Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

The Face, Not the Logo (Making a Case for Being Different)

There’s a thousand reasons why someone ought to buy your work.

And, there’s dozens, hundreds or even thousands, of others who people could also buy from, and get an equally good solution to their problem.

So when someone decides to buy from you, and not from another provider, why is that?

Could be your credentials, experience, expertise, price, availability…

But in all cases when someone decides that you get the money and not someone else, there’s one thing at play that you can leverage:


You’re different from all the others. That’s why people want you, not them.

But if you’re different, then everybody else is also different. So how does that set you apart?


Most everybody else is out there looking to sell to people who want what they do.

But those who see a spike in success, those are the ones who only look to sell to those buyers who want their kind of different.

As Daniel Priestley says: People don’t remember the logo – they remember the face.

If you want to make marketing and selling easier, then you’d do well to connect with – and sell to – those who like your kind of different.

Suddenly your total market has become a LOT smaller & easier to wield, and suddenly your market is filled with 100% of candidates who totally dig the kind of different that you are.

What really makes for a differentiator in business, and what sets you apart from the competition, isn’t how different you are – it’s how far you’re willing to go in terms of aiming for people who want just your particular variation of different.




Should You ‘Pay to Play?’

Following on from yesterday’s ‘be the prize’…

One of my clients contacted a podcaster: “Got a story, your audience might like it, want to interview me?”

Podcaster replies: “Sure! My guests sponsor me, and the price of admission is $160”.

Obviously, when my client asked my opinion, my reply sounded very much like “Hell no!”

For one thing, if a podcaster charges money for interviews, they either don’t know how to run a business that’s profitable enough to cover the cost of hosting a podcast.

Or, it could be that they are profitable, but they’re simply greedy. Grab what you can etc.

But ok, that’s their problem.

Our problem is an erroneous valuation of self and time.

If your story is interesting and good enough to go on a show, you bring value to the host, who gets to amplify their audience, visibility, and profits, by the value that the guests provide.

The guest is the prize, the asset who brings value.

An interview guest shouldn’t pay for the privilege, just like an artist shouldn’t pay a gallery, nor should a public speaker pay to be on a stage, like that lady in Malaga tried to get me to do last year. Hell no.

What’s next, journalists charging money to their interviewees? Sheesh.

You’ve got the value. You share it and they benefit.

So if yesterday’s message didn’t land, I’ll say it again:

Be the prize.




Be the Prize

When it’s your mission to find a client, or enroll a prospect in working with you… what kind of position do you take?

If you’re like most people, you take the small role, the position and attitude of a supplicant.

“Please mrs. Buyer, would you please buy this thing from me?”

But wait a minute… how many potential clients are out there?

Probably thousands, right?

And how many of you are there?


Which makes you into a super-scarce resource, with only 24 hours in your day.

And that means that your needing to win over the client is only half the story.

The other half, that’s the client winning you over. Getting your ok on working with them.

Because not every client is an ideal client, and you want to be deliberate and intentional with how you spend your most precious resource (i.e. your time)

If you work with someone who isn’t right (micro-manages, or drains you, or keeps changing the scope of the job), you’re in a bad situation: you have to put up with things you don’t like, AND you have less time to search for better, more fun clients.

This is why we need to qualify clients, just as much as clients need to qualify us.

So if ever you feel like you need to win a clients’ approval, remember this:

There are hundreds, thousands, of potential clients out there, but:

There’s only one you.

You’re the prize.



Choice (Best Make Sure You Make This One)

There are entrepreneurs who make things happen.

They make the plans, do the work, measure the results, and continuously iterate and optimise both self and systems, in order to reach best performance and outcome.

That’s the kind of entrepreneur who grows themselves, their business, their impact, and their revenue.

There’s also those who, instead, watch what’s happening.

These are people who do try to stay in control of things, but because they don’t plan, execute, or measure enough, they kinda stay stuck. They watch things happen, or not happen.

And then there’s those who wonder what the hell is happening.

