October 13

Biggest Problem We Face in the Trading Niche (and Solution!) UPDATE


Some people think the biggest problem facing the trading industry today is the economy. Well that’s true, a lot of people are getting screwed by the economy! Unfortunately, there’s not much you or I can do about that, but I’m thinking about a problem affecting email marketing and it’s an issue I see on a regular basis!

The biggest problem affecting email marketers today is an issue that you can influence.

And here it is…You’re not a TRUSTED AUTHORITY.

There I said it! The secrets out. See, most of you THINK you’re a trusted authority, but you’re missing it. Let me explain…

Most emails aren’t opened, read, clicked, etc etc not because of spam filters or a person not having the time to read what you send them, they’re not taking action because they don’t feel like you really give a crap about them. They’re just a number on your list that now regrets signing up to watch that video, or opt-ing into your free report.

Over the years I’ve learned exactly what you need to do to be a Trusted Authority. I’ve watched from a distance as two people developed into Trusted Authorities (which leads to huge open rates, big conversions, and high revenues) and I’ve taken what they’ve done and applied it to BigTrends.com and TheGoldandOilguy.com, leading to outstanding sales, improved clicks, and higher opens.

When working with new clients on helping them with their email marketing and overall marketing approach these are the three questions that need to be addressed in order to build that trust AND authority…

Question 1: Have I ever told my list my biggest mistake?

This openness adds value to both your trust factor and authority. The trust is built by relating to your reader, as there’s a 99% chance they’ve made the same mistake and have probably purchased some course, newsletter, service etc etc trying to fix or avoid the mistake again! Showing them that you’re human builds the trust that you’re a real person with relateable life experiences. You can bond with ANYONE over a bad experience or mistake you’ve both shared. Doesn’t matter if you’re telling a story at the grocery store or in an email. The results are the same…you bond with that person.

How is your authority built? Easy, this opens the door for you to tell them WHY the bad experience was a good learning experience for you. They see that you not only make mistakes (just like them), but that you’re able to learn something that helps you become a better trader…and you can teach them! This isn’t a time to sell them anything, mind you. This is a time to build that trust and grow your own authority.

Need some help writing that email? Just ask. I’m more then happy to help!

Question 2: Have I ever asked for their questions, concerns, or comments…without a catch?

This is a big one as most of the time a question asked is something like “did you sign up for this yet” or “have you watched my latest video?”

Think about this for a second…most emails today have a ‘call to action.’ It’s normally ‘buy now’ or ‘sign-up’ or ‘read this,’ etc etc. But what if you had a call to action that said something like, “what’s the AH HA moment of your trading career?” That gives people a reason to respond and gives you another email interaction with them.

You share the selected ‘ah ha’ moment and then talk about your own and how it’s helped you blah blah blah. You’re smart; you can fill in the rest. But the point is this: interacting with your audience gives them a better sense of you, and responding with your insight and knowledge…thus rendering you smarter than them and AN AUTHORITY!

Is it a one and done sorta deal? NO! You’ve got to make this a consistent thing where you’re interacting and showing your knowledge.

Question 3: I’ll give this one to you when there are 10 comments, with a question that could get a response…

See what I did there?? Tricky eh?? HA!

So if you want question 3, and my answer, you’ve got to comment below with a question that you could (or should or did) use to get a response to interact with your readers AND put your knowledge on display?

This should be interesting…

All my best,

P.S. Need me to help you with an email or two, just ask! Would love to help!



After hitting 11 comments here’s question 3 and the answer…

Question 3: Have I told my list of my accomplishments without bragging?

This is one that you probably can say ‘yes I’ve told my list of my accomplishments’. But did you do it without bragging?? It’s better for you to share info about yourself in a humble way that allows people to look up to you in your field. Would you rather listen to, and buy from person A or person B in the following examples:

Person A: There are lots of services, but none give you access to me and my 10 million dollar methods! In 15  years of trading no one has come close to being able to trade like me, that’s why I created my service.

Person B: In 15 years the methods, that I’m going to share with you, helped me to trade my net worth into the 8 figure range. Keeping an eye on everyone else it was clear that I had something special as many of the traders I once looked upto, now came to me for advice.

