So, People Suck at Talking to Each Other

IN: Marketing

People suck at talking to each other. I’ve thought about this post for days now, and turns out? That’s my grand epiphany. My big, profound opening . As a professional communicator & copywriter, trained linguist, PR expert and author of that filthy blog, “The Middle Finger Project” (my hooligan credentials), I get paid to say the right thing. (Come to think of it, men should really hire me to ghostwrite their apologies.) While I may be skilled than the

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If You’re Not Dangerous, Get Out.

IN: Marketing

If you’re not dangerous, we don’t want to work with you. You might have the qualifications. Hell, you might have gone to Harvard. Maybe you’re perfectly competent. Step it up. Competence doesn’t demand that anyone notice you, wonder about you, or care about you.  Nobody ever won an award for hitting a dead on time. We want to work with people who are feared. People who are It’s easy to be d; all you have to do is kiss the right ass.

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Just The Tip: Is It Annoying to Buy From You?

IN: Marketing

Everybody s shopping, right? (Except maybe Ben Stein—imagine that guy in Kohl’s, or worse, going down a water slide. Two words: man thong.) You know who else s shopping? The people who are loing for your services and products. There’s nothing like the high of thinking that you found it—the perfect photographer // vintage purse // writer // statement necklace // country dance studio.  Okay, maybe not country dance studio, but in any case, when any of us

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It’s Never About What You’re Selling. And Always About What They’re Buying. There’s a Difference.

IN: Marketing

Anytime I’ve seen a man in khaki, I’ve thought horrible things about his package. Maybe because they remind me of grandfathers. Or maybe because they remind me of Mr. Rogers. Either way, no female has ever wanted her boy friend to lo like a boy scout. Khaki spells uptight. Conservative. Narrow-minded. Bourgeois. Which is why I was startled by how much I liked him. He came whirling out of Hall’s Chophouse, a restaurant on King’s Street in Charleston, South Carolina, where

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Your Marketing Isn’t Working Because It’s an Arrogant, Selfish Blowhard.

IN: Marketing

If you feel like no one’s paying attention to you, go hang out at any sports stadium. Because if you go to the stadium, you’ll know what it’s like to be smashed up against 100,000 assholes in blue face paint chanting olé! olé! olé! olé! And you’ll instantly know what the main attraction is. Not the game. The experience of being at the game. And with that experience comes my favorite person of all: The beer guy. As soon as you sit down, you’re

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The Devil Isn’t In The Details. Your Next Dollar Is.

IN: Marketing

I was seated in the exit row. And when you’re seated in the exit row, you’re obligated to at least pretend to pay attention to the flight safety video, as 300 other people glance over at you and think, “Great. So that’s the dingle berry in charge of our lives.” I didn’t want to watch it, though. Not because safety isn’t important (insert Smey the Bear infomercial here), but because I’ve seen the safety video enough times that I practically

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Are You Peeing In The Sea of Sameness?

IN: Marketing

I was disgusted. She was the 11th person to pass by trying to peddle the same exact selection of sunglasses that ten other people had peddled just seconds before. “Senorita?” she said, tapping me on the shoulder from behind my table once . I ignored her once . She circled around me in case I wasn’t hearing her. I forced myself to calmly keep eating my filet, eyes fixed straightforward, as if she were invisible. She tried once again to get my

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What You Say Is More Important Than What You Sell

IN: Marketing

What you say is important than what you sell.  Creativity is not a child’s luxury; it’s a smart business strategy. If you’re wondering whether creativity is a waste of time; if you’re convinced that  “your product / service / website will speak for itself,” then think twice: Because creativity, as it’s usually defined, is about making a statement. But creativity in business is about making a statement that gets you what you want. Notice the difference. It’s important to

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You Are Not a 7-Eleven.

IN: Life, Marketing

“People need to understand what the fuck BUSINESS HOURS mean. I’m not 7-eleven, folks. I am not. If I wanted to be, I’d just run a 7-eleven. Big Gulps all the fuck around.”– Got that e from a frustrated business owner yesterday. I laughed so hard I almost spit wine on my bed. (I said almost. You know I wouldn’t be that wasteful. And yes, I DRINK WINE IN BED.)– Raise your hand if…you’re running yourself ragged trying to please fifty

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How to Blow Your Competitors Out of the Water—Even When There’s an Entire Sea of ‘Em

IN: Marketing

Last week, we talked about sustainable marketing efforts–not just wham bam thank you ma’am attempts like putting your logo on a BIC pen and handing them out to random nuns. Not effective. A much effective way to market yourself? Becoming the obvious choice. Because, once again, when you’re the obvious choice–it isn’t a choice at all. And today we’re going to talk about the how. Because what’s the point of dippy dappy inspiration unless you can actually execute? So–becoming

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Your Logo On a BIC Pen Isn’t Going to Do Jack. (And Other Marketing Tactics You Can Stop Wasting Your Time With.)

