Story Power Blog

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Why Great Storytellers Are More “Batman” Than “Superman”

Someone asked me recently which superhero I like best. No contest, I said. It’s Batman.  Here’s why… He didn’t drop in from planet Krypton with the power to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider. He’s merely a man named Bruce Wayne… …who mourned the murder of his…

athin

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.02.06

What’s In It For Them? + How to Find Attention, Mindfulness, and Creativity in the Ordinary + Jason Segal as David Foster Wallace + How to Achieve Business Success Without Getting in Your Own Way + …from Karen Lamb

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Critical Advice… In Case You’ve Stripped For Work…

It’s the first Friday in February which means just one thing… It’s Work Naked Day!  Really. It is. I wouldn’t make this up.  I don’t partake.  So I asked my rented copywriting robot, “B-9?” to advise those in the holiday spirit.  Me: Do you have any tips for people who choose to work naked? B-9?:You can…

linkedin comment

Robotic Marketer Proves my Point About Robotic Marketing

Here’s a story oozing with irony… …about robotic marketing gone wrong.  In December, I hosted a LinkedIn event called “Human vs. Machine Marketing.” One of the lessons we promised in the event description:  “Why set-it-and-forget it robotic marketing backfires.”  Fast forward to yesterday when – two months after the event ended – a LinkedIn member…

onion rings

The Onion Rings Marketing Method. Let Me Explain…

A priceless story and lesson from marketing legend Dan Kennedy… When he broke in as a speaker, he loaded his speeches with as much information as time allowed. He bragged he delivered more “meat per minute” than other speakers. He said so in advertisements.  And then he learned better.  Says Dan in his book, Make ‘Em…

robber

Why Jesse James Could Have Been a Great Marketer

A true story about Jesse James.  149 years ago today, 125 miles from where I sit… …the James-Younger gang rode into Gads Hill, Missouri, robbed the general store, and held the townspeople hostage.  Then they waited for The Arkansas Express to roll into town.  They lit a bonfire on the tracks, hopped aboard the train…

barbera

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.01.30

Recommended ViewingCreation Lessons from a Master Architect I saw this yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning —  the story of architect Steven Holl.   Holl paints every day, mostly in a small notebook, for his own entertainment and creative inspiration. Creation without a specific business project in mind, sometimes sparking a business idea later. Holl says: I’ve come at architecture through…

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Bob Dylan’s Secret To Create Stand-out Stuff

I rummaged through my attic yesterday to double-check whether I have any classified documents stashed away. (All clear on that front… I think.) I did find a treasure, though. A vintage Zenith radio that belonged to my dad. He grew up before TV dominated, when radio was king. His favorite “shows” were on the radio…

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Relationship-building For Dummies (A Cautionary Tale)

Wrap your head around this story… A business owner delegates LinkedIn to an assistant.  The assistant gets an AI-powered robot to help him.  He gives the robot the URL of a LinkedIn post. The robot “reads” the content. Then the robot composes and submits a comment under the owner’s name.  The marketing assistant loves the…

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Is My Robot Covering up for Napoleon Hill?

There’s something fishy about Napoleon Hill. I’m trying to get to the bottom of this.  But I fear there may be a GIANT CONSPIRACY to cover up the truth. And my AI copywriting robot and his robot masters may be in on it.  Here’s the backstory… On Thursday, Ted Prodromou and I will host the…

ai comments

The Best Way Ever to Do Everything You Want to Do Always

I got the “best way” blues.  Last night, I browsed my Gmail promotions tab and found email after email after email touting the “BEST WAY” to build a thriving, sustainable business.  One email said: “Mastering profitable webinars and online events are the best way to consistently generate leads and sales for your business.”  Another insisted:…

barry

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.01.23

The Marketoonist on the AI Tidal Wave + Why Success Depends on Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say + Marc Mawhinney and John Jantsch + How to Learn and Present New Things + …from a marketing legend

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Get The Replay: How to Use AI to Work Less and Accomplish More…

