Story Power Blog

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Your Robot has Learned Biz-busting Habits. Here’s a Fix…

Last month, my Tesla Model 3 (I call her “Iris”) sent me a message to tell me she had evolved. Iris does that frequently. She connects to the internet… …downloads a software update to upgrade her brain… …and tells me all the things she can do now that she couldn’t do before. Cool. I’m used…

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The #1 Thing to Know Before You Prompt Your Robot

I remember the first time I attended an “AI Training” following the 2022 release of ChatGPT. The expert shared a mountain of prompts… …prompts to write an email… …prompts to generate content ideas… …prompts to create a Facebook ad… …even prompts to write a job application. Everyone in the room dutifully wrote down all the…

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The Critical Question my Robot Didn’t Ask…

I’ve crawled from my cave at Story Power HQ in St. Louis and ventured north to Chicago where I’m attending Perry Marshall’s Definitive AI Seminar this week. I wanted my GPT-powered robot, “B-9?” to join me as my note-taker and valet, but he’s afraid to fly… …so “B-9?” will stay behind. Before I left, I asked “B-9?”…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.04.15

Recommended Reading  Brain Farts (etc.) from John CarltonIn this must-read post, copywriting legend John Carlton writes, “I was going to slap a quickie book on Amazon for you stuffed with all the advice, shared wisdom, tactics and strange asides I’ve been assaulting folks with lately on my Facebook page. But then I thought, ‘screw that.’…

process

Crappy Process, Well Worth It…

My first colonoscopy mistake came on Monday when I munched half a bag of popcorn while watching the eclipse. I’d forgotten: No popcorn allowed within seven days before the procedure. Popcorn munching was Monday. The procedure was three says later — on Thursday. (Oops!)  I called the doctor to confess, and his nurse said, “No…

celebrate

You’ve Earned the Praise. Celebrate It.

Here’s a cool idea I picked up from Austin Kleon in his book Steal Like an Artist: Keep a Praise File  Here’s the idea… “…down the road, I will have a dark day when I want to quit, when I wonder why the heck I even bother with this stuff.” Kleon writes. “That’s why I put…

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How to Keep the Content-idea Well Flowing Forever

“Oily242” wants to throw in the towel. Writer’s block has wrecked him. He creates a “ton of content” for a startup — a blog/article each day, five LinkedIn posts per week, one weekly post on X, and a bi-weekly email newsletter. And now the well runs dry. In an online forum, Oily242 said, “I’m drawing…

art

A Cure-ation for Writer’s Block

In yesterday’s email (RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.04.08), I shared Austin Kleon’s blog post “On quantity and quality.” In the post, he shares a story and quotes liberally from David Bayles and Ted Orland’s book, “Art & Fear.” The story: A ceramics teacher divides his class in two. He said he would grade Group 1 on volume.…

craig cooke

RecomMONDAYtions (Total Eclipse Edition) ~ 2024.04.08

Recommended Reading  On quantity and quality by Austin KleonI love this short blog post from Austin Kleon and the quantity vs. quality paradox. This is a must-read if you ever procrastinate or get stuck releasing your work. Note: You’ll have free access to the first half of the post (which covers the key point). If you’d like…

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He Innovated and Implemented b/c his Life Depended on It

I like inspirational stories. Here’s one… On November 23, 1942, Poon Lim was working as a steward on the British cargo ship SS Benlomond when a German sub torpedoed it to oblivion. The ship sank minutes after the torpedoes hit, and Lim was left floating in the south Atlantic. A weak swimmer, Lim clung to a wooden…

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A Rembrandt-inspired Cure for Writer’s Block

For many decades, a painting called Portrait of a Young Woman hung in the Allentown Art Museum. Curators thought an unknown artist — a disciple of Rembrandt’s — created the portrait. It resembled the Dutch master’s work, but it wasn’t Rembrandt’s… …or so they thought. When Allentown curators sent the painting to be cleaned, conservators at New…

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I Wanted to Wring my Robot’s Neck. Here’s the Story…

I think my GPT-powered robot, “B-9?” has started puberty. All of a sudden, he’s standoffish, belligerent, and lazy. He sleeps in until 11, and when I ask him to do something, he half-asses it and then tells me to do the rest myself. Case in point: I asked “B-9?” to find TEN amusing, weird news…

