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The Blind Leading the Gullible

None of us can go through life without needing the help of other people. Life is too complex to learn everything we need to know on our own. That's why teachers, coaches, consultants, advisors, mentors, and experts exist. But, problems can occur when we accept the advice of others who aren't qualified to give instruction. You may be familiar with the phrases: "Don't take financial advice from a broke person." "Don't take ski lessons from an instructor who's just trying to pick up ski bunnies." As I work with authors, non-profits, and businesses, I see a lot of bad advice given and accepted. I hear keynote speakers make brazen claims at conferences. I see misconceptions perpetuated all over the Internet. Worse, I hear horror stories … [Read more...]

17 Tips for Better Writing


I’ve written two successful books and coached dozens of authors how to write a manuscript and develop a new book. Here are some writing tips I’ve used with clients that you might find helpful: Getting Started: Schedule your writing in blocks of time. Write about anything to get started. Focus on what interests you the most. A strong opening is the key to grab the reader's attention. Start with your experience first. What's in your frame of reference? Don't lose momentum when you write. If it's flowing, keep going! Write your primary teaching points first and add illustrations later. Pretend that you're having a conversation with one person. Staying Focused Through the Process: Create an outline and refer to it … [Read more...]

The Reason Why So Much Marketing is So Bland


Previously, I talked about how advertising is the price of being boring. One reason why some individuals and organizations suffer from bland marketing is based on using the wrong focus. They promote their product, rather than promoting the valuable content within their product. Consider the big difference between these two approaches. When you focus on promoting a product, your marketing language will be about the product, which reduces your options for a catchy hook, compelling pitch, and exciting word of mouth. You limit yourself to essentially telling people, “Please buy my widget or service.” In contrast, when you focus on promoting valuable content based on your product, you enable yourself to use better marketing language. … [Read more...]

Advertising is the Price of Being Boring


"Advertising is the price of being boring." I love that line. It’s one of my favorite marketing quotes from Andy Sernovitz’s insightful book, “Word of Mouth Marketing.” My translation for Andy’s point is that if you have to advertise, it’s because you stink at creating word of mouth. Your message is too boring to get people to talk about it. When people won’t talk about your product or service, then you have to get in their face and interrupt them with advertising. And buying ad space can get quite expensive. Which would you rather have? Free word of mouth or paid advertising that people ignore? Getting people to turn into word of mouth warriors is a two-step process: 1. Give something worth talking about 2. Give … [Read more...]

Facebook’s Fatal Marketing Flaw


A few months ago, I expressed my frustration with Facebook’s unethical business practices and inability to follow their own guiding principles. But, I don’t have a megaphone big enough to get Mark Zuckerberg’s ear. Fortunately, the media industry has released new reports showing Facebook as the fraud that it really is. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported how Social Media Fails to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype. Their article highlights a recent Gallup Poll, which stated the Myth of Social Media: “62% of the 18,000 U.S. consumers surveyed said social media had NO influence on their buying decisions.” (see graphic) In addition, the WSJ said, “More recently, changes in how Facebook manages users' news feeds have … [Read more...]