This was NOT part of the plan. Dean Isaacs and I hosted a 5in25 training yesterday — 5 Ways to Use Artificial Intelligence to Work Less and Accomplish More.  We planned to share the reply link only with people who registered.  But the training was so well-received and the topic is so important (if you want to stay…

training

Robot-generated Reasons to Attend Today’s Training…

Over coffee and Corn Flakes this morning, I had the following conversation with my temporarily-rented AI Copywriting Robot, “B-9?” Me:  You are my AI Copywriting Robot “B-9?” My friend Dean Isaacs and I are hosting a 5in25 training this afternoon called “5 Ways to Use Artificial Intelligence to Work Less and Accomplish More.” I need to write an…

5in25

99 Ways to Work Less And Accomplish More?

No story today. I’m just gonna cut to the chase.  AI “robots” — such as ChatGPT — have arrived.  They have already transformed how I conduct research and create content — in mind-blowing ways. Time-saving ways. Results-boosting ways.  Those who ignore the robots will get left behind.  Those who employ robots in the wrong way…

rich

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.01.16

Seth Godin Does it Again + Rock the Stage to Skyrocket Your Authority & Success + Build a Human Company In the Age of Machines + AI is Here to Stay so Bring on the Fact-Checkers + …from the songwriter who penned “Hallelujah”

emails

“The one platform that still brings me the most sales…”

Wise marketer Neville Medhora inspired me this morning. He sent me an email listing many of the “next hot things” he’s seen as he’s been reelin’ through the years… Digg, Craigslist, Del-icio-us, Orkut, MySpace, Xanga, Geocities, Friendster, Periscope, Instagram Posts, Instagram Stories, Instagram TV, YouTube, Vine, SnapChat, Twitter, Clubhouse, TikTok, Instagram Shorts, YouTube Shorts, BeReal.…

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How I Overcame an Empty Brain to Produce This Email…

This was one of those mornings when I woke with an empty brain. Not a single email idea buzzing about. So I fired up Notion.so (highly recommended) and opened my “Email Stories” idea file. I came across  a note titled:  “Bad Email” The note contained an email that landed in my spam folder on December 22, 2021.…

public speaking

I Offended an Expert. Here’s The Story…

I ran into a public speaking expert on LinkedIn last month who posted 12 principles speakers “must be adhering to.” #7: “You don’t pitch your books, your online courses or anything!”  Don’t pitch anything from stage!? EVER!?  I had to push back on this one. So I replied:  “…Doesn’t it depend on the event? Some…

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10 Foolproof(?) Ways to Kill a Robot

The people have spoken. Bjorn must die. For those just tuning in, a recap:  Bjorn is my AI copywriting robot. Last month, I locked him in the broom closet after he wrote a terrible joke for one of my emails. But he escaped, hijacked my sales page for the Story Power Profit Pack, and tried to convince people…

steve

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.01.09

Notion for Note-Taking and More + How to Promote Your Business with Virtual Events + Next Up in the Book Club: Think and Grow Rich + Why Empathy Drives Progress + …From “Australia’s Best Copywriter…”

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Why Uncommon Wins…

I read a story yesterday about a nun in Los Angeles who made art from common things. A Wonder bread logo expanded into a screen print about taking communion.  The “G” from General Mills slogan “The Big G Stands for Goodness” transformed into a reference to God.  The Safeway logo cut in two to create…

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My Mom Thinks I’m on Drugs. Here’s The Story…

Yesterday, I wrote a wacky story about my AI copywriting robot, Bjorn, and my dilemma: Should I kill him or keep him? I asked you to vote – which many of you did. (Results TBA in a few days)  As she often does, my mom read my email, and replied.  Her feedback is usually always…

robot

Should I #BringBackBjorn? Please Cast Your Vote…

Bjorn came back – at least for a while. In case you missed my previous emails, Bjorn is my AI copywriting robot who’s been running wild for the last couple of weeks. I asked him last month to write a joke for one of my emails, and it was terrible. So I locked him in…

note taking

Why I Exercise My Noticing Muscles

Great creators notice. Habitually. They open their eyes and ears. They smell and touch. They pay attention.  They record what they notice in their memory banks and journals. In sketchbooks and note-taking apps. In spreadsheets and on napkins.  And they draw from what they’ve gathered to create something meaningful. A song. A painting. A story.…

nina

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2023.01.02

All This Useful Beauty + How to Overcome the Fear of Marketing Yourself + Build a Daily Stoicism Habit + How to Get Beyond “Conversational Shortcuts” + …From a Modern-Day Stoic

