Armand Morin, Seth Godin, Frank Kern and A Cast Of Thousands. (Thank You)

thankyousignIt’s the first day of the New Year.

I should be working on other stuff.

For instance, I have 8 more small business profit boosters to write for you (I’m up to #13 and I promised 21). But…

I felt compelled to write this post instead.

I’ve been reflecting on who I owe my success to in the copywriting and internet marketing world. Because you know, none of us do this on our own. I’m not an island. I’ve been helped by a number of people along the way. And as we move into the new year, I want to publicly thank and acknowledge a number of them.

Disclaimer: making a list like this always opens up the risk that I’ll leave someone out. If you have helped me, and I somehow forget to mention you, remind me privately and I’ll add your name to the list.

Armand Morin. Armand is the guy who has taught me the most about Internet Marketing, and he pushed and prodded me to create my own info-products (I went from zero to over 20 in less than a year) and to get serious about my speaking career. Without a doubt, I recommend Armand’s Big Seminar and his Internet Marketing Newsletter.

Alex Mandossian. Alex taught me how to use Teleseminars to build my business (even though I was a copywriter at the time, my first year using Alex’s techniques easily made me over $100,000). He’s also a man of deep integrity.

Brad Callen. One of my top clients, I am actually involved in a site with Brad and his brother Matt. These guys have been with me as clients for a long time now, and have been a great encouragement to me.

Willie Crawford. One of the first friends I made in this business. Willie and I had some pretty amusing adventures together.

John Carlton. Possibly the world’s greatest living copywriter. I have learned so much from John, I can’t even begin to tell you. I attended a seminar once just so I could buy his “mother of all offers” where he sold a $5,000 box of his materials. Pay attention: I went to a seminar so that I could spend $5,000 with John. That ought to tell you something. I had the privilege of hanging out with John in Vegas recently, and it was the highlight of my trip.

Harlan Kilstein. Killer copywriter and Carlton’s top student, Harlan is also a master of hypnosis and NLP. Harlan taught me how to get paid what I’m worth as a copywriter. Seriously. After attending one of his seminars, I TRIPLED my fees. Thanks Harlan.

Matt Bacak. One of my top clients, Matt was one of the very first people to hire me to write copy. We met because I saw him sitting in the bar… with his laptop! I knew he was a kindred spirit. We’ve done some great things together (recently we did a $3.5 million promotion), and I’ve learned a lot from Matt. He’s also been a good friend.

Mike Litman. Mike was the first Internet Marketer to pay me for copy. He paid me a scandalously low amount of money. When he ordered 2 more sales letters from me, he coached me on raising my prices – on his project! His was the first IM event I ever attended, and it’s where I met my long-term friends (and now clients) Armand Morin and Matt Bacak.

Mike Stewart. Mike showed me “lifestyle business” at its best when he invited me to spend a couple of days at his lake place in Georgia. We played around on the lake, ate a lot of good food, and created a new video product (on copywriting) in his home studio (said product to be released soon).

Frank Kern. I’ve learned a lot from Frank, and he’s hired more than once to write copy for him. Frank gave me my all-time favorite testimonial (it’s a bit off-color, so I won’t quote it here). It’s through Frank I first met John Carlton, Sarkis, Neil Strauss, and a bunch of other “fancy people”. And Frank recommended me to Tony Robbins for some copywriting work – so how could I not acknowledge Captain Kern?

Ed Dale. I actually met Frank Kern and Ed Dale at the same time. They had hired me to write copy for their Underachiever Conference before we ever actually met. What endeared me to Ed first was his love for all things Apple. Instant bonding. And Ed actually gave me the testimonial that ties with Frank’s for my all-time favorite. Since it doesn’t contain the “F Word” I’ll quote it in full: “Ray, I bless the day your copy met my bank account”.

Jeff Walker. The creator of the Product Launch Formula, Jeff taught me the art of Product Launches. I was one of the first customers for the original PLF, and ended up in Jeff’s high-end Platinum Coaching group. Jeff coached me through my first launch (of my own product). Jeff had made me… well, a lot of money. And he’s also a good friend. Jeff credits me with being the first person he’s ever actually paid to write copy for him. I can’t thank him enough for all the guidance, encouragement, and generosity he has shown me.

