business partnerships suck

That’s my daughter Isabella drinking her 5 a day 🙂

You may remember I licensed my Kidz 5 A day (that’s Gillians site in Ireland she’s kicking ass!) product into 11 countries:

UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Australia, China and Denmark.

I was excited as hell to do this deal as we have a great all organic product, that helps kids get all the vitamins and minerals they need.

It was a simple process to license the business as I’d developed the product, created the marketing systems, built the business systems and I didn’t charge for the license.

I planned to make my money by adding £3 to the price my licensees purchased the product from me, I purchase at £7 per unit and sold to them at £10 they then sold at £30 – £40

This was a brilliant way to do it as I was able to purchase in volume (25,000 units at a time) and so was able to negotiate a better price for my licensees than if they purchased the product on their own (they would pay £12 per unit for 500 – 1000 units so they saved £2 by buying through me).

I then gave them the product on sale or return and gave them 90 days credit for the product so they could get their businesses going and pay me for the product from their profits. I could afford to do that so it was OK for me and it meant they could sell in their territory.

So it’s a great win win.

I gave them a simple way to sell the product with no marketing costs and to build a great database of customers, in short all they had to do was follow the simple instructions to business success.

I got to play wholesaler and leverage the systems I’d built.

As always I put this to my database of subscribers (I like to promote from within) and had tons of people want in (it’s a sweet deal!)

Anyway 8 months later, here’s my results

1 person I’ve had to sue to get my product back.

1 person has constantly dicked me about so I’ve told him he can’t sell my product anymore.

1 person wants me to sign a lengthy contract giving them an exclusive distribution license for their territory (I wont until they prove themselves)

2 people are still to do anything meaningful

2 people have done a bit but I have low expectations for them to do much more.

4 people have sold a lot of product, demonstrated they’re action takers and I’m working with them on new projects that will make us all a lot of money.

So should I give up because 2 people I went into business with turned out to be useless, 1 is a legal pain in the ass and 2 have done very little?


This is normal and is based on the gauss normal distribution which I studied doing statistics at Uni.

You’ve no doubt heard of the Pareto principle under it’s pop psychology guise of the 80/20 principle. Essentially Pareto stole the normal distribution theory and repackaged it as his own, this happens a lot.

So when you’re doing business you have to expect this, if you have 10 business associates expect 2 to be useless, 4 to do next to nothing, 4 to do a bit and 2 to be great.

This is normal.

If you expect it then you’re ready to take the opportunities presented with the people who are good.

and think of this.

People will ALWAYS look after themselves first.

Sorry, we’re selfish… deal with it.

So if your business partners have a more lucrative offer on the table do not expect them to prioritise your offer, that’s just dumb. Instead realise they have their own agenda (as we all do) and cut the business tie and move on.

Remember: Fail and Fail FAST


Find the best people as fast as you can and create new opportunities with them, as soon as you see that someone is not performing get out and get out fast (watch what the do NOT what they say they do), try to be nice at first and give them a way out that will help them save face, if you can’t do that then do whatever it takes.

Finding brilliant action takers quickly and dumping excuse makers as fast as you can is the secret to business partnership success.

In business you cannot do it on your own, find people who take action and then work with them to create new opportunities. Once you find someone great create opportunities for them to work with you so you’re both successful.


P.S Like the sound of this deal? Want in on the next one I put together? Then e-mail me neil [at) or leave a comment below(it’s private until I publish them so no one will see but me), I’m always looking for action takers!

Making Money Math For Dummies

I am fortunate to currently be one of the top affiliates in the world online, but it wasn’t always this way… for years I struggled and lost a fortune.


Then 1 day whilst reading a book on venture capital ( this one if you’re interested – ) I saw something that changed everything.

Allow me to demonstrate with a simple guide.

Lets suppose I’m selling a bucket and spade.

The bucket and spade costs – £100

The gross profit margin is 50% so for every bucket and spade I sell I make £50 gross profit

Simple so far.

OK so now how much money can I spend to sell my bucket and spade?

If you answered £49.99 go to the head of the class!

nb if you are selling things on the back end and you know your numbers often times you can do things MUCH differently. simply substitute life time value for bucket and spade.

OK now lets go to our marketing startegy.

Lets suppose we have 3 different strategies:

1. Google Adwords

2. Facebook PPC

3. LinkedIn

(3 is a terrible number, better to have 10 but 3 is simple to follow right now)

Now remember that I can spend up to £49.99 to acquire a customer and still make a profit.