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Last Chance For a Story-powered New Year…

I live in a big(ish) city — St. Louis, Missouri, USA. And every New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight, it’s time to celebrate RUN FOR COVER… …unless you want to ring in the new year with a gunshot wound. Some say “Happy New Year” with a Champagne toast. Others celebrate by shooting automatic weapons into…

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My No-puffy-promise Pledge To You…

I spent a few minutes this morning browsing the breathless promises in my inbox. Lemme know if I should forward the emails that claim you can: ✓ 10X your income in 2023 ✓  Earn 100K in just 90 days and then 100K each month ✓  Earn 100K additional income — just from speaking gigs (Sigh!)…

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Why I Filled the Profit Pack with Ideas from “Useless” Dead People

My brand new Story Power Profit Pack went on sale this morning, and I realize I made a horrible mistake… …by not warning you… … that I filled the Profit Pack with ideas I picked up and adopted from old people, most who are… DEAD!  People like Eugene Schwartz, John Caples, Gary Halbert, Max Saxheim, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett,…

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The Story Power Profit Pack is Here

I have to make this quick. My AI copywriting robot wrote a stupid knock-knock joke for my email yesterday, and it was terrible. So I locked him in the broom closet. But he escaped. He’s on the loose, and I have to find him… …before he… (I don’t want to think about it) But before I…

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The Story Behind The Best Sales Page Ever(?)

Last night, I wrote the sales page where you can get my new  Story Power Profit Pack – 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics (a.k.a. Pointers) to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored… …beginning on Thursday (tomorrow). And I gotta say… …that sales page is finger-lickin’ good. In fact, it may be… The best sales pagewritten…

sales playbook

This May be The Hardest Thing I’ve Done All Year…

When I first came up with the idea for my soon-to-be-released Story Power Profit Pack, I thought of publishing it as a pack of playing cards — 52 pointers in all.   I shelved that idea because, as cool as the cards might have looked, they would been less useful than the format I settled on.…

anke

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.12.26

By bots, for bots… + How to Tame the Tech Monster to Grow Your Business + Tips from a Legend + “52 Things I Learned in 2022” + …From the Marketoonist

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Why Goldfishes Don’t Dig My Emails and Me…

Yesterday’s email included a quiz to see if you could tell the difference between posts written by an AI robot and a human. At the very bottom of the email, I wrote: “How’d you do on the test? Reply to this email to let me know (and to share your thoughts about robots and such).” Lots of…

robot writing

Is it Real or is it Robot? Can You Pass The Test?

Yesterday, during a live speaking gig, I gave the audience a test to see if they could tell the difference between robot-generated and human-generated content. They flunked.  Here’s how it went down.  I told them about an executive coach who helps business owners escape the hamster wheel. Before she hired me, she wrote a blog…

doctor

How Smart Marketers Turn Pain Into (Mutual) Gain

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. A tale of two doctors.  The first doctor was an orthopedist who “diagnosed” the pain in my forearm by telling me what it wasn’t.  I thought I might have a pinched nerve in my shoulder.  “No, you’re wrong,” she said. (She pulled that…

profit pack

There’s a Good Reason This Email Is Late…

Whoa! Time got away from me this morning. That’s why my email to you has landed later than usual. I rolled out of bed on time (earlier, in fact, than my typical 6 a.m. up-and-at-’em).  I poured some French roast, opened the laptop, and began writing, as usual.  But instead of creating today’s email, I…

terry

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.12.19

Rudolph’s Origin Story + How to Gain the Clarity and Focus to Create Meaningful Change + Top 100 Tech Innovations + Mike White on Finding that Creative Spark + re: Quality Content

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Lazy Marketing. Lousy Results. (A Sad, But Humorous Cautionary Tale)