That’s what you get when you’re aimless, trying various things, never sticking with something that works, never executing on the things that truly drive growth.

Which group you belong to is the result of a choice, conscious or not. And you’d better consciously make that choice, otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll be in the first group.

But that would be the group you want to be in, right?

Good. That’s why I created the Strategic Accountability Coaching programme.

Have a look here, and fill out the questionnaire if you feel it’s for you…



Careful: Don’t Major in Minor Things

Whatever it is you want to achieve, improving your knowledge and skills are a great way to make it happen faster and with more ease.

But are you majoring in minor things?

Yes, it’s useful to learn the ins and outs of managing your website, but once your site is ready, how much will it add to your bottom line to become a WordPress ninja?

Taking a course in how to use social media for your business: yes, totally.

But spending days researching what hashtags to use and learning what kind of posts and images to use… how much ROI will that bring you, given that social media isn’t a platform for selling, but for building visibility and audience?

It’s not that such things are unimportant, because they can be.

But are they so important, that it makes sense to reach expert level, whilst the skills that bring in sales remain underdeveloped?

You only have so many hours in a day, so it’s wise to consider what are the small things to improve, and what are the big things.

So far, so good.

But here’s where it’s easy to make a mistake:

To develop things at which we’re bad, or mediocre.

In many cases, it’s a lot better to leave them as is, and instead spend our time on things that we’re already pretty good at.

For example: I (used to) sing in a band, and I play rhythm guitar – and as far as the guitar goes, I’m somewhere between capable and reasonably good. Now I could spend a lot of time upping my guitar game, and it would be useful. But it would steal time from my vocal training, and I’ll never be as awesomely terrific as our lead guitarist anyway. So becoming GOOD at playing the guitar would mean I’m majoring in something minor. Meanwhile, I’m the lead singer so I’d better be as good as I can at singing, and leave the guitar-y awesomeness to Phil.

It’s all about efficiency.

To go from zero or sub-par skills, to reasonable ability, can take a long time and a lot of hard work. And you’ll still be only reasonably skilled.

But to go from ‘pretty good at this’ to expert level is often a lot easier to achieve. AND you’ll end up being highly skilled in it, which beats ‘reasonably skilled’ any day of the week.

Besides, if your modus is to constantly develop skills you don’t have or that suck at, you’ll end up what they call ‘a bag of highly developed shortcomings’.

Again, it’s not bad to learn things. By all means, make learning and training part of your world.

The question is though: what is the one thing that you do fairly well, and that if you dedicate yourself to it, you could do terrifically well?

What major things should you major in?

Everything is strategy, and knowing what to choose, strategically, makes all the difference.

Which is exactly what the Strategic Accountability Coaching programme is for.

Extremely helpful for smart people who want to major in major things. 



Three Pillars Required for Business Success

When trying to create clarity and fun and growth in your business, there’s three core areas to pay attention to – fundamental pillars, in my opinion:

Mindset, method, and skillset.

Mindset is about how to think, how to look at the playing field, the decisions to make, the things to say no or yes to.

Mindset is the overarching ‘how’ of the way you run your business.

Method, is straightforward, hands-on, measurable. It’s about planning, strategising, and steps to take, in such an order that one thing can build on another.

In other words, it’s the ‘what’ of being in business. What to do, in what way, what next, what not to do, what to measure, and what assets to leverage in order to create a thriving business.

Skillset is, as the word says, about capabilities: the specific skills you need to bring to your game in order to actually make things happen.

It’s really important to work with all three, because it’s like a three-legged stool: if one leg is missing, the thing will fall over.

You may have an excellent method and strategy, and crazy good skills at marketing or delivering your work, but if your mindset says ‘it’s pointless, the economy sucks, people just don’t pay what I deserve’, then method and skillset don’t do you much good.

If your mindset is ‘I can do this, and I know I can find the people who do want to pay good rates’, and your method for finding them is great – but you don’t have the skills required to actually find those people, it won’t work either.

