Marketing, Values and Texas

Can one headline make a difference between raising our children in a green clean state and condemning the next generation to grow up in a rotting dump? Yes. It can. Texas proved it. Here’s how…

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Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcast for anyone who wants to build a wildly profitable email list working from home. If you'd like to make six figures, travel the world and help people improve their lives in the process, then this podcast is for you. I also invite you to attend the free workshop at, where I'm teaching how I made $21,779.45 in affiliate commissions by sending just 481 clicks to my affiliate link in one day.

I'm also explaining why I walked away from ClickBank and I don't promote ClickBank offers anymore, as well as the five things I look for in the perfect affiliate offer. I'm even going to show you the one page website that I used to make over half a million dollars in affiliate commissions this year. And I'll even drive you to attend this workshop by giving you a $497 value course that shows you how to share your big high converting affiliate offers for your next affiliate promotion.

In addition, I'll even give you the three offers I'm promoting right now that are making me money as we speak. All that and more at And now it's time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.

Terrance Lackey: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, List Builders of all ages, my name is Terrance Lackey. I'm your co-host along with Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle Show. Hello, Igor. How are you doing today?

Igor Kheifets: Hey, Terrance, I'm doing great. We had a really good week here in Toronto. It's been really hot to a point where I was just missing snow. It was really hot and humid.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah. Oh, man, I can't imagine what hot and humid means in Toronto. I know down here in Florida, we're hitting our annual thunderstorms. So we're starting to get those evening thunderstorms and the humidity is crazy, but I love the sunshine. It's kicking out right now, so I can't complain. I'm really happy we're heading into summer, even though the beach is going to be a little restricted. It's my favorite time of the year to get into pool and swim around.

Igor Kheifets: I know, Florida is just a tad too much for me. As far as humidity goes, it's really humid. It's like I am in the shower all day long with clothes, with shoes and everything. It's just really difficult for me to exist there. When we went to Disney World a couple of years ago, "Whoa, man, this is bad." And you know what's interesting? And I don't mean to sound disrespectful to the people who live in Florida or anything like that, but the first time I went to Florida, it was back in 2014.

And the first thing I noticed, that was my first trip to the United States ever, right? And I'm coming from a Middle Eastern country. So I'm coming to Florida. I think it was Orlando. And I'm like, "Wow, people are big here. They're huge." Like a big guy in Israel is about one third the size of a big guy in Florida, or maybe in the States altogether, but Florida specifically. And I was like, "How do these people survive in such a hot and humid rainforest-like environment? Like why don't people just die?" Because I felt like dying the first couple of days. Jet lag and humidity? I was like, I was ready to go.

Terrance Lackey: Yeah. It takes getting used to. You have to get acclimated. But you know what? Here's the danger with that. You get acclimated to Florida or any of these southern states or anywhere in the south and you head north. If I go to Toronto in the winter, first of all, I only have one coat and I don't even know if it's still, I think the zipper's broken on it. So down here in Florida, people are wearing a scarf and a hoodie and a beanie cap and everything when it hits about 50 degrees and that's the dead of winter is dropping down in the forties and maybe upper 30, not even upper thirties to forties. So, your blood really thins out. So man, I'll tell you what.

Hey, listen, I'm glad to talk to you. We haven't talked in a while and I'm really pumped to have our conversation today about, well, I guess we were going to call it the Don't Mess with Texas anti-littering campaign, which I think is a fantastic thing to talk about. Would you want to get us started on that?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, I know this is one of the most famous now advertising campaigns in history. In fact, it won the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame Award and got inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame on Madison Avenue as well. It was that successful. And it started out as a anti-littering campaign. That's all it was. It was just Texas, the state of Texas, trying to minimize littering. People were throwing things out of their trucks and there was garbage everywhere.

And the first attempt that they made was stop littering. They would put up signs and air TV commercials. They would basically say, "Hey, preserve nature," or, "Stop littering," or, "Let's take care of our state," but none of them worked. There was literally no effect. And even if there was, it so insignificant that you couldn't really measure it.

So what they did is, I don't know if they hired someone for it or not, maybe it's just smart people in the City Hall, what they've done is they approached all the Texas born or Texas bred celebrities. People like, I think, Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan and George Foreman, or something like that. Basically a bunch of people who are recognizable, like football players and I'm pretty sure Dallas NBA team maybe, and in San Antonio, obviously, they've got a big team, too.

