In 2013 I was making $200/month in my day job.
But in 2015 I ended up making six figures (US dollars) in my online business.
And It was the worst year of my life.
(Now you should know six-figure income is pretty good in a developed country, but in India, where I live, it’s awesome.)
The business was just me and one more guy, I was handling the sales and he was taking care of the fulfillment.
The markups were huge and so we were making hands over fist.
I had to work only 2 hours a day, sometimes less.
All I had to do was find a few Facebook groups where my ideal clients hang out, message a few who might need my service, and bang I would make hundreds of dollars in pure profit.
I couldn’t handle it, and I went nuts.
I started partying almost every night, I was drinking more than ever.
I bought the toys, my dream bike, an office in a posh location, and a car.
Still, I was irritated almost all the time.
Me and Munmun (My girlfriend at that time now my wife) were fighting more than ever.
I was miserable…
First six-figure year, not what I expected to be honest.
As a kid, I didn’t have my father around much, as he was always busy working.
So I thought making money is the solution to all the problems and would fill the emptiness I felt as a kid. And when it didn’t I got really confused and scared. Like my whole belief system crumbled.
All my life I believed money could solve every problem, that’s what I always heard my dad saying.
And here I was making more than him and most of my friends yet I wasn’t happy.
At the age of 27, I was what most people would call “Successful”, but it all felt so empty.
Pretty soon it started to affect my productivity and work ethics.
I started ignoring my work, and misbehave with my partner.
I would spend most of my day, reading books on how to become happy, and partying with “friends”.
2016 - The Unexpected Happened
My partner who was responsible for the fulfilment decided to stop working with me.
He stopped answering my messages, and so the online arbitrage business that was responsible for most of my income went down the shit hole.
From making six figures I went to making nothing, I was really fucked.
Or was I?
To be honest, I was kind of relieved.
It was a strange feeling…
Many people would call my business perfect, it was making me great money, I had low overheads, and I was working only 2 hours a day, yet I was miserable in it.
At this point I had two options:
1. To find another partner, keep making money, forget my purpose, and live a frustrating life.
2. Find my purpose use the skills I learned in my last business and do something that makes me happy.
I chose the second option.
A New Start
I had always loved coaching/teaching and giving advice. Like that is what brings me true happiness.
At this point, I had 3.5 years of experience working as a full-time digital marketer, so I decided to create a coaching program on digital marketing.
I was pretty excited, I thought people would just line up to learn from me.
But that never happened.
So I had to use a different way to get clients.
In my previous business, I used Facebook groups to find people who might need my service and would outreach them using the Facebook messenger.
I decided to use the same strategy to get clients for my new coaching program.
So I joined all the big famous Facebook groups and started sending messages to group members who looked like my ideal clients.
Pretty soon I was reported and WHAM! I Was banned from those groups.
So now I knew my old methods wouldn’t work in the coaching industry and I had to find another way.
I noticed, in these Facebook groups everybody was posting long-form value posts such as “How to do X” and teaching their stuff for free.
So I also wrote a few long-form value posts and posted it in a group with thousands of members.
And I got a lot of likes and comments.
Group members really loved my content.
I was really happy and was expecting a few clients.
But nobody reached out to me.
So I wrote another batch of posts, but this time I decided to add a call to action at the end of my posts.
So I would add something like “If you want to know more about my program message me”.
I was confident that this would get me leads.
Not only I didn’t get any leads, but I was booted from many groups.
Turned out adding a Call to action (CTA) was a strict no-no.
Some group admins were kind enough to just warn me and not ban me, simply because I was adding so much value to the group.
My content was getting engagement, but not generating leads/clients.
And you can’t pay the bills with “Likes” and “comments”.
I knew I was onto something, but also that I was missing something.
I Decided To Get Help
And I ended up buying $7000 worth of training programs.
I spent the next few weeks studying these programs and trying to put them to work.
I was like a detective trying to sift through a mountain of rubbish looking for clues.
Nonetheless — I found two programs that changed my life forever.
Russel Brunson’s Expert Secrets book, and a Dan Kennedy program.
It is this advice from Dan Kennedy that changed the way I look at writing forever:
“By educating your prospect, you have an educated prospect, not an influenced prospect.”
– Dan Kennedy
This made me realize what I was doing wrong all this time.
I noticed both Dan and Russel told a lot of stories..
They didn’t give away everything they knew for free, they gave away insights wrapped up in entertaining stories.
Whereas I was giving too much info in my free content.
Which made readers feel full, so they had no reason to reach out to me.
(A common mistake many experts make)
So I wrote an emotional childhood story about me and my brother and posted it in a FB group.
It got so much engagement that it blew my mind.
