The Anti-Trump Bar: The Way You Stand Out is By Standing UP

IN: Branding, Finding Your Voice, Marketing

There’s an AWESOME new creative cocktail lounge in New York City called Coup. All of the profits are being donated to organizations being threatened or defunded by the current administration. Tips are donated, too. Guest bartenders are flying in from all over the world, no charge, to donate their services. And guess what? There are s out the door every night. Political statement or not, there’s something to be said about taking a stand. If your business is suffering, it might be

EXPAND

Let’s Get One Thing Straight: There’s Only One Way to Stand Out from the Sea of Sameness, and It’s Free

IN: Branding, Marketing, Success

Everyone wants to stand out from the sea of sameness—a phrase I coined years ago, right here on this blog, when the Internet first started teetering toward “me, too!” syndrome. Ask most people how to stand out, and depending on their industry, they’ll tell you something different: Get a website! Learn how to write copy! Write an eBo! Get publicity! But those things, in and of themselves, do not help you stand out from the sea of sameness. They

EXPAND

Sometimes “It Is What It Is” = Best Business Policy of All

IN: Branding, Finding Your Voice, Marketing

Yesterday I stumbled across a website called—are you ready for this? Yoga For Bad People. Now, when you just read that, you either had one of two reactions: 1) Fucking it. 2) Not for me. And that is what the branding is meant to do—attract the people who will them, while actively repelling the people who won’t. Too often, we go to great lengths to attract, but not repel. We don’t like to tell anyone they don’t belong. (A knee

EXPAND

How Do You Make People Care About Your Work—Even When Your Work Is Lofty, Intangible, and Abstract as F***?

IN: Business 101, Marketing

I’m working with a client, right now, who wants to sell emotional intelligence. That’s the result you get when you work with her. EQ, instead of IQ. And emotional intelligence is actually really, really important. It’s one of the biggest predictors of success, believe it or not. She’s read the literature. I’ve read the literature. The pope’s read the sweet, sweet literature. So the question then becomes: How do we make other people care? The problem, of course, is that

EXPAND

What Do You Believe? Package THAT.

IN: Branding, Marketing

Everyone wants their ideas to spread. This is what marketing is all about. What is often neglected, however, is that you have to have an idea first. Everyone’s trying to sell “design” or “copywriting” or “coaching” or “services”—God forbid—but these things are merely categories, not concepts. What do you believe? Package THAT.                           *You were waiting for a dick je, weren’t you.

Make Something That Matters

IN: Creating, Marketing, Success

Things aren’t always what they seem. An e list full of 100,000 people is meaningless if only 100 of those people open the es. Similarly, an e list of 100 people, with 100 of those people opening them, does mean something. Who is successful? And who is doing something that actually matters?

How to Engineer an Effective Bribe—And Get the World to Do What You Want

IN: Business 101, Marketing, Selling

Think about what makes for a great bribe. If you swing by the makeup counter at Nordstrom’s and the sales associate tells you that if you spend $100, she’s going to—drum roll—“give you something special,” that makes for a terrible bribe, because “something special” could be a used Q-Tip, for all we know, and if we don’t know what it is, we can’t want it. Similarly, if you found yourself face-to-face with a dirty cop in rural Nevada, you probably

EXPAND

Unf*ckwithable BOSS | Online Business Development Program

IN: Business 101, Confidence, Creating, Marketing, Money Talk, Selling, Success, Video

*enthusiastic drum roll por favor*  Just kidding. I’d actually like an electronic harp, please. (Obviously superior.) Ladies, gents, and pandas, it is my pleasure to announce that the all-new Unf*ckwithable Boss On Business Development Program is now officially open. If you ever wished that you and I could put our heads together over a bottle of wine, and work together for a series of weeks ing in hard and creating—or overhauling—your on business from start to finish, A-Z, this is for you. As

EXPAND

UNF*CKWITHABLE BOSS: Red Hot, Brand New, Business Development & Refinery Program. Now Open for Enrollment!