And so they ran a series of commercials that basically said, "Mama's tell your kids not to mess with Texas," or something to the point of like, "Don't Mess with Texas." And that's why it's called the Don't Mess with Texas anti-littering campaign. Because when someone like Willie Nelson encourages you and offers this call to arms, like, "Let's protect our state," or just something like, if you're a southerner, this resonates with you, right? Because there's just a mentality over there.

People went with it to a point where they cut littering by a big margin, a margin so noticeable that it's now considered to be one of the most successful campaigns ever. And the idea behind the campaign, the reason that it was very successful is because it appealed to the identity of the people who are considered to be what we would call the target market.

Terrance Lackey: I can see that for sure. I used to live in San Antonio myself, for a number of years. And the amount of pride that Texans have about where they're from and their state is just kind of off the charts when compared to some of the other states. So tapping into that pride to get an outcome that you want, which is anti-littering, that's brilliant. I can see why the first one didn't work and then I can definitely see why the second one was successful.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. It's nuts. When you write copy, or when you create any sort of advertising or marketing material they say you should write to your avatar. You've probably heard that before, right? Come up with this, whoever it is, your ideal customer. It's Mary from Texas. She goes to church every Sunday. She's a nurse and she has a little bit of money saved up, but she's not rich. And she drives an old Ford pickup truck. You basically come up with this identity or this persona.

And what I see people do is, first off, the most common mistake is they don't consider who they're writing to at all. They don't consider who they're creating marketing for at all. And that is why their marketing simply doesn't hit. It doesn't register. It basically is noise that is automatically trashed or discarded or brushed aside because it doesn't seem relevant. There's absolutely zero relevance about what they produce.

But the other part of it, the few people who do actually consider who is going to be the person on the other end of that marketing message, they only focus on this demographical stuff. It's like, "Oh, they're 35 years old and they're male, and they are living in Texas." But that's not enough. The real, the true sales producing stuff, or I would say the juice, right? The juice is in identity of the people you're marketing to.

Now, of course we can argue about that. People in Texas, their identity is different than people in Florida. I get that, but I'm pretty sure that fundamentally when you're marketing a product of some kind, you will be marketing to an identity related to the product.

So if you're marketing to people, looking to people had a heart attack, for example, and they're looking to prevent the next heart attack, or they're looking to get their heart back in shape, right. We can probably guess that the identity of those people would be, at the very least, they're older, right? So they're older. They trust doctors. They maybe don't believe as much into alternative medicine. Maybe they are the opposite, right? Maybe it's the kind of market that actually is into alternative medicine. And therefore anything that a quote unquote, a "typical doctor" says, they don't believe. Okay.

So there's like market research that has to be done about the way they perceive the world, the way they make decisions, the way they accept or reject a claim of any kind, right? Because you could be making a claim about a mineral that you should be taking to make your heart muscle stronger. To which they can either respond with, "Yeah, right," basically saying something like, "Heart muscle is heart muscle is heart muscle, which means whatever heart muscle I was born with, that's the heart muscle I got."

Or maybe they say something like, "Well, my mother had a heart attack and her mother had a heart attack and her mother had a heart attack. So I'm pretty much like heart attacks run in my family. So, this is it."

This is like my problem with losing weight. And I think I told the story when we just started the podcast. I went on for years and years and years convinced because that's what my parents told me, I guess they were trying to protect my feelings, that I was born to a fat father who had a fat mother, and he had a fat sister, too. And that's why I'm fat because it just runs in the family. I got the fat gene.

The reality was my diet sucked. I didn't exercise. I consumed lots of sugar, but I seemed to ignore the fact that my brother is skinny and my mom is skinny. Somehow though, that idea that, "Yep, I got the fat gene," I mean, that was it. And you see, you couldn't get me to buy anything related to weight loss until and unless you convinced me that fat people, right, can lose weight. And you know what happened there? You know how I got that idea?

Terrance Lackey: I'm sitting here with bated breath because I'm interested in losing weight myself. So, how'd you get that idea?

Igor Kheifets: Honestly, I was just watching the Biggest Loser. Do you remember that show?

Terrance Lackey: Yeah, I do remember that show. I loved that show, actually.

