Who Owns Your Masters?


We’re Now Ghost Coast Video

I feel like the intro to the Bionic Man, looking at what I've got and thinking, “We can rebuild it. We can make it stronger.”

Or, if you remember Wachovia Bank, they used to exist, and eventually, they became Bank of America.

The work I'm doing now is better integrated with my friends and the people who I hang out with all the time. So the letterhead is different, but the services are the same.

I knew that going into the new year, I wanted the services I provided as a social media specialist, which helped people improve their bottom line with clients, to be cohesive with some of the work my friend Kennedy Cooper was doing, making vertical video with progressive organizations across the country or even films. 

I was pretty happy to integrate my service and recordings and processes with the equally cool stuff that Kennedy has brought to the table. 

If you know the two of us, you know that we just couldn't stay apart for too long.

What you're getting is my history of results for folks across the consulting and coaching world, combined with intense expertise in video production and design, which you guys know is pretty time-consuming.

I don't like leaving anything halfway done, and when I work for a client, it's crucial that there's a success story when I'm done. So generally, if I'm working for a client, I don't stop until I get there.

You'll be blown away when you see the volume of things I've been working on individually and as part of a team for the last couple of months. You'll be surprised and enamored. 



What’s New at Ghost Coast?

Well, first of all, there's a book. It's called “The No Boss System,” a book that has been laying around for the last couple of years, and it is designed to combine the very best of the teachings that I've gained.

If you're on a mission that explains global consciousness and activates people to be their best selves either alone or as part of a group, this is a book that is designed to help you achieve that mission. It covers both personal stuff like your relationship to time, energy, and confidence, and also goes into conceptual business things like how to talk about yourself, developing branding, unique images and color palettes, building initial collateral for a web presence, reaching out to clients, what to say when you're on a phone call with someone, and how to build long-term relationships.

I also talk about all the technical stuff that goes into email and task management and keeping people in the loop.

I don't need to go into a deep sell job on it because it's free, and you can look at it right now.

This is not a book like one of those free ebooks you get everywhere; it will take you a few days to read. It's about 60,000 words and 200 pages, so it's a real book, you know what I mean?



Build It Yourself

A new company needed a new identity, and at Ghost Coast, we wanted a fresh look because we're expanding beyond client services. As I sit here talking to you and writing this newsletter, I know that this content will build its own audience. 

While I love working for clients, not every client comes through, and I'm in a niche with a lot of other coaches and developers. So when someone isn't ready for a particular idea or service in their business, I take a beat and implement it for myself.

Many of my clients have books or stores. We correspond via email, and so do them. 

My entire body of work is like a case study, and I document it. We're keeping this tradition in place with the way we produce video. We create vertical videos and campaigns digitally,  and we’re also investing in real-world equipment, which ain’t cheap.

It's probably best to go over all the details with Kennedy. If you're an old head, you may recall that our first newsletter mentioned creating a podcast, with Kennedy as the co-host. That’s still very in progress.

We're now formally doing business together, and I'm excited to see where this new identity takes us. 

We've always been interested in creating original content.

If you listen to the early episodes of our Not Safe For Wonks podcast, we had comedy skits and other things that weren't based in reality to bring our own little running storylines to the show.

We're kind of doing the same thing here and integrating some creative into our work. For the past few months, we've been working on world-building, set selection, location scouting, and other preparations for a series of horror shorts.

It’ll probably be a few months before we have anything to share. But as automation becomes more prevalent in business, and the needs for technology climb, I think creatives will be asked to do more to get their ideas out there. For the last few years, authors have had to handle their entire marketing stack by themselves, including publishing, media promotion, and storytelling.

It's likely that people producing video and art will need a broad range of skills, such as the ability to motivate hundreds or thousands of people and to run the entire business aspect of their work. No one will hand that to you.

That's why we're working on those things in-house.



Ghost Coast Video’s Branding And Design

I've always liked the Grant Park Agency. We've gone through a few brand changes in the year and a half since we started, just experimenting with different color schemes and typefaces. But with Ghost Coast, we wanted to start from scratch and create a brand that could fit anywhere we take it, especially since we're making original films.

We wanted something that was both elegant and a little bit dangerous, which is why we went with a generous coat of blue and a stately gold, but also threw in some funky colors like bold orange and red. When we looked at the color palette, we laughed and said it looked a bit like a rattlesnake. But since my partner lives in Albuquerque and is bringing their own client base, we wanted a brand that would work in both cities and go anywhere we took it.

So Ghost Coast can turn heads at a film festival or a boardroom.

I've also reached a point in my business where sharing case studies on calls is less important. I have a steady flow of clients now, and I can just put a few case studies up in public for people to see and read. By the time they get on a call with me, they usually understand everything. It's great to have that curiosity factor with newcomers, but I'm really looking for people who can comprehend the numbers and imagine the results in their business, and call me first.