IN: Branding, Business 101, Clients, Communication, Confidence, Creating, Hard Stuff, Life, Marketing, Money Talk, Productivity, Selling, Success, Writing

Hang onto your pumpkin loafs! (By which I mean, eat all the pumpkin loaf and then get yo’ glasses on, because there’s big news in the house today.) My brand-new business mentorship program has just rolled up in a Cadillac and is currently swigging vodka before making its debut onto the red carpet. It’s called UNF*CKWITHABLE BOSS, and it’s here to change the face of modern work forever. Unconventional name? Check. Unconventional purpose? Double check. If you’ve been thinking about striking

EXPAND

How to Stop Writing With a Stick Up Your Ass

IN: Creativity, Marketing, Writing

One of the things I get asked about forty hundred times a day (besides whether or not I know there’s a hair sprouting from my chin) is this: Because apparently I’m known for walking the between mental inspiration and mental institution—as every writer worth their weight should. But here’s what I hear every time someone asks me that question: “I’m not as boring a boob as I seem, but from all those years in corporate America / Catholic school /

EXPAND

What if My Customers Aren’t All the Same? How Do I Appeal to Multiple Targets? It’s called Positioning (And for Once I’m Not Talking About the Kama Sutra)

IN: Marketing, Writing


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h05/mnt/216450/domains/accounts.themiddlefingerproject.org/html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1204

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h05/mnt/216450/domains/accounts.themiddlefingerproject.org/html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1204

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h05/mnt/216450/domains/accounts.themiddlefingerproject.org/html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1204

SELLING YOUR STUFF TO OTHER HUMANS IS HARD. (Caps required.) It’s hard for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because nobody really knows what to say. We’re all filled with a million different ugly little self-doubts floating around our nervous little brains. What should the head say? Do I emphasize this feature or that one? What’s going to really ho ’em? Will they think the price is too high? Most people who have a business,

EXPAND

Take an Online Writing Class With Me This Week…On Demand!

IN: Marketing, Selling, Writing

You know why we write words? Because the right ones change things. The right ones carjack hearts. Move people. Make sales. Grow businesses. And change people’s lives—including your own. The wrong ones, on the other hand, cock block all of that. (And by “cock block,” I mean prevent, deny, thwart, retard, hamper, hinder and hex the hell out of your efforts…just in case that wasn’t abundantly clear.) Because when it comes to YOUR words – your website copy / your

EXPAND

“But How The $&%* Do I EXPLAIN What I’m Selling?”

IN: Marketing, Writing

You know how when you go to talk about something you’re selling (a class, a product, an idea…) and you’re all, “BUT HOW DO I EXPLAIN THAT?” Things are always so much easier to understand in your head, aren’t they? After all, YOU know what you’re selling. YOU know how great it is. YOU know that X, Y and Z works. So, why is it so hard to talk about? The first reason is because words are hard, yo. They

EXPAND

Please, I Beg You, Get a Niche. (No Matter Which Way You Pronounce That Irritating Word.)

IN: Marketing

Most annoying word ever: Niche. Come on, say it with me now. Nicheeeeeeeee. Oh wait, what’s that? You don’t know if it’s pronounced NIT-ch like an angry German or NEE-sh like a snobby Frenchman? That’s ay, neither does anybody else. DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU. Kind of like how nobody actually knows how to pronounce GIF any. What in the mother loving christ? What in the world is happening here? Then again, I suppose a population of people who spend

EXPAND

The Real Trick to Brilliant Writing

IN: Marketing, Writing

You know what makes for brilliant writing? Not what you say, but the way you say it. The execution. The way you jockey your message onto a page. There are 354 different ways to tell any story. (Exact figure, give or take a few thousand or so.) You can start at the beginning, or you can start at the end. You can speak from your perspective, or you can speak from theirs. You can write long, detailed sausage-stuffed paragraphs, or

EXPAND

Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

IN: Marketing

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? Nobody ever fits it in. You know what you fit in? About two or three things a day, max. That’s it. That’s the limit. Even

EXPAND

How to Market an Unsexy Product, Become #1 On TripAdvisor & Quadruple Your Profits

IN: Marketing

I hate fish. Don’t eat it. Don’t like it. And definitely don’t want to smell like it. This is why I never understood why the fish gods picked ME to get even with. Because they did, those fish gods. They wanted a human to torture, and they picked this one. The girl who would never hurt a fly fish. They cursed me, alright. It all started in 1994 when my dad forced me to put on a giant pair of

EXPAND

How to Sell a $250,000 Diamond Ring

IN: Marketing, Selling

You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words like “extrapolated” and “decisive” and pacing around your living room hoping they have no idea you actually just had wine and DOES HAVING WINE IN THE

EXPAND

Moron Shoes With Holes In Them: What Makes Somebody Buy Something…Or Not?