Some might argue Person A, and they might be right…but what about over the long term? Person B has opened himself up more to advice and being able to sell over and over to that person again by coming across and developing themselves as a TRUSTED AUTHORITY .

If you’d like me to look at some copy for you, I’d LOVE to do it! Just email me and I’ll dive in and give you some advice!



affiliate marketing, Brad Stafford, email marketing, improving email responses, marketing advice, Relationships

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  • Great Post Brad,

    I am trying to be a trusted authority and I have taken some time building my reputation. I have made some mistakes along the way that have set me back but overall I think my trusted reputation has helped me very much.


  • Brad nice article.

    in my prior life as an experiential marketer there was one question I used above all others to start, develop or maintain a relationship and that was….How / What can I do to help you?

    I know this is not the norm for most people because everyone likes to be listened to and their opinons heard. But asking this question (in my opinion) is how becoming a “Trusted Authority” all starts. You have to ask the questions – which leads to finding the answers – which leads to developing solutions – which leads to business, projects and eventually Authority Status.

    This is by far the easiest question you could ever ask, but I find it the least used.

    Asking this question from the onset, without any “catches” does two primary things…1.) It catches the person you are talking with off gaurd and will probably lead to a very real & honest dialogue and 2.) it puts both parties on the same level. You are no longer seller and sellee…you are now two people talking…and talking = business.

    The most successful people that I have encountered are the ones that can put their egos down, sit back and ask someone…how can I serve you or what do you need? This puts the other person on a pedestal, which will evenutally make you money.

    Brad keep up the good work…your articles are thought provoking.

  • Brad…Another great post. One point that may be obvious, but needs to be said, when it comes to being a trusted authority… You better be able to deliver. Great marketing can only take you so far. Eventually, if you are not really an authority, it will come to light. Now, assuming one is an authority, then trust and integrity are the next pillars. All the current technology is fantastically convenient. However, the challenge is building a solid relationship with someone you may never actually talk with, let alone meet.

  • Great article. When I started my site, this was actually the approach I employed. Since it started as a side project I am not concerned with making money, but rather the purpose is being a free source people could come to for answers to their trading questions. The focus has not changed, although the my mailing list has grown, and I continue to attempt to answer all emails personally.

    Every couple months I will send out a call to action for questions. Normally, it will be related to what is going on in the economy. For instance, as volume dried up in stocks, I asked what kind of information or issues short term traders were having. As gold has been moving higher higher, non active traders began discussing gold on my facebook and in emails to me. Therefore, I attempt to write about the issue, and then ask what specific things are of concern right now in regards to the topic.

    Ultimately, there are normally topics which are on a lot of people minds…and these change constantly. So in addition to writing about these topics, I try to solicit personal questions about the issue, since everyone deals with them and thinks differently about them.

  • Good point Brad there is nothing like confessing a mistake with the confidence of a lesson learnt to create compassion, that’s true for life so I agree, genuinely open yourself up.

    Question 3, HaHa, yep tricky! My question is I am intrigued to hear how you would admit a mistake without loosing “Authority” credibility? For instance in the trading world it’s recognised that the majority of the world’s best traders have blown accounts before making it big? Do potential clients want to hear that? Legends can admit it, because they are legends! But on the way up…? It’s a matter of degree, where do think the line is?

    Good Stuff

  • Seeing that there were no specifics on your comment rule I will be a creative thinker in order to get question #3.

    Here is my first of 2 questions and comments:

    Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom with us. I realized I don’t share my trading mistakes enough (my comment).

    Who are the 2 people you watched become trusted authorities which lead to huge open rates, big conversions, etc. etc? (my question)

  • I have heard all kinds of numbers for a “normal” opt-in rate and sales conversion with sales conversion being around 2% (my comment).

    One guy I follow in the trading niche has a 38-46% opt-in rate and his sales process converts at about 28% so what opt-in rate and conversion rate should I aim for (my question).

    I know this will vary, but what should I aim for?

  • And here is my bonus question just in case you didn’t count your comment as one of the 10.

    No product is idiot proof, but assuming that people actually use the product they buy and follow it properly; who out of all the trading people you follow and products you promote has the best system that works?

    Who by far has the most successful consumers of the product? Who has customers that are making the most money?

    In the end I really do feel that is has nothing to do with the product. What is has to do with is what value can you add to their life in terms of tangible results.

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