So, just to emphasise, my aim now is to acquire as many customers as possible within my target range <£49.99

On Google I can acquire customers using keywords, suppose I have 100 keywords I bid on;

– buy bucket and spades

– bucket and spade reviews

– things to take to the beach

Now each of those keywords has a different type of person doing the searching.

– buy bucket and spades (this person is ready to buy right now)

– bucket and spade reviews (this person is doing research)

– things to take to the beach (this person is looking for ideas)

So it makes sense that each keyword will convert differently, someone who wants to buy a bucket and spade is going to be much easier to sell a bucket and spade too than someone looking for ideas.

Making sense so far?

So each of those keywords will have a different customer acquisition cost associated to it.

– buy bucket and spades – costs me £5 to make a sale (the number of clicks I get on my advert x the cost per click x the conversion rate)

– bucket and spade reviews – costs me £25 to make a sale

– things to take to the beach – costs me £49 to make a sale

Based on how many people search for my keyword, then click on my ad then buy the product. So the cumulative total marketing spend (customer acquisition cost) increases or decreases based on the search intent of the keyword.

Read that again.

The cumulative total marketing spend (customer acquisition cost) increases or decreases based on the search intent of the keyword.

Now that’s Google, but, facebook and linkedIn are also the same, each ad network (google, bing, facebook, linkedIn etc) has a different customer acquisiation cost profile to it.

So Facebook’s range may be as cheap as £10 up to £50 for me to buy a customer.

So is it smart for me to focus on what it costs me to get someone to click on my ad?


It’s smart for me to know my numbers, establish how much I can spend up to to buy a customer then do everything I can to buy as many customers as I can.

Some customers are cheap, some are expensive (relativly) BUT as long as they make money I don’t care.

Some keywords are cheap some are expensive. It’s all irrelevant. What matters is does it make a profit.

This little insight has helped me become one of the highest earning affiliates in the world, it’s helped me launch numerous businesses and is now helping my clients who engage me to do their digital marketing for them.

Try it in your business, you’ll be streaks ahead of your competition when you do.


8 things I’ve learnt about getting stuff done by freelancers

I get LOTS of stuff done, most people think I do it myself, but if I did how would I ever have time to do other fun stuff? no, to get on in life you’ve got to delegate, for 90% of projects you can hire freelancers to work on your ideas, but how do you do that?

Do you have an idea for a website, online business, or application, but need a programmer to turn that idea into reality?

Many of you I know have been in the same position, so here’s my best advice, below.

But first, a quick request: If you are a programmer, please leave a reply below with YOUR best advice. Feel free to include your URL and email for anyone to contact you. I know my advice is not complete, (and you may totally disagree!), so any further advice is appreciated.

1. Reduce your big idea to “Version 1.0”.

Dream the big dream of everything your site/service/company might be some day, and write it all down.

But then think of the bare minimum that would make you happy, and people would find useful. What are the three most essential features? What is the most essential feature?

Call this Version 1.0. Save the rest for later. No need to even tell people about the rest unless they’re really really interested.

A programmer is much more likely to say, “I can do that!” to this simple version.

Your goal here is just to get Version 1.0 built. That, alone, will be a huge accomplishment. Everything below is describing only Version 1.0.

2. Write a simple overview of what it does.

Again, remember: only describe Version 1.0. Stop there. The big version is written down somewhere else.

Leave off all details that the programmer doesn’t need to know.

For example: If you want to sell videos, you don’t need to say what’s in the videos. Just “sell downloadable and streamable video files.” If you want the site to translate ancient Arabic poetry to Spanish to increase global tolerance, just say, “Translate paragraphs from Arabic to Spanish.”

Be succinct. Programmers love that.

Include people in a story, using the terms you use.

For example: “A company creates an account, then creates a new project with a title and description. In the project, they upload multiple documents to be translated. Each document has a from-language, to-language, and a name. The system counts how many words are in each document. When the company marks the project as ready, it is announced to the translators. The announcement shows how many documents, how many words, and a price. The translator rejects or approves. They log in to translate the documents, one at a time, marking each finished when done, which sends the file back to the company for review.”

From this, the programmer will look for nouns and verbs, so start to think in those terms to help you communicate better. (A programmer would see: Company, Project, Document, Translation, Translator, etc.)

3. Write a detailed walk-through of every click.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself using the site.

Describe every thing you can click on the first page.