Jon Walker. Jon is Jeff’s brother. I actually got to know him before I got to know Jeff, and I count Jon as one of my very favorite people. He’s kind, diplomatic, and has a razor-sharp business mind. He is truly one of those “guys behind the scenes” who is responsible for some big stuff in the online world. Jon has given me some invaluable counsel, advice and insight on my own business, and he’s one of the people I love to bounce ideas around with.

Michel Fortin. One of the first people I got to know in the copywriting world, I owe Michel several debts of gratitude. I’ve learned a lot from him about copy, marketing, and online technology (Michel convinced me to migrate from Movable Type to WordPress, for instance… and was at least partially responsible for getting me hooked on Photoshop). He’s also helped me navigate through a couple of difficult situations, and has unselfishly helped me grow my business.

Sylvie Fortin. Sylvie is one of the most vibrant, determined and principled people I know. She has the courage to speak her mind even when it might be unpopular to do so. I am astounded by her willingness to share personal challenges publicly so that others may benefit. And her keen insight played a crucial role in rescuing me from total burn-out in 2008. Really. I love Sylvie Fortin for these reasons and more.

Craig Perrine. Smart, funny, intelligent, and willing to encourage me in my tendency to sit in the back of the room and cause trouble, Craig is a great friend and a smart marketer.

Kirt Christensen. One of the first people I bought an information product from, Kirt agreed to meet with me not knowing for sure whether I might be a stalker. We ended up become friends and business partners. Kirt helped me form my pursuit of the ideal business: working 20 hours a week and making $100,000 per month. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Eric Graham. I’ve never met a person more dedicated to rigorous scientific testing of copy, marketing tactics, and web page factors. Eric takes the “voodoo” of marketing and makes it science. From him I’ve learned discipline and tenacity. Plus, he flies stunt planes. Yep, upside down, loop-the-loops, and all that stuff.

Christina Hills. Christina is the CEO of “Shopping Cart Queen” – a company that educates online businesses on how to use their shopping cart software. They also teach a lot more stuff, including other software and systems. Christina was crucial to my first product launch coming off well, and she’s helped me in a pinch on more than one occasion.

Stu McLaren. Stu was one of my early clients. I wrote the copy for his Idea Incubator Seminar. I was so excited by it I decided to attend. Stu and I became friends, and through him I met Stephen Pierce, David Frey, Alex Mandossian, Jeff Walker and many others. Now Stu not only is a big-shot Internet Marketer but is now working with his wife Amy to change the world. Bravo!

Mike Filsaime . I met Mike before he was “famous”. We had a conversation outside the seminar room in Denver where Mike told me the story of this new product he was creating called “Butterfly Marketing”. We have remained friends over the years, and Mike recently had me work on the “7 Figure Code” launch with him (which was a blast).

Tom Beal. Tom and I were in a Mastermind Group together for a while, and when we met through that group I only had a vague idea that he worked with Mike Filsaime. Tom and I have laughed together, hung out in the back of many a seminar room, and worked together on a few projects. I count him as both a friend and a great marketing mind.

Joel Comm. Joel and I knew each other a while before we ever did any work together. Joel has been a true friend, and has done a lot to help me as a person and on a business level. Joel got me my publishing deal, invited me to be a guest expert on The Next Internet Millionaire, hired me to write copy, and has been a true supporter.

Andy Jenkins. You know him as the StomperNet guy – and so do I. I’ve written some copy for the Stomper guys (Andy and Brad Fallon). Andy has been encouraging, enthusiastic, and promoted me in places where it counted.

Rich Schefren. Controversial, smart, challenging, and able to wear you down. And that was just my first dinner with Rich! Rich is not only a client, he’s one of the people I’ve learned some of my most valuable business lessons from.

Brian Johnson. You may know him as Schefren’s right-hand guy. I know him as a trustworthy friend and tireless supporter. He’s also a guy who will be there to get the job done, even when other people have gone home.

Ryan Healy, Ben Settle, John Angel and Daniel Levis are all part of a secret mastermind group I belong to. The weird thing is we’re all copywriters. And it’s one of the most profitable and enjoyable groups I’m a member of. This group has been referred to as “The Five Horsemen of the Copywriting Apocalypse”.

