Blog

Nobody says anything new about marketing

I’ve recently been listening to and reading a lot of Seth Godin. I love the way he does effective direct marketing without any “make $43,994 tomorrow” or “retired management guru reveals…” hype. To be completely honest, not much new stuff is being said about...

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Panning For Gold In The River Of Ideas

When you pan for gold, you can sit by the river for days on end, hoping to painstakingly pick a shiny gold nugget out of a slew of worthless rocks. These days, only a few still sit by the Colorado river combing through pan of gravel after pan of gravel to find a...

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Why Marketing Matters

If you’ve ever talked to anyone in the startup world, you know „build it and they’ll come“ is a popular mindset.  They’ll tell you „we don’t really do marketing“. You can find similar mindsets in the non-profit space, B2B sales and other industries.  Frankly, you...

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Webinars Won’t Work In A Few Months (For Most)

You read that right. People try to sell you on webinars as the new ATM. They don’t understand webinars are just another marketing tool with a limited lifespan. You see, there are people making great money who will continue to make great money with webinars.  Just like...

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How To Become A Writer

A few years ago, I was with my parents when they had family friends over. They brought their daughters, and while one of the girls was in full-on college planning, the other was about to enter high school.  At some point, my mom asked her what she wants to be when she...

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How Content Works

No matter what business you’re in, you know about content. Whether it’s your favorite business guru, blog articles like this or your marketing agency’s invoice, you’ve been around content.  Maybe you think content means blog posts. You’d be right.  Maybe you think...

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My Love-Hate Relationship With Falafels

  November 2017, a cold day in Budapest. After a long night out, I decide to start the day with lunch at my favorite falafel place. After ordering two sandwiches, I’m excited to fill my empty stomach… …but my stomach itself wasn’t all that excited.  After...

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Marketing Is A Concierge Service

In 2018, 5-star hotels are one of the few places where you get to feel like the Great Gatsby.  A swift entry through the revolving door turns you into a prince. As you stroll over the red carpet, admire the gold-painted objects and hum along to the muted jazzy tune,...

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Don’t Ask Me How To Sell Your Stuff

  If you market your product or service, you have two jobs: Make people believe certain things. Make them act on those beliefs.  Think about it. Imagine being able to make anybody believe anything and turn those beliefs into action. You could become a famous...

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How A Nigerian Scam Nearly Left Me Homeless

Yo! I hate to admit it, but I was nearly scammed by a Nigerian today. My search for a room in Groningen, Netherlands seemed to be over. Finally. A girl I was talking to told me a room was free in the house she'd move in to. The house was in a perfect spot and rent was...

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Get Turned Down To Land More Clients

Yesterday, I wrote about rejection. You might think rejection is a bad thing. If you think that way, you probably think way too much about every rejection. Your brain can't stop coming up with things you woulda coulda shoulda said. Maybe an idea hits you under the...

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The book I “read” 5 times since December

Hey friend! Only two books have ever impacted me so much that I read (okay, listened to) it 5 times. The first one is Scientific Advertising, which is dry as a bone and a marketer's bible. You learn about the second (life-changing) one today. First, an embarrassing...

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First dates are scary

As I write this, I’m on my way to talk to a lead for a large project—in person. It’s my second time meeting a lead face-to-face. Honestly: I’m nervous. The nervousness is familiar. When I first started writing for money (I was a content slave back then), I’d only talk...

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Take More Ice-Cold Showers

  I have a very specific morning routine which secures baselines happiness and helps me live a healthier life. The first thing I ever added to the morning routine: An ice-cold shower.   Besides the health benefits, there's an important switch these ice-cold showers...

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How To Get Good At Copy And Marketing—Fast-ish

You know becoming effective at marketing and copywriting is harder than you were told/sold. When you first get hooked, they tell you you can "make it" in 90 days (even if it took them 10 years…). Today, I won’t deceive you by telling you you’ll be rich in the next two...

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Why You Don’t Get Paid What You’re Worth

You've probably felt this: You enjoy doing your freelance work. You have clients. And your clients pay you. But you get paid less than you're worth. You watch other freelancers get paid big $$$, but you can't see how they're *that* different from you. Lemme tell you...

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Fishing For Tuna In A Puddle Of Feces

  Do you know how it feels like to catch fish, cook it and serve it to your family? It feels great.   This special satisfaction is something we don’t feel often in today’s modern world. A pleasure so ingrained in us that it’s impossible to suppress it.   It’s primal....

