Greetings from Patrick Pretty, Internet Marketing's Sensational "Master Of Eye Candy." Before we get into the nuts and bolts of my chapter in this unique publication, permit me, please, to share a few things about myself.
Many of you already know me, of course. The next several paragraphs are mostly for people who don't. For starters, I've had my own Saturday morning cartoon show, thus the neatly framed photo on the left.
Not to brag, but I've also dined with the Queen of England and sat in a recording studio alongside Elvis, later sharing a bucket of fried chicken with him. (His treat, including a generous tip to the counter attendant.) Oh, yes, I've been a Poster Model, Teen Idol, Action Hero, A-Lister, Celebrity Golfer, Commercial Spokesman, Honored Guest, Ivy League Commencement Speaker And Confidante To Presidents And Political Leaders Worldwide.
I've pretty much done it all, which is why they finally got around to naming a fragrance after me. That milestone was a tribute to the longevity of my stardom, occurring on the date I appeared on my 4,000th magazine cover.
It Hasn't Always Been Easy
I wouldn't want you to get the impression that I've always had the easy life. Money was tight when I was a kid; it's fair to say my family was poor. Even when I rocketed to stardom in 1964 after being "discovered" by a famous photographer who just happened to be shopping in the same store I was in with my Mom, my life was not gravy train.
Indeed, I had trouble coping with my instant fame.
And since my fame was based on my astonishing good looks and not my talent, I felt as though people didn't appreciate me for who I was, as a person. Eventually I sought help from a psychologist. She too, got caught up in my celebrity, issuing a News Release to announce she was treating me and writing about my case in medical journals.
On any number of occasions my life became fodder for the Tabloids. Among other things, I've been called a drunk (never touch the stuff); a dope fiend (never touch the stuff); a lech (I'm respectful to women); and a hypochondriac (I made the mistake of telling a reporter that I hurt my back while swinging a golf club).
So, no, my life hasn't always been a bed of roses. Even so, I am proud of my accomplishments and how I've handled life in the fast lane. I've done a lot -- and yet I'm still very goal-oriented. My Big Goal now is to appear as a contestant on "Jeopardy," the TV game show. I want to be on regular "Jeopardy," not the celebrity version.
This is mostly because celebrities seem to get softball answers, and I'd like to see how I'd do against regular contestants. They seem to get harder answers. ("Jeopardy", of course, is unique in the sense that contestants first are given the answers and then have to come up with the questions.)
The Most Remarkable Thing About Me
Yes, my achievements have been remarkable. I never tire of talking about me. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about me is that I don't really exist -- at least not in the way most people exist.
I'm somewhat like the "Caveman" in the GEICO Insurance Commercials on American television. ("So easy a caveman can do it.") I'm a branding and advertising vehicle -- and happy that things turned out that way. One big difference between the GEICO "Caveman" and me is that I own the company that produces me; in fact, I'm the sole employee.
This means I create all the Patrick Pretty-branded products, serve as spokesman for the products and keep all the profits they produce (except the money my Affiliates make; they keep 100 percent of all revenue generated in the front end of my operation and get paid instantly).
Most of my IM products deal with improving customers' writing skills, branding and building business relationships. I also sell Affiliate products but only products I believe in. It's very important only to sell products you believe in.
Pay Attention To The Moment
"Patrick Pretty" was born in an Internet Marketing forum, the literal result of a joke among friends about the stock photos often tucked inside the picture flaps of new wallets. One thing led to another. By the time it was over, a friend doctored a picture to make me look "exceptionally handsome."
Pay attention to the moment! Indeed, you may find inspiration at the strangest times in the strangest places. "Patrick Pretty" owes his life to such a moment. My name is Patrick Hernan; "Patrick Pretty" is my brand. I own a writing and editing business, serving customers across the United States. I've won awards from the Associated Press and other well-known publishers for my writing.