Jeanette Cates. She’s organized, she’s diligent, and she’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever met. She’s also fun to hang around with.

Dave Bernstein. One of the first products I ever created, I created with Dave. He’s absolutely nuts about all things audio. And he is smart enough to live where it’s warm all year.

George Callens. George works with Armand to run a $25 million dollar a year company and makes it looks easy. He’s on top of things, he’s in charge, and he’s one of the most stunningly competent people I know. George has helped me sort through some important challenges in my business.

Chris & Jim Howard. I’ve been friends with Jim & Chris just about as long as anyone in this business. They are a continuous inspiration, and “go to” people when I need help or advice.

Dr Mike Woo-Ming. He's a friend, he's a client, and he's an International Man of Mystery.Remember that time you rented that house in Vegas and we all hung out there? That was awesome.

Howie Schwartz. One of the smartest and funniest people I have ever met and someone I am proud to know and call friend.

Yanik Silver. Brilliant marketer, tireless entrepreneur, and peerless promoter. I love the Underground Seminar, and his YSS is brilliant. I’m also inspired by what he’s been doing with the Maverick Brand.

Dan Kennedy. What can I say about Dan that hasn’t been said? I think he mostly invented the info-product/coaching business. He’s a writer’s writer. He lives the life he chose to live. And he seems to be a true genius when it comes to this stuff.

Jason Moffatt. Jason and I are probably about a much alike as East and West – but I count him as a friend, a keen marketing mind, and one of the very best salesmen I have ever met.

Tracy Childers. Tracy and I have held a few late-night brainstorming sessions involving large quantities of what another friend of mine calls “barley pop”. Every time I talk to him, I get about two dozen new ideas. And Tracy is inspiring in his ability to get products created, and his integrity and kindness.

Marlon Sanders. The first marketing product I ever bought was “The Amazing Formula”. It blew me away. Since then I’ve had a chance to get to know Marlon as one of the funniest, most intelligent, and most interesting people I know. Plus, have you seen this guy’s hats?

David Frey. He’s the “gentle giant” of Internet Marketing, He’s been an encourager, a good teacher, and someone I’ve felt inspired by since we first met at Stu McLaren’s Idea Incubator.

Ken McArthur. One of my favorite clients, Ken has been another ardent supporter of mine. He’s someone who is universally loved by everyone who knows him. And he invited me to speak in Orlando in February (Disney, here I come).

Clayton Makepeace. One of my copywriting “heroes”, Clayton is one sharp guy. And Clayton is the guy about whom I have the strangest “how we met” story of all. Sorry, I’m not telling. Not today, anyway.

Mary Mazzullo. She took the pictures that make me look good. Of course, that ‘s what she does. She also got me into the mysterious “Club 33”. And she’s a true friend.

Bob Bly. The copywriter's copywriter, a scholar, and a gentleman. Bob really got me started down this road, and one of the highlights of my career was being quoted on the cover of “Secrets of a Freelance Writer”.

Mari Smith. First she was my student (in copywriting) and now she is my teacher (in Social Media Marketing). Thanks Mari!

Seth Godin. Some of the most intense learning I ever did, I did at Seth's office. Thanks Seth!

This post grew as I was writing it.

The truth is, there are so many people I should thank I probably could never write it all down. So please, if you don't see your name here, don't take it personally. I love and appreciate you — and if you know me at all, I hope you know that's true.

Bear with me, I have a couple more acknowledgments: my business could not exist without the support of my family (both near and far).

My wife and son are the two most important people on earth to me. I love you both with complete and reckless abandon.

Finally, and most importantly, I would be nothing if not for the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Every good thing I have (or ever will have) comes from Him.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Pingback: Armand Morin, Seth Godin, Frank Kern and A Cast Of Thousands. (Thank You)()

  • Hi!
    Happy New Year, You have a great list of gurus, and I like your personal thanks list as well
    Michey ( cernescu on Twitter)

    • Thanks Michey,

      I had originally planned to just make a short list, and keep the commentary to a minimum. See how that worked out?

      And I've second-guessed posting it about 2 dozen times now, wondering if some of the people I named would have rather I not, or whether some people might think the whole thing too sentimental. But I won't retract it.

      In fact, I've already thought of a dozen people I wish I had included.

