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 12

2015

How to Sell a $250,000 Diamond Ring

Jun 12, 2015

You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words […]

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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Dec 15

2011

List Your Prices (THE RIGHT WAY) (Calling All Photographers.) (Hedgehogs Welcome, Too.)

Dec 15, 2011

As an entrepreneur, sometimes you fall flat on your face. Figuratively–and, apparently, literally–namely when you’re traveling in the South of Chile pretending to be in better shape than you actually are while attempting to jump over pathetically small streams that you really should be able to fucking clear, but somehow, don’t, and manage to fall flat […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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May 28

2012

Trailer Trash & Sex Appeal: The Trick to Selling MORE

May 28, 2012

To anyone and everyone selling something: Pay attention. The other day, I was having a conversation with a copywriting client who is building a business around teaching people how feel all sorts of hot and dynamite by eating raw. I said, “You mean like Crazy Sexy Diet?” And she said, “What’s that?” And I said, […]

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 28

2017

“Hire Me” versus “Listen To Me”

Aug 28, 2017

If you’re a freelancer, there are two different power dynamics: Hire me! Please hire me! I’m shitting my pants, over here, because I’m depending on you entirely and I’ll do anything it takes, even work for peanuts, because I need you to take mercyyyyy onnnnn meeeeee. Listen to me. I’m great at what I do, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Dec 9

2014

Running a Holiday Sale? Memorize This by Heart.

Dec 9, 2014

So the other day I’m Christmas shopping here in Costa Rica, which is automatically hilarious because, first of all, because they spell “Ho Ho Ho!” like “Jo Jo Jo!” which never gets less funny, and second, because Santa was dressed in a royal blue suit. (I still haven’t decided if this is posh or ridiculous, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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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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Dec 30

2014

Repeat After Me: You Are Not Your Buyer

Dec 30, 2014

It’s two days before the new year, and I’m doing exactly what you are: Dicking around on the internet and calling it “downtime.” It’s absolutely PHENOMENAL. But, as we all prepare to become supermodel [extra title=”Isn’t that your plan?” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]trazillionaire cigar-smoking business moguls in 2015, [/extra] there is one thing I want to encourage […]

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

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