I chose "Patrick Pretty" because the name was fun and would provide a limitless back story. "Patrick Pretty" gave me a brand I could serialize over many years working only an hour or two each day from the comfort of my home. "Patrick Pretty" has come a long way from that forum. Some of the top Internet Marketers in the world now promote the brand and endorse its products. I have one of the coolest part-time jobs on the planet!
Is Branding For You?
Branding returns dividends -- but make sure you do a critical assessment of your skills before you choose this path. Below are some questions to ask yourself. Don't worry if you can't answer "yes" to each question right now.
On the pages that follow you'll learn how to get for free or at very low cost what you need to get started.
- Do I enjoy "thinking outside the box" and devoting time to the creative process?
- Do I have an hour or two each day to build my brand?
- What is my offline occupation?
- Can I use my work skills to make money by creating branded products from home, perhaps using my own name as a brand?
- If I'm a woodworker, for example, can I expand my market by making things in my shop and delivering them through the mail or a courier service to customers?
- Can I write a short "How To" guide that teaches interesting woodworking shortcuts or shows customers how to improve their woodworking skills?
- What are my hobbies? Can a hobby of mine help me make money online?
- Can I position my brand in a profitable niche or build multiple brands in multiple niches?
- Can I speak with authority on the products I sell, whether they're products I make or products I sell for others? Can I learn website essentials?
- Do I know how to buy a domain name and arrange hosting? Do I have the basic skills required to move products or information/sales material I create on my computer desktop to my web host?
- Do I have a means of delivering automatically the branded products I create and receive payment instantly? Will I need to use a courier service to deliver products?
Of all the questions above, this is the most important: "Do I enjoy 'thinking outside the box' and devoting time to the creative process?"
The reason I put that question in the No. 1 spot on the list is because branding -- be it through a persona or an individual name-crafting process focused on your existing talents and interests -- requires a commitment to creativity and thinking outside the box.
When I launched the Patrick Pretty brand, I could not answer "yes" to each question above. I knew I'd enjoy the creative process because it ties in nicely with my occupation as a writer and editor.
Time would not be a problem; I always make time for the things I love to do. I was less certain about being able to position my brand in profitable niches, but knew for certain that I could create multiple brands and multiple products.
Buying a domain name and establishing hosting were not problematic for me; I learned in my initial online foray several years ago that these things were fundamental to success on the Internet. It took me only five minutes to figure out how to do it.
Along those lines, it took me only a few minutes to figure out how to use an FTP program to move files from my desktop to the server. (More on this later.)
My biggest challenge was figuring out how to deliver products to customers and get paid instantly. I started simply by using my existing PayPal account and learning how to copy and paste the PayPal code for payment buttons to my web pages.
Later I switched gears a bit and started delivering products through a script for which I paid $7. (Best $7 investment I've ever made, given the exceptional return it has provided.) Because of that simple script, I can deliver products to customers even when I'm sleeping.
And I can offer an Affiliate program that enables my customers to make money with the products I create, providing them a branded website from which to make sales.
Why Branding? Can It Really Work Starting From Scratch?
I chose a branding approach based on a theory that it was the quickest way to become "known." I knew, for example, that each of the newspapers, magazines and publishing companies for which I write, have instantly recognizable names and that people could arrive at their websites simply by typing their names in a browser window or by doing a quick Google search.
Major marketing figures online also have instantly recognizable names, whether they are "real" names or marketing creations. These marketers have a big advantage because they can leverage their names and website architecture to produce traffic, meaning more customers see their products.
More eyes equals more sales. What I wanted to do was get Patrick Pretty noticed by major marketers, who enjoy the advantages not only of name-recognition but also of economy of scale. That's just a fancy way of saying they have bigger operations, more customers and a greater reach.
By creating a memorable brand and making products that serve a useful purpose and add value to customers' lives, I knew I'd be more apt to catch the attention of some of the big names.
Creating an Affiliate program that tied in with my brand also was an important part of my approach. Indeed, not only did I want to deliver useful information, I also wanted customers to make money with it.