I got comments like “Anoop you are a great storyteller”, “My inner 11-year-old kid, hugs you”, one person even named me “Mr. Story”.
Group members loved the post and a few of them even reached out to me.
For the next few weeks, I wrote a lot of story type posts and enrolled 2 high ticket coaching clients as a result.
It was a great feeling, but I still felt kind of limited, like I was moving too slow.
I realized most people don’t read they skim, so the inability to add a “call to action” was drastically limiting my potential.
So I decided to change my strategy a bit…
And post content on my personal Facebook profile instead of other people’s groups.
As I could post CTA and promotional post on my own Facebook profile but not in other people’s groups.
And this strategy worked so much better than anything else.
It helped me get 6 more high ticket clients.
The Facebook Hammer Fell
I got an email.
The email everyone dreads.
It was an email from Facebook saying that my account was breaching guidelines.
And as such Facebook put me in a FB Jail.
On investigation, apparently, I’d breached their rules around hate speech.
It was all over, I had been building on sand.
Without access to Facebook, I was stuck.
I remember thinking to myself: “Anoop, your life had been so full of promise. You have built multiple successful businesses before.”
“Where are you really going with all this? “
I desperately wanted to believe, but the reality was…
I was banned from Facebook and I had no source of generating leads.
I lay my arms down on the desk.
Then abruptly, IN A BLIND RAGE, and with all of my strength, I sweep the computer off the desk and clear across the room.
It crashed onto the floor.
“That’s it. I’m through!”, I screamed…
I actually felt better for my surrender… or as I preferred to call it, my return to sanity.
It was as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
That night I stayed in bed eyes wide open till 5 Am.
I looked at my wife sleeping peacefully next to me.
She was looking so beautiful, and in that moment I remember thinking to myself “She didn’t marry a quitter, she doesn’t deserve this”.
It was already early morning so I got up and went out for a run.
Gradually I began having second thoughts about quitting…
The Turning Point
Later that morning I was checking my inbox and an email from a guy named Yaro caught my attention.
The email talked about how he went from Sleeping in his Van to making six figures and just after the story was a link to his website.
I got curious.
But just before I was about a click this link.
Something hit me…
“I heard a voice in my head”
“Wait a minute”
“This guy is selling me his coaching program using a story and at the end of the story he is pointing to his website.”
That is very similar to what I have been doing this past year.
I had a little come-to-Jesus meeting with myself and began looking at everything I’d done online over the past year, examining all the Facebook posts I wrote, comparing…
And I found…
The only difference was Yaro was using emails whereas I was using Facebook.
I realized emails were better suited for promotions, and the best part is email algorithm doesn’t punish links or CTAs.
At that moment, It all came full circle.
I started checking emails from big email guys like Ben Settle, Ian Stanley, Matt Furey, all of them used a similar format to sell their courses.
I knew If I could just shift from Facebook to email everything would fall in place.
One Small Problem
There was one small problem.
(Yeah my life is filled with problems, but whose isn’t)
At this point because of my obsession to figure FB organic marketing, I had stopped emailing my list.
My list had gone ice-cold, and so in a way, I had no list.
So before I could send emails my challenge was to build an email list first.
AND THEN I SAW MARK ZUCKS SMILING AT ME
My Facebook account was suddenly restored after 3 days.
I was happy.
But it got me thinking…
What would I do if FB disabled my account permanently?
I knew I had to find a better way…
I can’t put myself and my family in this situation again.
Don’t get me wrong here, I love Facebook it changed my life.
I still use it and will keep using it…
But do I suggest relying on it completely?
I don’t want to be at the mercy of their algorithm, nobody should be.
Made $1067 By Sharing 7 Stories
I knew my writing formula worked, and I was ready to test it in the email format.
So I built a simple landing page (using WordPress), giving away a free report.
And started posting content promoting this free report in exchange for the email address.
I would email my small list every day using the story format I had learned over the years while adding more subscribers.
Pretty soon I had a list of 300 email subscribers.
And I was ready to test what I had learned.
So I decided to promote a live 3 hours masterclass on Content creation for $97 to this list.
Teaching about content creation strategies that I was using for my emails and also how to repurpose it for other social media platforms.
I decided to charge $97 for this 3 hours live class.
I promoted the class using story-based emails to my small list.
I sent 7 emails (over the span of a week) and generated 8 sales.
I also repurposed those emails and put them on my social media, which helped me get 3 more sales.
Totalling 11 sales for a product that didn’t even exist yet.
I made $1067 just by sharing my stories and random brain farts with my email list.
And that is how I realised the true power of emails and decided to get into email copywriting/marketing.
It has been a long journey of ups and downs, but I am glad I didn’t give up.
Now I am ready to share all of my knowledge with anybody willing to learn and make more sales by writing non-sucky emails.