IN: Marketing, Selling, Writing

You know those little moron shoes with the holes in them? Those plastic clog loing things that lo like the most repulsive foot trend known to man? I’ve always been shocked those shoes gained any footing in the marketplace. *Insert shit-eating grin* But, really. If you’re spending good money to put this neon green bucket on your foot, for example, they must be doing something right. (Though I have a very hard time believing this trend would have ever caught

EXPAND

SWEATY ARMPIT ALERT: 67% of the people that were about to give you money…don’t.

IN: Marketing, Selling, Writing

Ever think you’ve got Alzheimer’s, or am I the only asshole running around forgetting the word “lollipop?” Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than forgetting the word “lollipop” in front of a stranger. It’s not like it’s some academic word one could be forgiven for forgetting, like idiosyncrasy—which I feel like is forgivable. I mean, nobody’s running around saying that word five times a day. But when you’re in the middle of a riveting conversation about the United States

EXPAND

One word might be costing you thousands of dollars. What is it?

IN: Marketing, Writing

“What do you own?” he asked her. “I own lots of things,” she replied, before going on to stumble through a list: Her car, her favorite Gucci purse, a timeshare in Mexico, her 300,000 count Egyptian cotton bedsheets. “No you don’t,” he said calmly. “Yes I–” she started. “You don’t own any of those things, because someday, all those things will be gone,” he said. She squirmed in her seat. “The only thing you own,” he said, “is the one thing

EXPAND

You’re always going to have fifty million things to do—PLUS that asshole’s bar mitzvah.

IN: Business 101, Marketing, Selling, Writing

There’s a lot of pressure these days to be perfect. (Says the girl carrying thirty extra pounds and a dysfunctional pouty face.) As someone who used to be very all-or-nothing, over the years I’ve had to make some major peace with the fact that all-or-nothing is a gigantic, sweaty faced fool’s errand. :: How many times have you thought about getting a new website, but don’t…because you’ll “wait until you’ve got money to really get all the bells and whistles?” :: How many times

EXPAND

Hey, Business Owners! Please Note. You Cannot Outsource Your Bowel Movements.

IN: Business 101, Marketing

You know how you get good at stuff? You give a shit. You give a shit some . And you give so much of a shit, that soon, your clients give a shit about you, too. You become an indispensable part of someone’s business or life. You think of the details some other jackal missed. You do things without being asked. You stay two steps ahead of your clients. You make them better for working with you. You make them smarter by working

EXPAND

You Can’t Sell Tickets to The Titanic if You’re Marketing it as a Rowboat

IN: Marketing

Listen up, business owners: Like it or not, people do judge a bo by its cover. And that cover happens to include the words on the front. And those words will make all the difference. Even something as simple as the way you advertise your services. There’s a palpable difference between the words, “hire me” versus “engagement fees.” There’s a difference between “buy now” and “apply now.” (Even though those “apply now” snobs drive me insane.) And there’s a difference between, “Cost: $5,000” and “Cost: $1,000

EXPAND

Clear vs Clever Copywriting is a Big, Fat, Bloated Myth (And a Scapegoat for Subpar Writers)

IN: Marketing, Writing

I’m a very dirty writer. Not but dirty in the way that I put sentences, thoughts, ideas together. My process is wild. Sexy. Free. Undomesticated. And while I wish the reason were because I’m just such a clay-faced, crochet-bra-top-wearing, sun-worshipping bohemian soul (I am laughably not), rather, it’s because I know something you don’t know about the written word: It’s only as brilliant as its process. If your process is tame, commonplace, average, pedestrian…then the output of your efforts will reflect

EXPAND

Repeat After Me: You Are Not Your Buyer

IN: Marketing, Selling, Writing

It’s two days before the new year, and I’m doing exactly what you are: Dicking around on the internet and calling it “downtime.” It’s absolutely PHENOMENAL. But, as we all prepare to become supermo there is one thing I want to encourage you to do, right here, right now, before you slug the last of the egg nog and run around with streamers on your head. And that is to listen up. Maybe you’ve been preparing for a big launch in

EXPAND

Your Attention Span Is Less Than That of a Bloody GOLDFISH (And So Is Your Customer’s)

IN: Marketing, Writing

I remember my exact thought the first time I ever saw a sales letter: What a crock. I was working with an outside marketing consultant who was brought on board to work one-on-one with me on a long-term campaign designed to expand the company from one location to three over the course of an aggressively short period of time. We performed all sorts of fancy SWOT analyses, re-envisioned the company’s core messaging, devised our plan of attack, and began rolling

EXPAND