"One day, those 'cool' kids who're making fun of the 'nerdy' kids... will one day be working for them."
My dad said that to me when I was in high school.
He was right.
Growing up I never took school seriously.
I think a lot of it stemmed from my own insecurity.
And my way of dealing with it was to act "cool", like I didn't care.
So my big aim in high school was to never bring books home.
What a yutz I was!
Today, I love to read. Try to get in about 90 minutes a day.
For the first decade or so of my entrepreneurial journey I mainly read books on marketing, copywriting, persuasion, management, and productivity.
In my second decade I started focusing on investing, leadership, and business development.
Today, my reading tends to be focused mainly around argumentation, rhetoric, philosophy, and theology.
Sidenote: I think argumentation and rhetoric are two of the most valuable skills any marketer can develop. Despite being topics rarely discussed or taught.
If you're an entrepreneur, you should be a voracious reader.
You've heard it before. And it's true.
From a marketing standpoint: Reading -- especially when done with a variety of topics -- gives you the diverse input you need to spot and develop big ideas for your marketing.
This is important. Because you need a lot of output to generate big ideas. And you need a lot of input to have a lot of output.
So, read. Read a lot. Read a variety of topics.
Then, set aside time to think about what you've read. Process it.
Then, put your thoughts and ideas into your words. Save these notes. Then review them regularly.
It's truly one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself.
I only wish I started younger.
With that, let’s get to this week’s goodies…
MY FAVS THIS WEEK
- How to Create 10x Content
This is GREAT!
It's NOT about creating 10X MORE content, but about creating content which is 10X BETTER than what's out there.
In a ten-minute whiteboard video, Rand Fishkin of Moz.com shares the 6 criteria for a piece of "10X content", as well as the 4 steps to creating it.
Some of the stuff he shares not only applies to creating content, it applies to creating compelling marketing.
Really good stuff.
Also included is a link to 120 pieces of "10X content". You should check it out.
- Seeking Happiness Won't Help You Make Major Personal Decisions. Here's What Will
"Will this decision make me happy," is a question we sometimes consciously or subconsciously try to answer when faced with choices.
But, since human beings tend to be awful at predicting what will make us happy when faced with major personal decisions, this question often fails to lead us in the best direction.
According to Jungian psychoanalyst, Dr. James Hollis, there's another question you can ask yourself which is much more likely to lead you to happiness.
That question is given and explained in this article.
- 13 Timeless Lessons from the Father of Advertising
At one time, David Ogilvy was widely recognized as the most sought-after wizard in the advertising industry.
Rightly so; his agency was responsible for some of the biggest advertising campaigns ever created.
Here are 13 lessons every entrepreneur should understand. My favorite, of course, is the lesson about the necessity of the Big Marketing Idea.
ODDITY FROM MY LIBRARY
This is one of those books you'll pull off the shelf often to peruse.
You'll find tips and ideas from something like 200 marketing greats...
Legends of the craft like: Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Maxwell Sackheim, Jay Abraham, Dick Benson, Malcolm Decker, and tons of others.
It covers almost every marketing-related topic imaginable.
You won't read it cover to cover. But, it's a great little tool for spotting gaps and opportunities in your marketing.
Not too mention, it's a great idea stimulator for when you need a little jolt.
WHAT I'M TELLIN' MY TEAM
This week on our internal marketing training…
I dissected an exceptional dog training promotion for the team.
I highlighted the different chunks of the letter, including their purpose and role, and showed the team the, almost, formulaic flow of a high-conversion long-form sales letter.
This promotion, in particular, had a couple well done elements I wanted my guys to understand:
1. How to standout and differentiate your marketing message in a competitive landscape with a good Unique Mechanism.
In this case, the UM was based around "unlocking your dog's hidden intelligence".
2. How to bring your copy to life with verb-driven benefit statements.
As I remind my guys on our weekly marketing training sessions -- good copy is powered by good verbs.
TEAM TAKEAWAYS IN THREE BULLETS:
- Putting your promotion through the Headline Test: If you couldn’t run your headline/deck copy as a stand alone promotion with a CTA - it needs to be reworked.
- Even a promotion that has some elements missing or out of place can still produce the goods if it has a compelling enough Primary Promise and proof points.
- Engineering a home run marketing promotion isn't about discovering and using new marketing strategies. It's about finding new and different tactical ways of deploying the tried-and-true marketing strategies. Hit all the key conversion elements, just do it a bit differently than competitors.
This question comes from inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group.
I don't recommend you use it.
First off, you should only use a marketing tactic if you can do so ethically and honestly.
Don't make something up just cause it can make your marketing more effective.
Always do what's right, dude.
The folks who don't are exactly what's wrong with marketing online today.
Second, while scarcity can certainly be a valuable tool for driving conversions, so can urgency.
And creating urgency doesn't require scarcity.
The two are not the same.
Urgency can be ethically engineered by giving a deadline for response to your offer.
Urgency can also be engineered by reminding your prospects of the pain they're in, and the speed at which they can experience relief with your product or service.
In some cases, urgency can also be created by demonstrating how the benefits of your offer can only be reaped by a certain date (e.g. financial offers related to when a company has an IPO).
The key is to give your prospects a real reason for responding right now.
Not tomorrow, not next week, now.
Page load speed is becoming more and more important every passing day.
There are now studies which show an extra 3 seconds of load time can cause a significant elevation in bounce rate (i.e. people leaving your site).
Of course, images on a webpage increase load time.
But, you can decrease their impact by making sure they're compressed properly for the web.
TinyPNG is a free tool which does it for you.
It's the tool I use whenever I put an image on any of our sites.
PIC OF THE WEEK
Ah... the post-candy-bar crash.
These little things... these mini Twix bars... are my nemesis.
I'm good during the week with my diet...
But it's the Sunday Cheat Day which gets me.
I've convinced myself it's my way of "refueling" and keeping my metabolism churning.
It's all about the narratives we tell ourselves. 🙂
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