Monthly Archives: October 2006

Take A Deep Breath…

Wow.

There sure are a lot of launches going down, online. Seems like everyone who has something to sell is trying to work people into a bug-eyed frenzy before allowing anyone to buy it.

I love good marketing tactics. The launch process is a good-un, based on sound classic salesmanship… but geez louise. I’m getting forty emails a day from people I don’t know who pretend to be my closest buddy in the world, telling me the foreplay is almost over, and the long-awaited climax is just around the corner…

Let’s just please all get a grip for a moment here.

There are products that deserve to be launched, with all due pomp and circumstance… and there are products that, frankly, look kinda like that emperor with no clothes on.

Sometimes, a circus is just another circus. And they aren’t all the greatest show on earth.

Look… Continue Reading

Fishing For Hooks

There are a lot of intangibles that go into writing killer copy.

That’s a big word that simply means (in the idiosyncratic dictionary I keep near the top of my internalized Bag of Tricks) “you can’t quite put your finger on it”.

Much of the craft of writing sales copy involves easy-to-understand tactics… like the feature/benefit relationship. (For every feature you write about, attach a benefit. Don’t ever force your reader to finish your thought, and NEVER assume he knows what you mean. Rookie writers think “4,000 horsepower engine” says it all… when the pro will finish the thought for the reader: “… which means your new car goes very, very fast, with a deep roar that scares horses and little old ladies, while impressing everyone you need to impress…”) (Okay, I’m laying it on thick, but you get the point.)

Ah, but you’ll never write at a world-class level until Continue Reading

Choking

Geez Louise!

Mostly, I’ve been able to resist becoming a sports zombie again. The last time I followed a team with any fervor was back when the Giants won 162 games and got shut out of the World Series with a humiliating final-game loss to the Dodgers. After the angst had eaten a hole through my heart, I vowed to never get so emotionally involved in sports anymore.

I still enjoy the occasional big game, and I still love the pageantry and circus atmosphere… but mostly, I am dispassionate about it.

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The Fight You Won’t Win

I just finished my latest issue of The Rant — number 53, if you’re counting — and had a few notes left over I couldn’t fit into the 8 pages I allow myself for each newsletter.

So let me share that insight here: I was discussing human nature and the bizarre “cult of common sense” most people spend their entire lives laboring under (most folks believe they possess common sense, despite glaring evidence to the contrary)… and I was tying it in with the basics of world-class salesmanship.

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Squandering Free Time

Every so often, I make the alarming self-discovery that I’m taking things for granted.

It’s common, it’s understandable, and it’s forgiveable. But it’s not the way I choose to live.

I sometimes ask clients, while digging for USP material, why they’re doing what they’re doing. Most of the time, they don’t have a good answer. Especially the younger ones, for whom life is still a whirlwind of incoming stimuli and the years ahead still seem endless and fruitful.

And for those clients who answer “make a ton of money”, I know we are not destined for a long relationship. Because, if there’s one solid thing I’ve learned in my career… it’s that money isn’t a worthwhile goal. At best, it’s a sideline benefit.

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