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Psychological Tater Warfare

Last night my buddy Ted and I grabbed a bite at our favorite brew pub before heading to the Blues-Oilers hockey game. I ordered the sausage and kraut with a pint of Grolsch. All good. Nothing to rave about. But the German potato salad on the side?  Holy tater-tots, Batman, those spuds were special.  Mama…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.04.01

Walking the Dogs with The Sun at Our Backs, Saint Louis, Missouri, March 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty Holiday Humor  The Greatest April Fools Joke EverOn this day in 1957, the BBC (not known for its raucous sense of humor) fooled the nation when it broadcast a fake news story about the “spaghetti harvest” in Italy. Hilarious! Every…

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Grateful

I’m feeling grateful. Grateful for this: I get to wake up every morning, pour a cup of French Roast, and write an info-taining (I hope) email. The process is interesting. It’s fun. I like waking up each morning, eager to hop out of bed and interact with you. Speaking of which, I’m… Grateful for you: Thank you…

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Club Storyville Best Price Ends in 2 Hours

Over the next few days, I’ll be sending a few extra emails re: Club Storyville’s grand opening. If you prefer not to receive any more emails — while remaining on the regular email list — click here to opt-out from the Club Storyville campaign. I made a video to welcome new members to Club Storyville… …and thought…

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Club Storyville is Open (Today-only Offer)

 Grand Opening  Club Storyville is Open For Business-Building Club Storyville is an exclusive, online community & treasure chest for savvy business leaders who want to create more captivating, client-attracting, profit-generating emails, social posts, videos, landing pages, and other content — without getting stuck or working their tails off. That cartoon guy in the blue shirt…

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My Robot-approved Club Launches Soon

Today’s the day I launch Club Storyville, and I don’t need any distractions. But right on cue, my GPT-powered robot, “B-9?” popped in my office this morning to gripe at me. He’s miffed about Club Storyville one of the video trainings that will be in the Club’s vault: “How to Use AI Wisely to Save…

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Sneak Peek: Story Behind the Story

Tomorrow’s the day: Club Storyville’s grand opening. When you join, you’ll unlock a treasure chest of tips, tools, and other resources to help you… Create Client-Attracting Content & Conquer Writer’s Block So You Stand Out as THE HUMAN TO HIRE in Your Niche Among those resources: Stories Behind the Stories. Every month, I’ll share one of my…

Strother Martin

Finally… an Affordable Cure for “Captainaire’s Disease” 🥳

Happy Birthday to the late, great Strother Martin (DOB: March 26, 1919). He’s the actor who played “Captain” (the warden) in “Cool Hand Luke.” He’s the one who slammed Luke to the ground and said, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.” Captain got the first part right.…

Daniel

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.03.25

Spring Art, Saint Louis, Missouri, March 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty (Photo by Caren Libby) Recommended Events  Mastermind Book Club re: “How to Work a Room”We were supposed to do this last month, but technical difficulties messed that up. So… The Mastermind Book Club will discuss Susan RoAne’s “How to Work a Room” THIS month — and the author…

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Ewe Have to See This…

I bumped into my GPT-powered robot, “B-9?” this morning in the break room at Story Power HQ. Since I hadn’t come up with an idea for today’s email, I asked “B-9?” to dig up some weird, amusing news stories to inspire me. “B-9?” zipped over to his office, dug through his digital file cabinet, and…

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1 Week Until…

I got the idea for today’s email from my handy-dandy holidays calendar… …which told me today is National Countdown Day. March 21. 3-2-1… (Get it?) Convenient timing for this silly, made-up, meaningless holiday because… …I’m putting the finishing touches on Club Storyville… …which will launch in ⓵ week so… Let the countdown begin! Club Storyville will…

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A Story About the Client-attracting Power of Stories…

Happy World Storytelling Day. Let’s celebrate with a quick story about the client-attracting power of stories. At Stanford University, Chip Heath asked his students to give one-minute speeches that contained three statistics and one story. Some time after the speeches, Heath quizzed students on what they heard. Only 5% of the students remembered a single…

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From Daily Grind to Fabulous Adventure…

