Stand The F*ck Out™ (STFO) is an 8-week high-intensity program for business owners and senior marketers of small businesses/startups who want to stand the f*ck out in saturated markets and attract customers they love & respect (without trickeries or bullshit).
I wanted STFO customer reviews to, well… stand the f*ck out.
And I really wanted to avoid those fake one-liner testimonials you can see everywhere online.
You know the ones I’m talking about…
“Louis is great! 5 stars!” or “STFO was a valuable experience.” or “I increased my conversion rate by 745893.54% in less than 24 hours thanks to this program.”
No, I wanted to showcase the real deal.
What participants really went through before they chose to apply, during the program, and after it all. What almost stopped them from joining? What did they struggle with the most? What did they actually get out of it?
That’s why me and my team have spent more than 40 hours on Zoom calls with STFO participants to get their raw, unfiltered thoughts.
The video recordings got transcribed, cleaned up for clarity, and turned into long-form, written testimonials so you can decide for yourself if STFO is for you.
Oh and here's a map showing you where STFO alumni live:
The pandemic was doing us in at Belmont. People were getting laid off. The company culture was starting to dissolve. Emotions were high.
We sell office services. No one was in an office... so we were really hit hard. And so we were launching a new product called Breakroom in a Box to try to pivot hard.
I felt burnout full force, man. I had been working relentlessly for a whole year at this point, and when STFO came out, I was like, “Oh, I want to do it.” And when telling my wife about it, I said, “I don’t even know if I have the time.”
I knew the mental commitment was eight weeks. So I asked myself, "Can I put myself fully into it?"
And I don’t know why it’s so damn hard to find authentic marketing help. It's so hard to find real marketing help beyond all the shitty, flashy, bullshit stuff.
As the CMO, I couldn’t do this again with a new product of just walking in the fog. I wanted a roadmap this time. I wanted structure, especially during a fast pivot. And that's something Louis always did with the podcast. He gave a step-by-step structure. And when it comes to launching a product, I wanted to see what a roadmap was like from him.
So, I made that mental commitment. I told myself, “I'll make time.”
I chose to do STFO on me… my personal credit card. I didn't really think about asking the company. I was like, “These are my skills. I'm taking them with me wherever I go.”
So, I was literally working on Breakroom in a Box throughout STFO.
We sent so many free boxes. I was actually able to get something like 200 responses on surveys, and I dropped them all into the Excel spreadsheet, broke them all down, and saw a screaming pattern. It turns out the name Breakroom in a Box is not accurate. That’s not what people used it for. Everyone was talking about the boxes more as a gift of appreciation.
We were roasting coffee in-house, and then people started to put in their own company swag. Of course, other companies do this, but we had that little angle of, “You get ethically sourced specialty coffee with your own brand on it.” And that came as an idea of appreciation which is one thing I can directly tie to STFO.
So with that angle, the sales team just went for it. And by December, we did $250K in sales.
A lot of people think there are shortcuts and hacks in marketing. STFO isn’t for people who spend their time searching for that one little secret that will make their life perfect. It’s for people who want to earn it, who see that things are built over time and with work.
It’s incredible to go through a crisis as we did, and STFO showed us what we’re capable of when we do the work.
...no one, not even positioning and branding experts, explain how to *actually* do it.
They leave it up to you, my friend, to figure out yourself.
I know the feeling.
The absurdity is almost comical, but it has serious implications:
You don’t know exactly the market you’re serving, the value you’re bringing them, or perhaps even how to categorize your product/service.
You feel like something is missing but you can't put your finger on it.
You want a business strategy that makes you confident and calm. You may struggle to get your leadership on board. You work on projects that do not excite you anymore.
You've fallen into a routine that has sucked the creativity out of you.
Your messaging sounds like all your competitors. Your ideal customers don’t understand why you’re the ideal solution. You don’t have a systematic way to go-to-market to get noticed and get customers..
I needed to clarify how to position our agency services in conjunction with the podcast and the newsletter, and everything else that was going on.
There are a lot of these storytelling courses where they all say, “You need to find the unique positioning, and you need to tell a story about your brand.”
And that was my biggest objection.