We're in a time where a lot of companies are cutting back, but we're still on the growth side of the radar. Last summer, I heard a lot of companies talking about being in growth mode and going for rapid growth. 

Why not us this year? Better service, better ingredients, better pizza.



Owning Your Masters

I do have a lot of case studies in my portfolio, but they aren't everything.

One of the things that copywriters like to do to promote themselves is to talk about launches and products like their copy was the magic ingredient. And you know, if you don't have good copy, you're going to have a lot of problems. But the words on the page are only a part of the equation.

I mean, if you had a lot of eyeballs on a great deal, you'd probably take that over having Don Draper write the advertising. 

A typical rule for an old-fashioned advertising writer is that you're looking at 40% for the offer, and 40% for the traffic that you bring to the offer, and the copywriting is the extra 20%.

I rarely write a piece that flops, but I've had circumstances where I write a great piece that converts really well, but the person hiring me didn't have the right combination of things to scale it upwards. Maybe it was their personal expenses; maybe they didn't have enough in the bank to start with, maybe they didn't have relationships, whatever it was.

And I’ve also had jobs where it was the right piece and the right time and I was able to blow things up. 

I can design and write the materials and put them in front of an audience, but there's got to be one first.

And that's why I take a lot of pride in the stuff that comes from my own ideas, implementation, and distribution. It's tough to do.

You shouldn't hesitate to get started on the work you're doing now just because so-and-so has a great set of clients, they've got a great membership, or they're in some sort of clique. Those things just can't discourage you.



Editing a VSL / Video

You're going to need to communicate with people in multiple ways.

I go into pretty detail about this in my book, but it's also something I've been working on in my real life.

If you go to our website right now, you'll see an explainer video that's about 20 minutes long. It has some really impressive stories and advice. It's really the best information we have on how to build a business using video.

We didn't use any fancy tools to make our VSL (video sales letter). A VSL is just a long-form presentation discussing what we do in depth. We used regular old Google Sheets and combined it with Google Meet.

We added a few elegant touches, such as a background and texture graphics that are universal and stretch across multiple elements of our brand. 

When we were the Grant Park Agency, we used consistency in type and color, but we didn't use that extra level of textures and design elements. Kennedy Cooper helped us tremendously in making those unifying branding elements, and you can see them come through in the designs.

Typically, these don't need to be so long, but we wanted to emphasize that we have a unique priority method for getting people the results they want. 

And we write in a way that's focused on the language and verbiage of our core prospects.



Onboarding – More Communication:

Hey, let's dive into what happens after someone commits. Onboarding is crucial because there can be manual steps that not everyone will know how to do, so the more automation, the better. I go into more detail on this in my book, but there are a few key elements you need for successful onboarding.

First, you'll need a video. Clients like to communicate in various ways, and it's important to avoid losing someone because they don't understand the format. You should provide multiple options, like text, audio, audiobooks, and video. Write down your onboarding procedure and then record it in a format that clients can understand.

The core onboarding steps include an explainer video that walks people through your service and builds trust. The next step is gathering intake information, such as data on your client's customers, their demographics, preferred verbiage, and everything related to their brand.

You'll also want to schedule an in-person conversation with them after they're onboarded. Offer as many opportunities as possible for clients to provide feedback, whether through filling out forms or scheduling one-on-one meetings to showcase your progress.

As you get more advanced, you can break down the work you will do into specific tasks and share that list with your client. This way, they'll have a better understanding of the work you're doing and the timeline for completion.



The Emotional Radar

We have lots of conversations as human beings walking around on this earth. 

When a person says that they're lonely, it is usually not just a function of being able to have conversations with people. You know you can walk up to anybody and figure out the time. 

And a lot of times when somebody is dealing with social phobia, we tell them to have small conversations, socially normal conversations that you have with a stranger, and gradually increase the intimacy of those talks, and intimacy is the thing that’s at a deficit. 

There are a few stages of conversation that you go through as you build greater intimacy with people. 

Small Talk 

What's the weather like? How are you doing?

What’s Happening

Next, we can talk about what's happening. 

“What's going on with you?” And that's a little bit of a different level of intimacy. If somebody asked you at the time is, that might be a polite conversation. Talking about current events, what's going on in the world, sharing facts about what you know, there's something there.

How Do You Feel?

There's another level of intimacy where we talk about how we interpret those events; there's opinion and subjectivity. There's a certain level of base intimacy when talking to someone about how we feel. Even if it's broad or vague, talking about our feelings allows us to see what we have in common.


When we're talking about what we want, and what we need, and saying “I” a lot. That is powerful number one because you are really sharing your intent, your goals, and what you want to see out of the world. That is another elite because we're risking someone telling us no, telling us that our ideas are bad, telling us that our situation and perspective are skewed.

Otherwise – we communicate what we need, and it's not in common with what someone else can do. Conversations and relationships tend to stall out at this point, or they roll backward to communicating about personal needs and desires.