AtomicSquirell is having a midlife crisis. He has spent the majority of his professional life in advertising. But he lacks passion for his work. He appreciates “the artistic aspects” of the profession, but he hates other aspects — including “the daily grind” and “the relentless focus on sales.” I get it, AtomicSquirell. I used to…

alan

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.03.18

Hay House in the Ozarks, Crawford County, Missouri, March 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Events 👻How to be A Ghost Buster: Capture & Convert Prospects to ClientsI’m a Lynn Whitbeck fan! She’s a sales and leadership who teaches how to end sales chaos and amplify profits using a robust strategic sales plan. On Thursday, March 28, 2024…

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Gamification Nation: The Power of Score-keeping

I solved this morning’s Wordle puzzle in three guesses… …and my streak lives on. 58 days and counting  Wordle is a game where you get six tries to guess a five-letter word. With each guess, the puzzle gives you feedback. It reveals if a letter you guessed is in the right place, in the word…

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The Wrong and Right Recipes to Cook up Profits…

A self-proclaimed “email marketer” posted a diatribe on Reddit recently, accusing a biscuit company of “assaulting his inbox.” He ordered some biscuits online, and then the biscuit company sent him, on average, five emails per week. “Sending five emails per week is not the way to stay top-of-mind,” he declared. He suggested sending “fortnightly” emails…

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Princess Kate Flubbed Photoshop. Off with Her Head!

Princess Kate and her pals at the palace are in hot water.In case you’ve missed the relentless news coverage, here’s the story… Last week, the British Royals released this photo of the Princess and her kiddos… A bunch of news agencies ran the photo but then pulled it because they discovered digital alterations The Princess…

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Women and Vegans Welcome Here…

When Charlotte was 20 and just getting started as a writer, she sent one of her creations to England’s top poet. Poet Laureate Robert Southey liked Charlotte’s work. But in a letter dated March 12, 1837, he wrote, “Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life: & it ought not to be. The more…

john hewitt

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.03.11

Typewriter Keys, March 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty #stuffinmyhouse Recommended Service 🎁GiftHopperOne of my smartest business moves over the last couple of years: Implementing GiftHopper. One of my resolutions this year: Expand my use of GiftHopper. I use GiftHopper to deliver thank you gifts to clients, partners, and other key business associates. I simply give them the list…

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He Didn’t Want His Name in THESE Red Lights…

Sydney Story didn’t ask to have the red light district named after him (who would ask for that???). It just turned out that way. Here’s Story’s story: He was an alderman in New Orleans who, in 1897, wrote legislation to establish “The District. It was an area north of the French Quarter where prostitution (technically…

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Why I Mourn AND Celebrate

Today is my birthday… …which means I’m thinking more than usual about my dad. Dad died on this day in 1990, my 25th birthday. That evening, family and friends gathered at our house to remember Dad and mourn our loss. At some point, Mom interrupted the somber chatter by marching into the living room with…

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Reason #372 to hate GoDaddy…

LAST CHANCE to register for today’s masterclass:How to Put Personality In Your Content So You Stand Out, Attract Raving Fans, and Land More/Better Clients. Today (March 6), 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT. Register here. Now back to our regularly scheduled program… I hate GoDaddy.  Usually, I’m not the hating kind. But when it comes to GoDaddy,…

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Knock, knock…

I asked my GPT-powered copywriting robot, “B-9?” to come up with some jokes to help me promote tomorrow’s masterclass… How to Put Personality In Your Content So You Stand Out, Attract Raving Fans, and Land More/Better Clients. Here’s one: Knock, knock. Who’s there? Harry. Harry who? Hurry up and sign up if you want your content…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.03.04

Radiator Cover, February 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty #stuffinmyhouse Podcast (Story Power Marketing Show)  The Secret to Create 30 Days of Content in Just 90 Minutes a Month Aaron Witnish is the co-founder of contentonly.au which specialises in an extraction system that creates 30 days of content In just 90 minutes a month. Aaron’s been marketing online since 2008, has…

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How to Summon Your Creative Power — Even if you Think You’re not Creative

Last week, during a meeting of my Story Power Content Transformation Academy, one of the VIP members told us he doesn’t know how to be creative. He can’t come up with ideas for entertaining content. To help him get over the hump, I shared with him a story from a few years back, and I…

