If you’ve wanted to attend a live Camp Checkmate event but couldn’t find the time or money, you’ve kind of been out of luck until now.

I’ve held four Camp Checkmates so far, and I promote them with a full-on orgy of free webinars, articles, reports, and everything else I can think of. And the most common response I get from my tribe is, “This looks amazing, but I can’t make the live event. Can we do it virtually?”

Until now, the answer has been “no.”

The Magic that Couldn’t be Bottled

As much as I’d like to take credit, I have to admit that the magic doesn’t happen when I speak from a pulpit, sharing what I’d like to think of as “brilliance.”

It happens just AFTER that – when we break into small groups, and your peers get into your prospects’ heads in ways you never thought possible. Your creative juices get flowing in ways you’ve never experienced (and to top it off, your peers will hand you a dozen or two ads you never could have written on your own).

I just couldn’t see how to translate that dynamic into a series of webinars, or videos, or whatever.

And I wasn’t willing to do some half-assed job and call it “Virtual Camp Checkmate.” So I put the whole idea on the back burner, where it threatened to congeal into a carbonized lump of “too bad.”

Until Now

Then my friend Alex Baisley opened my eyes to a whole new set of possibilities; new ways of using technology to create exactly the interactive environment I was looking for. Alex invented a kind of “Virtual Boot Camp”  that made me run to my office and furiously start scribbling notes on how to do Virtual Checkmate (VCM).

And when I discovered the work of Harvard Professor Eric Mazur on interactive learning, I had my missing piece about using teleconferencing to build know-how, and not just share information. Now I saw how an online course could in some respects exceed the value of a live weekend.

VCM: Structured For Mastery

VCM is designed quite differently from other online marketing courses, with two main goals:

1. To convey information as efficiently and conveniently as possible.

2. To get you to true mastery, not just knowledge

It turns out that these two goals don’t conflict; they reinforce each other elegantly. Let me tell you a bit about what you can expect from VCM.

Here’s one innovation that I’m really jazzed about:


I don’t know about you, but I’m totally fed up with live webinars that are nothing but slides and lectures.

Heaven knows I’ve given enough of them, and I’ve certainly attended my share – but can we honestly say that’s the best use of the webinar format? Especially when it’s so easy to record presentations and make them available for folks to learn from whenever they want?

Most participants in these live webinars spend more time Facebooking and checking email than paying attention to the slides. And it’s not because participants are lazy, or unmotivated, or unfocused.

It’s become the medium itself encourages listlessness. After all, what are the chances that the presenter is sharing exactly the right information for you, at exactly the right speed?

If the presenter isn’t stopping for questions, what happens when you get confused about something?

And if the presenter is taking questions, doesn’t it drive you crazy when you’re ready to move on and someone keeps asking basic questions and grinding the webinar to a standstill?

Tumblers, Not Lectures

I’ve always been fascinated by how you can throw a bunch of rocks in a tumbler, and after a few hours, they come out as beautiful polished gems.

The VCM live calls are called Tumblers because they use the same process. You interact with fellow class participants and hone your own edge.

One of the Tumbler activities consists of arguing (in a nice way) about the principles and their implementation, so you really grasp the material, and don’t just skate over it because you’re so busy with everything else.

Another mimics Camp Checkmate, where your fellow Virtual Campers help you by channeling your Avatar and giving you ads, headlines, and body copy that you can immediately test on your website.

In sharing with others, you learn much more powerfully than when you just listen to some expert. And we’re all way too familiar with our own businesses to be able to generate breakthrough ideas just by sitting and thinking in the same old rut. VCM, like Camp Checkmate, is designed to use the MasterMind dynamic to break you out of that rut.


Yes, it’s a dirty word. And I’m going to make you do it, for your own good!

Not busy work, but real digging and wrestling with the Checkmate concepts and their implementation. You’ll get two kinds of homework: quick assignments about case studies that we’ll all be sharing, and longer, more in-depth and relevant work on your own business.

You’ll find the combination to be empowering; make your mistakes where it doesn’t matter, and turn your hand to your business once you’ve gotten the hang of the method.

The Promise of Virtual Camp Checkmate

Who cares how great the teaching method is if you aren’t gonna learn something of immense value?

VCM will teach you how to systematically develop “Game Over” positioning in your market. This means you’ll be able to assess any market quickly and find the opportunities that your competitors are missing.

You’ll discover how to create a customer Avatar that will give you deep insight into the hidden desires and secret longings that really motivate their choices and behavior.

You’ll learn how to create innovative and powerful ads, headlines, and sales copy on demand.

You’ll be given a method for churning out landing page headlines that grab your prospect by the heart and make them say, “Wow, am I ever glad I found this site!”

You’ll uncover the unspoken objections that your prospects will never share, but which will kill the sale if not addressed.

You’ll develop a powerful methodology for eliciting and deploying testimonials that will turn objections into “Hell, Yeses” much more effectively than anything you could say about your business.

You’ll see how to test your marketing messages quickly and cheaply and as efficiently as possible using Google AdWords, so you never fly blind into your market again.

