Guru Popcorn, Episode 1

Today, I want to introduce a new, ongoing series for this blog. I’m calling it “Guru Popcorn” and it’s all about Internet marketing Gurus and their big product launches. As I’m sure you know, the Internet marketing space sees big, elaborate launches for products in the $2000 price range on a regular basis. While I have never been a customer for these products, I really like to follow the pre-launch process and see how marketers build up hype and excitement (and they need to build up a lot of hype and excitement to convince people to part with two thousand bucks).

I also happen to believe that you can probably learn more about marketing by observing and analyzing what the successful marketers are doing than by buying their magic pills. Guru Popcorn is about following the big product launches, but instead of frothing at the mouth with anticipation for the product, we will watch, be entertained and learn from these marketing spectacles. It’s a bit like going to the movies, really.

Read on to see my run-down of one big launch that’s going on right now.

Our first candidate to watch and analyze is Eben Pagan’s Guru Blueprint. This product is going to be about creating and marketing info products. Having created several multi-million dollar products himself, Eben Pagan is definitely a qualified teacher on this subject. Better yet, most of his products are outside of the Internet marketing niche, so he’s not a guy who can only make money by teaching people how to make money.

Breath of Fresh Air

My Guru Popcorn series starts out on a very positive note, with the Guru Blueprint. First off, the pre-launch process is a breath of fresh air, compared to what we’ve recently seen. The last three big launches – Andy Jenkins’ Video Boss, Frank Kern’s List Control and John Reese’s Outsource Force – were all incredibly uniform in their appearance. They all used very similar site layouts (video on top and comments section below), they all featured four videos (video 1: introduction, video 2: free info give-away, video 3: more free info plus a bit of hype build-up, video 4: full-on sales pitch) and particularly Outsource Force and Video Boss were almost clones of each other.

Eben Pagan does a very different style of video, he set up a pre-launch site in a standard blog-format and he’s delivering more than three videos. He’s pleasantly breaking the product-launch mould.

Guru Blueprint Video Screenshot

Master of the Free Line

Eben Pagan is the guy who coined the term “Free Line”. In a nutshell, the free line is the line separating what you give away for free from what you charge for and the idea is to give away great value for free and selling even-higher-quality products at a premium price.

Everyone and their dog has adopted this model to a certain extent, as you get free giveaways left and right and they are part of practically every product launch and sales-funnel online.

However, if you watch the free content Pagan is giving away on the Guru Blueprint blog, it becomes very clear that he is not only the founder, but also the undisputed master of the method. The information on product creation that he gives away is, quite frankly, mind-blowingly valuable.

Sure, Andy Jenkins did a nice video on how to put together a decent sales-presentation and Frank Kern gave away an interesting viral script (that was badly coded and had some security issues, from what I gathered) as well as some of his older courses, but that stuff just doesn’t even come close to what Pagan is sharing.

For me personally, the reaction to the Jenkins/Kern/Reese freebies was somewhere between “that’s nice” and “meh”. My reaction to Pagan’s videos: “HOLY CRAP! If he’s giving this stuff away for free, the stuff he’s selling must be AWESOME!”

And that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. That’s what the free line is about.

Proof and Confidence

One thing I found very interesting about the Guru Blueprint pre-launch was how, particularly in the first video, a lot of emphasis is put on how much money Pagan has made with info products.

He goes on and on about how his company is grossing close to $30 Mio per year and how each of his products is selling like crazy. He also goes to great lengths illustrating the growth in the info-product market and explaining how absolutely vast the potential market for such products is.

He goes on about this stuff for much too long, for my tastes. And that’s what makes it so interesting.

You see, Eben Pagan is not just some rich dude with an inflated ego and no feeling for how to pace a video. If he puts “too much” of something in a video, he does it on purpose. I’m sure of that, because he’s nothing if not deliberate.

It seems that this is a way to address some common concerns, as people tend to worry about a market or method becoming over-saturated (“affiliate marketing is dead”, “do ebooks still work?” and all that).

Closing Thoughts

Personally, I enjoyed the Guru Blueprint pre-launch videos immensely and I’m quite impressed with the whole sales-process. I usually couldn’t care less about Guru-products but in this case, I have to admit: I’d love to see what is offered in this course and whether it lives up to the price tag.

I wonder whether this will be a “limited” launch as the Guru products typically are. Pagan generally offers his products indefinitely, but lack of scarcity could seriously hurt sales, given the very lofty price-tag (according to the affiliate information, there will be several levels to the Guru Blueprint, ranging from $2000 to around $5000).

It also remains to be seen how exactly Pagan will present the final pitch and I’m looking forward to that, as well.

I’ve added this video with my analysis of the final “sales-pitch” video for the Guru Blueprint:

About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Robin says:

    Hello Shane, how does one get in touch with you and do you collaborate in any way with entities seeking to launch IM-based products and services for the first time? I’m not talking about Get Rich Quick Schemes, I’m talking about more traditional businesses, particularly those in the membership site/subscription service arena. I own such a business (NY Corporation)in such a situation and am looking for some objective feedback on what I’ve developed and ideally some assistance in how to get things moving.


    • Shane says:

      Hi Robin,

      Thanks for your message! I sent you an e-mail so we can discuss further details.


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