≡ Menu

When I first heard the phrase “start ups,” I assumed it just meant new businesses. But I soon realised I was wrong.

They meant tech businesses whose goal was to get funding and then be sold to a larger tech company.

I would listen as they explained their plans. They’d talk about getting “users.” They wouldn’t talk about “customers” – because no-one was paying them any money.

And that’s where my [click to continue…]

A few weeks ago, Tex Gilligan was shot and wounded by one of his dogs.

According to the Las Cruces Sun News …

“Gilligan’s son, Mark Gilligan, said he wasn’t surprised to hear one of the dogs accidentally shot his father. ‘They’re kind of rowdy.'”

I can just imagine him saying, “Dad, if you don’t get rid of those dogs, one of them is bound to end up shooting you…”

But I get his point: [click to continue…]

I had a strange experience recently …

A prospect wanted to hire me to write sales copy, but when I asked about his business, it made no sense.

He’d done some keyword research, found two B2B services that had high demand, and combined them into one website.

To respect his privacy, I won’t say which two services, but they seemed completely incongruous.

It’s like if I said, “I can write your sales copy … and I can also clean your office…”

You’d be [click to continue…]

As I write this, there’s a book that’s selling for $229 on Amazon. That’s the lowest price; the highest price is $3,214.

I think I paid just over $100 for my copy. It was a bargain.

The book is Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, who was one of the most successful copywriters of the 20th century.

It’s been described as “graduate school for marketers.” And most top copywriters – the ones that earn over $1m a year – say it’s the most important book you can read.

Now, I’m not going to suggest you buy a copy. Instead, I’m going to [click to continue…]

I was listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast a couple of weeks ago (one of my favourite podcasts). At the start of the show, he gave a pitch for one of his sponsors and I noticed he was using some powerful persuasion techniques.

In this post, I’m going to break down everything I noticed. But, before I do, here’s what Tim said in full:

This episode is brought to you by Wealthfront and this is a very unique sponsor.

Wealthfront is a massively disruptive – in a good way – set-it-and-forget-it investing service led by technologists from places like Apple and world famous investors.

It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and they now have [click to continue…]

This is a true story. It happened around 10 years ago…

I was living in a highly-populated area of Edinburgh. One day, I noticed a Turkish barbers had just opened. I thought to myself, “He’ll do well. He’s got a big market to himself.”

A week later, what did I [click to continue…]

You probably heard about last month’s ransomware attack on the NHS. And there was another attack across Europe this week.

I don’t know about you, but this stuff scares the crap out of me.

(Can’t the intelligence services figure out who these people are and send the SAS to visit them? It’s what they deserve.)

Anyway… that got me thinking and I realised that, compared to most website owners, I know a lot about site security. (Much of this was learned the hard way.)

So, to help you protect your sites, here are some tips for WordPress security:

#1: Don’t use Admin

When I set up a new WP site, I create a new user with admin privileges. Then I delete the user called “Admin.”

[click to continue…]

This month, they were filming the next Avengers movie here in Edinburgh.

I’ll admit, I’m not a big superhero fan. The heroes tend to be pretty one-dimensional, and I’ve never understood the villains.

Why do they feel the need to kill people?

Why don’t they just use their abilities to make a load of money?

Take Magneto – the X-men nemesis – why doesn’t he go to Vegas and use his powers to control the roulette ball?

“Black 26. You win again, Mr Magneto!”

(Man, I’m going to get some hate mail for this…)

But, no, instead of getting rich on easy pickings, these villains have another idea: [click to continue…]

You probably saw the story about United Airlines staff dragging a bloodied passenger off a flight.

And, of course, this being 2017, other passengers filmed it on their phones and posted it online. It’s a PR disaster. And, since the story broke, United’s stock market value has dropped $255,000,000.

Of course, now their spin machine has kicked in, and they’ve issued multiple apologies. One of these apologies even talked about how [click to continue…]

In 1923, Claude Hopkins, the father of modern direct advertising, wrote:

“Advertising, once a gamble, has thus become, under able direction, one of the safest business ventures. Certainly no other enterprise with comparable possibilities need involve so little risk.”

Here we are, almost a century later, what do we see? Most ad campaigns fail, and marketing disasters are still commonplace.

So, was Hopkins wrong?

I don’t think so. I believe that most marketing disasters are avoidable – as long as you follow some simple rules.

Here are 7 of those rules:

Rule #1: Play with house money

When I started out as a marketing consultant, I took a unique approach: [click to continue…]