And you’ll get trained on a Checkmate variation which gives you 80% of the benefits of Checkmate in 5% of the time, for when you need new ideas quick.

Not Just For AdWords

I’ve shared Camp Checkmate with dozens of the top AdWords practitioners in the world, including Perry Marshall’s elite mastermind group and Ken McCarthy’s invitation-only System Club.

And I’ve also shared Camp Checkmate with people who didn’t know that you could buy a listing on Google. Small business owners and solo-preneurs who were struggling to get their prospects to care and take action.

And I’ve shared it with bigwig direct marketers who make their money in the old-fashioned (and highly lucrative) offline world.

Spend a few minutes watching some of the video testimonials at the bottom of the right sidebar to see how much this process helped them.

So I’m confident it can help you too.

If you want to get better at selling, and you’re looking for solid methodology rather than fad tactics and sleazy tricks, then VCM is for you.

A Huge “Busy/Lazy Howie” Discount

My goal right now is to get 100 butts in seats (yes, that’s how trainers think of the rest of humanity ;) by next Thursday, October 4.

And I’m traveling this week, presenting a day-long workshop with the legendary direct marketer Drayton Bird in historic Southwark Cathedral, London, and then speaking at the European Association of Direct and Interactive Marketers. (I definitely tell you this to brag, by the way.)

So I’m really motivated to make this decision a no-brainer for you. Let’s start with the “apples to oranges” value build.

The Fake Value Build

If you were to hire me to build and manage your entire marketing strategy, I’d charge you $50 million dollars. Plus the cost of media buys. Plus you’d have to fly me to and from your office by private jet, because I’m too self-important to ride commercial. Plus chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

The Real Value Build

Live Camp Checkmate (or “Camp Checkmate 3D,” if you prefer) costs $997-1997, depending on how long you procrastinate before signing up. Plus travel, lodging, and at least one dinner in Chicago or Durham NC. Plus a minimum of three days out of the office.

You can join VCM for just $591 (3 monthly payments of $197).

(But keep reading for how to get in for half that amount.)

And instead of cramming all of that creative copywriting dialogue into two brain-melting days in a stuffy hotel with overpriced projectors and mediocre food, VCM will be served in manageable chunks over 7 weeks.

VCM Details

VCM is a hybrid of home study camp and live tele-camp. You can do the home study portion at your convenience, as long as you come prepared to the live events (the Tumblers).

For your convenience (not mine, believe me!), I’ll be running two sessions of each Tumbler; one from 1-2:3opm US Eastern Time and the other from 8-9:30pm US Eastern Time. You’re welcome to attend either one, or both, each week.

Tumblers are held on Tuesdays, starting 6 November and ending 18 December. Plus, since the first Tumbler is on US Election Day, I’m running another pair of Tumblers on that Thursday, 8 November, also at 1 and 8pm.

Here’s the complete schedule:

  • 6 and 8 November: The Checkmate Matrix
  • 13 November: The Customer Avatar
  • 20 November: Triggers and Headlines
  • 27 November: Fears and Objections
  • 4 December: Objections and Testimonials
  • 11 December: The Ultimate Testing Plan
  • 18 December: The Quick and Dirty Checkmate Method

I strongly encourage you to attend the Tumblers, as there will be no makeups, no recordings, and no written transcripts. If you must miss one (or two at the very most), you can get some of the same experience in a private Facebook group dedicated to this run of VCM.

I need to stress this: the magic isn’t going to happen through osmosis or by passively listening to these sessions on your iPod while jogging on a treadmill.

This is a unique chance where your fellow Campers will help you craft mesmerizing ads and offers that will pull your prospects towards you and away from your competitors.

The goal of Virtual Camp Checkmate is not just to come out with better ads and a better landing page. Those are tip-of-the-iceberg outcomes that arise from the real goal: a thorough and profound business transformation. The guts of Camp Checkmate is to identify and hone the most powerful positioning your business can possibly achieve. From there, ads and landing pages simply flow.

If you can’t make at least 5 of the 7 Tumblers, you should not register. It wouldn’t be fair to you, or to your fellow Campers.

Requirements for Participants

  1. You must have a telephone or Skype account.
  2. You must have a Facebook account (I’ve set up a private group that we’ll be using for document storage, video instructions, and communication).
  3. You must be able to devote up to 90 minutes per week to homework.
  4. You must have either an existing business or a clear idea of what business you want to build.
  5. You must be willing to hear and share honest feedback without being an asshole (sorry, there’s no other way I could think of to say that, which probably makes me one)

What About The Big Pile of Bonuses?

Um, yeah. About those.

Ain’t gonna be any.

I know, this is marketing heresy. And it’s so easy to pile on the bonuses – all I have to do is dust off some old mp3s and webinar recordings, give them amazing titles, slap some arbitrary value on them, and make them available only to the first 24 people who register (but never actually keep track).

Trouble is, that conflicts with one of my core educational principles: LESS IS MORE.