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What Memes Teach You About Marketing

  If you've been on the internet for a while, you know memes.   They're essentially joke setups available to everyone.   Here's how memes work (This will make sense in a minute, promise):   Every once in a while, a meme format takes off. Millions of people start using...

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Even Conversion Matters Less Than THIS Metric

  When you're in marketing, you hear all sorts of different metrics that try to measure the "success" of an ad campaign.   "Brand Awareness", an ad agency manager might say.   "Content is king!", the SEO expert adds.   "Conversion", a grumpy direct-response marketer...

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When Emails Are BOOOOOORING

  If you're reading this, you have a general grasp of how copy & marketing works.   You know it's about emotions and stuff.   But the interesting part is how you *implement* that knowledge of emotions so your emails aren't boring and don't sell.   Today, I want to...

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When The Copy Fails…

  When you run copy or hand copy in to your client, you’re probably excited about what it’ll do for you.   If you run your own business, you imagine the revenue it’ll bring in…   As a freelancer, you think of the testimonial you’ll get, the confidence boost you’ll...

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How To Gain Trust On The Internet

  If you're a marketer who cares about making change, read up:   To attract people who actually care about the things you care about, you'll need to win their trust.   You need to be believed.   How do you win trust?   ===   Prove that you back up what you claim to...

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Why You Matter

  I just read this quote by Emerson:   „Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‚I think, ‚I am‘ but quotes some saint or sage.“ (This is from my all-time favorite essay „self-reliance“)   Let me explain how this applies to your...

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The Book That Made Me Quit A Lifelong Habit

You probably know there are tons of books and articles else on nutrition. However, there aren't a lot of books which get you to quit a lifelong habit immediately.   The book "The Case Against Sugar" by Gary Taubes did that for me.   After about page 100, I quit sugar...

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A Business-Transforming Post For You

If you want to make money through copywriting—for clients or yourself—this might be the most important post you've ever read.   I hate to break it to you, but when it comes to copywriting, most marketing gurus, experts, authors and trusted business connections...  ...

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That feeling before the copy goes out…

Whether you write copy for clients or run your own campaigns (or both), you know this feeling: When you're about to send the copy in, start the campaign, you feel a weird mix of nervousness and excitement. After all, one super-successful piece of copy CAN change your...

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Stories

  Stories. You know they're great in marketing.   But really, they're all marketing is.   Even if you're just listing benefits, the customer uses your product to tell themselves a story about their lives....

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Why I Didn’t Publish Today’s Post

24 seconds ago, I had a long post written for today. But I decided it wasn't good enough to post. Here's a lesson I recently learned the hard way: If you can't do the work well, don't do it. And be honest about its quality. === But don't be a perfectionist either. Put...

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One Way To Create Repeat Buyers

I just found this article explaining why European board games have created a subculture of their own—even in the US. There are many lessons to be learned here–but I'll focus on one—a simple way to create repeat buyers and brand evangelists. === Admit it, you've been...

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Your Prospect Takes The Bus—ALWAYS

Here's something obvious: If your copy doesn't get read, it can't persuade. Therefore it can't convert. Therefore it doesn't make money. Many have tried to help with the problem: *Gary Halbert talks about "Eye Relief", for instance. *Frank Kern has an article on the...

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Your Prospect Always Takes The Bus

  Copy doesn't convert unless it gets read.   Obviously.   To make copy readable, it needs to:   *brief   *made up of short sentences   *be understandable   *be skimmable   ...and much more.   I've come up with an easy hack to make my copy readable:   When I imagine...

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Why Clients Hire You—Or Avoid You

  Does this sound like you?   When you first got into copywriting, you were excited to live the dream of...   ...saying goodbye to your boss—for *good*!   ...making six figures from a beach of your choosing.   ...being able to persuade anybody to get what you want.  ...

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Marketing Eats Itself—What To Focus On

  Today's post will teach you how marketing evolves over time—and reveal a simple trick which will shield you from damage from the rapid changes.   This article explains a bit about the evolution of marketing.   It explains how "Buy <brand> Soap!" used to work...

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Ancient, Long-Dead Man Gives Business Advice

    Yesterday, I went to the bookstore to get work done. Being a book worm, I couldn't leave without buying a book.   I decided on Seneca's "On The Happy Life" (De Vita Beata).   While I didn't buy the book for business advice, I found a wealth of money-making...

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The Power Of Post Sale Imagery

This link sends you to a video where two guys explain how they make decisions. Here's how: Essentially, they live with each choice for three days and then decide. Much better than just thinking about the choices in theory. Let's use that power to make ads more...

