Hi Friends,

Just back from John Carlton’s Action Seminar – a torrid 3-day affair between the sharpest minds in marketing and the most elite group of copywriters ever assembled.

I realize that statement reeks of hyperbole, so let’s briefly consider the players:

John Carlton and Stan Dahl

The all-star faculty of Top Dog Simple Writing System instructors:
– David Deutsch
– Harlan Kilstein
– Mike Morgan
– Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero
– Chris Haddad
– Stacy Morgenstern
– Leah Carson
– Jimmy Curley
– Mark Landstrom
– David Raybould
– Robert Gibson
– Colin Chung
– Colin Joss
– and Yours Truly

That alone is enough copywriting firepower to level a small, poorly converting city and build it back twice the size with streets of gold.

Then consider the legends who showed up on their own and ratcheted the brain-trust up several notches…
– Parris Lampropoulos
– Bond Halbert
– Kevin Halbert
– Ben Johnson

Then there were cats I’d met for the first time who are doing killer work…
– Henry Bingaman
– Ron Herman
– Scott Murdaugh
– David Babineau
– and a dozen more copywriters I’m forgetting right now (my apologies, let’s blame the vodky).

And those are just the copywriters!

I haven’t even begun to name the marketing elite like Brian Johnson (who runs the marketing for heavyweights like Jay Abraham, Rich Schrefren, and Jon Butcher of Precious Moments (those big-eyed porcelain creatures fetch $40 mil a year!) and Lifebook), Lisa Wagner of Piranha Marketing, SEO master, Ben Morris, Michael Gerber of the E-Myth and on and on it goes.

Suffice to say the event was electric with ideas and innovations for making serious coin in 2011. Internet marketers should prepare for major power shifts this year, especially when it comes to traffic, list building and how your content and products get delivered. (Are blogs and email marketing really on their way out?)

More on that in upcoming posts. For now, I want to share my biggest takeaway from the event, which occurred, ironically, during the very first “kickoff” presentation by John and Stan.

It’s what they called the “Good Idea Trap”… where entrepreneurs get so hyper focused on a good idea that we neglect to see the flaws in logic when it comes to profit potential.

In Stan’s example a guy spent years producing a very innovative product that only applied to gatekeepers of a particular market (a few hundred prospects total) instead of stepping back and redesigning it for the masses, where the earning potential was boundless.

The message I took from it: Yes, follow through on Big Ideas, but always give yourself the space to step back and measure the potential return, then look for ways to broaden the appeal of your product and for God sake, test everything before you commit major time and money into it.

That’s one of those rules we all know too well, but easily look past when we fall in love with our ideas.

Look for more big takeaways from the Action Seminar right here soon.


P.S. The real fun happened behind closed doors, of course, check out any of the facebook pages for the people tagged in this note for behind the scenes photos of the private parties, including the impromptu jam session and off key sing-along lead by none other than JC!

Carlton, not fretting.