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Easy-peasy… and Bad (a Cautionary Tale)

At next week’s masterclass (How to Put Personality in Your Content…), I’ll share ways I use AI to help me produce more content with less time and and effort. (More on that below) We’re going to have a big crowd for the masterclass… How to Put Personality In Your Content So You Stand Out, Attract Raving…

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You’re Invited… to Stand Out and Be Hired

In case you missed it yesterday… You’re invited to a masterclass next week called: How to Put Personality In Your Content So You Stand Out, Attract Raving Fans, and Land More/Better Clients. Wednesday, March 6 at 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT… Click the button below to claim your seat… I’m doing this because… Struggling content…

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Why Personality Punch is More Valuable than Texas Tea

Come and listen to my story ’bout a man named Fred… …(named changed to protect the guilty)… …a poor marketer, barely kept his family fed. You see, Fred was one of those marketers who spouted unproven “rules” — as if they were commandments from the mountaintop. “Rules” full of more bullsh*t than the compost pile…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.02.26

Tree Trunk Near My House, January 2023 #allthisusefulbeauty You’re Invited  How to Put Personality In Your Content So You Stand Out, Attract Raving Fans, and Land More/Better ClientsA free masterclass on Wednesday, March 6, 2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT because… …People don’t hire you based on what you know. They hire you based on…

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You Don’t Have to be a Genius to Generate “Genius” Content

Earlier this week, a happy reader replied to one of my emails and called it “genius.” I have a love/hate relationship with notes like that. On one hand, I’m delighted she’s delighted. When I send an email, I aim to captivate and delight readers. On the other hand, I don’t like readers to think I’M…

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OpenAI Blames “Inference Kernels.” I Blame Booze & Dope.

“You’re in big trouble, mister!” I said. My GPT-powered robot, “B-9?” sat before me quietly, hands on his knees, chin on his chest as a delivered the verdict and punishment… “GUILTY & GROUNDED… “No going out this weekend. No Angry Birds on your phone. No binge watching “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” No sudokus or mini…

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Valuable Lessons From a Terrible Email

It’s time for another episode of “Email Rescue — Cautionary Tales from Tom’s Spam Folder” I salvage junk from the folder and share the don’ts-and-don’ts it contains… …so YOU can learn from the spammer’s mistakes… …and create more captivating, less irritating content. The email I’m salvaging landed yesterday at 10:58 a.m. with the subject line…

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An Ode to Noticing

It snowed here in St. Louis on Friday. By Saturday morning, the melt was on. Melissa opened the front door to go for a walk. She began to step on the door mat, but stopped… …because she saw this… “Snowy Symmetry” she called it when she texted the photo to me. That diagonal line near…

Snowy Symmetry

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.02.19

“Snowy Symmetry” by Melissa Ruwitch, Feb. 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Reading & Event  Mastermind Book Club re: How to Work a RoomJoin Ted Prodromou and me this Thursday, Feb 22, 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. CT) as we discuss “How to Work a Room” with the Mastermind Book Club. The author, Susan Roane, will join us.…

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Want Secret Recipes for Yum-dilly-icious, Client-attracting Content?

It’s not easy to sell a $13+ cookie. I’m not talking about one of those giant, 16″-inch cookie cakes they sell at the mall . I’m talking about a single-serve cookie… …that fits (barely) in a single human hand… …and sells for $13.33… …if you buy a box of 12 ($160, plus $15 for standard shipping).…

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How to Overcome Your Wallflower Ways

You might not know it from these emails… …but I’m a shy guy.  Shyer than a mouse at a cat convention. When attending in-person events, I have to summon deep reserves of energy and focus to overcome my wallflower ways. I thought Zoom might fix this. But I quickly discovered five words that make me…

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💝 The Most Magnificent Valentine’s Gift Ever

I’ve been racking my brain to come up with the perfect Valentine’s gift to show my love to you and the rest of my online family. Should I send you a box of chocolates?  Some roses?  An adorable puppy?  All lovely ideas. But as marketers say, that doesn’t scale. So I’m thinking about gifts I…

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I Robot? How to Prove I’m Not…