I didn’t want STFO to be another one of those courses that you just buy.
I read all those books, like Blue Ocean Strategy and all that, but it never clicked for me. It made me feel tired and lose motivation a little bit.
It might seem like a luxury problem, but it isn’t really. It’s just tiresome to constantly every single time to send out a newsletter or record a podcast and ask yourself, “What is it that you’re trying to do?”
It was frustrating because we would garner interest from the wrong people.
I was at about 100 email subscribers, but it was 100 from everywhere… freelancers, and everything.
Now I know who I’m serving: B2B SaaS marketing leaders in Europe.
So, if I do a podcast episode, it’s about “Which guest would these B2B SaaS marketing leaders want to hear from?” Or if I write a newsletter, “What kind of mindset transformations do I want these specific people to experience?”
And then the same for our sales conversations. I just didn’t have that before. I have a story that connects with people and that I now use in sales calls.
I had a sales call with a lead last week, and I could just immediately connect with her because I know how it feels to be a new marketing leader.
I think we got the contract because of it.
And since I made the change, I get email replies like, “I like your newsletter better and better.” Now, I’m at around 500 subscribers or something like that, and I feel like people see it’s for them.
...to learn a step-by-step repeatable process of narrowing down my target audience and crafting a unique positioning for my segment or niche that I can actually own.
It just makes me feel very relieved because I don’t have to think about how I’m going to do this every single time for the rest of my life.
STFO is timeless. It’s not something that’s going to go away like some hack or something like that.
It ultimately gave me the clarity that I needed.
STFO just hits different:
Learn timeless principles of marketing, branding, psychology, innovation, messaging... In other words, the WHY behind the WHAT.
Those mental models will stay with you for the rest of your career. After STFO, you will be in a position to make your own decisions without doubting yourself.
I've removed the fluff so every concept is simple to understand. You're going to feel like everything just "clicks" together.
The responsibility is then on you to do the work and ship, every week; and that, my friend, is not easy.
There's a reason why I don't run the STFO program every month — I give everything I've got for you to succeed. You're joining a community of folks with the same values.
It's also your responsibility to care personally for each member and while challenging them directly with thoughtful feedback.
No busy work; you're not coming back to school.
The weekly assignments guide you through taking action on yourself and your business.
After taking the Mark Ritson Mini MBA course the previous year, I felt much more confident in my marketing knowledge and approach.
Because I was leading the marketing strategy at Content Stadium, I was considering doing another course to continue to improve my skills and approach.
I knew STFO would be a lot of work, and, at first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit the time. While some people might be able to put some of their work on hold for STFO, I very much did it outside of working hours. So I was working full-time with STFO on top, so that left little time for taking time off.
I was also concerned STFO was only for smaller businesses or one-or-two-people businesses.
And then I read a couple of the testimonials.
I skipped to the testimonials from marketers rather than reading those from people who have their own business. And then I got FOMO — thinking about the learnings I could miss out on — and I signed up.
The best thing I got out of STFO was finishing a presentation with all my notes and all the research I completed on my target audience throughout the course. It’s a project I wanted to do anyway as part of my work, and I would not have completed it that quickly without STFO.
It’s data and information that I can make use of right away in my day to day, and I used it as the foundation to a large part of my current marketing strategy.
I also shared my presentation with the rest of the team to help them better understand our audience.
With other courses, it can be a lot of theory and exams, but it’s not often a real use case from your company.
Whereas all the hours I invested in STFO went towards something I can use right now.
During our weekly calls, you discuss your progress and ask any questions. Of course, it’s not something Louis has been able to think about before or has planned to answer in advance, yet when it was my 10 minutes to talk, he was always very quick at giving suggestions or asking the right questions back at me.
That was impressive to me.
I also really liked how he gets to the point quickly. He doesn’t go on and on around the topic.
He was also very responsive in the community where you could post comments and questions at any time. He always responded, always bringing clarity.
STFO helped me build an actionable framework that I can reuse over and over again for different marketing segments — to better understand my audience, ask the right questions during research, and develop a strong proposition.
Some ideas were definitely already familiar to me, but did learn several new tricks to add to this framework.
