My Lost Weekend, Feminax & A Bit of Product Creation



I recently attended a product creation weekend up in London set up by successful UK marketer Martin Avis and what was the main thing I learnt? Well, as in any business it seems – it’s not what you know it’s who you know. I am sure you have heard that saying before. More on this later. Obviously in the Internet Marketing industry you do need to know a certain amount. Not everyone will know how to integrate an autoresponder, set up an email sequence to run on autopilot or cloak affiliate links for example.

To my slight bemusement I was surprised by the skill levels in attendance. Very mixed.

There were people there that didn’t even know what an affiliate link is and they were attending a product creation weekend? Strange choice but hey, good luck to them.

So, why did I attend a Product Creation weekend?

Well, as I mentioned a few posts ago I wanted to change my route a bit. The marketing/blogging niche is an interest of mine but was never really my main one so that is why I made the change into product creation. I have already launched products, twice in fact and both products sold ok and still make sales today – so my plan is to ramp it up and do some more.

I guess I hoped to get to learn some new skills and maybe get inspired to take on a new product course or something. Well – I did not really learn any new skills, but I did get inspiration to create more products. And even though I paid good money to attend this weekend EVERY marketer who gave a presentation also tried to sell one of their higher ticket products at a “reduced ” price. This always makes me laugh when I see these crazy offers, some are incredible and no doubt worth it but the way they are presented wears a little thin with me now I have to say.

Here is an example:

“You can get 3 weeks couching with me” – £5000

“I will give you my secret website I use” – £1000

“I will also throw in 3 courses as a bonus” – £500

“Videos of the main course as extra” – £250

“Unlimited email support” – £500 (So, do they not normally reply unless you pay?)

“I will do the whole thing dressed as a Smurf” – £10

“So, as you can see I would normally charge £7260. But as a special offer just for today, you can have all this for just £997!!”

Maybe this is normal practice, or even best practice but surely people don’t actually believe those prices do they? Maybe they do. Jesus! Maybe I am under selling my stuff?

Why does everything always end in 7? Anyway, this happened on all the presentations. In fact one that I had an interest in was a self publishing course and the marketer would not reveal the publishing firm she uses – instead that was in the product at the end. For £647….

I wonder if she would have got more buyers had she been a bit more transparent and shared some more? – I think she would, but she most likely doesn’t care as she has already made millions. For the record though, it did look a great course.

All in all though each of the presentations were very good, and they certainly all know their stuff. This is why they are where they are, and I am sure a little helping hand along the way….

Selling is definitely an area I need to work on I think after attending this. I am not good at it and do not actually like it much. My preferred method as followers of the blog will know is simply recommending. I have tried anonymous selling before with the traditional Internet Marketing funnels of upsell, downsell, OTO and on and on…. I didn’t get on with it.

Was it worth it then?

Absolutely 100%, whilst I did come away with a few new ideas and learnt some new copywriting tricks (thank you Chris Payne) most probably the best thing about it was the new contacts I have made. The last few hours of the evening in the bar were very interesting, in fact I probably got more out of the drinking session than I did with the actual seminars!

It did start off a bit shady though, now I did not come up the Thames on a pushbike and I know a little bit about how the industry works but I got the impression one guy was trying to shut me up as every question I asked he would quickly interrupt and start talking about the football in the background. I am sure it was entirely harmless but for a few minutes it was like he was doing it so some his friends wouldn’t reveal their secrets! I had drank several beers by then so it was probably just me over thinking things.

At once stage I was sat having burgers and drinks next to a millionaire who owns his own restaurant in Namibia, a former I.T consultant who made $600,000 on his first launch, my good friend and highly respected Rob Cornish, Neil Stafford who made millions from PLR here in the UK, former Woolworths employee turned hugely successful marketing coach Sarah Staar, the very inspirational Chris Payne and many others.

The great thing about this is I got all their contact details and built (a be it a small) but worthy relationship with a few of them. In fact we drank until 01:30am – something I have not done for many many years – and I felt it the next morning too!

rob cornish and me

Hungover……but still smiling.

I also met a few other people in similar positions to me, which was great.

One particular beacon of light was Kate Buckand who offers content creation services from her site Content Couture. She was actually a great help, you see around 5:30pm on Saturday I started to get a banging headache. Its hard work  sitting down all day over loading on caffeine listening to power point presentations. Anyway on my hunt for medication I bumped into Kate, my thoughts were: Female + Handbag = Bound to be good for some painkillers.

To my joy she reached into her bag and pulled out some pills. Feminax. What? – Yes, for period pain relief. Anyway basically it was my only choice – so I popped one and to my sheer joy my headache vanished about an hour later!

Thanks Kate, I guess I will have to wait and see how I am in a months time…..

Focus, Focus, Focus….

I now know what I need to do once I start my next product – whenever that may be. The great thing is now hopefully I can give it a bit more leverage and who knows if one or two of the people I met take an interest in it then it could do ok.

Seminars are great and like I said the networking was worth the admission fee alone, no question. You still have to have your wits about you because marketers being marketers will try and sell you everything and they will not do an awful lot completely for free.

I understand this and was able to dodge a few bullets and I think after a while once they knew my background they did not talk about that side of things. In fact they offered to help, which was great.

Some final thoughts

We were all promised some freebies to take away with us. Unfortunately it was just basically offers to sign up to their lists, so not really free at all.

Next time guys, how about a couple of no opt-in freebies? Great stuff though and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Seminars like this will always be on my radar now and I am glad I went. Like I said – just the contacts alone was worth the trip.

Have you even been to a Seminar similar to this? What was your experience like? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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  1. I had a really good LOL at some of this… glad I could help! Hope you don’t end up with hot flashes or something in a few weeks though 😉 All joking aside though it was a real pleasure to meet you and thanks for the shout out 🙂

    • Hey Kate – great to have you stop by.