My favorite Super Bowl ad… …”Robots” by Discover: My GPT-powered copywriting robot, “B-9?” skipped the Super Bowl (he’s a Dolphins fan, and he’s not into that Travis-Taylor drama). But I shared the ad with him this morning and asked, “Do you like it?” “B-9?” said: “I don’t have personal opinions.” I asked: “Does it bother you…

Sunrise over St. Louis

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.02.12

Sunrise over St. Louis, Feb. 2024 #allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Reading  How to Work a RoomHave you ever walked into a roomful of strangers and felt uncomfortable? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone! Over 85% of American adults feel the same way. The solution: How to Work a Room, the fully revised Silver Anniversary edition, which…

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A Tale From the Storytelling Hall of Fame

A while back, I created a free e-book: Hall of Fame Ads Reveal… 5 Storytelling Secrets to Help You Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Buy. One of those Hall of Fame ads is one Listerine ran 100 years ago(!) that transformed the company from a small family-run outfit into a corporate giant. You can…

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Happening Today…

Back by popular demand… Today at 1:30 p.m. CST, I’m hosting a master class: How to Create Prospect-Attracting Lead Magnets AND Business-Generating Follow-Ups — Without Working Your Tail Off If you can’t attend, register anyhow. I’ll share the recording with everyone who registers — even those who can’t attend.

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She Made me Laugh Loudest

Yesterday’s email about punny highway signs reminded me: I fell in love with Melissa over a silly joke. I was 25. She was 23. We were gathered with friends at her apartment, playing a game called fictionary. The rules: One person holds the dictionary and chooses a word the other players don’t know. Each player…

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Show-me Humor. Missouri Stands up to Humorless Feds

This is NOT a joke: Federal government killjoys have declared: Jokes are hazardous to our health. But in my home state, Missouri, bureaucrats are taking a stand against federal tyranny. Here’s the story… In December, the Federal Highway Administration released the 11th edition of the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways”…

Near Picton

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.02.05

Near Picton, New Zealand, November 2018 #allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Event  Unmasking AI: Ninja Tools and AI News for Heart Driven CoachesMy pal RJ Redden is an AI master who’s on a mission to harness the time-saving power of AI — while remaining and sounding human. She describes this event as follows: “This isn’t about floating in…

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Cool New Book!

Hi — It’s Friday, and the weekend beckons. So I’ll cut to the chase… Get this book! It’s free.It’s a fast read.And it’s fantastic. The Rapid Lead Activator, by Csaba Borzasi … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … What!? You’re still here? OK then. I’ll tell you more about…

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My Mother vs. My Robot (The Cocoa Puffs Cage Fight)

Mommie Dearest My dear, beloved mother FOOD-SHAMED ME.  It happened yesterday, after I sent an email with this opening line: “While sipping my morning coffee and eating my Cocoa Puffs this morning, I asked my GPT-powered robot…” Mom’s an avid reader of my emails, and she sent a reply with this opening line: “Gee, I’m not…

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Does This Apology Make me Look Weak 🫤 

A note about what follows: I once heard some big-shot business guru preach you should “never apologize.” Apologies are a “sign of weakness,” he said. They undermine your standing and authority. Gimme a break.  That’s D-U-M… …almost as D-U-M as I felt yesterday when my cell phone and email blew up just as I was…

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I’m Re-running the Masterclass (3x This Week) Due to Zoom Link Hiccup

If you tried to attend today’s masterclass and couldn’t get in… I apologize!  There was a problem with the Zoom link in some of the emails. I know how important your time is, and I would never intentionally waste it. Here’s what I’d like to do to fix this… I’m going to host the training…

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Last Chance for Tomorrow. Are you Free?

In case you haven’t heard about it or registered yet… …I wanted to invite you to tomorrow’s masterclass: How to Create Prospect-Attracting Lead Magnets AND Business-Generating Follow-Ups — Without Working Your Tail Off. When: Tomorrow (Tuesday Jan. 30, 2:30 p.m. ET). I’ll share the systems and tools I use to attract high-quality prospects with lead…

Moose

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.01.29

Crazy-doodle Moose spies a squirrel Recommended Reading  The Rapid Lead ActivatorBefore you get to the meat of this great book by Csaba Borzasi, you’ll find testimonials from a bunch of marketing experts, including me. I say: “Csaba breaks things down in ways that enable less experienced writers to get up and go… “…as well as…

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How to Attract & Convert Leads — Without Acrobatic Monkeys

When I read Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts was born on this day 95 years ago… …I knew I’d have to write an email about him. Maybe I could joke that Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts is the guy who was kicked off an American Airlines flight this month for excessive, gorgonzola-esque farting. (That story was all over my news feed this…

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The Worst Email Marketing Advice Ever?