One of those things was the triggers. I’ve never really thought about my audience’s triggers before, and it’s had an impact on how I select my marketing tactics. Now I try to be in those places where my audience experiences their triggers.
I realize my review won’t be as shiny as other people’s. I didn’t start from scratch with this course, as I’d already built some foundations with previous courses and experiences, so the step-up wasn’t as big as it could have been otherwise. But it was useful, and I have something to show for it.
I wasn’t sure if I’d have time for STFO because it was the beginning of the school year with my kids. I was busy at work and home.
I had taken a few years off, which is a lifetime in marketing technology years. Things move quickly.
When I came back to work, I felt really behind because everything was so different from a few of years ago, and I felt I had to be in multiple places and doing all these things. I felt most marketers were doing better than me and had better things to say.
We were launching a new product, and I was really struggling with how to differentiate us in the marketplace.
There were alternatives in the same space, and I was struggling with how to position us well or how to attract the right people.
I think in tech especially, everyone’s websites look the same, exactly the same. They’re the same colors, the same fonts, the same format. When I was researching websites to redo ours, I literally would forget which site I was on because they’re all so similar, and everyone is saying the same thing. There’s just nobody standing out.
I knew that we needed to stand out, and I felt like I needed some direction.
The one thing that made me go, okay I have to sign up to STFO… I remember reading one of the testimonials, and I was thought, “Whoa, that sounds like a lot of work.” But also, “That’s exactly what I need to do.”
I hate talking to people. It is not my favorite thing. It’s a big part of marketing, but I’m an introvert. I don’t really like having to talk to a bunch of people.
But STFO made me do it, and now I’m just in the habit; I talk to customers, prospects, and others in our space all the time.
Sometimes I can get stuck in the research phase because I want to figure out everything, and I want to know everything because I want it to be perfect. But I think we can get stuck in that stage, and then we’re not doing anything, and we’re thinking everybody’s better than us because they figured it out when in reality it’s people just taking action and seeing what works.
With how quickly STFO moves, it kind of helps with that. I’m going to be in the research stage for a while as we launch and get more feedback and see how people use our product, but STFO forced me to take action sooner than I would have.
STFO gave me the confidence to put a market in front of the founders and to have the research to back it up and show them where we needed to go.
I’m not going to lie; that was a scary conversation to have. To go against what everybody else was thinking… that was uncomfortable.
But having the customer research to back it up and everything laid out was very helpful.
We went from having nothing to having a clear view of who our market is. I know the business size. I know who I need to talk to.
More importantly, I know who’s not our customer. Now I frequently hear, “Oh, that’s not really our customer”, around the office. Knowing who you’re not going after is just as valuable as knowing who you are going after, and just really honing our messaging into that.
Now, we’re closing just about everyone we talk to because we have the language we need to have. We know who to talk to. We’re not wasting our time with people we shouldn’t be talking to.
Louis is an encourager. He always tells people that they’re doing a good job, but at the same time he gives us ideas on how we can improve.
I think I was shocked by that, actually. His persona is stand the fuck out and, you know, no bullshit. It was intimidating. I didn’t know what to think at first. But he’s just a really nice, genuine person.
He’s smart. He’s creative. He’s caring. Louis has a way of pushing you and encouraging you at the same time, so you feel like you can do it, but you’re really being pushed out of your comfort zone.
Every time Louis told me to rewrite our website content, I was like, “Dammit, Louis.” I loved what I had, but it’s so much better now. It’s so much better than it was. Even though I was attached to it and loved it, it ended up being better than I imagined it could be.
I’m glad I did STFO. I have no regrets about doing it.
Do you believe you don't have to bullshit people to sell? Do you care about the customers you seek to serve (instead of just trying to build your career)? Are you a take-charge kind of person who doesn’t want to do what everyone else is doing?
Then STFO might be for you.
To be more precise, you are likely to be a great fit if you are:
You want a laser-focused strategy to go with your tactics rather than making it up as you go.
You want to validate your market, your offer, and your differentiation before going all-in.
You want to work alongside your founder/CEO, influence what you're selling, and clarify your company’s positioning.
