The trademark, Smiling Steve™, and other intellectual property on this website is solely that of Steven Peter Burke, Toronto, Canada (unless otherwise specified).
You’re curious who Smiling Steve™ is? Well, I am not the skin from the Minecraft game.
Nor am I a nerd.
What I am is someone who knew direct response marketing before the World Wide Web and social media. And this is very good news for you.
I’ve also had the experience of a total of having 1.5 million people (or unique emails addresses) opt-in to receive my content. And that was by 2005!
Look, writing an about section of a website when that is your personally branded site — meaning writing about yourself — is weird. It feels like shouting out “Hey, look at me” to the world when all you really want to do is bring people real value.
That is why I would rather not blow my own horn but keep to talking about benefits and HOW TO that will help you.
In addition, a general benefit statement (GBS), like; “I help people to __________,” with the blank being the GBS . . . only serves to show site visitors that you’ve read that traffic bounces in 6 seconds or less and you better get right to it.
What it does not show is any insight as to who your real audience is. And, to give you a clue; mine is not those with a lack of intelligence or exceedingly short attention span.
You are either here to make more money you you aren’t. So if “quick fix” is your thing, do bounce, please, as I would argue no one can provide that!
So I am not going to waste a single line on self promotion. In fact, most of what I do breaks from convention, and for good reason.
I am also going to skip a lot of the lifestyle stuff that is the stock-in-trade of YouTube videos. Why? Because I want to share success!
The reality is clear, you don’t need to know what I eat for breakfast. Right? And, even though other readers might want to live vicariously by peaking over a content creators shoulder as they go about their day, my content is all about what you have to do to succeed!
I am going to do everything I can to help you. So, expect lots of education on exactly what you need but, don’t worry, I am not boring.
I mean, who wants to be bored, right?
The money-making tips and secrets you’ve hoped you would find are here and will keep coming after you opt-in.
Also, I promise there will be no painful tales of how nothing but sunshine comes out of my . . ahem . . business-end. At least, not yet. Kidding!
Back on point:
Why did I chose now to bring Smiling Steve™ out of the closet (so to speak)?
Since it has been years since I last built an online brand that was not for someone else’s online effort or a traditional business, why now?
Another great question. Let me repaint the picture:
Why, in my sixties, am I launching my 2nd successful personal brand (to add to 3 bricks & mortar sites I also created), when I could contemplate life with my feet up instead?
By following me, you will soon find out that my real motivation isn’t money, as the Smiling Steve™ project could go the consulting route instead.
Showing other entrepreneurs the ropes would reward me with the big bucks and mean less content creation for yours truly. Hmmm . . .
The lure of less work, as most my age are contemplating tooling in their garden, has its appeal. Trust me.
Yes, the consulting route would ease me into retirement, allowing me to enjoy my sixties . . . but, no, not me. I had to launch a new brand. LOL.
. . .sick of witnessing the poor advice Digital Marketing gurus spew.
It is literally offensive that advertising people who call themselves professionals still preach the insanity of:
“You have to get traffic!”
“You gotta get your name out there!”
To be clear, you don’t need traffic, you need a list that you can market to. And that means everything you do needs to be measurable (not like; you never know what will happen!).
You need people who chose to opt-in to and/or a customer list, then you need to create education for them to devour, which the gurus now refer to as “content.”
You may also create content to get more eyeballs. As popularity is s measure that Google seems to use to rank web pages and websites.
In the end, you need permission to market to people. Period. Then the “how to” knowledge of the right way to market to your chosen audience. And that means you need pre-social media skills in regards to back end marketing.
I don’t care if you are a book writer, someone who promotes a business opportunity or even the owner of a bricks and mortar business. You need a list.
Now, time to share my list story. To do that we need to jump back to 1997, when it all started.
By 1999, there were already 50,000 addresses on my email list. Roll the clock forward to 2005, in a total of just 8 and a half years, as stated above, I reached 1.5 million opt-in subscribers.
All before social media. Yes, I did not need YouTube or Twitter or Pinterest or LinkedIn or Periscope or TikTok to do it and I still don’t.