It’s useful to assess where you’re at with each of the three pillars, so you get a view on where you’re at, where you want to go, and what needs to happen inbetween the here and the there.

If mindset needs improving, work on yourself. Read books, get a coach, go to workshops and retreats. Learn to make your mind work for you, instead of against you.

If method is undefined or underdeveloped, straight-up learning is in order, especially in terms of strategy, measurement, and systems.

If skillset is lacking, train yourself. Be it in copywriting, or selling, or SEO, or using social media or building your list: there’s things you can do and do well, provided you train yourself.

So whenever you feel things aren’t working the way they ought to, take yourself through a little thought exercise, and ask:

Is my mindset configured correctly for reaching my goals? Is there any belief or elements to my attitude or showing up that I can change, improve or replace?

Do I have a well-defined, hypothesis-based method in place for growing my business, that allows me to test, iterate and optimise?

Do I have the skills required to actually make it work – or do I need to acquire new skills?

Either way, if you want to make it in business, you need the three pillars: mindset, method, and skillset.

And, if you have them reasonably in place but you just want to be sure you’re working on the right things that get you to your results, then this will help.



Why Being an Entrepreneur Means Having Built-in Failure – and What to Do About It

It’s awesome to be your own boss, right?

Nobody looking over your shoulder, nobody telling you what to do…


Except, when you do not have a boss because the boss is you, there’s a really crucial thing missing, and it’s the cause of much struggle and even business failure – and research backs that up.

The missing element?

Being watched.

As nice as it is to not have a boss looking at your performance and output, it’s that very ‘being watched’ that causes the self-awareness we need to stay on task and keep moving forward.

Now here’s the fun part that psychologists have discovered:

The watcher doesn’t have to be a boss.

In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real person.

Simply a face – or even just the image of an eye, drawn or cartoon style, or stylised – directed at you and watching you, triggers self-awareness on a subconscious level, and measurably changes your state, and influences your way of operating.

So if you struggle to stay on task, get yourself a portrait of someone, or of an eye, draw something, or find an image online, and place it on your desk or wall, in your field of vision.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good drawing, or a face, or just an eye, or a good portrait – so long as someone is watching you.

The effect is subtle and incremental over time, but it’s powerful.

And, this might sound weird, but if you want to take it a step further, make it a mirror, so that the watcher is you. Even more powerful.

Most powerful of all, of course, is getting yourself accountability coaching.

Ain’t cheap. Is effective.

More information here…



20% Growth… Guaranteed…???

TL;DR: Register for a free live training session this Thursday, where you’ll learn how to increase your revenue by 20% or more, without raising your ad spend. Here’s the signup page: https//

It’s something I’ve not mentioned much here yet, but I run a marketing implementation programme, that guarantees that my clients raise their revenue by 20%.

And very often, people ask how I can make such a promise.

Good question too.

After all, there’s so many moving parts, so much uncertainty, so much to figure out.

So how, Martin? How do you guarantee 20% growth?

The answer is surprisingly simple, because this marketing system is based on leveraging marketing assets that you already have, but aren’t utilising.

But if you do leverage your marketing assets, generating 20% more revenue can be pretty easy.

Especially if a) you use a tried and tested system, and b) if that system is based on the fundamentals of business and marketing.

See, the trick is to look at the synergy between metrics. (do people still talk about synergy? Anyway).

Most businesses who want to grow, make ‘more sales’ the goal.

But increasing sales by 20% is a pretty tall order.

And, more sales usually also means ‘more cost’.

So yeah, how do you reach 20% growth without increasing cost?

Business fundamentals, and looking at three metrics for growth:

1: The number of leads you generate: how many people do you enter into conversations with?

2: Conversion rate: How many of those convert into paying customers?

3: Purchase value or customer account value: how much money does each client spend with you?

These three all influence revenue.

So here’s a thought exercise:

Could you, conceivably, raise your leads by 10%?

Probably yes, right?

And conversion rates – could you crank that up 10%?

Bet you can.

And having a buyer spend 10% more?

Not too difficult in most cases.

