is one of several concepts that I use to lead to revelations in my free reports. It makes it easier to give revelations without a lot of explanation. (That’s a concept I’m going to dig into next week.)

Keep in mind: We’re only talking about framing real problems here. When I sat down to frame the problem for The Entrepreneurial Emergency… that was a real-life issue that entrepreneurs were facing (and still do face to this day).

Like a doctor giving a diagnosis, simply pointing out this problem had standalone value for my readers. That’s the kind of value that I encourage you to give to your own prospects in your free content…

How to Start Framing Your Own Clients Problems

Now personally, I use a more intense process to frame my own clients’ problems in my free reports than the simple 5-step process I’m giving you below.

Honestly, the reason I’m not giving you my exact system is it’s too in-depth to go into here. I would probably have to sit you down in a room to explain it fully.

That said, I don’t want to leave you empty-handed. I want to give you a way to at least start this process, so you can make your free content more powerful.

With that in mind, here’s how to begin framing your clients’ problems…

1. Start by looking at your product. Ask yourself: What problem or problems does it solve? Make a list of those problems.

2. Of those problems: Which one MUST be solved? Which problem keeps your ideal customers up at night? Is it the kind of problem customers would pay money to solve? If it’s not, you may have to go back to the drawing board.

3. If you have found a problem that’s worth solving: Brainstorm as many ways to present this problem as possible. Ask yourself…

  • Does the problem make any particular goals unattainable? (For example: Being overweight might make it impossible to chase after your kids.)
  • If so, how much effort will they waste if they do NOT solve this problem?
  • What’s the history of the problem? Where did it come from and what caused it in the first place?
  • What are the long-term implications of the problem if it’s not solved (not only for the client but possibly for their families etc.)?

4. Choose one way to present the problem and riff on it in a small piece of content. Ideally, it should be a place where you can get feedback (like a blog post). See what resonates with your audience.

5. Once you find the reframed problem that resonates, write a longer piece of content about it. Use this longer piece of content to start creating demand for your product.

Put yourself one step closer to the BIG marketing piece that could long-term lead customers to you… instead of the other way around.

Yes, This Process Does Exist

It might interest you to know that I have an actual process for writing free reports, including my most famous, the Internet Business Manifesto.

I developed this process over 18 months as I was writing my seven free reports. By the time I got to the seventh report, I had the process nailed.

Framing is just one part of that process.

Tomorrow, I’m going to show you another piece of this process that can make you understand your customers and their problems better than they do.

In the meantime, I’d appreciate your feedback on this. Tell me in the comments:

  • What do you think of framing the problem?
  • Do you think you’ll try it?
  • What else do you need to know to execute this process?

Speak to you soon.

26 thoughts on “A $20 Million Secret You Can Use This Week…”

  1. Definitely food for thought. I particularly use the question, “what keeps them up at night?” Nobody’s lying awake thinking they need another info product. But they might be worried about how to pay the bills next month, or ways to create a stable income from their business. Those are the problems worth solving people will pay for.

    Thanks for the insightful series, Rich!

  2. Rich

    Thanks for the post – great to be reminded of the need to always be framing the solution the product resolves in a way that resonates most strongly with the customers.  What occurred to me while reading is your step by step process first began with the product – in other words – having a product and needing to position in the most beneficial way by understanding the emotional hot buttons of the target market.  Thinking it can also work well in reverse i.e. gaining the insights in terms of what the customer groups really care about and working from there to create the perfect product.  One way is trying to find a home for a product that already exists, the other is designing a product by understanding the compulsions of your customer base. I like the sound of the later a little better. Did you create your constraints product to address the perceived problem or did you refine the problem after creating the product and considering how best to align it with the customer need?

    • One thing you need to understand is reality is complex. There are a 100 different answers to most questions. There also tend to be 100 different solutions for most problems. And a 100 ways to view a problem. 

      When I created this Theory of Constraints product, the market was only looking at the overall problem of “I need help building my online business” one way. So you could say I redefined that problem, but what I really did was give a different perspective to that problem in my report. 

      Something to think about in your own marketing: All realities are complex, problems included. If you can look at a problem in a new, completely original way… why not give the perspective on a problem that sells your product?

  3. Rich
    I am so glad to see you addressing this issue.  I have been wrestling with how to frame my major focus area for years, unsuccessfully.   I am very much looking forward to your future posts. 
    Thanks so much for sharing your insights.

  4. Rich
    Thanks so much for this. First it will help me better define the problem to be solved or at the least, elicit some response from readers that will point me towards the real problem

    Look forward to your future posts.

  5. spending lots of time trying to come up with the “problem that is worth solving” by yourself in a room is not optimal and could be a waste of time.

    I would go about it by running interviews (just like in the lean process). But the thing here is, what  kind of questions should i be asking my prospect about the”problem” to uncover more about it ?

    • There’s nothing wrong with using the lean process. I have studied the lean principles extensively in the past and continue to study them.

      Yes, the lean process helps you find the problems your customers are currently struggling with, so you can present solutions.

      The problem is that does NOT tend to lead to blockbuster solutions or products. Most would-be customers don’t know what they really want. Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Steve Jobs said “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” 

      Instead of doing that, I’m talking about selling something that people don’t even know they want or need. So it’s a totally different approach. That’s why the Internet Business Manifesto did so well. It wasn’t selling what people said they wanted. It was selling what they needed and hadn’t thought of yet.

  6. Hi Rich,

    Been following you for many years, have also purchased some of your products.  You’re the guru to the gurus for a reason.  Looking forward to your insights on this subject. 

    Are you still following Big Dan K?

  7. Terrific information thank you! I’ll be thinking in this mindset when creating ads and sales letters etc more often now.

    It’s a slight twist on something I’ve known for 20 years in sales but it was well put and a timely reminder….cheers!

  8. I have been the TOC fan for years, and have read most great books on the subject, especially by Dr. Goldratt.

    I didn’t realise that you had a product on this. Congratulations for taking on this complex task, as I’m sure you did a fabulous job of presenting it in a comprehensible manner.

    Although TOC’s main strength is simplifying the complexity, its major side effect (in my view) is ownership transfer of the problem. Once people ‘arrive’ at the solution after identifying the true root causes of their problems, there is no need for motivational tapes anymore.

    I love it because of its ‘change (self) management’ side effect. Most projects fail because people end up losing focus, not in TOC.

    Your 5-step process also seems to be rooted in its thinking processes (no surprises there :-). Great job!

    Finally, I’d love a copy of your ‘The Entrepreneurial Emergency’ report. Is it available for a download somewhere?

  9. I think the questions are relevant and very effective in help you flesh out what problem you can actually solve for your client. Thanks Rich!


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