The highest level of intimacy is talking about what we can do for others, what our goals for the world are, what we can do for the person to that we're talking to. 

If our goal aligns with theirs, how can we go on a shared mission together? Those conversations that we have between friends, between relatives, that lift and build each other up, that's amazing when we're having conversations.



But sometimes, people give feedback that they're not qualified to give, or they're just not doing enough for you. That's when breakdowns in communication tend to happen when someone outside asks you for more than you can give. There are lots of ways people can respond to our feedback.

When someone gives feedback to us, they are communicating a need, which can be personal, but in most cases, it's a need for a business or a larger entity. 

Two brain parts fire up when there's criticism: the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. So we have a balance between our fight and flight response and the part of our brain that responds to memory and creates a memory. We have to evaluate the feedback we receive, contextualize it with our life, and decide how important it is to us.

We measure life events against our fight-and-flight response. 

That’s our sense of danger based on what we've measured in the past. 

So every response you get to feedback will be the person talking to you, weighing these two things in their mind: their previous experience and their emotional comfort.

Some people internalize feedback and take it hard and personally, impacting their sense of self. 

Other people deflect it, becoming hostile under criticism. 

Some people are defensive, either not taking the criticism seriously, it not registering as a threat or important memory, or they get their distance from the criticism, push it away, or find it beneath their response. 

Some people actively seek feedback; they are always looking for a better way to improve, and they see the person talking to them as a way to get there. Thinking intelligently about how you respond to feedback and your type is important. Also, think about how people respond to feedback that you give.  If you frequently get the same kind of responses, think about how you present yourself and the people you hang out with.


Rules Create Quality Customers

I would say that as you move from being a freelancer to running a firm, a significant part of your success comes from managing clients and their expectations.

I know many people feel trapped by their business; they create a business model with the hope of quickly acquiring clients and promising a lot of their time in one-on-one coaching or very small groups or structured one-on-one meetings. 

As the one in charge of your client's experience, it's essential to set expectations that are sustainable and scalable. However, you may not always know what those expectations will look like until you've fulfilled them a few times.


When discussing email with people, I always stress the importance of the first email. It's an opportunity to grab someone's full attention and provide them with something they desire.

For us, that first email serves as an introduction once a client signs a contract. After that, we receive input from the client, along with their attention and enthusiasm. 

If we can set expectations and guide what the experience will be like, there are fewer headaches later.

If your service is highly systematized, you can detail clients' steps and offer them preparation. Additionally, providing excellent reports is part of setting expectations. This includes letterheads, branding, and tracking and reporting numbers.

It's important to note that clients – lie like anybody else. They might need to be more truthful about the results they're getting from your promotional efforts, or they may be unable to follow up appropriately. 

This is why you need some kind of analytics tracking for any service you offer. Use Zapier to link any form or data associated with you to a spreadsheet for easy tracking.

This is especially critical when working with offline businesses that have a receptionist. The person answering the phone may not be invested in your work and could leave you hanging.

Centralized communications are crucial. You want to make it easy for people to contact you, but not too easy and not through scattered channels. Pick a preferred communication platform like Discord or Slack and make sure clients know to communicate with you there.

Scheduled conversations are also helpful. Allowing people to book you gives you time to prepare for conversations and helps fill any communication gaps that may exist digitally.

Your ability to communicate with people and your energy for doing so is central to your success.


When Should You Say No?

It's easy to get overwhelmed and burdened by doing things for people who need your personal time, ideas, and skills.

But if you want to streamline your energy and focus on what you most want to do, you'll have to turn things down.

So, here are three things to consider the next time someone asks you for something:

  • Everything will take longer than you think. Ask yourself, “What if this takes twice as long, is twice as hard, or half as promising? Would I still do it with enthusiasm, or would it leave me unfulfilled?”
  • Are you characterizing a lot of your interactions with someone or a group of people as helping them or doing something for them? This is something you can explore through deep meditation – or by taking time to reflect on your own thoughts.
  • Learn from other top performers who have mastered saying no. Tim Ferriss' book interviewed several successful individuals. One that stood out was Kyle Maynard, an MMA athlete who has gone on many adventures in the sports world – he’s the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without prosthetics. Maynard said he abolishes the seven rating when someone suggests an idea – everything either gets a six or an eight, which makes it a lot easier to say no to an idea. And Derek Sivers wrote a book called “Hell Yeah Or No” :

When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!” Every event you get invited to. Every request to start a new project. If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about it, say “no.” We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.

At Ghost Coast, we’ll help you: 

  • Find Creative Space: Social media for building leverage, attracting like-minds, and “getting your name out there”.
  • High Performance Growth: Quickly make funnels, products, memberships, and mailing lists with simple tools that work together.
  • Create Your Reality: Achieve time and lifestyle freedom: Very few people want to work more than 2-4 hours of work a day. I want you to “get in flow” and create the life you love.

Time To Leave. 🚪🏃‍♀️💨


About the author 


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