Igor Kheifets: I loved that show, too, because the transformation of someone being really, really, really fat, like we're talking people who weigh like almost 300 pounds, right? There were some big people there, both men and women. And looking at them and seeing how they become these ripped and fit individuals over the course of time and the struggle they go through and how they change diet, they change exercise regimen. They really work their asses off, but they lose a lot of weight.

And looking at them, Terrance, I'll be honest. I felt kind of ashamed that I've only had an extra, maybe 25, maybe 30 pounds, compared to what these guys had. The work I had to put in to lose that much weight wasn't nearly as aggressive as the work they had to put in, but seeing them lose weight, it basically allowed me to override the idea of the fat gene.

Terrance Lackey: Gotcha.

Igor Kheifets: And I'm really grateful to whoever created that show and whoever in Israel decided to buy the rights to air the show so I could finally see it. It was one of the most inspiring shows of the decade for me at the time.

Terrance Lackey: It shattered those limiting beliefs. So the things that you thought were real, turned out to be completely false when you had that example that took you somewhere else and told you it could really be done. I loved that show because it was always a happy ending because these people got healthier, they got fitter, they got more attractive and all because of hard work.

And I've seen that. I've heard that from people along the way in my life, that there were reasons for this and reasons for that. My family, it runs in my family or I'm big boned, or I have thyroid problems and maybe there are medical conditions, but yeah.

So what we're talking about, in relation to our business, is that how does it relate to our business? Because how we frame our copy, we lead the, let me take a stab at it. We're going to lead our avatar to the conclusion that we want to point out to them, right? Am I on the right track?

Igor Kheifets: Well, it all comes down to identity. We need to really carefully consider the identity of the people that we're looking to attract.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content, hop on over to for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show, it really helps. Thanks.

Let's take a more obvious example such as make money online, right? So anyone who listens to this podcast is probably interested in making money online. So on some fundamental level, we can probably make a few assumptions.

Assumption number one, even if you do have a job right now, you may not want to keep that job forever. Even if you have that job right now, it doesn't mean you like the job. And if you like the job, it doesn't mean that that job pays the bills to a point where you need it to pay the bills.

So these are some assumptions about the people who are taking interest in affiliate marketing programs, in Shopify programs, how to start an online business programs, et cetera.

Another value, an identity piece that we can assume is that these people put high value on making money. Now there's people out there who just enjoy the process. They want to see some money come in. They may not even be doing this because they really want to be a business owner. They just want to have another source of income for one reason or another. For some of them, it's an emotional reason of just making money happen. There's people who enjoy that.

For others, it's about the freedom. They don't want to have one source of income. They want to have multiple streams of income. For someone else, it's about the fear, the fear that they may lose their job tomorrow because they had a job before and they got fired unexpectedly.

For someone else, it's about recognition. Maybe they don't get the recognition they want in their job. So what they do is they build a job for themselves where they can get all the recognition they want.

For me, when I was working in the hotel and scrubbing basically toilets, there was no recognition. Although it's the, we'll call them the hospitality industry workers, they work really hard. I don't work nearly as hard today as I used to work back then. But today I'm making like 300 times more money per month than I used to make back then. So it's kind of crazy how that ratio completely flipped on its head, but the people who toil the hardest, they get the least recognition. And I hated that.

Besides the money, of course, the money aspect was kind of obvious, but if my boss would just tell me more often that he appreciates my work, I may not have left so soon. You know what I mean? Like, because all this guy did, his name was Jonathan, he just yelled at me all day long. Like every single tiny little mistake, he would yell at me and anything that I would do well, it would be just, "Okay." And there was no recognition beyond that. It was expected. It was never recognized.

And you know, a lot of times I also saw recognition go to someone else for things that weren't that impressive in the first place. Why? Because Jonathan was originally from India and he had this thing. He would reward and advance people who were also originally from India, typically from his community. There were a couple of girls, actually, that he did it for, who were just bad. They did a bad job and yet they got recognition and he advanced them.

So that kind of made me realize, yeah, I'm not going to get that recognition here. I'm going to hustle and I'm going to build my own business and I'm going to get what I'm worth. The aspect that I really like about internet marketing and it's no secret, it's the ego boost you get from people really literally buying you or people wanting to work with you and not someone else. There's a powerful ego boost in that for me, and I'm sure for any other quote, unquote "guru," right? Although I try to distance myself from the term, but I guess for many people, I do seem like a guru.