Git no imagination? then mind map it with mind meister (google it)

What happens when you click it? Exactly what did the system do? What happens next?

Start to think in IF-THEN branches. Example: “If it’s a new user, it takes them to this welcome page. If they’ve been here before, it takes them to their account page. If it asks for a number, but they type a word, send them back to the same page but with a message.”

In a text file, write down every thing you know this Version 1.0 needs to do. Every click. Every action. A long list of small simple things.

Start to think of the exact wording of what you want it to say, but save that somewhere else. Don’t clutter this list with wording.

The goal is to keep this long list of actions very clear and simple, so that a programmer can see it, and see that each step is easy. For them it should be like eating chips, not an elephant.

4. Break it up into milestones.

We tend to think of other people’s work as easier than it is.

So break Version 1.0 up into many “milestone” steps. Think of it as a day’s work. (It might take more or less than a day.) The point where they upload their work for you to test. Where you test it and are happy that little piece works.

Don’t expect it to look pretty at this stage. Expect it incredibly ugly but functionally working. Like building a house, the paint and decor goes last.

For example: in my translation site story, above, the first milestone might be just a plain ugly web page where a company can create an account, create a new project, then upload named documents into that project. That’s it! If that works, that’s a good start.

Thinking of your project in milestones makes all the difference. You’ll stop and communicate at each, making sure you’re happy before continuing. Misunderstandings can’t run on too long. You’ll estimate time and cost better. And you’ll both feel a good sense of momentum.

5. Make your first milestone a stand-alone project.

To find a programmer you like, you need to take just the first milestone, and treat it as a complete project.

Open a new text file, and copy just the parts of the story and walk-through that are included in the first milestone.

If a feature doesn’t come until after the first milestone, remove it from this copy of the story. Remove it from this copy of the walk-through.

This text file should contain a start-to-finish project that sounds like a day’s work, and mentions nothing else.

Now start to prepare it like a help-wanted ad. Say, “We are hiring a developer to create only the beginning of an application. If this milestone is completed well, there will be more work immediately. The requirements are as follows….” Then paste just the story and walk-through for your first milestone.

Because you don’t want them to just say, “I finished. Here’s the source code,” make sure you finish with something like, “For completion of this project, please have this up and running on a development webserver I can access to test its functionality as described.”

Because posting this help-wanted ad will bombard you with dozens of offers that sound legitimate but have never read your ad, you should really do this step: At the end of your post, write something like, “VERY IMPORTANT: To separate you from the spammers, please write I CAN DO THIS  as the first line of your bid. We will delete all bids that do not start with this phrase, since most bidders never read the requirements. Thank you for being one who does.”

Get this all in a plain-text file, ready to paste.

6. Post it at elance, guru, odesk, rentacoder.

Go to the following sites to open an account at each:,

Post this short project at each site. Use their escrow service. Location of provider doesn’t matter – they can work from anywhere. Don’t pay for a highlighted listing. Pay by the hour. Set the bidding time limit to 7 days. Most bids will come in the first 2-3 days.

You’ll get many offers, but if they don’t have your magic phrase at the top (“I CAN DO THIS” or whatever), delete them. This is very hard to do, since you’ll feel thrilled that so many people are offering to help, saying things like, “We have looked at your project and would be glad to complete it immediately,” but trust me and delete those. If they didn’t read something marked as VERY IMPORTANT already, you don’t want to work with them.

Also important: Only go for providers who have great reviews from many past customers. This shows they are used to working this way through this site. Decline bids from providers without many great reviews.

If they have 1 negative review ask them about it, sometimes even the best people make mistakes or deal with people with dumb expectations so ask.

Don’t aim for the lowest bid. Use these sites to find someone that seems great and capable, even if they are twice as much as the lowest bid, they might work 10 times faster and better.

Each of these sites has its quirks, so sorry I can’t recommend specifics for everyone. But be considerate and nice, once they’ve mentioned your VERY IMPORTANT phrase to prove they really read your requirements. That’s cold enough. Once they’ve passed that test, be very responsive and friendly.

7. Hire one from each.

Here’s the real reason why you’re stopping at a simple milestone: you’re going to hire at least two different people to do this first step, expecting that one will go bad, one will be so-so, and one will be great.

Yes it means you’re paying multiple times for this first milestone, but it’s worth it to find a good one.

I’ve found it easier to choose one provider from each site, so you can “award this project” to just one, and track their work there. They don’t need to know there are others.

