SFR 198: The SECOND Origin Story – Stephen Larsen

SFR 198: The SECOND Origin Story

Dec 7th, 2018 anchorwave

Each market has its own history. Here’s how to leverage the second origin story to sell more…

Recently, Russell helped me learn something that blew my mind… He introduced me to this guy, Claude Hopkins.

Claude Hopkins

Okay, so he didn’t quite introduce us, (the Dude died in 1932), but this guy is the Offer Creation Grandaddy – and discovering his work taught me something that has revolutionized the way I sell…

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Claude Hopkins!”

Here’s what happened…


The Origin Story of Claude Hopkins

I was at the Traffic Secrets event, and at the end of the two days, I was having dinner with the ClickFunnels crew – the staff and all the coaches were there. We were just shooting the breeze and chatting when Russell gets up and leaves the room.

After a short time, he comes back and says, “Dude! Do you know who Claude Hopkins is?” I’d heard the name, but I hadn’t studied him yet.

Russell goes, “Dude, you’re going to love Claude Hopkins… he’s like the godfather of what you do.” So, of course, I said: “Please tell me more.”

Claude Hopkins (1866–1932) was brought into companies to create the equivalent of an offer. In 1907 he was paid a salary of $185,000 a year. That’s like getting paid 1.3 million in today’s dollars. This is a highly paid guy.

Companies would hire him to come in and help construct the offer as part of the sales message. He would create the offer, but then also pieces of the sales message that would make it sexy.

My brain started freaking out when Russell started telling me this. These little epiphanies started to happen, and my brain just started making connections right there at the dinner table – totally like the Beautiful Mind thing.

Claude Hopkins Beautiful Mind

When this happens, I kinda zone out, and get this glazed look. I start staring into space and my neurons start firing in all directions. Often, my wife will reach over and say, “You doing okay. Steve?” – which wakes me from my reverie and brings me back to reality.

This time, I was sitting next to Julie Stoian, and she leans in, “Steve, you’re getting very pensive…” And I realized, “Oh, crap! I’ve probably been staring into thin air for ten minutes, all zoned out…”

I was like, “Russell, dude, that was like the greatest gift you could give me. Are you serious? You just taught me how my market came into existence.”

It was then that I realized:

Every pitch has TWO intro’s; the story of the speaker and the story of the market.

…By introducing me to Claude Hopkins, Russell helped me find my markets origin story.


Offer Creation Epiphanies

For a little while now, I’ve been looking around trying to find the history of Offer Creation… And it’s not been an easy thing to figure out.

It’s really hard to find books about offers. It didn’t take me long to buy all the books on offers I could find on Amazon. There’s just not a lot on offers. There really isn’t.

Not many people teach what I teach – which is one of the reasons why I’m stepping into that zone and aiming be the king of the Offer Creation category. That’s my goal! That’s what I’m going for…

It’s funny, ’cause my wife kinda laughs at me and says,“Hey, did you have fun with Russell tonight?”

I’m not teasing her, I just think it’s funny. I get it. She’ll be like, “Why do you like hanging out so much?” Well, besides the fact that it’s Russell Brunson, and we are good friends, the more you learn about the thing that you’re doing, the less people you can relate with about what you’re doing. You know what I mean?

It’s great to hang out with people who are as geeky about this stuff as you are… without this game can sometimes be a little bit lonely.

It’s not everyone who’s gonna share your passion about an offer creation dude who died nearly a hundred years ago!

Passion for offer creation

If you’re not freaking out right now, I totally get it. I’m a psycho, I’m a freak about this stuff. I totally get it. I’m gonna nerd out over things that you may not, and that’s totally fine…

But in case you love nerding out just like me, BOOM! Here’s some more good stuff:

Back in Claude Hopkins day, offers were called Schemes. Meaning, what’s your scheme to make cash? Back in the 1800s, you had a Scheme Man to create your Scheme.

A Scheme Man would come in and create the offer/ scheme. That’s the origins of offer creation. That’s literally, that’s how Offer Creation stuff came about.

Now, I’m sure way back in the day, before we actually wrote stuff down, similar concepts were going down… But Claude Hopkins is the best example that I’ve found that I can actually read about.

These scheme men would get paid huge sums of money to go in and actually create offers and sales message. And Claude was one of the best – he wrote the book Scientific Selling. This guy knows what the heck he’s talking about.


Offer Creation and Scientific Selling

I’ve been geeking out about Claude Hopkins, and there’s this quote that made me smile:

The time has come when advertising in some hands has reached the status of a science – Claude Hopkins

Oh, what’s up, Claude Hopkins! How you doin’? I’m your man… That’s why my group was created and given the name, The Science of Selling Online (it’s free to join if you wanna come geek out with me.)

Selling is not about the art, it’s about the science. There are formulas that you can follow that lead to success and take the guesswork outta this game. Check out the frameworks episode that I recently, if you wanna hear more on about this.

Let me repeat that quote:

The time has come when advertising in some hands has reached the status of a science.

I want you to understand how powerful this is!

Selling is a science

If selling is a science, it means it’s predictable. If you follow the right formulas, then creating cash becomes the rule, not the exception!