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The Single Most Important Question In Persuasion

I’m volunteering with exchange students over the weekend. To emphasize things about culture and character, we illustrate with games and fun exercises. Guiding through the exercises to see lightbulbs going in in the kids’ heads was hard—until I discovered a question...

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Why The New Year Doesn’t Really Matter

Happy New Year my friends. Do you have resolutions? Goals for 2018? Cool, I do too! But why do we? It's weird. Time goes on and there's no real reason to set goals starting January 1st. Yet millions of people do it every year. New year's resolutions usually revolve...

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The Liberating Feeling Of Inviting Pain

Yesterday night, I sat in my living room, surrounded by books and Evernote until 2:43 am. I was writing down goals, new projects and fears I need to overcome in 2018. Don't worry, this won't become some generic "you need goals to be successful" post. In fact, it's...

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The Power Of Total Conviction

Whether you're a successful entrepreneur or an aspiring freelancer, you know one feeling: "I'm a fraud". We get that feeling the first time we call ourselves an expert on something. When we land the first three figure gig. The first four figure gig. The first time we...

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Big Bows, Bigger Business

Don't you hate it when you just bought your loved ones a helicopter, but you have no clue how to wrap that chopper? King Size Bows is there for you. The California company will make a bow for anything: Cars, helicopters and even buildings. Whatever it is, King Size...

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The Overton Window’s Profit-Pulling Power

  A few days ago, I posted about why you shouldn't go to a sauna when you're cold.   Here's the gist of it: When you're cold, what you wish for is a nice jacket, not a sauna.   Similarly, your marketing funnel shouldn't begin with your highest-ticket, high-commitment...

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The Inner Workings Of Christmas Awkwardness

Admit it, you've been there. It's Christmas and you're passing gifts to your family—and you're also receiving gifts. As soon as you open a gift, your brain shifts into calculator mode. You think of the approximate monetary value you just received—and immediately...

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I Will Teach You How To Read Minds

Let me tell you a secret. We can read minds—Both of us. You might be surprised, but there’s one situation which allows me to read minds every time. It might sound a little woo-woo to you. Or maybe you’re super-curious to learn how to read minds. It’s really possible....

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Getting Naked For A Sauna When You’re Cold

I'm back home with my parents for the holidays. Yesterday, I sat in my mom's car, she was driving. I obviously love her to pieces, but in the car, my mom has this habit that drives me *nuts*: When she's the slightest bit cold, she cranks up the heat in her car to the...

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Flooding Your Kitchen With Boiling Water

  After work. You're hungry. So You decide to cook.   You fill up a pot with water, then you put it on your stove. Crank the heat up to the max so the water boils quickly.   Then you wait for it to boil, check Facebook on your phone, use up your Candy Crush lives,...

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3 Reasons I Love This Weird Café

  As my time in Budapest comes to a close, my pass to the coworking space ran out.   For the last couple of days, I decided to work from cafés.   so for the past few days, I've been going to different cafés, ranging from "Speciality Coffee Bars" to Arabic hookah bars...

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A Heretical Case Against Copywriting Books

I was just re-reading one of the most life-changing, mind-fucking books I’ve ever read: Antifragility by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Specifically, I read the chapter on „Domain Dependence“. If you’re not familiar, Domain Dependence is the phenomenon that people understand...

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I Happily Pay A Premium For This “Office”

  When I arrived in Budapest about 5 weeks ago, I had to find a place to work from.   Working from my apartment? I know I don't get things done from home.   Working from café? Don't really feel like being surrounded by tourists for 5-10 hrs a day.   Renting a...

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Why People Don’t Care About Most Ads

This video is fun to watch...   ...and teaches an you a lesson about effective marketing.   These two guys sneak past guards/security just looking like inspectors.   Your marketing can do something similar to get past the "mental guards" people have when they read...

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5 Techniques GaryVee Uses To Be Unignorable

It’s hard to avoid GaryVee. You might not like his intensity, his never-ending talking or his being literally everywhere. You might admire his work ethic, follow his content, get input from him. Whatever camp you’re in, you can learn a from him if you want to build a...

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How To Sell More To Pet Owners (Part 2)

In the last article, I told you how you can sell more to pet owners that buy things for themselves (click here for part 1) When you think of pet supplies, what’s the first thing you think of? Let me take a guess…   Pet food and toys? And those aren’t things the...

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How To Sell More To Pet Owners (Part 1)

If you run a pet eCommerce store, you know that the worst problem that online stores have is the following: They don’t make enough money. Some stores don’t sell anything. Some spend too much on marketing and don’t recoup their spending. Others are already profitable...

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