A puzzled marketer posted a common question for help on an online forum last week: How can businesses improve open rates in their email campaigns? I hear this question all the time (you may be wondering the same thing)… …so I dove into the forum where I found… …lots of lousy advice! The lousiest was…

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Are Your Free on Tuesday for This…

Hi — I’m writing to make sure you didn’t miss this… On Tuesday (Jan. 30, 2:30 p.m. ET), I’m hosting a masterclass where I’ll share the systems and tools I use to attract high-quality prospects with lead magnets and turn those prospects into clients. The masterclass is called: How to Create Prospect-Attracting Lead Magnets AND…

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The Winner in a Landslide…

The voters have spoken. Alan reigns. So does irrationality. Let me ‘splain… In yesterday’s email, I asked you to choose between Alan and Ben. I described them both. Alan is “intelligent — industrious — impulsive — critical — stubborn — envious” Ben is “envious — stubborn — critical — impulsive — industrious — intelligent” Funny thing about…

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Alan or Ben? Cast Your Vote

Do you prefer Alan and Ben? I’m going to describe them both, and then I’d like you to choose — quickly without overthinking it — which one you view more favorably. Alan: intelligent — industrious — impulsive — critical — stubborn — envious Ben: envious — stubborn — critical — impulsive — industrious — intelligent Which person…

Frozen Waterfall

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.01.22

Frozen Waterfall, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri (2024.01)#allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Event ️⭐Jack Turk’s Copywriting SummitI can’t believe this is free. My friend Jack Turk is a world-renowned marketer who has been called “The World’s Fastest Copywriter” (I wrote about him here.) Now, I call him The World’s Most Generous Summit Organizer. Jack has gather 25+ expert presenters…

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A No-hassle Way to Attract Leads & Land Clients

If I had a Shekel for every time someone said, “it’s too hard to do…” when I suggested they create a lead magnet to attract qualified prospects… …I’d have a giant piggy bank full of Shekels! I get it. Seems like you have to work your tail off to create a lead magnet, promote it,…

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Biz Lessons From the World’s Ugliest Lawn

Ripped from the headlines… An Australian woman now holds the prize for owning “The World’s Ugliest Lawn” thanks to a global competition hosted by a water-thirsty municipality in Sweden. Gotland, Sweden’s government launched the contest after a draught nearly left the island municipality without water. Organizers thought they might inspire water conservation if they made…

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A Warning and an Invitation

This question generated a lot of buzz on a popular marketing forum this month: “Best Lead Magnets in 2024? What channels and lead magnets will you be focusing on..?” My least favorite answer came from a pitchy list vendor who said forget about lead magnets and buy a pile of leads. He directed readers to…

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Batman Rules for Business and Life

In Friday’s email, I promised to share Batman Rules — business and life lessons from the greatest television show ever. There are too many Batman Rules to count. I don’t have time or space to share them all here, but I can share five of my favorites. If you follow these rules, you’ll be well on…

MLK Day

RecomMONDAYtions ~ MLK Day 2024 Edition

Martin Luther King, Jr. leads a civil rights march in Montgomery, AL (March 21, 1965) Recommended Viewing & Listening on MLK Day  MLK and the MountaintopOn April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis, TN. The speech ended with these words; Well, I don’t know what will…

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How The Caped Crusader Kept Them Tuned In

Holy cliffhanger, Batman! It was on this day in 1966 that the Caped Crusader and his sidekick, Robin, debuted on ABC television with an episode — called “Hi Diddle Riddle.” The episode ended like this: This was all the Riddler’s fault. His henchman slipped a mickey in Batman’s orange juice at the “What a Way…

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That Batsh*t Things Unappreciated People Will Do…

Here’s a story for your don’t-try-this-at-home file… Last year, a guy in Belgium faked his death and then showed up at his funeral to teach his family a lesson. As mourners gathered and waited for the outdoor ceremony to begin, a helicopter landed nearby. I’m-Not-Really-Dead Guy hopped from the copter with a camera crew behind…

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My Resolution: Profit More. Work Less. What’s Yours?

When it comes to your business in 2024… What’s your #1 New Year’s resolution? Please reply to this email and let me know. I may have some thoughts or resources to help you. My primary resolution? Delegate and automate so I can work less and earn more. Long ago, I thought delegation would increase costs.…

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Join The Club…

No story today, just a thought… “It is much easier, as well as far more enjoyable, to identify and label the mistakes of others than to recognize our own.” Daniel Kahneman said that on the first page of his book, Thinking Fast and Slow. Wise insight — the first of many in this book. Slow down…

tampa

RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.01.08

Tampa, Florida; (2023.11.04)#allthisusefulbeauty Recommended Reading  Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel KahnemanRead this book, and you’ll understand better how human beings think and make decisions. That includes how YOU think and make decisions. Why bother? So you can make informed decisions more and guess less. So you sell more by anticipating what motivates prospects. So…

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The One About the Naked Yoga Guy

I mentioned last month how I scarfed down more than 37,238 cookies — give or take — over the holidays. And last year I made nine too many excuses NOT to workout. So this month, I’m back in my home gym — biking, rowing, lifting, sit-upping, and tread-milling. ⬇ Artist’s rendering of me after my work-out ⬇…

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Shame on These Lying Liars & Their Marketing Tricks

A cautionary tale about trust-busting marketing tricks… Yesterday, I heard about a company offering a $400 discount on its lifetime software license — $97, instead of $497. Tempting. So I visited the site and saw this… “Deal Ends Today….!?” That set my hair on fire.  “I better act fast,” I thought. So I checked out some…

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Let’s Resolve to Do This…

It’s the first week of the new year, and it’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday (Jan. 3). Seems like a good time for this resolution: Embrace conflict without contempt. Tolkien and his literary pals — including C.S. Lewis — inspire my resolve. Tolkien (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) and Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) were colleagues…

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The Best-ever Description of “Branding”

I didn’t expect this… I can’t stop thinking about the exhibit I saw the other day at the St. Louis Art Museum… The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century. I mentioned it in yesterday’s email, and I shared the description for the exhibition’s section on Brand. This is the thing playing over and…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2024.01.01

“Turkey tail” mushroom on fallen tree trunk (Huzzah Creek flood plain; Crawford County, MO; 2023.12.27)#allthisusefulbeauty Happy New Year Welcome to 2024. I hope you had a wonderful, restful, rejuvenating holiday season. I did. Lots of great family time with Melissa, our twins (Maddie and Jake), and our Crazy-Doodle, Moose. Long hours in front of the…

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Give and Ye Shall Receive – Krishna Style

When I was a kid, you couldn’t move through a big-city airport without being pestered by people pitching their religion and begging for money. The “Hare Krishnas” were the most notorious. With their shaved heads and orange robes, the Krishnas would approach travelers and offer a small gift. The Krishnas hoped travelers would return the…

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Poor Richard Wisdom

On this day (Dec. 28) in 1732, Ben Franklin published the first edition of Poor Richard’s Almanack. For 25 years, he published the Almanack annually — 10,000 copies per year. To celebrate the Almanack’s birthday, I’ll share a favorite quote from each edition, starting with the first “1733” edition. Maybe these can inspire some new year’s…

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Better Than S*X Sale Copy

I estimate I’ve eaten 37,238 cookies this month — give or take. Chocolate chip cookies like Granny used to make. Peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey’s Kisses. Santa-shaped sugar cookies with red sprinkles. Reindeer-shaped shortbread cookies with green icing. I’m sick of cookies. So, of course… …I spent a chunk of yesterday reading about… …cookies.…

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My Memo to Santa

December 26, 2023 TO: Santa ClausFROM: Tom RuwitchRE: Next Time I don’t mean to sound ungrateful… …but next time… …I sure would appreciate it if you could stuff one of those new fangled Wearable Beanbags in my stocking. Don’t get me wrong. The new socks are great. I’ll wear them often. But socks is socks.…

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Cybertruck-inspired Marketing Wisdom

Love it. Hate it. When it comes to Tesla and its new Cybertruck, there seems to be no in-between. Jay Leno loves the Cybertruck. A few days ago, he featured it on his show “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Tesla’s Head of Design, Franz von Holzhausen, joined Leno on the show. They discussed the love/hate dynamic. Leno:…

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Lessons from the Game of Business

Yesterday was “Games Day” — one of those random, made-up holidays that started in the United Kingdom. At a live networking event I attended yesterday, we had a Games Day-inspired ice-breaker. We broke into small groups, revealed our favorite games, and discussed lessons we’ve learned from them — especially lessons we apply to business. Fun…

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What Sets You Apart?