Here’s another cool quote from the book. You gotta remember that Claude Hopkins was alive nearly a hundred years ago, so he has an interesting way of speaking:

“Many have advertised, ‘Try for a week, if you don’t like it, we’ll return your money.’ Then someone conceives the idea of sending goods without any money down and saying, ‘Pay in a week If you like it?’ That proved many times as impressive.One great advertising man stated the difference in this way; ‘Two men came to me, each offering a different horse. Both made equal claims. They were good horses, kind and gentle, a child could drive them. One man said, ‘try the horse for a week. If my claim’s not true, come back for your money.’ The other man also said, ‘Try the horse for a week.’ But he added, ‘Come and pay me then.’ I naturally bought the second horse.”

This is a big deal, and it’s the reason why if you have an offer, a product, or a skill, a talent – something that you have that you know you are better at than the majority of the market…

If you’re better at what you do than the majority of the market and you’re having a hard time selling, you need to have a better offer.

This also includes your sales message. In my mind, they’re inseparable – which why I create may sales message and my offer at the same time.

Does this make sense? Let’s break it down:

History of marketing

Two horses, exactly the same, both amazing. A child could drive both of them. One seller says, “Try my horse for a week, if you don’t like it, come back, I’ll give you your money back.” The other seller says, “Try my horse for a week, and then pay if you like it.”

The only difference between those two offers is a little tweak in the way it’s presented.

That’s the definition of a freaking offer. This guy is brilliant.


The origin story

If look at what Claude Hopkins is doing, the most crucial part of the sales script is the offer. The sales message is what makes the sale, but that offer is the exchange for value. It has to be amazing.

Every good sales message has two introductions, and it has to do with the way the brain functions.

  1. Introductions #1: Is the introduction to the audience of whoever the audience is that’s listening to. In my case, “Hey, Steve, who are ya?” So, now I’ve gotta do a little bit of an origin story. Meaning, how did I originally come into the thing that I’m doing?
  2. Introductions #2: Is the introduction to the topic/ market.

It wasn’t until Russell walked in and said, “Dude, Claude Hopkins!” that I realized, markets have origin stories too. I was like, “What? That’s the second intro you need to have.”

Here’s why this is such a BIG deal:

When they sell, a lot of people believe that they need to come at it logically, or emotionally. There are all these different ways to sell:

  • A whole bunch of scarcity & urgency.
  • The Takeaway Sale.
  • The Drug Dealer Close.”

There’s a lot of different scripts out there.

What’s fascinating is that I realized that if I just told the origin story of my product, there’s a likelihood that my customers will see the product’s flaws without me pointing them out.

Think about this for a moment…

If I can teach you about the origins of the offer, I educate you on, “This is how offers used to be created…” Suddenly just knowing that there’s a backstory that you may not have known about and this drastically increases the perceived value of what I’m talking about.


A history of marketing

Let’s say you’re trying to sell the keto diet – the one where you just eat meat all the time…

If I start showing you a whole bunch of research on why this diet is the best – that’s effective, but it doesn’t have nearly as much perceived value as if I can educate you on the history of the vehicle that my customer’s already in.

The book Play Bigger says that whoever can best articulate the problem to a market, is also assumed to have the best solution.

Whoever can articulate the problem the best is assumed to have the best solution.

I realized that if I can get good at teaching the markets origin story for the product that my customers are using. And I can say, “No, you shouldn’t be using that.” If I’m the best at teaching, “Look, here’s the origin story about the product you’re using.” It’s another way to articulate the problem in the best way.

Teaching the markets origin story

Suddenly, they’re pulled from the Matrix: “Whoa! I never realized flaws in what I’m using.”


Two origin stories

If you’re wondering, “How do I write copy?” One of the easiest ways to do it is just by telling the origin story of the products that your customers are currently using. How did that come into existence?

Steve Jobs said:

Once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.

When you understand that it’s freeing because you realize, “Wait, that was created within the restraints of a human brain.” Which means it also could be altered. Like, “Whoa. That’s crazy stuff!” That’s huge.

So when it comes to sharing the origin story, you have two stories to tell:

  1. Your personal origin story – “Hey, I’m Steve. I started the Sales Funnel Radio podcast back when I worked in ClickFunnels,”
  2. The red ocean you’re selling into – “Offer Creation Men Used to be called Schemers – they’ve always been highly paid. Let me tell you about Claude Hopkins.”

The red ocean that you’re selling to has an origin story just like you.

Someone put that on a freaking t-shirt, ’cause that’s good stuff right there. That’s gold.

It better be on a freaking Instagram quote card here soon. It’s a big deal because it means I can shortcut a lot of the little scientific isms of writing copy, but still get the idea across.

That means I don’t have to go learn why the engine works. I can just drive the car when I just tell the origin story for the market.

Use your market’s origin story to describe why the current solution red ocean isn’t as awesome as they think, and you’ll have huge power. Origin stories are not just for an individual.

Thank you, Mr. Claude Hopkins, for your awesome quotes and inspiration.

If you watch what I’m doing next, you will see how I’m going to use that second origin story the origin story in the scripts I create. This piece is connecting so many pieces in my brain. I’m stoked about it. It’s the missing piece I’ve been looking for.

Boom! I’ve found the hook, baby.

Until Next Time – Go Be Schemers And Create Cool Offers!

Hey, there’s more marketing resources than there are seams of the sea, am I right?

Okay, maybe not, but there is a lot.

How do you know if you’re paying for good ones?

Recently I went to my business bank statement, and I counted 51 internet tools and resources that I use to run my business every day and actually keep my team size small.

If you wanna see the list, I actually filmed an individual video teaching you why I use each tool and the strategy behind it. And then I dropped a link straight to the source right below it.

Steven Larsen business resources

If you wanna see the list and see what you can use yourself, go to That’s

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