Some will definitely go bad. Just expect it and don’t let it upset you. They’ll say something has come up, that they can’t start until next month, that it’s harder than they thought, or just disappear and never reply. When this happens, just mark that person’s project as cancelled or complete, and say goodbye nicely. Then carry on with the rest.

Lastly, ask each one to send you a zip file of the entire source code after each completed milestone. Even if you don’t know what to do with it yet, save it. Unzip it and look through it in any text editor. You might actually understand some of it.

8. Continue with the one you like best.

The goal of this project is to find just one programmer (or team) you really like.

If you don’t, then just go back to re-post that first milestone again, but changing it based on any feedback you got. Perhaps set a higher price or describe it better.

Once you do, you can let them in on the whole project. Send them your full “Version 1.0” story and walk-through. Get them involved in the whole thing. Hire them to make the next milestone happen, and the next and the next.

They may ask you to continue working and paying through the website, to boost their reputation there, or they may want to just go direct. Either way is fine.

I left out many things, of course, but if you feel something needs to be mentioned, please leave a reply in the comments, below.

Let me know how it goes!


Why the wrong banner ad will kill your business

I buy a LOT of display advertising and so I’m always fascinated to know what gets clicked when it comes to images.
Well thanks to eye tracking software we now know.
It’s not what you think…..

How men look at an H&M ad

Men spend more time looking at the woman, while women read the rest of the ad.

Men spend more time looking at the woman, while women read the rest of the ad.

Notice how the men are not looking at the shoes at all.

Notice how the men are not looking at the shoes at all.

These Sunsilk ads show that just putting a pretty face on a copy isn’t enough. It matters where she’s looking.

These Sunsilk ads show that just putting a pretty face on a copy isn't enough. It matters where she's looking.

This is called “banner blindness,” and shows why publishers and advertisers hate banner ads. People barely even look at them.

This is called "banner blindness," and shows why publishers and advertisers hate banner ads. People barely even look at them.


On Google, the top five listings on the page get the majority of eyeballs. The red lines are the “fold” — the point at which you’d have to scroll down.

Yes how often do you here guru’s (AKA people who have never actually run ads online) say aim for position 4….

On Google, the top five listings on the page get the majority of eyeballs. The red lines are the "fold" — the point at which you'd have to scroll down.


As you’d probably guess, more eyes are reading the pictures and headlines on this Ad Age page than anything else.

As you'd probably guess, more eyes are reading the pictures and headlines on this Ad Age page than anything else.

Notice how nobody’s looking at Wolf Blitzer, but at rather the center of the frame.

Notice how nobody's looking at Wolf Blitzer, but at rather the center of the frame.

Could we have a heat map post without Facebook? Photos catch the most eyes

Think about what this means for ads on FB…. use a REAL person!

Could we have a heat map post without Facebook? Photos catch the most eyes

Men focus on baseball players’ torso more than women, who look only at the face

Men focus on baseball players' torso more than women, who look only at the face

Even though there’s a large picture of a man’s face on this billboard, more people were looking at the words on the left.

Even though there's a large picture of a man's face on this billboard, more people were looking at the words on the left.


Women tend to focus on the face and the torso…

Women tend to focus on the face and the torso...


While men (disconcertingly) focus more on the junk than women…

While men focus more on the junk than women...


So what did you think?
It sure does add a whole new dimension to running banner ads don’t you think? Now to find some pictures of guys with big willy’s to advertise those biz op offers too 😉

Offline to Online Strategy


Wanna Make £££ You've Gotta Work Your Ass Off

Sorry it’s been a while since I wrote anything, a new business I’m a partner in has taken off MUCH faster than we anticipated and so I’ve been head down bum up working my ass off.

Plus one of my other businesses the advanced child academy has doubled it’s revenue this month thanks to a new marketing strategy I’ve been testing so I thought I’d share it with you.

OK this business is an online business as you may remember, in fact when I set it up I planned to be only online as it is easier for me to manage from other countries.

But I noticed that increasingly my customers where coming to the site directly instead of via my online marketing (facebook, adwords, bing and LinkedIn)

So I decided to call all my customers and have a chat with them, it’s amazing how few businesses actually talk to their customers!

I learnt that the products were getting good write ups in some magazines (we’ve won 11 awards this year alone).

So I got to thinking maybe I should take a look at running adverts in Magazines and newspapers and test it.