I bumped into a marketing agency owner who wants help finding new clients. He posted his cry for help in and online forum. He described his claim to fame: “What sets us apart is that we strive to offer quality services at affordable rates.” Ummmmmmmm, no. “Quality services at affordable rates” is not set-you-apart stuff.…

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The Perfect Gift for the Entrepreneur who has Everything?

True story: In 2016, KFC introduced ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ edible nail polish. Two flavors: Hot & Spicy (peppery red) and Original Recipe (beige). Slather it on. Wait for it to dry. Lick your fingers. Yum! Other true stories: Doritos has partnered with a distiller to sell Nacho Cheese flavored liquor (94 proof). You can buy…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2023.12.18

Recommended Viewing  Humor: Serious BusinessThree Stanford professors walk into a room and… …deliver some important insights on why we should weave humor into our business. Viewing time: 5 minutes. Well worth it. Podcast  How to Claim Your Stage to Maximize Your Impact (with Adriana Baer)Adriana Baer is a public speaking coach for leaders and rising…

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Biz Solutions & Success: Closer Than You Think

My client Joe asked me to help him transform his website from prospect-repelling to client-attracting. I offered several suggestions, including, “Put some testimonials on the front page.” “I don’t have any testimonials,” he said. “I bet you do,” I replied… …and then I trotted out the tale of my summer fling, Kathy. I was 19,…

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The Reason Apple Wins…

I bumped into a group of grumpy marketers this morning who think storytelling is worthless. Said one: “I have never understood the appeal of storytelling. I know people talk about the importance of it over and over again, but I really can’t give a f*%k. Story, mission, vision, it’s all bulls*%t; I only care about…

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If You Want to Progress, Quit Staring at The Summit

My hometown hockey team fired its coach last night. His name is Craig Berube, and he led the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2019. During that 2019 playoff run, I wrote an email about Berube. To honor and thank him, I dust it off and share it here… 🏒 🏒 🏒…

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These Ads are Funny, but Flawed…

I hate HP printers. The one I owned with ink that disappeared faster than an ice cube in the Sahara. The next one which mangled forests of printer paper. And the one that NEVER kept a wi-fi connection. The endless, fruitless customer “support” calls with clueless overseas reps who read from scripts and dished out…

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RecomMONDAYtions ~ 2023.12.11

Business Humor 😂 Consumer Privacy – The Holiday EditiionTom Fishburne (a.k.a. The Marketoonist) does it again. A funny cartoon and insightful post… Podcast  How to Turn Past Experiences Into Career and Business-Building Narratives (with Annie Margarita Yang)Annie Margarita Yang is a money-saving guru with over a million YouTube views, and she’s also the bestselling author of…

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Cautionary Tale From Dude who Burned Eyebrows Off

A few years ago, I ran across an article about a dude in Michigan who smelled gas coming from his newly installed water heater. He checked for the leak by lighting a match. He shoulda died, but he got off easy… …with singed eyebrows. Mixing fire and a gas leak — that wasn’t his first…

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Bestselling Author’s Lead Magnet is Brilliant, But…

In preparation for the free masterclass I’m running today (“How to Create Prospect-Attracting Lead Magnets…“)… …I’ve been searching high and low for great examples. That led me to Adam Grant’s website. He is a New York Times bestselling author of six books, including his most recent, “Hidden Potential – The Science of Achieving Greater Things.”…

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Stop Wishing and Waiting. Start Selling…

Yesterday, I shared a cautionary tale about list-building raffles and how they fill your CRM with lousy leads. An agreeable reader replied with this: “The people signing up for our raffle were the exact opposite of the people we wanted.” (So far, so good. But then this…) “Now we don’t do anything. A lot of…