want

“Oh, I got money for THAT”

People always have money when it’s something they want. I learned this reading a funny story in a poker book by Doyle Brunson. It’s worth taking a minute to understand this if you’d like people to buy what you’re selling…

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I sent people coconuts and got 50% conversion

One day in 2009 I conducted a marketing experiment: I went to the post office and sent 20 coconuts through the mail. I’d read somewhere that you could send weird objects through the Royal Mail. If you can stick a stamp on it, the law says that have to deliver it. Or something like that. People claim to have posted […]

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ian_speaking2

How to make people like you

People buy from you when: know you, like you, and trust you. Getting to that stage with businesses takes a long time. Can it be automated. My experience suggests it can – here’s what to do.

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NASA’s $1.5M Pen

NASA hit a problem during the 1960s Space Race. Astronauts couldn’t write in space, because ordinary pens wouldn’t work in zero gravity. So NASA hired Paul Fisher to design a pen that would write in space. Months later, after $1.5 million of research, he came up with a solution…

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How to Stop a Lion with a Chair

Clyde Beatty was the word’s first celebrity lion tamer. He climbed into cages filled with lions, tigers and hyenas – delighting crowds in the 1930s. Everybody thought it was his whip and pistol that kept the beasts at bay. In fact, it was his chair.

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Release As You Build

Prince has 50 fully completed music videos locked away in a vault. Apparently, he spends money on costumes, sets, dancers – and then never lets them see the light of day. One of Prince’s assistants told Kevin Smith why…

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I Wrote a Spell to Make You Read This

I wrote a spell. It’s a spell that makes you write in a clear way. You can cast it on your copy when you want to be sure it gets read. The spell isn’t hard to learn. But first, let me show you what this spell does…

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Guilt

Starting a business is supposed to be fun – but it often brings a lot of guilt. You’re told you have to do a whole bunch of stuff – and you feel guilty when you don’t. You’ve got to be posting to your blog, updating Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, writing a newsletter, figuring out Google+, posting to […]

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Every Business Should Be a Publisher

When I was a magazine journalist I could speak to anybody I wanted in my industry. Everybody was happy to speak to me. But over on my magazine’s advertising side, it was a different story. Whenever I visited the ad-sales office, I noticed that getting through to people wasn’t at all trivial. For them, there were […]

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