Q&A Email

Sunday, June 7 (2020) / 6 min read

This email is part of our email series for the June 1-8 (2020) enrollment of SOI & ARM. If this resonates with you, you can find the rest of the series here.

We have been getting many questions about Sphere of Influence (SOI) and AutoResponder Madness (ARM) which we've organized and answered in today's email.

Questions (the first few are logistical):

Q1 : If I already own ARM or SOI will I get the new version for free, or do I need to purchase again (to get access to ARM4 and SOI2)?

A1: If you already own ARM (or SOI) — it doesn't matter which version — you do not need to purchase again (ever). You get lifetime updates.

Same deal for all our products.

As soon as a new edition becomes available, you'll automatically get access within the Academy (and we'll email to let everyone know each time). There is nothing you need to do.

Parts of ARM4 will start to be released in the coming weeks. And SOI2 will be available by Fall.

Q2: What is the format of the courses? (Video, text-based, etc.)

A2: To be safe, let's call it 90-95% long-form written text for both SOI and ARM.

There are some videos (of other people). These are enhancements to the content. All of the core training is written. If you're not into reading on any level, then we would recommend you don't invest.

(In future versions we may offer full audio narration of the written text if enough customers see value in this — like an Audible version for each lesson.)

Broadly speaking, we don't believe video is respectful of your time and attention. Like you, we buy many courses, and generally speaking, an instructor will take an hour to describe something which could have been said in ten minutes or less. Video has a tendency to be bloated.

Video has a place in learning — like showing how to do something that's difficult to explain in written format. But we feel video is not well suited for reference. Most marketers create video because it's easier for them. Not because it's a better learning medium for their students.

We both have a “voice” built for text, not video. The written word done well is different. It's beautiful and concise. There's little waste. Either a word is needed to convey the thought or idea or insight, or it doesn't get used.

Q3: Is the training dripped out over time, or do I have access to everything?

A3: SOI and ARM are complete courses and available in their entirety after enrollment. You'll have access to it all. It's self-paced. Meaning you can tear through it at a pace to match your schedule.

Note: the goal isn't speed (see Q5).

Q4: Now is not the best time for me, when will you open enrollment again?

A4: In Fall (autumn) we'll open enrollment for The Traffic Engine (TTE), SOI, and ARM. Don't feel rushed. We're not going anywhere.

Q5: Is there “homework”? How long will it take to finish the courses? What time commitment do I need each day?

A5: There is no homework. This isn't back to school. We see it as our job to deliver the best in class training to you, and support you when you have questions. But it's not our responsibility to hold you accountable. We can't do the pushups for anyone.

As for how long will it take to complete?

The honest answer is, it depends. But we think that's the wrong question to ask. Getting the gold star for completion isn't the KPI that matters.

What matters is two fold (and achieving this can vary wildly between students, hence the “it depends” answer):

  1. Comprehension (internalizing the ideas until they're clear to you),
  2. and execution (doing the work, the pushups).

This isn't a race. It's about doing the work, getting a result, then constantly iterating to ratchet up results.

Q6: What do I do if I don't have an audience yet?

A6: We've already answered this question in a previous email.

(Note: Audience and Offer Masterclass will be available free to all customers of SOI and ARM later next week).

Q7: If I follow exactly what you teach, will I produce better prospects and happy customers? Will I see “magic” happen?

A7: The reality is: there are no absolutes in business or life. When you add the dynamic of game theory (randomness) and timing (right time in the right place), it's not hard to see why results can never be guaranteed. Run the opposite direction if anyone tells you differently.

If building a successful business was just a matter of following instructions, every single startup would turn into a billion-dollar unicorn. Yet unicorns are as rare as hen's teeth.

Here's another reality: following a framework based on foundational principles, is not only infinitely more universal (can be molded and adapted to any use case — think water in the sea), but it'll orientate your efforts in a direction that will produce better results over time (capture awareness and earn attention, better prospects, better customers).

We think in probabilities, not absolutes, and we encourage our students to do the same. SOI and ARM are high-probability of success frameworks for those who are willing to do the work.

Q8: Will SOI and/or ARM work for my business?

A8: We get this question a lot and it's impossible to answer definitively without knowing more about your specific situation. However, here are a some things to consider when making your decision.

Sphere of Influence and AutoResponder madness are less effective when:

  • You offer a commodity that is widely available with no differentiating story to tell.
  • You have one-off relationships with clients where they buy once to fill a very specific need and never buy again.
  • You sell offline only.
  • You're looking for ‘fill in the blank' templates (SOI and ARM are ‘learn to fish' courses).

Sphere of Influence and AutoResponder Madness are very effective when:

  • You are willing to lead with empathy for your audience, doing the work to understand the needs and desires that matter most to them.
  • Your offer benefits from world building. (Explained in previous emails in this series — Part I and Part II.)
  • Your ideas and messaging benefit from pull vs. push.
  • Your business and your customers benefit from longer-term relationships where value for you and your audience compounds over time.
  • You're comfortable following frameworks that can be adapted to your specific needs.

SOI and ARM are agnostic to any specific niche/market. They're foundational frameworks which are infinitely universal.

Q9: Would I need to reengineer my entire funnel to implement SOI and ARM?

A9: No. However, it's likely you will want to over time when you compare results.

If you're getting quality leads consistently already, AutoResponder Madness will show you how to better convert those leads to customers. That might mean editing or recreating your post-opt in communication.

You can start small — 3-5 emails — or create a longer sequence (7+), whichever makes the most sense for your specific goals.

If you have a significant number of unconverted leads, ARM is an excellent framework for re-engaging with an audience.

If lead quality or quantity are problematic, or you're struggling with consistency because of issues with media platforms (particularly Facebook), Sphere of Influence is an excellent alternative to conventional lead generation.

You don't need to eliminate what you're already doing for lead acquisition. Run an SOI-inspired multi-page presell site in tandem with your current methods and compare results.

(If our experience is an accurate indicator, your MPPS will replace your other methods for lead generation quickly.)

Midnight (PST) tomorrow is the last day to enroll. We'll be sending a final (special) email on Monday.

Enjoy your Sunday.

— Shawn

Shawn Twing


We encourage you to reread all the emails we've sent over the past two weeks (even if you're already a customer). You can see them all here. There's a master's education in modern marketing in there.