You want to offer additional services to help your clients radically stand out, raise your prices, and make a bigger impact.
Throughout the week: Receive feedback from Louis and your peers on your work because you can rarely read the label when you're inside the jar.
Participate in candid discussions with the other students and give them feedback.
*During your application, you will be asked to pick one of two timezone options:
8.30am Dublin time to accommodate folks based in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
4pm Dublin time to accommodate folks based in Europe and America.
Everyone is screaming out on the roofs, saying, “This technique is the best, and it’s the new thing you should do!” And then this person’s saying the exact opposite. And it’s just so noisy. No one is talking about the fundamentals, right?
Forget about the internet. Forget about anything. What is evergreen?
And I felt that STFO was going to be that evergreen thing that was completely different from all the shiny things.
Before STFO, we didn’t know exactly who was within our segment. It was so wide and so open.
We didn’t know who to target online, and that was always in the back of my mind, “Maybe it’s okay to cast a wide net and attract as many people as we can?”
It really felt like we didn’t know where to go or what communities to activate. We just hadn’t done our homework.
Now that I’ve taken the program, I realized that we probably would have lost years and years of business just because we would have been so general, so vanilla, that no one would have really believed in such a small company.
STFO really saved us potentially months or years of not being well-positioned.
To see the effects of all the work from the previous weeks finally emerging together into that unified differentiation that we can activate and use as part of our strategy was amazing.
Now it’s making sense for my own business, and I see how to do this now. And this is freaking cool.
Now, whatever we do is based on rock-solid foundations and a very specific segment.
We know exactly who to activate, actually. We know that we have to go for this blog, this blog, and this blog, this forum, and so on. It helped tremendously, too, to know how to focus our efforts as founders.
That’s super interesting because there were several feedback loops. First, there was a feedback loop within the private forum. Then there was a feedback loop during the weekly calls. Louis created this group dynamic in a genuine way, which helped people really put it to practice, get that feedback, iterate, and close the loop.
...wondering if you will gain at the end of this program; the answer is absolutely yes. So, just do it. Just trust that there will be a massive gap between where you are now and where you will be after. There will be a lot of work involved, but just freaking take STFO and see the results for yourself.
Louis cares as a mentor. I know that he’s not there just to make a quick buck. It’s great knowing that he really truly cares.
All the things in STFO Fundamental, plus:
Securing your seat is based on the timeliness and quality of your application. The last cohort sold out in 12 hours.
Bring all your mess with you and come on in!
That's what STFO is for.
If your positioning was clear and you knew EXACTLY what to do for the next three quarters, you wouldn't need STFO, would you?
It's very diverse but we all unite around the same belief: you don't have to bullshit people to sell.
This diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences makes this program quite special.
Expect a healthy mix participants, just like in the first two cohorts:
Should I go on?
Come as you are.
(Read their testimonials if you want to know more about their story.)
I know I can appear as an angry Frenchman, but, well, take it from the alumni when they say I’m a genuine and caring guy who blends candor with compassion.
Look, we're not here to talk about the weather for the first 15 minutes. We're here to get shit done and untangle your mind.
At every group call, I make sure to talk to each participant individually to solve every single challenge that arises.
There's something magical about hearing other people's problems being solved in front of you.
It's going to depend on how much you want it.
Some weeks are more challenging than others, and I will let you know in advance so you can prepare.
Allow roughly 6-8 hours of work per week (which includes watching the videos, giving feedback, processing feedback, and working on your assignments).
There are two timezone options to choose from to accommodate you wherever you are.
Weekly calls are a mandatory part of the STFO experience.
If you feel like you won't be able to attend, please do not apply.
STFO is limited to 26 seats for a reason: so there's plenty of time for me to get to know you, your challenges, your fears.
"Louis cares as a mentor. I know he's not there to just make a quick buck. It’s great knowing that he really truly cares."
Those are the words of Ludovic from STFO #1.
This program is built with you in mind. I know what it feels to do average things for average people. To be a watered-down version of himself. To not be trusted enough.
It's also built around first principles of business, marketing, and psychology that work for any business that wants to stand the f*ck out.
Look, your industry doesn't matter as long as you:
Chances are very, very, slim that a competitor of yours in the exact same market/category will join.