And that was a part of what pulled me to this industry. I could have said, "You know what, I'm just going to start a Shopify brand and I'm going to sell underwear and be this invisible person no one knows, but I'm making six figures selling underwear on the internet." But I never wanted to be that. I would much rather have my face on a book. And when people ask me what I do, I will say, "I'm a best selling author." That gives me much more pleasure and satisfaction than saying, "I just make six figures."

So all of these different identity plays, all these different identity reasons and ways of thinking, and they are really important. If you don't know, like when they say know your customer, that's what they mean. It's not about their age or their demographic. It's about behavior and identity more than anything else.

Terrance Lackey: So, knowing their motivations, their frustrations, their desires, their hopes, their dreams, these are all things that you can tap into in order to resonate with them. And resonating would be the key. That's the goal. The whole goal, the Holy Grail is to become in sync with what they're trying to achieve and the fears or frustrations, desires, and hopes and dreams that they're trying to achieve.

So yeah, I could see that definitely in some of those scenarios you painted are I think everybody can almost relate to those because I certainly can. I know that my experience with people in jobs and in occupations is that you really don't work for companies. You work for people. And regardless of what the company is, it could be the best company in the world, but if the guy that you report to, or the gal that you report to is a jerk, or doesn't recognize your hard work and effort, then that's going to be your vision of what that company is. And sometimes they will really disappoint you. Sometimes they're great.

But at the end of the day, once you're working for yourself and customizing your lifestyle and your experience the way you want to, is always what we're shooting for, even if we're working for someone else or for ourselves. So I can definitely see that as an approach towards getting your marketing message out there.

Igor Kheifets: Yeah. This plays out in everything we do and because of that, good copy or good marketing feels almost like mind reading because it taps into those things you never admit to other people. So to me, anytime I'm sitting down with a client or somebody writes me an email and shares their feedback about a webinar they attended, or the podcast episode they listened to, or an email they read, and they sort of retell me a story that I told, or they say how something that I said resonated with them, usually that's how I know that I'm on the right track. Because if it resonates to a point where they would write to me to tell me about it, looking for that additional connection, that means that I hit really deep.

And when you hit deep with your copy, it's no longer like, you're not even competing in the same space as other product marketers. You're basically standing out. From that point, your voice stands out in a very noisy internet crowd, if you will, right? And again, it plays out in every area of our life. It plays out in every relationship you have, it plays on every marketing promotion, in the people you work with, people you will hire. It plays out in everything we do.

And I really didn't recognize that. I failed to see that many times before. For example, I had a best friend, Max, who's no longer a best friend, unfortunately, who at one point I wanted, he was one of the few people I trusted because I figured, "Hey, he's my best friend, so I might as well trust him with my business." And I kind of taught him how to operate my business.

What I didn't realize is that Max's values were way off, right? He did not have a value of hard work. He was actually quite lazy and he could work intensely for three days. But then he would take a two day slump after that, which I needed to kick him out of every time. Or he would actually not have a value of if it needs to be done, I have to get it done by hook or by crook or whatever the saying is, right? Because he had the mindset of, "If it needs to be done, but I'm tired, I'm not going to get it done." That was it. That was Max's value.

And I knew these values. I mean, I knew Max for a really long time, but I ignored that. And I thought that I'm going to change him by just showing him how I do things and for him kind of looking at me and doing the same. It wasn't the case. The values were just not there. And no matter the techniques I used or how many times I fought with him about it, or how I tried to incentivize him to do a better job, it didn't matter because the values would drive the decisions and that would drive everything else.

So that was a big lesson for me to shift everything I do to a value driven decision making with regards to people, right? Especially people I hired over the years and obviously fired, as well as JV partners, as well as customers, right? Because now, I market not using claims but using values. Any claim I would make, I would actually appeal to a value rather than some sort of surface level desire, which explains why we can take someone who literally comes across our work like yesterday and today convert them into a thousand dollars sale because we appeal at a such level so deep that the connection is instant and the bond is really powerful.

So all we have to do after that, we have to not violate the bond. If we violate it, yeah, we'll lose the customer. But if we don't, if we continue on the same wavelength, then it becomes an amazing business. Not because of the money, but because of the bond with the customer.

I was just speaking to a customer of mine today. And he's a fellow immigrant, I believe. And if he's not, I apologize. But he's a fellow immigrant who lives here in Markham, not far from me. And I'm an immigrant, right? So we really connected because our mindset was the same.

This guy did not come to the call and say, "Igor, I only have $20 to my name. What's the button I need to push to make a million dollars online?" He came in very serious. He came in saying, "Hey, I allocated $40,000 to build my business. I'm already halfway through the program. I've done this. I spoke to this lead bank. I've negotiated my $3 per lead deal." And he's asking really good questions. You can tell the guy's a hard working guy, which is a quality all immigrant share in common.

Because if you're an immigrant, you literally have to work your ass off because doors get closed in your face and at face value, people take you as a tire kicker or whatever. Like I've been an immigrant in two different countries throughout my life, starting when I was a teenager. And then later on when I was a grownup. And to this day, I'm being brushed aside, just because I have a Russian sounding name and a face of someone who grew up in Chechnya or something, right?

People really do make these judgment calls, but the values, right, the values is what's important. So I highly recommend if you're marketing anything right now, really ask yourself, am I appealing to the strongest values of my target market? And if not, how can I do that?

Terrance Lackey: Okay, well, listen. So it's appealing to the strongest values of where they are, where they come from, identifying your avatar, understanding their struggles and fears and aspirations, and then appealing to those in your copy. It seems to be the key to actually getting read and actually getting conversions or getting actions, desirable actions at the end of the day. That's definitely something I'm going to put down in my playbook. Now, when we talked about having this conversation, you did send me over a couple of resources I thought were pretty interesting. Do you want to talk about those?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely. So if you want to really get more ideas and more examples of what to do with your marketing, how to make it more memorable, how to make it more hard hitting, I highly recommend reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath. It's a really good book. They have another one, but I don't recommend that as much.

Made to Stick, that's an amazing book for marketers. It offers lots of examples. It offers quite a few principles that you can follow. They're not as obvious, they don't go as deep, but just the examples alone are enough to make you realize these concepts that if you just do a half-ass good job to incorporate these concepts into your marketing, you will see a bump in sales immediately.

Terrance Lackey: Well, excellent. Excellent. I'll make sure that we get a link of that on the, along with the transcript. So make sure you swing by there and check it out. Man, Igor, it's been a great conversation. I really enjoyed it. I think I got a lot out of it and I think our List Builder's will, as well. I think we are going to wrap up this show. Do you have any final words about this topic, about resonating with your audience and learning how to motivate and get ideas that stick and get them to take action on your copy?

Igor Kheifets: Yeah, absolutely. There's one thing that we said before, but I don't think we say it nearly as often as we should. Conversion, be it a sales conversion, if you will, but conversion is a religious term. Conversion, to get someone to part with money, is to first appeal to that sense of identity, is to convert those ideas, is to have them buy into your way of thinking. So if your copy does a good job of that, if your copy already enters that conversation on the same level and the customer realizes you share the same values, you're going to have a much easier time building your business.

And you're going to build a really cool customer base. And I mean, when I say cool, I mean, people that you would be happy to hang out with, people who you will not be embarrassed to share your address with so they can swing by, right?

You're literally looking at the difference between generating customers who you hate and generating customers who you love. And, of course, the money will be different too. So again, I just want to remind you of that. What we do here is not making claims on a website. We are in the business of truly being able to walk a mile in the other person's shoes. We are in the business of connection, more than anything else. So the more you can connect through values, that's the moment you stop wondering why am I not getting any sales? Because sales are going to start coming in.

Terrance Lackey: A business through connection, principles and values, the secret to a lasting business. Well, this has been a great conversation. Thank you, Igor. Thank you, List Builders for tuning in. We look forward to seeing you on the next show.

Igor Kheifets: Thank you for listening to the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous episodes, the transcription of today's show, as well as other exclusive content at

Also, don't forget to claim your free seat at the workshop I'm hosting this week, where I show the two step system that made me the top affiliate for people like Matt Bacak, John Crestani, Richard Leck, Michael Chaney, and many, many others. In fact, on this workshop, I'm going to show you the exact approach I take whenever I promote an affiliate offer, the exact offers I promote, as well as how I was able to make over half a million dollars in commissions using my small list of just 18,000 people promoting a weird type of product that almost no one else promotes. All that is yours at So go ahead, claim your seat right now and I'll see you there.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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