ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Don’t Stand Out – Stand the Fuck Up.

In: Online Marketing

So.

If you recall, in the last post, I made up a ridiculous scenario where you were headed to your fake neighbor's house for dinner, whose guts you may or may not have secretly hated.

She was serving you quiche, at which point you made a face that slightly resembled this—> ?!?!?!?!!!!!.

As a result, you hesitatingly asked her to pass the salt.

And then…we stopped the post there, leaving you with the question of…what does this have to do with anything?

To which my response was: “Everything.”

So, what does this have to do with anything?

And of course, I'll be answering that question with another question, which is this:

When your annoying neighbor was hypothetically passing you the salt, would you have thought twice about which brand of salt it was?

Question mark.

Wouldja?

I'm going to put the words right into your mouth and respond with, “Probably not, matey.” (Don't ever let me put words into your mouth. Pirate slang will always ensue.)

Definitely not.

You just would have taken the salt and irrigated your quiche with it.

Like anyone would.

Because folks just don't question what type of salt is in the salt shaker – they just ask for “the salt.” Plain and simple.

And the reason for that is because salt's considered a commodity.

Ooohhh, fancy word. Commodity.

If you're not familiar with the term commodity, it's defined as something that's needed, but for which there's really no differentiation across the market. In other words, there aren't preferred brands of salt, generally speaking.

Salt's pretty much salt. Take it. Lick it. Shower your food with it. Slop it all over the rim of your margarita. Toss it all over an icy sidewalk. Ship it to folks in Alaska to toss all over their icy sidewalks. Slay a slug with it for all I care.

You get the point. Salt is salt. It gets the job done.

As such, you'd probably never think to ask your host what type of salt she's using.

Again, because salt's a commodity.

Which brings me to the real point.

Too often, brilliant business owners (that's you) accidentally treat their businesses, services and products the same damn way–as if they were an every day commodity.

When, in fact, there's absolutely nothing “everyday” about you, your business, your service or products.

Far from it!

But you just might not have been sure how to communicate that.

However, the problem with that becomes this: 

When you don't give your prospective clients a reason to pick you over the next guy…guess what? They won't.

Because as far as they can tell, you're just another salt shaker / life coach / web designer / photographer / copywriter / etc.

And all that matters to them is that the job gets done. Just like all that matters to you is that your quiche gets salted.

And THAT'S the moment when they start price shopping (eeekkkkk!)–because at that point, price is really the only differentiating factor.

And competing on price will be the death of your small business.

Your job?

Give 'em a reason.

Give 'em a reason to pick you.

Give 'em a reason to become your number one fan.

You aren't a helpless pawn in your industry.

You're a god damn genius.

Now it's time to ACT LIKE IT.

The way you do that has a lot less to do with what you + your business does…and a lot more to do with how you + your business do it. Sear that into your brain. I don't care that you're a web designer (what you do)…but I do care about how you make me feel. And the only way you can legitimately make me feel anything, is to be strong enough to step up to the plate with your business–and your brand's–personality.

It's about the way you do something.

It's about the experience.

It's up to you to evoke emotion, so you can help your customers FEEL SOMETHING, and, by extension, CONNECT WITH YOU. And when they connect with you, they'll feel like they BELONG WITH YOU. Humans like to think of themselves as special and different from one another–this is precisely why evoking a brand experience matters, and this is why it affects your bottom line.

Don't stand out. Stand the fuck up. And watch 'em stand up with you.

Only then, once they feel like they belong with you, does the sales process even start–whether you knew it or not.

So–what can you do to make them feel something? What can you do to evoke an experience for them?

Important to consider.

Because…

…you aren't the salt.

You're the shit.

Now get out there and prove it.

Jul 14

2011

Paris, Wankers + Marketing for Local Business Owners

Jul 14, 2011

So, I’m on a plane. I may or may not be drinking French wine from a miniature bottle that could really be bigger for seven dollars, but I mean, who’s really measuring? Don’t judge. I figure that between having never tried cigarettes, and having stuck up for the nerdy girl that one time in the […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Jan 10

2012

The Day The Cash Register Became Obsolete (WTF?)

Jan 10, 2012

Note:  This post contains adult language. It’s so adult, you might swear you’ve just been transported to a seedy, smoke-laced Las Vegas strip club filled with large Italian men. The good news is that you haven’t. The bad news is that somebody let me have my own blog. And…so we begin. What I want to […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

May 19

2017

Businesses Are Like Books: The Best Ones Actually SAY Something

May 19, 2017

The best books are those that say something. That make a statement. Draw conclusions. Make connections. Contribute something new to the discussion. Otherwise, what’s the point in writing it? I think we can all agree that nobody wants to read book after book that regurgitates the same exact thing that they’ve read before. The same […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Nov 19

2015

What if My Customers Aren’t All the Same? How Do I Appeal to Multiple Targets? It’s called Positioning (And for Once I’m Not Talking About the Kama Sutra)

Nov 19, 2015

SELLING YOUR STUFF TO OTHER HUMANS IS HARD. (Caps required.) It’s hard for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because nobody really knows what to say. We’re all filled with a million different ugly little self-doubts floating around our nervous little brains. What should the headline say? Do I emphasize […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Feb 21

2012

How Being Unapologetic Helps Me–And You–Win At Biz

Feb 21, 2012

First of all, if you want teddy bears, get off this blog. Teddy bears and hand holding is for other people. Here, we’re about fresh ones right across the face. I don’t have time for bullshit, and neither do you.–  Second, if you aren’t going to take the quality of your life seriously, get off […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Dec 11

2011

Why You SHOULD Sweat the Small Stuff. (Free Puma Included.)

Dec 11, 2011

Yesterday, I was certain I was going to die.  Not just on one occasion, but two. The first instance was when I agreed to ride an ancient, rusty, rickety, RIDICULOUS ski lift up the side of a volcano. Vollll. Caaaaa. Noooo. Obviously that’s what you do when you’re in Patagonia with a group of friends–ride […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Jun 2

2011

25 Ways the F-word Can Help Your Business THRIVE

Jun 2, 2011

I came across this poster over at The Donut Project, and instantly knew this was something I had to share. You loved it, right? That’s what I thought. My personal favorite is, “Make me fucking care,” which is probably the best piece of marketing advice I could ever offer. Think about it. Then do something […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

Apr 20

2017

Own Your Edge

Apr 20, 2017

Checking into a hotel can be a nightmare. Long lines. Tourists in hiking shoes. That bald guy pounding a beer. (At least, this was the scholarly scene I witnessed yesterday.) (Just kidding, I rooted him on.)But hotels are reticent to replace humans with technology, because they fear they’ll be sacrificing “the personal touch.” Do you know […]

In: Online Marketing

READ ME >>

I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

Privacy Policy Info Here