But, sure, let's assume it does happen.
Truth is, the world is big enough for both of you and it's not a zero-sum game. You will both gain from knowing each other.
I look at a few things:
I offer a Super Duper Diamond 💎 option with unlimited 1:1 feedback via voice messages and more personalised help. There are a few bonuses that come with that tier.
I stand on the shoulders of giants.
And I consider Seth Godin and Mark Ritson to be marketing giants. I've learned so much from them and I continue to do so.
The Marketing Seminar by Seth Godin is based on his books and overall work. It's transformative but could also be overwhelming because, to quote Steve Munini, a STFO alumni who went twice through The Marketing Seminar, "I found it hard to apply what I learned - the owl drawing problem."
STFO is 100% focused on helping you stand the f*ck out with a clear framework to follow.
Mark Ritson's Mini MBAs are cutting through the industry bullshit like a bull at a gate. His teachings are perfect for seasoned marketers who are working for big, established brands that have been around for a while.
STFO's approach is best suited for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups who want to find a way to compete against those established brands.
Everyone Hates Marketers is like a cookbook. You follow recipes from the best chefs in your own kitchen and get great ideas to impress your friends.
Stand The F*ck Out™ is like having you plus a bunch of cool people in a professional kitchen with a chef teaching you how to cook a tasty 7-course meal, challenging you, and giving you feedback along the way.
STFO is the only program teaching no-bullshit entrepreneurs and marketers to stand the f*ck out. You won't find anything like it anywhere else.
Most courses teach you tactics that will stop working in a few months. STFO doesn't.
Most brand consultants envelop you with complex concepts that confuse you. STFO doesn't.
Most programs can't care less if you don't complete them. STFO does.
Most books leave you on your own to figure things out. STFO doesn't.
Credit card payments are processed via Stripe. You may pay via bank transfer if you encounter issues with card payments.
If you're a business owner, you've got that covered. If you're an in-house marketer, this is a discussion to have with your founder.
Yes, upon payment, you will have the option to choose between a one-off payment of $3,000 USD or a 4-month instalment plan of $800 USD per month (which is $200 more expensive) for STFO Fundamental.
If you're based outside Europe, you can ignore this question.
If you're based in Europe (excluding Ireland), you will likely NOT have to pay EU VAT as long as you have a valid VAT ID. Please check with your accountant.
If you're based in Ireland, you will likely have to pay VAT (23%) on top of your tuition (which you will be able to claim back as a business owner). Please check with your accountant.
You should only purchase and join STFO if you are prepared to do the work.
That means attending the weekly calls, participating in the community, submitting your assignments on time, and helping others do the same.
If you take the training and "play the game" but you do not achieve results that improve your business, email me within 15 days after the last STFO call.
I reserve the right to offer a partial refund at my own discretion. I also reserve the right to refuse refunds.
Yes, it's very much encouraged. Standing the f*ck out together is a great way to be aligned around the same goals.
Tuition will be due for both of you.
Circle.so to watch the video lessons, receive your assignments, and discuss with your peers. Google Drive to complete your worksheets and templates. Zoom for our weekly calls.
Louis Grenier, who likes to talk about himself in the third person, is the founder of the popular contrarian marketing podcast Everyone Hates Marketers, which's reached 1M+ downloads. He has 10 years of experience in marketing and worked with businesses like Dropbox or Hotjar.
He has a proven track record of launching products and services that made a huge flop. For this reason, he knows exactly what it feels like to do average things for average people. To be a watered-down version of himself. To not be trusted enough.
He's learned from his mistakes and loves to create stuff that stands out. It makes him feel good, it gets results, and he wants you to experience the same thrill.
You will get my attention. When it comes down to you and your business, I’ll be helping you directly. Imagine being virtually shaken by your shoulders. I’ll know your name, your business, your situation, and I’ll guide you through each step. In other words, I’ll be pouring my French guts into helping you through the thick of it.
First, how dare you.
Second, I’ve created this French persona to make myself more approachable.
Here's a selection of podcast episodes I've been on recently:
If you want to see my face, here's a selection of video workshops: