Who You Know and What You Know Aren't as Important as HOW YOU are Known

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A subscriber writes in with a question:
Is it really who you know, not what you know when it comes to getting ahead? Is it a closed door policy or open? I have been at this art career professionally for 10 years (mind you, I have carried two children, did the tree change and bought a family business within those years) but I have yet to really be ‘seen’. I have finally secured 2 great solo shows in regional art galleries and we are off to Italy next year for an artist residency but I’m still feeling challenged by the Australian bourgeoisie ‘art society’. My aim is to secure a professional, commercial Sydney art gallery but I seem to be invisible.Really great question too, but unfortunately it isn’t relevant.

That is to say: it’s not in your control who you know – you can reach out all you like, but in the end it’s not up to you which influencers pay attention to you.

And what you know, well that gives you no prediction of how far you can go.

What you can control however is how people know you.
In other words: your brand, your personality, your perceived value as a provider – what you’re about, why you would matter to a buyer.

That part, you can completely control. That’s the part you own, and that’s the only thing you need to concern yourself with.

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Exactly How Smart Are You?

“I’ve got a great idea for you!”

“But of course, you’re doing it wrong. Why don’t you try abc?”

“What you should do, is (xyz)”

We all receive advice, whether we ask for it or not.

The question is, what do you do with it?

Most people just won’t take advice, no matter how good it is.

Which is why these days, I don’t bother dishing out advice.

Hardly any point in it.

Last week I was having coffee with a friend, when Elisabeth showed up.

She’s a German lady, speaks four languages and has quite some clout as a business consultant.

But she is clueless about marketing or being a freelancer.

She sat down, ordered coffee, and explained she was sending her resumé to hotels, to see if there’s a waitressing job available.

So I said: “You could also forego that, and set yourself up as an independent consultant, you know?

It’ll be hard work and it’s going to mean writing TONS of content, but if you write well you can probably pull it off.”

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How to Double, Triple or Quadruple Your Writing Speed – Today!

I had a guest post go live on Firepolemarketing last week, and it seemed to be a massive solution to quite a few people.

If you joined my list after reading that post, this message is no news for you.

But if you signed up any time before that post went live, you might have missed it.

And if you write content as part of your business, and if you want to write faster, you want to read this piece. Believe me.

Find it here: http://www.firepolemarketing.com/writing-speed/

So this email holds no salespitch – just one request: after reading, would you please share it around on social media?

Thank you.

Martin

No, But I Mean It: Specialise (If You Want to Live)

Looks like my email about specialisation the other day caused some anger.

A reader replied by writing a blog post.

It’s in dutch so I’m afraid I can’t share it with you.

The gyst of it is that this reader diversification a hallmark of being human.

Which I agree with.

It doesn’t get you your daily bread though.

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Tell Me What to Do – Don't They Know How Arrogant I Am?

Had an interesting conversation with a few smart local femtrepreneurs the other day.

They were asking me about my habit of emailing daily.

And they were trying hard to convince me that it’s a bad strategy.

“You’ll bore people”
Nope. People mail me back to say thanks.

“They flag you for spam”.
Not so. I get hardly even any unsubscribes.

“People just ignore you”.
Not true either. It gets me consistently high open rates.

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Weird Huh? The More Skills You Offer, the Fewer Sales You'll Make

One of the most widespread mistakes people make is being versatile in what they offer.

Service-based businesses are especially prone to this, and it has devastating consequences.

The story usually goes like this:

I offer web design services, but I’m low on clients and that causes a cashflow problem.

I’m going to also offer related services, like modifying website code, and copywriting, and Aweber integration.

That way I can catch more clients for different types of gigs, and solve my financial problems.”

After that, financial problems tend to spiral right out of control.

Why?

Several reasons:

If you want people to pay you handsomely, you have to excel at what you do. If you want to earn top dollar, you have to be one of the best.

And let me tell you: if you don’t focus 100% of your energy on becoming the best, you won’t become the best. Obviously.

But also: what kind of client do you want to work with?

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my clients to be smart, focused, driven, and poised for success.

To me, that means a client who hires experts for each part of his project, because hey, experts are the best for the job. Right?

So if you offer 7,5 different kinds of service that are only partially related (if at all), your client won’t be the type who hires experts.

He or she will be the type who hires freelancers who learn everything half-ass, because they try to do too many things at the same time.

Logically, a client like that isn’t exactly set up for massive success.

Which means his launch could bomb, his traffic might be untargeted, his funnel might be broken – many things can go wrong.

And if it does go wrong? Then you have a problem, possibly several.

He could blame you even though the work you did isn’t the reason for the lack of results.

He is not likely to come back to you because he probably won’t make enough money to reinvest.

He could even come back to you and try to get a refund, which is just another hassle for you.

Focus. Specialise. Be really amazingly good at one specific thing. A small thing or a big thing, that depends.

Point in case: I could specialise in just email marketing services, but instead my offer is wider: I also write website copy, ads, direct response copy and video sales scripts.

But, it’s all a matter of copywriting services. As soon as a client asks me if I can also set up Mailchimp for them, I refer them to a specialist.

I could do it, but won’t. I specialise. That’s what makes me good at what I do.

And most importantly: it gives my clients the confidence that I don’t muck about with my work, but that instead I give it 100% every day.

Don’t be the guy who sells ice-cream but who will also paint your house.

Be the guy who is THE best housepainter in town, OR be the guy with the richest and creamiest icecream. Not both.

Here’s where I normally place a crafty reference to my work and a link, but it’s late and I’m tired so I hope you’ll forgive me if I just give you the link without further ado.

Just in case you want to hire a sales-driven and highly specialised copywriter: http://martinstellar.com/high-conversion-sales-copy//

Cheers,

Martin

 

Oh Man I Miss the @Rimshotbot – And I'll Miss You If You Disappear

Few years ago there was a twitter account I just loved.

It was a bot, but such a fun bot.

It scanned the twitterverse, for anyone using the word ‘rimshot’.

You know, the badum-tshh sound they make on the drums after a comedian tells a joke.

As soon as you’d say #rimshot, you’d get a reply from the @rimshotbot.

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Client About to Drive off a Cliff – Again

I thought this might be useful for you. It’s an email I sent to a client last night.

I’ve mentioned him before: he’s getting ready to launch his business, and still has a few big problems on his site.

Notably, his landing pages are broken: the copy is good (obviously – I wrote it – don’t ever let anyone accuse me of modesty).

But the design and layout is a mess. The pages won’t convert. So I offered him a report+wireframes, and since he’s a client who keeps sending me jobs, I offered this at a stupid discount.

 He declined, saying his web development team will fix the problems.

 I’m fine with that, but…

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Screw the Customer and Make a Profit (Don't do This)

Just saw a quote that made me angry.

Not because it isn’t true, but because of who said it, and because of the company this individual runs.

“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so”.

That little gem is from Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair.

Ryanair is of course the low-budget airline I love to rant against.

Ryanair is a complete asshole to its customers.

“Short of committing murder, negative publicity sells more seats than positive publicity”.

Yep, he really said that. It pretty much sums up Ryanair’s attitude.

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Why a Little Bit of You Makes You Come Alive To Them

I was talking to a friend the other day about her marketing.

She owns a little grocery store here in town, and she asked my help in order to attract clients from a wealthy neighbourhood.

Her plan was to distribute a little flyer to raise awareness and interest.

I put together some copy giving the reader some fine incentives to come visit her shop, and printed it out to show her.

But I don’t want my picture on it, Martin. I’m not that coquette, you know? It’s not about me”.

I smiled at her, because I like it when people say smart things.

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