Want to Have Loyal Fans Online? Don’t Do This



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Sometimes it is the things you DON’T DO that make the biggest difference.

So, you are building an online fan base of loyal peeps. Sweet. You are creating awesome content. Sweet. Building your list. Sweet. Being your awesome self. Sweet. And then you go to sell something – maybe a course, ebook, product, coaching, whatever – and then you try to do what I talk about in today’s video and everyone loses trust in you because of some REALLY BAD advice out there.

Don’t do it.

What the heck am I talking about? Watch the quick DSG TV video below…and tell me in the comments section if you have heard this “bad advice” before.

I use RISE partner LeadPlayer for DSG TV, which helps me build my list with video. Check ’em out here.

Did You Miss This Year?

WHAT?!? That means you missed over 14 hours of kick-butt training on building your online audience and monetizing. Wipe those tears though. Now you can nab access to ALL of the recordings from the event (watch online, download the MP3s and MOVs and the slides). Super cool. And you pay less than $30 a session for the whole package. .


  • Yes, yes and thank for saying that! Whew! Especially over the holidays so many people/companies could take your advice! It makes me weary and someone else’s business should not make me weary, right?!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Exactly, Monica. And selling = awesome. Bleeding customers and trying to make every possible penny = yuck

  • I definitely think the #1 trick for all entrepreneurs is to find that balance between revenue generation and over the top aggressive. We want to be smart in our marketing but as you said, we don’t need to bleed our customers dry.

    There are some companies that do it well in terms of making offers and giving me opportunities to buy without me feeling pressured. Amazon is a good example. I almost never buy “one thing” from them and yet I would never consider them a company bleeding me dry with each transaction.

    It just proves my point in that there are classy ways to present offers that don’t have to be “one-time offers” or use high pressure tactics.

    Personally I think this scarcity mentality of “extracting money” (yes I’ve heard some people say that) comes from the fact that old school marketing has the belief that people are only ever going to see your stuff one time (and therefore you need to maximize what you have during that one transaction).

    But the shift comes in that if you have done your job right, the process of building RELATIONSHIPS will bring people back again and again (so you don’t need to “extract” as much money as you can at the point of each transaction).

    And besides, I’d much rather attract the customer that’s going to buy from me on a regular basis vs. the one-time transaction anyway.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Stu – Oh man is that right on. SO well said. The opposite of the hit ’em over the head with the hammer approach. Refreshing.

  • I’m just at the beginning so this is a great reminder not to set myself up to bombard people from every angle but sideways (or including sideways that is). I guess the tricky part is we see it done all the teime and assume that it is the successful way. But if I don’t like it – then that says it all right? Thanks for helping us NOT lose fans 🙂

    • David Siteman Garland

      Aviv – Absolutely. I always go with my gut on these things and think to myself, if this was coming at me, how would I feel? Excited? Like I was being bombarded/upsold? etc.

  • zevenesh

    DSG awesome video, brutha, Stu made a GREAT point!!! Hellz 2 the YEA!

    • David Siteman Garland

      BOOM! 🙂 Thanks ZEE!

  • This was so good! More and more I’m getting confirmation from sources like yours (which I highly respect) vindicating my instinct to educate by putting out lots of free info. Some have told me that I don’t want to “give away everything.” Wrong! The more I give away the more I discover I know. That’s a really important practice for me personally. I believe, that as long as you work without fear, the right people will find you and appreciate you all the more for it!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Ah absolutely, Melissa. The more you give away, the better seriously. The equally important key (challenge) is also saying, ok this is what I’m going to charge for.

      • Not gonna lie. Knowing what to charge has always been the challenge for me. (or charging at all….)

  • Great point David, I have unsubscribed to many a marketers for this very reason….all they do is pitch! Thanks for reminding us that content and relationships are king (you do a great job of this, BTW).

    • David Siteman Garland

      Awesome, Callie. Glad it resonated with ya!