      Glad you found the article amusing, all joking aside though it was a great weekend. Some real gold in there….

      No worries on the shout out, best of luck with it. If you need anything, you can find me here.


  2. Great post this John, connections and networks and are often what makes a product. Hence why people rent email lists when doing product launches. Where do they get the lists to rent from? The people they have connections with, simple as that.

    A great product is a great product and may sell a few items but an OK product promoted by a network of good friends with large lists and followings can do a lot of sales. I am glad you had a great time and managed to dodge a few bullets, oh and by the way, who was offering to do it all dressed as a Smurf? That sounds like the best £10 ever spent! 🙂
    Andi the Minion recently posted..SportSure ReviewMy Profile

    • Yes Andi – that is probably one of the biggest things I took away from it.

      It was interesting when I was talking to a few of the big guns about a couple of my products launches, obviously small but when I happened to mention a writer of Tim Lowe’s picked it up and made a few sales I did get a few good looks 🙂

      Unfortunately the Smurf costume idea was one going through my head when the pitch was taking place – shame, like you I would of happily waved two pints in order to see that. 🙂

  3. Hey John,
    I attended the KISS2 event and regrettably, didn’t have a chance to meet you. You may recall the guy with the American accent, maybe not. Either way I think you did an honest review and as an aside, in the States every event you can attend uses the same format for speakers to provide their wares to the audience, so it was not surprising to be on familiar territory. What I picked up from this review is that I better improve on networking with the other attendees. I would have enjoyed learning about Kate Buckland and what services she offers on her site. If you had never mentioned it, I would never have known. So thanks for helping to continue to open my eyes to the possibilities of actually taking action versus just telling everyone I am a noob. All the best to everyone that attended. Looking forward to reading about more things on your blog. 😉

    • Hey Kenneth, great to have you along!

      Yes – I find with these sort of things, networking can be a real benefit. I have attended a few free events but not paid ones so the structure was a little surprising to me.

      The old Internet Marketing saying “take action” really is real, you have to get out there and get involved. And as for being a noob, never worry about that. Everyone was at some point. It is important to learn new skills and the best way to do it is to actually do it. Learn by doing as they say..

      Great to have you along – welcome anytime.


  4. Great blog. And a really inspiring weekend. Shame we did not connect – I should have stayed at the bar late. Next time…. Speakers who sell are told by the gurus they must do the cumulative added value package recital thing because it works… or is that only in America? And the £XX7 pricing digit 7? Appears to be a proven magic sales figure for IM? If I am right speakers who did not do this would be ignoring tried and tested methods at their peril and that was what the weekend was all about – learning from the experts.

    • Hi John, great to have you along on the blog.

      Yes shame we did not meet. Not really sure about the 7 thing – but if it works then great. Maybe I should change my prices….

      Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your adventures at the conference. It’s funny, I just read an article yesterday that was directed towards writers. The gist of the article was that writers should network, network and then network some more. Most of the gigs and prestigious assignments that writers land come from their network of connections, even if the opportunity presents itself years down the line.

    Like you, I’m also tired of falling for the “not really free- freebie”. Now, I’m starting to ignore email posts that proclaim “Sign up to receive your free gift!”. But then again, I’m producing a free e-book report that is designed to attract customers and build up my (Upcoming) newsletter list.

    However, I’m not presenting myself like “I care about your well-being SO MUCH!!!!”. I’m presenting my information as, “This is why you need my services, explained plainly” (I’m marketing my press release writing services, in this instance).

    I do care about the outcome of my potential clients as it pertains to their business but I’m not going to pretend to be their new best friend in the whole wide world…just to bait them to pay me or reward me with their email addy, you know?
    Terr recently posted..Seasons Change, Services ChangeMy Profile

  6. Hi John,

    It’s too bad that there are less seminars (in online marketing) in my country. I’d really like to joint such event though. There was some but many participants was complained about the substances (it just another offer in the end).

    To me, I am always look for the speak person, the substance, and the price to participate. If it’s nothing special with the substance and the price is way to expensive it’s a sure no no from me to join in.

    Thanks for sharing your experience John
    John recently posted..How Do I Create Video Content for Free?My Profile

    • Your Welcome!

      Great to see you hear again. Yes, they all do like to promote their own products – but that is the nature of the business I guess.

      You should sign up to a few webinars now and again, these are free and they often do give away some great free content.


  7. Hi John

    It was good to have met you at KISS2 and have to admit that the pitches were in some instances a over the top, but that is unfortunately the name of the game. The free take away’s were great and as you say the networking was invaluable.
    I had the great fortune to enjoy Kate Bucklands company at the dinner table and just in that brief encounter learnt a lot. Keeping contact with those I met at the event has opened many opportunities. Networking really is the key here.


    Darryl Smith recently posted..Drill Driver Mini-siteMy Profile

    • Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for your comment here on the blog. Yes, I agree with you the networking I think was the key here.

      I hope you got some benefit out of the weekend!


  8. Hi John,

    Thank you for your very amusing and informative post. I’ve never attended an IM Seminar but having read your KISS Review I now have an idea of what to expect – it sounds as if you had a good time and that it was worth while – in spite of the Opt In rate! lol

  9. hello, really you are very great ,you are my mentor and for many like me.I read your every article and you motivates me all the time.Seminars are really very great. Sharing your adventures at the conference. It’s really very interesting and funny. It give me a brief idea which will really help me out.
    I am very thankful to you ,and always feels fortunate when i visit johnbanksblog. You have changed my vision of living this life.
    girish recently posted..How to Sell Digital Products Online?My Profile

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