Social Media is not all its cracked up to be unless that is your business. If you are a YouTube content creator you need YouTube. But do you need to be everywhere?
If you look at some very successful people on YouTube or Twitter, you will notice they are not highly visible on other platforms. That is because they don’t need to be.
Stunned? Wait for it.
Having lived the massive list experience, I am using the Smiling Steve™ brand to show entrepreneurs that building a much smaller list of people with whom you have real influence is better.
Stephanie Jarvis comes to mind with 126,000 YouTube followers and a sub standard website (actually several sites) as well as no Tweets since 2019!
She does not need Twitter.
Yes, one real follower beats a thousand opt-in non-followers every day of the week and twice on Sunday!
Don’t make your goal “numbers.” For you might find out, as I did, that most of the people behind the email addresses don’t respond to your offers and seldom (if ever) open your emails. Ouch!
You being truly influential will beat just having followers. Why? Because people who forget who you are almost before they finished subscribing, aren’t going to buy from you or anyone you refer them to or watch your videos.
In addition, followers beats “traffic” because it’s a list, not streams of website surfers — most of whom “bounce” in the blink of an eye!
Oh, and don’t buy into the vagaries of “you’ve got to have traffic,” followed by the comment; “you never know what will happen.”
Here is the advice that I am yet to find even one digital marketer providing;
You do need to know what will happen!
* Read on below the image *
Look, generating traffic is time consuming and/or expensive — meaning their is a price to pay either way. And, as I stated already, there is still the issue of what kind of followers you will generate from that relatively expensive traffic.
For those reasons, and more, you can’t be vague.
You must know the percentage of website visitors likely to convert into followers, and; have an idea of what the average value of a follower is. If you don’t, how can you justify the time or expense, or both?
As an entrepreneur, I have a high risk tolerance. That means I’ve done my fair share of gambling in business. I have lost big time money too!
Now that I’ve learned you don’t have to wonder what will happen or take big risk to make the big bucks, why would I waste time to make money? Or you, yours?
Everything you do can be successful and that is why I created the Smiling Steve™ persona, to prove it.
You see, the view from the cheap seats was pleasant but frustrating. It was time to show others what a fool’s errand it is to waste 500 to 1,000 hours a year trying to get “traffic” without knowing if you will make money!
If you are going to invest 10 to 20 hours a week doing the same (creating content), there are some things you should know to avoid “the gamble approach.”
You are after a list of responsive followers. And you now know there are things you don’t know that will remove the risk and the wasted time in trial and error. Are you ready to invest a small amount of your time to learn how I do it?
Would it be good to have a hero that doesn’t try to tell you what to do but goes first and shows you the way? If the answer was “yes” I have good news:
Smiling Steve™ to the rescue!
Let me give you a little more to go on.
Today, the aforementioned Stephanie Jarvis of The Chateau Diaries, with approximately 126,000 YouTube channel subscribers, probably has a more valuable list than the 1.5 million I had.
Of course, I don’t know Stephanie, but you don’t need the experience of Smiling Steve™ to see what is happening. Her followers are paying $5 or $10 or $20 every month, through an online platform known as Patreon.
In fact, as of April 6th, 2021, Stephanie had 2,857 patrons that donate over U.S. $27,000 a month!
Why? They love her content and want to donate to help her renovate her 16th century Chateau, which she has been working on for 16 years now!
All she does is crank out the amusing content that also brings more followers and a small percentage commit to paying an average of $10 a month!
I don’t need to mention that she also has the ad revenue from the 40 times as many patrons that watch the YouTube channel.
The infectious laughter and passion that made Stephanie Jarvis popular resulted in having lots to laugh about!
Don’t take my word for it, this video title of hers, from a few weeks ago, tells the story;
Before moving on, I have a “point of order” to clarify (sorry for the legal verbiage, I was watching a movie about Ruth Bader Ginsberg as I wrote this). And, that is; please don’t get me wrong, I did very well from my list marketing, embarrassingly well, in fact.