And now it’s going to get fun:

What if you raise each of these by 10%?

Then you get exponential growth, raising your revenue to 33% in total.

And that, my friends, is why – for the right kind of company – I yes, absolutely, guarantee 20% revenue growth.

Because literally every business has assets that aren’t being put to use – from expertise, to network, to intelligent messaging to different segments of your database of past, current, and potential customers…

There’s a LOT that can be done, when you use a systematic approach and base your growth efforts on data and metrics, and you allow those underused assets to drive your growth.

And this Thursday, at 7PM CEST / 1PM EST, I’m giving a live training, hosted by Helena DeMuynck, founder of Oxygen4Leadership.

You’ll get a training on a tried and proven system, showing you exactly which steps to take and in which order, to get all you can out of everything you’ve got.

Registration is here: https//

See you on Thursday!



How to Win Entrepreneurial Battles

Because hey, every entrepreneur is a hero in their own right – we all battle against challenges and crazy odds.

So: People tend to think that Napoleon was a great strategist, and it’s probably true.

But, strategy is nothing without implementation.

Proven by the fact that he never won another battle, once his marshall Davout had died.

Davout was the man who translated Napoleon’s strategies into marching orders for the troops, or however that works in the military.

Davout only ever lost one of old Nappy’s battles, and according to the internetz, after him it all went to hell in a handbasket.

Why would you care?

Because a) you absolutely, most definitely, need solid strategy if you’re going to win your own entrepreneurial battles.

But, you’ll also need to translate that strategy into the right actions, set the milestones and end goals, and get your head in order so as to actually get the actions and tasks done.

Or, what psychologists call implementation intention. 

Just taking action won’t cut it. Neither will strategy without implementation intention.

It all comes down to decisions, based on questions like ‘what matters most, right now’ and ‘what should I focus on’ and ‘what should I avoid at all cost’ and, very importantly:

‘What needs to be DONE?’

These are the things we focus on, in my Strategic Accountability Coaching programme.

We won’t be fighting wars, but we sure as hell will get you set up, every week on Zoom, the right way, to make sure you choose the right tasks, and execute on them.

This is a powerful programme, and inbetween calls it gets you daily access to me by email, for any course correction or feedback you need.

You can go it alone, and you know how that works out.

Or, you can get my help, and be amazed at how focused, results-driven, and ‘DONE’ your performance can be.

More info and an application form here, if you’ve had enough of spinning your wheels:



Why You Must Outsmart Your Intelligence

I bet you’re an intelligent person.

Experienced, read up on important things like business and self-improvement and people and so on.

But, everything has a flipside. Each boon comes with an Achilles’ heel built in.

And where it comes to intelligence, it turns out that it puts you at risk of making unwise decisions – or, as researches like to call it: dysrationality.

For example, intelligent people are more prone to fall victim to the gambler’s fallacy – thinking that if a coin toss gives tails ten times, #11 will also be tails, for example.

And, people who score high on cognitive tests often have more trouble seeing their own flaws, which makes sense, because:

If we’re intelligent, then logically our thoughts and decisions and plans are correct. Right?

Except, no.

Intelligence enables you to see a bigger picture, to connect dots, to see opportunities others don’t.

But because it makes you automatically believe that you’ve got it right, it’s very easy to make unwise or unsmart decisions.

For example, if you’re currently getting traction with a particular promotional campaign, it might make sense to ad in advertising.

Got results, let’s get more!

Sure. But placing ads is extremely costly – both financially, as well as cognitively.

So you’d rob time and energy from something that’s working, in order to start something that you need to figure out.

Not wise, not smart.

This is why intelligent people so often get stuck.

And, it’s why intelligent – and smart! – people put checks and balances in place, to make sure their intelligence doesn’t lead them astray.

So, are you intelligent – and you want to be wise as well…

Meaning, you want to outsmart your intelligence?

Then get yourself strategic accountability coaching: I’ll be there weekly on Zoom, and daily by email, to make sure you choose the smart and intelligent projects and activities to work on.

More information here:




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