  • Stephen Lahey

    Excellent reminder, David. It’s all about treating people with respect, providing lots of real value, and building a relationship with them. That’s something that you do well, IMHO.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Appreciate that, Stephen. I try my best to practice what I preach 🙂

  • Lovin the DSGTV! No douches aloud is a great mantra to have (as no one likes them). Tim Ferriss says all the time he never hard sells anything, if you build trust with others the selling will happen. So don’t spend all your effort trying to sell 1 more of a product, if you are transparent and honest, people will be happy to hand over cash (it’s hard to think like that at times!).

    Cheers David

    • David Siteman Garland

      TOTALLY agree with Tim and your comment. Right on, Joe.

  • CSoncrant

    That’s some good stuff Maynard (as usual)! (I just looked that expression up and apparently that it comes from an old school Malt O’ Meal commercial… its just crazy what sticks). Go Hebrewsers!!

    • David Siteman Garland

      haha darn right go Hebrewsers!

  • Oh wow, this had me uber concerned for a moment!

    Last week I was told by another entrepreneur to make offers every single week and I was like ‘Wtf! Every week!?!?’ and there was this product I had just bought and was reading and I really really enjoyed it so I popped it on my blog and sent it to my list to recommend the awesomeness and tell them where I was up to and how it was going for me.

    I had about 5 sales straight off the bat and then yesterday I sent another email to my list and didn’t talk about it in the core email but I did a little ‘P.S – Did you get yourself a copy?’ And that’s already made some sales but I feel that’s the last time I’ll talk about it 🙂

    After watching this vid this morn I panicked a little but this is the first thing I’ve ever sold to them and I’m not gonna smoosh it in their face every email. It’s totally a balance thing and you’re totally right, thanks for course-correcting me David (yet again!)

    • David Siteman Garland

      Yikes!!!! Scary advice 🙂 No need to panic, it is all about a balance like you mentioned. I like to do about 80% no-pitch/sell, 20% sell. That’s my methodology give or take 🙂

  • Great advice David, I totally agree. Because of the timing of a few programs coming out back-to-back that I’m affiliated with, I’ve recently had that feeling of promoting sales too much. It’s reminded me of the need to get back to a better balance…the ‘balance’ being heavily in favour of the sales-free, just-good-value-added pieces. Thanks for the timely reminder.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Kelly – Don’t worry we all do that sometimes 🙂 The key is just becoming aware and getting more back to that good ole balance

  • I agree 100%. People think just because it’s online business that it’s different from what we’d do offline. I had a real estate investment business and used to turn away at least 90% of deals for my clients because I thought they’d lose money.

    My BIGGEST fan and friend to date is an investor that tried to work with me for a year and a half before I accepted him as a client. He kept sending me deals for houses to flip, but after I analyzed them, I told him would lose money. I’d make a killing, but he’d lose, so I wouldn’t work with him and turned him down. He took those same deals to other real estate agents who told him he’d be fine. They made money. He got burned on every single one.

    After that, he licked his wounds and begged me to work with him. He turned out to be 100% loyal and bought everything that I told him to buy while avoiding the deals that I told him he’d lose on. I built that business (before the crash) on just a handful of very loyal clients who saw that I had their best interest in mind. It’s the only way to do business.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Very cool, we have turned down numerous customers before (meaning recommended they DON’T buy something because it isn’t a fit). Not only is it the right thing to do, it comes back in spades.

  • Don’t be a douche salesmen…love it. Selling in such a way really hurts the valuable relationship building tools that are so incredibly needed. I can see the trend now, #nodouchesales. Thanks David!

    • David Siteman Garland


  • David, I’m struggling a bit to harmonize the following concepts:

    – At the moment, my ratio of promotional e-mails (selling something) to purely free content e-mails is 2 : 10. I keep it low exactly because of what you described – not wanting to be that “pushy” salesperson just wanting to extract every cent possible out of the people on my list.

    – On the other hand, I do want my subscribers to know that I AM a business with online courses for sale (I’m in the English-teaching market) and not “train” the people on my list to expect all my content to be free forever – and then complain when I launch a paid offering after months and months of freebies.

    Any advice for me? I wouldn’t be surprised if others have the same difficulty – how to sell confidently yet not too aggressively. Do you have an episode about this? 🙂



These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!