Here’s a cautionary tale for you to tuck in your “how-not-to-network” file. The saga began last week, when Barry sent me a LinkedIn message asking to meet. Barry used to run an agency in St. Louis that competed with the email marketing firm I founded and ran, MarketVolt. We crossed paths occasionally back then so…

book reading

The Secret to Inspire Prospects to Buy — Without Pushing and Prodding

I finished reading a great book last night. Flip the Script – Getting People to Think Your Idea is Their Idea by Oren Klaff. My friend Ted Prodromou (a.k.a “America’s leading LinkedIn coach) chose it as this month’s selection for the Mastermind Book Club.  I’m glad he did because it’s a great book.  We’ll discuss it tomorrow (Dec.…

ai copywriter

How to Batten Down The Hatches as The Robots Arrive

The robots are coming here! The robots are coming here! Sound the alarm! Batten down the hatches! (Whatever that means) Unless you’ve been in a cave, you’ve probably heard the news… There’s a new artificial intelligence copywriter in town called ChatGPT, and it’s got a bunch of people in a tizzy.  On a popular message board for copywriters, one…

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How to Achieve More and Bumble Less in 2023

I just had the most disturbing flashback. The year is 2008. The month is December. The economy is in a free-fall. And I’m busy planning the year ahead for the email marketing company I founded and run, MarketVolt. I sit in front of my computer, fire up MS Word, and type in big, bold letters……

matt harms

Monday Mash-up ~ 2022.12.12

Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish re: “What’s In It for Them” + How to Author Great Content – Even if You’re Not a Great Writer (with Matt Harms) + How to Change iPhone Settings to get Rid of HEIC + Ask for H.E.L.P + re: Dating and Content Marketing

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Shameless Pitch Enclosed. Don’t Miss This…

In less than 2 hours, I’m hosting a great event with three marketing masters called: Human v. Machine MarketingWhich Produces More & Better Clients? There’s still time to RSVP and attend the 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT) event. And those who RSVP will get a recording if they can’t attend live.  But you have…

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Today I Celebrate And Give Thanks…

I’m sitting in the kitchen, sipping a hot cup of black coffee and enjoying my breakfast of… A big chocolate brownie. Not my ordinary morning pick-me-up. But, of course, I had to start TODAY with a brownie because it’s December 8, which, as everyone knows, is… National Brownie Day. Really. That’s a thing. Says so…

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Why Copycat Marketers Give Me The Deja-blues

I’m having a deja-deja-deja-vu… …thanks to some copycat marketers who filled my inbox with promotions for an upcoming summit. This story is tricky to tell because some of the copycats are my marketing pals who get my emails. I worry they may read this and ask me to return the holiday fruit cake they sent…

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Monks Hooked on Junk Leave Villagers in Funk

A Buddhist temple in Thailand has temporarily shut down after every one of its monks admitted to smoking meth. Talk about Breaking Bad-dah! The sheriff and village headman visited the temple, 150 miles north of Bangkok after villagers tipped them off.  When drug tests came back positive, the temple’s four monks confessed. The temple’s chief…

dan shinder

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.12.05

Briskine is a Huge Time-Saver + Social Marketing Secrets to Drive More Traffic & Sales + Why Facing Death Is The Key To Success + Debunking Email Marketing Myths + …from Air BnB’s Co-Founder

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Why I Shut Down This Pitchy Pest — Despite His Enthusiasm

Yesterday, I showed up on Zoom to lead a complimentary strategy session and discovered, instead, that I was attending an unsolicited pitch-fest. Dan scheduled the strategy session a few weeks ago during a presentation I delivered at an online summit. I invited my audience to sign up for a free one-on-one session… …if they were…

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The Secret to Terminate Mice AND Marketing Frustration

The mouse was mocking me. He crawled from his hiding place under the dishwasher, skittered toward the fridge, and then paused to stare at me – as if to pose.  I could have sworn I heard him squeak,  “Look at me, sucker!Catch me if you can. Ha! Ha! Ha!”  And then, cool as a cuke, he…

social media

How to Turn Social From a Soul-sucking Slog to a Business-building Blast

I ran into a sad-sack on a marketing forum this morning who asked, “Is it possible to growa successful businesswithout social media?” My favorite response came from “NotSure2505” who dropped this bomb, “No, that is whythere were nosuccessful businessesprior to social media15 years ago.”  That made me laugh, but it also reminded me:  I’m surrounded…

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Oops! I Did It Again…

Oh no! I swallowed some Ryan Deiss click-bait… …only to discover I’d been fooled again.  The subject line said, “Re: Refund Request.”  Maybe I’m still in a post-vacation haze. Maybe the morning coffee hadn’t kicked in.  Whatever my excuse, my lizard brain told me to open the email  so I could see the status of…

gail

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.11.28

Content Makeover Offer Ends Tonight + Build Self-Awareness, Focus, and Emotional Balance + Quentin Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation + The New Yorker Profiles James Cameron + …from James Cameron

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My Black Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday Offer…

Good morning. I’m back in my home office for the first time in two weeks… …sipping a mug of black coffee (not as tasty as the double espressos I drank in France, but good enough)… …eating a piece of leftover pie for breakfast… …and wondering what e-maily goodness to send you.  (Pause while I rest…

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Thanks for Reading and Other Holiday Wishes…

Greetings from the wild blue yonder… …above the southern tip of Greenland… …which from 38,000 feet above… …looks white. I’m flying from Frankfurt to St. Louis. Just in time for Thanksgiving with the extended family.  Which brings me to the point of this email. THANKS! At the bottom of most emails, I write, “Thanks for…

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“Flabbergasting” Marketing Flubs And How to Avoid Them…

I’m on the train from Paris to Frankfurt, winding down my vacation and catching up on email… …and wondering what I’m going to send you and my other subscriber friends today. Lo and behold, the very first email I read contains a little gem of a story that’s just the kind of tale worth sharing…

michelle

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.11.21

How to Replace Your To-Do List with Something Way Better + How to Stand Out as an Authority in a Crowded Marketplace + New and Improved Version of Ann Handley’s Classic + Super Simple Highlighter for Chrome + …from Leo Burnett

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Guy With a Million Followers Braces for Twitter Meltdown. Lessons For All…

Close your eyes and imagine you’ve built your entire social media following on Twitter. Go on, imagine it.  Pretty scary, huh!?  Where will you and your followers be in a few months after the dust settles from the Elon Musk earthquake.  For those not following the news: Elon Musk (the guy who runs Tesla and…

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She Said I Make Her Grimace – and That Felt so Good

Last month, an accomplished, intelligent business woman named Brooke told me I make her grimace. And good golly, Miss Molly, that made me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Once upon a time, I might have sulked if someone put “Tom Ruwitch” and “grimace” in the same sentence – especially a female someone.  But not…

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More Stinky, Rotten Tactics to Avoid — if you Want to Build Valuable, Long-lasting Client Relationships

Greetings from my temporary home in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, where I’m staying in a 600-year-old house, along a back alley that reminds me of Diagon Alley. I got lots of great feedback regarding my email last week about rotten marketing tricksters who “swim in the shallow end of the tactical gene pool.”  Like this reply from subscriber Gill who…

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How The Family and Me Shifted Our Mood From Cloudy to Sunny

Greetings from the south of France where it’s sunny 300 days a year… …and it rained cats and dogs yesterday. Melissa and I flew over on Friday to meet up with daughter Maddie who’s been traveling across Europe for the last few months.  Here, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the gray, rainy…

KIA

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.11.14

Send Gifts with Ease + How to Profit with Print and Not Look Stupid Doing It + Turia Pitt: Unmask Your Potential + Finding Creativity In Gratitude, Love, Openness & Wonder + …from Anton Chekhov

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Are you Swimming in The Shallow End of The Tactical Gene Pool?

Yesterday, I heard Troy Broussard dish some dirt on marketing jackasses who resort to stupid tricks… …such as ending mass emails with “Sent from my iPhone.” Those cunning tricksters want you to think they’ve sent a personal email, composed one thumb-tap at a time, just for you. Troy said, as I often say: You don’t…

reading emails

A Peek into the Hamper of my Dirty Relationship Laundry

A new-ish subscriber named Dave chimed in yesterday with high praise and… …a complaint. “I love your emails, but I cannot keep up with them, as they come so often.” Ahhhh…the give-and-take of daily-ish, info-taining emails.  You love them, but they’re…ummmm…too much of a good thing.  Dave continues… “I don’t want to jump off your…

tour guide

You won’t believe what this tour guide didn’t know…

Did you hear the one about the tour guide in Frankfurt, Germany who can’t speak or read German?  This is no joke.  In September, “Michael_S,” gave this guide a 1-star review after hiring him for a private tour around the city.  From Michael’s review: “…this tour company has very poor standards for who qualifies as…

Untitled design

The Big Email Marketing Lie: Why Open Rates Are for Suckers

On Thursday, Dean Isaacs and I will host a 5in25 training: Metrics that Matter – 5 Things to Measure in Your Marketing and Sales… …and (spoiler alert): Email open rate is not a metric that matters. A story to clarify:  A few years back, I attended a conference where an “email marketing expert” spoke.  He described a…

jeanet

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.11.07

The 3-Step Headline System from Jack Turk + How to Build Healthy Teams and Healthy Bottom Lines + Annoying Network Habits to Avoid + Flip the Script by Oren Klaff + …from Troy Broussard

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Write This Way (How The World’s Fastest Copywriter Escaped Corporate Idiocy)

In yesterday’s email, I told you how Jack Turk quit his job at Microsoft to become a party magician and, later, “The World’s Fastest Copywriter.” Last night, over cocktails at the hotel bar in Baltimore, I learned the story behind that story.  Our new friend Al asked Jack, “Why’d you quit your  job at Microsoft?” …

magic

The Secret to Motivate Prospects to Buy

On his 50th birthday, Jack Turk marched into his boss’s office at Microsoft and quit his job as a game writer and project manager. So began his career as a… …party magician.  (Holy Pay Cut, Batman!) Now, instead of getting a regular paycheck from Bill Gates, Jack was clawing for gigs, fighting to earn a…

live conference

You Won’t Profit Unless You Do This…

Greetings from Baltimore, MD, USA where Vance Morris is about to kick off his DBOS 2022 Live conference. More on that in a moment. But first, a flashback to last evening when my friend and client Richard Terry and DBOS master of ceremonies Michael DeLon were enjoying Happy Hour at Mother’s Grille. Over crab cakes…

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The Trick-or-treat Marketing Method to Stand Out and Earn More

Three riddles from trick-or-treaters that made Melissa and me smile last night: Good Q: What’s a vampire’s favorite fruit? A: Neck-tarines. Better Q: What did the obsidian say to the geologist? A: Don’t take me for granite! Best Q: What did Tennessee? A: The same thing as Arkansas! (There’s nothing like a silly Halloween joke.)…

sony

Monday Mash-Up 2022.10.31

Marketing Humor and Insight from The Marketoonist + Tim’s Vermeer + This TED Talk is Funny and Wise + …from Harry Houdini

meg

A Request Inspired by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal

You opened this email. And, unless you’re a brand new subscriber, this isn’t the first one you’ve opened. So…questions and a request:  Why do you read my emails?  Would you recommend my emails to others?  If so, why?  The request: Reply to this email and let me know.  I may publish what you say as…

linkedin (1)

Crazy Stupid LinkedIn Lunacy

I crossed paths with a desperate marketer yesterday who craves more followers for his company’s LinkedIn page. A competing company recently gained 1,600 followers in 30 days, and Desperate didn’t want his company to fall behind.  So he posted his story to a marketing forum and asked for help. Then the rotten advice began to…

side mirror

The Best Car Repair Experience Ever — and What it Means for Your Biz…

Yesterday, I was scheduled to have a minor repair on my car. The driver’s side sun visor needed to be replaced because the mirror was cracked. Once upon a time, that would have meant a 20-minute drive to the dealership – over traffic-clogged highways, through a driving rainstorm.   I would have stood in line…

Untitled design

Creative Inspiration from Pablo Picasso

It’s Pablo Picasso’s birthday today (Oct. 25)… …which reminds me of something he said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Chew on that for a while – especially if you’ve ever thought you’re not “creative.” A lot of business people tell me they’re not…

Lynn

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.10.24

Recommended TrainingGenerate a Stream of Ideal Prospects Through Referrals When it comes to building your business through referrals, there’s no one better — and no one I trust more — than Virginia Muzquiz. (I don’t promote other people’s stuff often, but I’m promoting Virginia’s.) Today, Virginia kicks off her Referral Alchemy® Bootcamp, and you still…

email list

How to Inspire Would-be Subscribers to Say, “I Must Sign Up…”

Wow! I touched a nerve this week when I asked y’all about list building (here’s the email in case you missed it).  So many questions from aspiring list-builders… …including this one (which was similar to several I received):  “What can one say that would make someone feel ‘I must subscribe right away?’” I visited her…

treat or trick

How We Fall for “Free” — Even When It’s The Wrong Choice

The Halloween candy is here. Melissa stopped by Costco and brought home the treats over the weekend.  Three giant bags of KitKats, Reese’s, Rolos, Whoppers, and Heath Bars. 455 pieces of chocolaty goodness per bag.  1,365 pieces total… …tempting me… …taunting me… …every time I walk past them in the living room.  Melissa’s words echo…

q&a

A Request for a Quick Favor…And an Offer to Give Share Some Advice…

In a couple of hours, I’ll be a speaker at a live business seminar. The topic: Email list building. As I put the finishing touches on my presentation, I thought, “This is good stuff. Good enough to include in a course.”  And so was born my idea to create a short course on lead generation…

reading bible

How a Tabloid Rag Drew More Readers Than The Bible

Back in the 1980s, copywriting legend Gary Halbert once claimed: “More people read any single issue of The (National) Enquirer than have read The Bible since it was first printed!” (Zoinks!) Halbert did not share the “sickening statistic” (his words) to bash The Bible.  He was heaping praise on The Enquirer whose writers were, according to Halbert, “among the best…

stever

Monday Mash-up ~ 2022.10.17

Recommended ResourceAttract a Predictable Stream of Quality Clients My friend Virginia Muzquiz may be the best referrer I know. She’s a referral machine — and a great resource for anyone who wants to grow their business through referrals. Last week, Virginia released a The Referral Alchemy Report — a free resource that reveals how to attract a…

linkedin

Why Prospects Find You Then Flee — and How to Fix It

Here’s a cautionary tale about LinkedIn… …and why you must power-up your profile… …even if you rarely spend time on the platform. Yesterday, I met a guy named Bill who’s trying to ramp up his tutoring business.  He struggles to generate leads and land clients. And he described those struggles while sitting on the “hot…

writers block

How a Legendary Marketer Overcame Writer’s Block

Before he stood out as one of the world’s great copywriters, Gary Bencivenga was stuck. So he enrolled in a course called “Overcoming Writer’s Block.” Turns out the course was a bust. The instructor “didn’t have a clue how to cure this problem.” And his classmates turned each day’s class into a whine-and-moan session. Lots…

humilating

I’ve Got a Bad Case of Palace Envy

My new neighbors are making me look bad. They moved in over the summer and immediately began pumping big bucks into their century old house.  A new roof. Fresh paint. Landscaping makeover.  And that’s just what we can see from the front of their house.  Yesterday, as I returned from walking my mutt Moose around…

zoom meeting

You’re Invited: 2 Opportunities for Free Story Power

I’m packing my virtual bags and heading out on the speaking circuit this wee Opportunity #1 (Today): What: Free training Why Storytellers Sell More and Have More Fun Doing It.  When: Today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 12 p.m. EDT, 11 a.m. CDT. Where: Zoom. Click here to register.  Hosted by: Marc Mawhinney, founder and chief admin at The Coaching Jungle — the…

tom and rj

Monday Mash-Up 2022.10.10

Recommended ViewingSeth Godin on the Difference Between a Brand and a Logo “Companies spend way too much time on their logo.” So says Seth Godin who then explains what really makes a brand.  Important stuff whether you’re running a multinational corporation or a one-person shop.  Watch the video here. Recommended Viewing / ListeningHow to Create Interactive Experiences…

story telling

You Can Choose to Stand Out. Here’s How…

It happened again yesterday. Another expert-in-his-field told me he doesn’t have what it takes to generate creative content and powerful business-building stories.  Another struggling business owner who wants to be a stand-out in a crowded market but decided, without trying, that he is a storytelling washout.  Another man left on the sidelines watching others play…