You don’t need an additional 4000 pages of PDF on your hard drive that you’ll never read.

You don’t need 17 hours of audio, no matter how brilliant an interviewer I am (I’m pretty good, they tell me).

And you definitely don’t need any of that stuff while I’m trying to get you to focus on VCM activities for 7 weeks.

So I’m taking a stand: the VCM course stands as is, on its own value. If you don’t think VCM is worth what I’m asking, then don’t sign up.

What? That’s a bit harsh? Well…

OK, Just a Couple of Bonuses Then

If you register by October 4, you’ll gain access to two additional Virtual Camp Checkmate modules that I deemed “too much” for the basic course:

Bonus Module 1: Crafting Your Ultimate Unique Selling Proposition

The underlying Checkmate principle is positioning. But most marketing educators try to get you to “decide” or “figure out” or “choose” your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and then write copy based on that decision.

Been there? That’s really hard to do. It feels arbitrary (because it is), and most of the time it feels like you’re trying to cram your complex business into a neat box into which it just doesn’t fit.

But when you’ve gone through the Checkmate process and tested the results in your market, then your USP can gently and naturally “float” out of the complexity. It’s a beautiful thing when it happens – and it happens all the time to Checkmate Campers.

This module makes it a conscious and efficient process, while totally respecting the natural rhythm of your own marketing evolution.

Bonus Module 2: Leveraging Checkmate For Visionary Business Improvement

The dirty secret that all Checkmate alumni know is that your marketing can become better than your offering.

That is, once you’ve gotten in the head and heart of your Avatar, and discovered and validated exactly they want and how they want it, you may find that your existing business falls short of meeting those needs.

Sometimes a few tweaks can correct the situation.

But more often, the Checkmate process opens you up to a new, exciting relationship with your prospects and customers. You’re suddenly jazzed to serve them more deeply; not just for their sake, but for yours.

You see, one of the most surprising things that I observed in the Camps Checkmate I’ve led has been the way Campers get their passion back.

Most of us go into business to fulfill some part of ourselves. Sure, we want to make good money to support a joyful and abundant lifestyle, but that’s almost never the whole (or even primary) reason.

But the day-to-day of running a business can make us lose touch with that initial passion. We get a bit jaded. We work too many hours. We deal with problems and complaints all day long.

And sadly, we often forget what our soul was longing for when it started us on this path in the first place.

At Camp Checkmate, Campers reconnect with that passion, and fall back in love with their markets and with the part of themselves that wants nothing more than to serve that market joyfully, creatively, energetically.

This bonus module harnesses that energy into tangible strategic action steps to infuse the delivery systems of your business with the deep insights you’ve gained during Checkmate.

When Will Those Bonus Modules Occur?

I’ll schedule those bonus modules for January and February 2013, once you’ve had plenty of time to go through all the Checkmate material and implement some tests in your market.

What About That 50% Discount You Mentioned Earlier?

Remember my “100 butts in (virtual) seats” goal? I’m so eager to achieve that goal, I’m lowering the price to $297 (3 monthly payments of $99).

But only to my “hyper-responsive” email subscribers – i.e., you. You see, you got a link to this page because you’ve already shown interest in Checkmate; either by attending a promotional webinar, buying the original home study course, or subscribing to the Free Checkmate email list.

If you look carefully at this letter, you’ll notice that I skip the whole part in the beginning that describes the problem of not being able to write breakthrough marketing copy and makes you feel like shit about it.

Instead, the letter begins by assuming the problem is that you haven’t been able to swing attendance at Live Camp Checkmate. This letter has been quicker and easier to write, and if I don’t have to sit down and write the other sales letter this month, I’ll be thrilled.

So that’s why I’m cutting the already-bargain $591 price in almost-half, to $297. So I don’t have to write another damn sales letter.

This half-price offer is good only until next Thursday, 4 October 2012. If VCM isn’t sold out by then, I need to raise the price so my affiliate partners are incentivized to promote VCM to their lists. And for them, I definitely need the other sales letter.

The Boring Guarantee

If you’re not happy with VCM, let me know and I’ll refund your money.

I believe in karma, and there’s no way I want anyone out there cussing me out because they didn’t get what they were expecting from a course of mine. I only keep money that people are glad to give me.

The Sliding Scale

This is a tough one. I really don’t want to turn anyone away because of money, and I also want to respect my time and the value I believe my work represents.

And I want my teaching to ripple out into the world in a good way.

So if you really really really want to participate and you can’t quite swing the cash at this moment, please send me an email explaining your situation and what you’d be able to contribute. I make no promises, and I make my decisions totally on gut feel.

A Free Taste of VCM

See that “Free Resources” link on the right sidebar, up near the top of the page? Click it to explore a bunch of articles, short lessons and exercises, and recorded webinars all informed by the Checkmate Method.

If you resonate with that material, you’ll like VCM. If it sounds like new age psychobabble to you, we’re probably not going to have too good a time together.

Got questions?

Ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll reply as soon as I can.

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Wishing you health, happiness and prosperity,




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