ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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How Do You Make People Care About Your Work—Even When Your Work Is Lofty, Intangible, and Abstract as F***?

In: How to Sell Yourself

I’m working with a client, right now, who wants to sell emotional intelligence. That’s the result you get when you work with her. EQ, instead of IQ.

And emotional intelligence is actually really, really important. It’s one of the biggest predictors of success, believe it or not. She’s read the literature. I’ve read the literature. The pope’s read the sweet, sweet literature. So the question then becomes:

How do we make other people care?

The problem, of course, is that to the everyday consumer, asking them if they want some emotional intelligence is like asking them if they’d like some C6H12O6—which means absolutely nothing to anyone, unless you happen to have memorized the molecular formula for glucose, sicko. No one’s clamoring over emotional intelligence because it’s lofty and intangible and the narrative isn’t part of the mainstream yet.

So what do you do, then? How do you sell something no one understands?

Sell ‘em what they want. Give ‘em what they need.

What they may very well need is emotional intelligence, but for now, that’s not going to resonate. No one’s waking up in the middle of the night thinking, “Christ on a stick, I really need to improve that emotional intelligence of mine.”

So what is it that they want, that EQ helps with?

The ability to speak up for themselves at work?
To have a hard conversation with their partner?
To improve their relationship with their child?
To ask for the money without flinching?

The way you market a product is independent of the product itself. Nobody ran up to a cow and thought, “I want to lick the liquid that comes from your udders! Yum!” If the milk industry had tried to sell milk for what it really was, we wouldn’t have a milk industry. Instead, they sold the idea that you’d be healthier for drinking it.

Milk. It does a body good.

And so does emotional intelligence—and anything else you're selling—when you illuminate it from the right angle.

Jun 4

2017

Are You Sorry About Charging Money?

Jun 4, 2017

I was talking to a client yesterday, who, bless her heart, is LITERALLY working for free. She feels bad charging. And my goodness, she’s one of the smartest, most qualified women in her industry! She’s out there helping people every single day, in person, face-to-face! She’s spearheading an entire movement in Canada! And now the […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Aug 14

2013

Lots of Inquiries But No Sales? Help Is Here.

Aug 14, 2013

I get two questions all of the time: 1. How do I convert more email inquiries into actual customers & clients? (Who ideally have zero credit card limit and maybe even a mullet because wouldn’t that be fun?) 2. How do you manage to stay looking so young? Obviously no one really ever asks me […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 22

2012

How to Cold Call Prospects Without Sounding Like a Tool

Sep 22, 2012

For those of you who don’t know, in a former life I used to sell advertising for an international print and online magazine. Think pencil skirts, a lot of telephone schmoozing, deal negotiations, contracts, national sales conferences and convincing a lot of fucking people they should give me thousands of dollars. You can imagine the […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Aug 5

2013

CAUTION: Do NOT Pitch Yourself Like This. Ever.

Aug 5, 2013

I hate when there’s an elephant in the room. And let’s face it – we’ve got quite a few elephants roaming around our little online community. One of them is the fact that everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything. For example, the other day we got this unsolicited pitch […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 4

2017

Should You Offer a Payment Plan?

Sep 4, 2017

Yes—but only as a last resort. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: that $2,000 course you’re thinking about taking is COSTS APPROXIMATELY THE SAME AS A SMALL HORSE, however—that’s not to say you wouldn’t purchase a small horse (neiiiighhh!) if you could, say, put $97 a month toward the beast in all its glory. Which […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Aug 30

2017

$5 Discount or $5 Surcharge?

Aug 30, 2017

Would you rather get a $5 discount or receive a $5 surcharge? It’s the same change in price, just framed differently—and yet, I bet even the word “surcharge” just had you up in arms. LISTEN HERE, AT&T!!!!!!!!!!! That’s because humans are reeeeepulsed by the idea of losing something we already have. It makes us hangry. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Jun 26

2014

Is It Annoying to Buy From You?

Jun 26, 2014

Everybody loves shopping, right? (Except maybe Ben Stein—imagine that guy in Kohl’s, or worse, going down a water slide. Two words: man thong.) You know who else loves shopping? The people who are looking for your services and products. There’s nothing like the high of thinking that you found it—the perfect photographer // vintage purse […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Mar 13

2015

This Bastard Was Getting Paid $10,000 a Month.

Mar 13, 2015

This bastard was getting paid $10,000 dollars a month. He was on contract with my company at the time, brought on as a consultant to work directly with a young (and far less wrinkley-lipped) yours truly. This was some ten plus years ago, mind you, at a time when things like blogs were for morons who liked […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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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.

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