So I called Mark Pocock and asked him to write an advert for me (I NEVER skimp on getting good marketing done it’s false economy)  and you can see it below:


If you look closely you’ll see there are 2 response mechanisms:

1. Go to


2. Text the word READ to a number (blanked out so you don’t try it as it costs me money) 

I did this because I thought long and hard about my target market and where they would be when they saw this advert, I knew they were mums sitting in coffee shops or at the park, with their phones.

I used text marketer – for this service and they’ve been great.

Anyway the response is off the charts and as I said it’s doubled my business revenue so give it a try!

FYI my new business is me and a good friend doing the marketing for companies so they can get results like I get in my businesses, would you like me to do the marketing for your business?

If so e-mail me neil @ neilasher . com and I’ll get back to you.

nb I’ll probably get someone ask if I’ll work for free in exchange for a % of their profits, the answer is no, I don’t work for free and neither should you.

Enjoy your weekend!


P.S Humbly my automated follow up sequence for this is brilliant. If you want to see it done well get on that list, use the URL above, that AR sequence makes BIG money.

P.P.S Like this post? Then click like and let me know you want more like this!

free SEO videos (step by step rank No 1)

Last week I told you I built my dad a new website:

I used every trick I know to make sure his
website makes him a lot of money.

Plumbing and drainage is a VERY competitive
market so we used the latest SEO strategies
to get the site to rank very quickly for his
buying keywords.

fast drain unblocking

If you search google for that you’ll see
his site is already ranking very well.

(No 1 & 2 when I just checked)

Would you like to see how I did that?

Well I video’d the whole thing so I can
use them as training videos for my team

Want a copy for free?

OK here’s how to get it, simply e-mail
me a testimonial about how my e-mails
and marketing tips have helped your business

neil @


Once I get that I’ll send you a link to the
training video’s

They’re uncut

You’ll hear me giving specific instructions

Step by step

Every detail and strategy covered.

If you want to rank No 1 in Google
for a very competitive keyword in
just 6 days e-mail me a testimonial now


want to see my dads website?

It’s not very often I build websites anymore,
time is much better utilised working on selling
than creating but when my dad asked me to
re do his website I wanted to look after it personally.

So naturally I’ve utilised all the best SEO, PPC marketing
and mobile strategies to make sure his site kills it.

It’s my dad after all 🙂

Anyway I video’d the whole process from start to finish
including the secret SEO stuff I never talk about (some
strategies are for me only 😉


If you look hard you’ll see them (hint social media likes)


If you want to take a look you can see it below

Before you go look.

If you have a website and want to get some link juice
e-mail me and I’ll put your link on one of my sites
in return you’ll put a link on your site.

Fair enough?

OK here’s the site:

drains unblocked derby

See if you can spot the SEO and Mobile strategies

after all you can be sure I did EVERYTHING I can
for my dad 🙂


P.S If you want to link swap let me know 🙂

be warned

Let me outline a situation for you quickly:

Hypothetically, you’re a public company that lives and dies on it’s share price.

For years you’ve been the only supplier of your product.

You’ve made billions!

The shareholders are happy :o)

Then along comes a new upstart company.

They grow twice as fast as you did.

They’re smarter than you and they know it.

They’re stealing your business, your share price falters and the investors want ACTION!

So you go looking for ways to grow your revenue, but there is only a finite universe of people who want your product, it’s not like you can manufacture customers.

So you’re options are to:

1. Sell more to your existing customers

2. Take more from your existing customers

What do you do?

If you’re smart you’ll do both.

This is the situation Google finds itself in today Google announced that it would be altering it’s keyword triggering algorithms

in effect Google says it will no longer serve exact match keywords as exact match it will now serve them as quasi phrase match keywords to help us (the poor poor advertisers) do better….

So to make this very clear for you, yesterday one of my keywords [teach my baby how to read] would ONLY serve my ad IF someone typed in that exact word combo in that exact word order.

And as you can see that’s a strong indicator of buying interest for my product.

However; this is what Google says:

“Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations”

That all looks great until you realise that search intent varies greatly from word to word!

What this will do for Google is vastly increase the number of times my ads get shown and clicked on resulting in MUCH more money for them and less in my bank account.

So my advice is get to work NOW on negative keywords, because come May your traffic may spike but your conversions will drop.

Neil Asher

P.S Facebook‘s ad revenue took a hit recently so expect a similar strategy from them in the not to distant future….

P.P.S want to opt out of this?

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Scroll to the “Advanced settings” section. Click the Keyword matching options link.
  3. In the “Exact and phrase match” section, select “Do not include close variants”.