IN: Marketing

So, you know how you’ve been fumbling around on writing awkward tweets that say things like, “So…how about that mustard?” and “FOLLOW ME, I DON’T BITE!” to which some creepy man with a mustache from Idaho immediately responds with a frowney face, making you contemplate whether or not this is a plus or a minus, because, after all, IT IS A FOLLOWER. But soon you get tired of good ol’ porn stache, so you pop on over to your

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Want to Stand Out In a Sea of Competitors? Stand UP.

IN: Marketing

Say you’re shopping for a diamond. “You’re shopping for a diamond.” (<—Anyone who just made that je in their head is FIRED…but also sort of hilarious.) Popping over to Google, you search for the goods, pounding out “perfect diamonds” with your click-clacking fingers and hoping for the best. The result? Websites and websites and websites AND WEBSITES (and probably a stray ad for Twizzlers) all claiming high-quality. All claiming unrivaled gems. All saying the same exact thing, overwhelming you with

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Worst Case Scenarios are a GIFT.

IN: Marketing

A lot of people cower at the foot of, say, everything they want to be doing, in fear of the “worse case scenario.” And in some ways, they’re right. YES. The worst case scenario might mean horrifying consequences. It might mean shame. It might mean losing your virginity dignity. YES. The worst case scenario might mean panic. It might mean terror. It might mean pacing back and forth for three days in your old lady nightgown, Snickers bar hanging out

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Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Turning People Off. Ever.

IN: Marketing

This past weekend, my best friend since the second grade who is probably the best friend you could ask for and aren’t you jealous? sent me a picture from a restaurant in Pittsburgh, where she was visiting, with a note that said, “Thought you would this!” And wasn’t she right. I did it. Because most businesses would be afraid to declare something so potentially off-putting. But smart businesses, on the other hand, don’t avoid being off-putting—THEY STRIVE FOR IT.

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On Getting the World to Pay Attention to You

IN: Marketing

I’m pretty sure one of the things on my Top 10 List of Life’s Secret Weapons That Everyone Should Know About Because They Help You Get Ahead Faster Than Everyone Else on the Planet is this: Learning how to make an unforgettable, cannot-be-ignored kind of STATEMENT. This is likely why I favor obnoxious bauble necklaces and blog headers that take up the entire screen. Not like I know anybody who would do anything like that. But, naturally, it goes back to my favorite

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Tired of Being Told To “Differentiate Yourself?”

IN: Marketing

Everyone tells you to be unique. Find your USP. Differentiate yourself. (Meanwhile, you’re all, “Stab, stab stab, I’m the same, I’m the same, I’m the same – how am I suppose to “differentiate” life coaching?) And so you take a drink, because these are the types of things that drive people to drink, and you stare at some arbitrary chart you’ve made up in a sore attempt to try and figure this garbage out before EVERYBODY GETS AHEAD OF YOU

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How to Make People Cry (And How It’ll Help You Get More Clients)

IN: Marketing

Watch this video. Right now. Before you do anything else. And preferably with a small furry animal alongside you. (Or a vodka. Equally comforting, and less smelly.) –  Click here to watch the video on YouTube. There is so much we can take from that video, but most importantly: Only by putting yourself into someone else’s shoes, can you empathize, and ultimately say the things they need to hear in order to help them choose you instead of someone else. For example,

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7 Companies Doing Personality RIGHT.

IN: Marketing

Remember that one time every single day when I talked about how giving your business a personality will help you earn trust, differentiate yourself, and sell to the right people? (As long as you don’t own a funeral home. That could be a tricky one.) Well guess what? It’s your lucky day because…I’m going to talk about it again! Except I’m not really going to talk about it, because I’d much rather just upload a bunch of fancy screenshots

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How Not to Feel Like an Asshole (Two Loud-Mouthed Audio Interviews)

IN: Marketing

Holy smes! It’s Friday. I’m drinking (a big, giant vat of) coffee. And I’m wearing Adidas yoga pants that are (really) not so flattering. (But since I bought them for 59 times the price when I was living in Chile, I AM GOING TO WEAR THEM COME HELL OR HIGH WATER.) (Good thing they are capris.) All of those important detail aside, I figured: What better day to share a couple of loud-mouthed interviews I’ve given over the past month?