      Perhaps I should do this more often. 😉


  • A list of some pretty incredible folks, Ray. How great to begin this new year in gratitude, too.

    I remember when you wrote the copy for Stu's Idea Incubator Anaheim event. Fabulous to see how much your career has taken flight since then. Kudos, my friend!

    All my best to you for 2009,

    • Julie you're so sweet to say those things — and you've been such an inspiration to me, too.

      You're the walking embodiment of “never say quit”.

      I appreciate you, and thanks for taking time to comment on my blog!


  • Thanks, Ray, for sharing your loving tribute to your mentors, friends and family.
    You've inspired me to express my gratitude to the people who enrich my life in wondrous ways.
    What a lovely way to begin the new year!

    Hadley Finch

  • It’s great to see you express so much gratitude, Ray. What a list!

    I have to say the lessons I learned from you over the last few months are a huge reason why I’m so excited for 2009.

    Thank you!

  • A great way to start the year with gratitude, Brother Ray!

    No apologies needed for this list. I most appreciate and respect how you give JC his due props for all your blessings. May 2009 be your most abundant year yet in all areas! 🙂

    God bless you brother. Bummer on Kern's testimonial. I was SO wanting to read it! (why not just replace the F word with “Fragilistic”?) Let's catch up soon!

    Brother-in-Christ David Newby

    • His testimonial was pretty short, really: “Where the Fragilistic have you been all my life?”

      Yes, let's do connect – I want you to share some of your expertise with my readers! Especially in these economic times, we could all use it!


  • Hi Ray. Great list of all-stars here — you have a good eye for the real talent in this busy, crazy landscape of writing and marketing. You've inspired me to pay more attention to a few folks, too.

    Here's hoping you have an even more prosperous '09.

    Stay frosty,

    John Carlton

    • John,

      Thanks! And you know I wish you the best year of your life in 2009, as well!


  • BillMcRea


    You have a lot of great friends and I like your hair style. It reminds me of mine. 🙂

    I recently sat back and thought about all the people I owed my success to, but I did not have the gumption to write a blog post about them. The great thing about teaching is learning from your students. Mentors and business partners have the same effect.

    Have a Happy New Year

    Bill McRea

    • Amen, Bill! And remember… God only made a few perfect heads. The rest He covered with hair.



  • Hey Ray! Happy new year… and thanks for including me in your list.

    You and I must be on the same wave-length. I also decided to write a thank-you post and wrote it today. Although I must say yours is a bit longer than mine! 🙂


  • Great friend

    Great career.


    Juri Saragih

  • You know what I admire most about you, Ray?

    It's not your immense talent for writing copy…

    It's not your formidable skill as a marketer…

    It's not your radio star delivery of spoken word…

    Those qualities are obvious at once.

    No, what I admire most about you is your grace as a human being.

    You are a remarkably good egg… in a carton that often gets tossed around, slammed, and squished. Lesser eggs crack, while others just go bad with time.

    It should surprise no one that your client list reads like a veritable “Who's Who” of Internet Marketing.

    I don't care if this makes me sound like a fan-boy… I AM.

    Best regards and happy new year,

    Brian McLeod
    Miami, Florida

  • Hi, Ray!

    Congratulations for your Blog! Lots of high valuable information!

    Thanks for The List Names of Internet Marketing! Together with your Blogroll, they offer us one of the biggest list I've found with the Biggest Names that really created Internet Marketing.

    I'm so enthusiastic about your post because a few weeks ago I've also started to create The Largest List of the Names of IM. I've made it a PDF document and you can get it for FREE when you subscribe to my site (I try to update the list monthly):


    As I mention in my Report, the value of such a list is huge: it can saves you months (or maybe years) of searching and finding who are THE REAL Internet Marketers from whom you can learn a lot and with whom it worths making Joint Ventures.

    THank you and God bless you.


  • Molinda (Mom)

    Oops….I have traveled full circle. When you were small, I was one of your teachers! Now, I learn from you! What a wonderful circle of friends and mentors…….I am thankful God blessed me to be your Mom! And now………..I must start my Thank You list. Continue to share and let your light shine in 2009……Love you

  • Quite the all-star line-up of gratitude Ray… I'm impressed!!