I ended up featured in one magazine and on the cover of another North American wide newsstand magazine, because of my success.
Here’s one of the magazine. Read more below.
I dare not give too many of the details of how well I did, at least not before you get to know me better. Why? For fear it will sound too good to be true.
By the way, that is a thing in marketing — if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, right?
So let me supply you with some believable numbers, shall I? Just under 37% of my “free cheese” subscribers — the people who took a free offer and ended up on my most successful list for free — went on to spend money with my business, many of them repeatedly.
Today, the average marketer thinks a 7% email open rate and 10% of them converting is solid. If you are doing the math, that’s a mere .7% of the list turning into buyers!
Now divide 37 by .7 and you will see that my first list generated 51 times as many buyers as what several so-called digital marketing gurus today are suggesting to their followers and clients is acceptable!
By comparison, Stephanie has 1 in 40 turning into patrons (not that we should feel sorry for her, she is doing extremely well). That shows you just how successful I was.
I wish the same result was true for my big list. If 37% of 1.5 million had turned into buyer I would have owned a 16th century chateau and fully renovated it without the need for Stephanie’s patrons!
I just can’t stand by and watch you and others get mislead by technical nerds and so-called gurus who are clueless where the real money is. So I needed to create my own channel and site, then lead the way.
Already I have this website at 99% efficiency in terms of the On-Page SEO Score. And I just got started showing others the way!
Furthermore, I did it all DIY just to prove a point. So, when it comes to techies — web designers who advise you on content creation and SEO — that are trying to tell you to do what they themselves haven’t done, you might decide to think twice about listening to them.
You see, tech skills (logical thinking) and brain science about how decisions are made (sub conscious thinking) are polar opposites.
Those who succeed at making a profit by generating followers and/or driving online sales have a knowledge that others don’t have. Especially those who sell SEO services but don’t apply their knowledge on their own project(s)!
The science behind ad copy (or copywriting) cannot be comprehended until you know how the sub conscious mind is triggered. Then buying decisions, including the decision to take some free cheese (a sample of giveaway), become easy to motivate or get.
Attracting the right kind of followers is no longer frustrating but simple. If you know a few things may qualify as brain science but are not rocket science, if you catch my drift.
Those who hide behind keyboards maybe qualified to be web designers, and even know a thing or two about SEO, but should be the last choice (or no choice) when you are after learning effective direct response (measurable) marketing skills.
I am using my new brand — Smiling Steve™ — to show entrepreneurs that you can gain influence with the kind of followers who make you money even if they don’t buy. And, I am doing that by not telling people how to do it but showing them how it is done.
Smiling Steve™ is your example.
I am selling success. And doing it without teaching others to employ bait and switch tricks or any other offensive marketing techniques that repel a percentage of followers.
I highly suggest you start by getting my free cheese offer and download a sample of the book I have officially published again in 2021. It is originally from 1991, making this the 30th anniversary of how to master marketing excellence in months instead of decades!
The book introduces a fictional character called Smiling Steve™ in the first 12 pages (loosely based on me), and contains the basics of direct response marketing. Now you can get those first 12 pages for free by clicking here.
Of course, sample download of The Free Cheese Secret™ book will also mean you receive regular emails from me with the deets on my own marketing.
Yes, I am puling back the curtain to show you exactly what I am doing.
Of course, anyone with real marketing skills will use Google (and other tools) to see if this marketer has SEO chops . . . so, I had my reasons why I better rank for my own brand name, right?
That type of ranking sometimes gets listed by various SEO tools as organic traffic that comes from Search Engines but it isn’t really. You see, those who search “Smiling Steve” on Google are either looking for information on a video game (Minecraft) or already know who I am and just want to see if I rank.
The main reason is to rank this site #1 on Google for Smiling Steve™, which it is, then hold it there, which I will, is social proof. By ranking for the one term that is guaranteed to find me, I am showing anyone who wants to believe I can help them that I am the real deal.
I should leave you with the fact that the free cheese offer for the book sample will be cancelled as soon as I have enough testimonials. So, to get it now, before it costs you $37, click here.