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Take Off Your Girdle And Show A Little Leg: On Giving Your Business Some Personality, Already

IN: Marketing

If I could scream from the top of Brad Pitt’s rooftop (have you SEEN those Chanel commercials?), you know what I’d yell? LOOOOOOOOSSSSSSEEENNNNNNNNNNN UPPPPPPPPPPPPP! Of course I’d be embarrassed because I sort of have a man voice, but I think Brad would be ay with it. And he wouldn’t mind because it’s a form of philanthropy since, really, the world needs to hear it. Gone are the days of stiff. Buttoned up. Pretentious. In business, at least. (I can’t speak for

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How to Make a REAL Emotional Connection With Your Marketing: A Sample from South America

IN: Marketing

You know how I’m always ranting on about making an emotional connection in your copy, your brand, your message and every single thing that you do?  And you’re all, “What does that even mean, Ash?” And I’m all, “Have you been paying attention?!” And you’re all, “I swear I have–but I still don’t get it!” At which point I roll up my jean cuffs, reveal an inappropriately high red heel for 10 o’clock in the morning, and proceed to shove

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Why Your Clients Should Never Have to “Think About It”

IN: Marketing

READ THIS FIRST. People are moving so fast now that they don’t have time to think. They’re scanning, swiping, clicking, liking, tweeting and moving on at full velocity. They’re making decisions based on feelings, not facts. They are often choosing not because of what they think, but because of how something makes them feel. What does this mean for your business? If you want people to act, you must make them feel. If they say ‘I’ll think about it’, you’ve

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Butt Paste–And How It’ll Help You Market Yourself Better.

IN: Marketing

Last night, I bought three tubes of something called Butt Paste.  You’re probably thinking the same thing that the 19 year old male cashier was. Try making that transaction with a straight face. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, after all. And this girl is headed to The Bahamas tomorrow with global travel mistress Kyle Hepp. Not on vacation–both of us will be working–but still, it’s The Bahamas. And it’s hot in the Bahamas. (It better

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20 Ways to Stand Out From The Crowd (Without Swearing or Having a Rhinocerous-Sized Marketing Budget)

IN: Marketing

I’m currently consulting with a sport fishing business here in Costa Rica. This is quite amusing, given the fact that I do not like fish, eat fish, or want anything to do with fish–particularly those appalling little orange eggs they put on top of sushi. Thanks, but you can keep the dyed tuna fetuses in the fridge. That compelling topic aside, like many businesses, sportfishing is one of those businesses that’s becoming and like a commodity. That means

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Creating New Offerings–or Revising Your Old? Grab Wine. Listen Up.

IN: Marketing, Money Talk

Don’t ever buy wine with me. I’m warning you. I’ll be the jerk all the way over in the corner in Aisle 7 trying to buy the obscure, unpronounceable wine that no one’s ever heard of–partly because it helps me with my All-American complex (you know, the one where you realize you’re not exotic at ALL), and partly because snooty wine labels with edges that have been HAND SINGED by the blaze of an elderly Italian man in a faraway land

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Call Your Fucking Tribe. (Quickie Friday Piece of Ass)

IN: Marketing

For my WRITERS–at heart, by trade, or in their wildest, rowdiest, wettest dreams. Because it’s Friday. And this short video will be the most important thing you do all day. (You can’t fool me – I know nobody’s really working.) This is why I do what I do as a copywriter. This is why the words on your website are so important. And this is why words are the finest gift–and tool–we could ever hope for. To inspire. To be

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Sexy Matters. Whether You Like It Or Not.

IN: Marketing

Sexy matters. We hate to think that’s true. We lo at the girl strutting down the sidewalk, who’s obviously “trying too hard,” and we silently disapprove. But it’s not because she’s trying too hard. It’s because she makes us feel inferior.  To soothe our egos, we immediately start telling ourselves the story that we’re “better,” so to speak, because we don’t need all that make-up to feel pretty, or at least we’ll get taken seriously, and men prefer natural,

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