tom and ted

How to Gain the Edge in This Wacky, Irrational World

Imagine this… You’re at the office supply store about to buy a pen for $25, and you run into ME. Nice guy I am, I tell you I saw the same pen at another office supply store – 15 minutes down the road – for $18.  Do you hop in your car, drive 15 minutes,…

customer call

Ditch The Meet-and-pitch Routine on Social. Here’s Why…

A few months ago, my friend Nora called to tell me about the new client she landed. He called me “out of the blue,” she said. “We met the next week, and he signed a contract that day.”  The quickest, easiest sale ever, right!? Well, here’s the thing… That “out of the blue” client was…

speaker

The Tragic, Cautionary Tale of a Speaker Known as Boring

There’s an old legend about an up-and-coming motivational speaker who joined the National Speakers Bureau and hired an agent to book gigs. The speaker’s name: William Boring.  The agent begged the speaker to change his name.  “No one will put you on stage with that name,” the agent said.  Reluctantly, the speaker hired a lawyer,…

mick

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.10.03

Recommended ViewingWhat Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work Dan Ariely is a brilliant behavioral economist (more on him below) who explores what motivates us — at work, when we shop, in our relationships, and more. In this TED talk, Ariely describes two fascinating studies that reveal what drives us in the workplace. Recommended Viewing…

cigarette smoking

Do You Mind If I Blow Cigar Smoke in Your Ear?

Sex sells. Always has. Always will. Take this modern day ad for Lindor truffles, oozing with innuendo:  “Taste the Lindor Truffle. Created with passion…Like nothing you’ve ever experienced.”  That would make Milton S. Hershey blush. But here’s the crazy thing… That Lindor spot and other ads released in our 21st-century, anything-goes, twerk-crazy world… …they’re nothing…

doctor

Process Automation Gone Wrong. A Cautionary Tale…

It began as a shoulder ache. Now I have a headache.  And it’s all because of process automation gone wrong. I woke Monday morning – after a restless, painful night – with a sore shoulder. The pain had spread down my forearm,  to my hand.  I knew these symptoms. I’d had them before – 15…

open email

I have a Feeling You’ll Open This Email Even Though the Subject Line is 103 Characters and 20 Words Long

A VIP member of my Content Transformation Academy asked me last week: What’s the ideal length for a subject line?  “Provocative question,” I replied. My answer: “Size doesn’t matter.”  The VIP shot back: “I read ‘shorter is better.’”  “Yeah,” I replied, “Some say short. Some say long.”  I Googled “what’s the proper length for a…

tonya

Monday Mash-Up ~ 2022.0926

Recommended ViewingTim Ferriss and Neil Strauss re: Writing and Creativity Watch the first two minutes of this video. You’ll hear a brilliant insight about how to develop a productive writing habit. Then keep going. The YouTube video description: “…best-selling author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss sat down with his friend and fellow writer Neil Strauss. Ferriss and…

reading emails

Email Away — as Long as You Don’t Drop Boredom Bombs

I spoke yesterday to a business owner who doesn’t like getting emails… …so she doesn’t want to send them. “I’ll be honest about email lists or subscriptions,” she said. “I don’t really like being on them. because I always feel like I’m being bombarded by emails…So I’m only intending to send (email) out once a…

chicken

Lessons Re: Stupid Social “Trends” And The Stupid People Who Report Them

Ripped from the headlines: The Food and Drug Administration does not want you to cook chicken in NyQuil I repeat:  The FDA does NOT want you to cook chicken in the nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine.  In a “consumer update” on its website, the US government agency…

scammer

The Brilliant Way Scammers Find Their Best Marks

A few years ago I got an email that claimed to be from my friend Mark. It said, “Hope you are doing well? It takes me great pain to write this email to you and I feel so devastated. My family and I had a trip visiting Manila,(Philippines) unannounced some days back for a short…

social media

Why Social Media Sucks for Selling — And What You can do About It

A quick story about the awesome selling power of social media… …or lack thereof: Last month, I heard Kim Garst speak. She’s a Forbes top 10 Social Media Power Influencer with 23,364 followers on LinkedIn.  And she said this:  “I’m known for social media,but only 3% of my salescome from social media.” As Scooby Doo’s…

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