ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

How to Get People to Pay You More With Just ONE WORD.

In: Online Marketing

His name was Joe.

Rightfully so, because Joe was in charge of customer service at the Honda Dealer in good ol' Scranton, Pennsylvania. And, I don't know, I just trust men named Joe.

I mean, you don't want some jerkoff named Tucker invoicing you, do you? You'd leave and there'd be a doodle of a marijuana leaf next to your total. Tucker. Grab a pitchfork and get to work, boy. This is Scranton! We work hard 'round these parts!

Anyway.

My man Joe confirms the details of my sweet, sweet, 1998 Honda Accord Coupe–voted best car at Blue Ridge High School senior year, thankyouverymuch. (Certainly the mirror tint and tire shine were a worthy investment.)

And so, as Joe's going over the specs, he confirms that my car, in fact, was a coupe. I nod. That my car, in fact, was a 1998. I nod. And my car, in fact, was eggplant color. 

I gasp in horror.

Eggplant?

No, no, no. This simply isn't going to work, I tell Joe. He looks at me confused.

“My car,” I started, “is not eggplant.”

 

“Oh, it's not?” he says. “That's what we have listed here in the system.”

 

“Well technically, Joe, that's probably what you should have in the system.”

 

“I'm confused.”

 

“REALLY, JOE?! EGGPLANT? Joe, you gotta help me out, here. That's my baby. She can't be called eggplant. It's going to hurt her self-esteem.”

Joe laughs. A gregarious laugh like you'd imagine any mechanic named Joe would laugh. His eyes twinkle at me–just like they do in the movies when the new boy in town falls in love with the girl next door. Except we weren't in love. This was serious business.

Joe asks me what I'd prefer her to be called, to which I promptly reply, “Pretty purple.” And like that, Joe changed it in the system, and forevermore, every time I returned to the Honda Dealer, there she was–listed as pretty purple.

Now granted, I suspect I could have chose a better name than pretty purple. But in my finest fake Italian accent I will say:  Whatddya want from me? *shakes palms in mamma mia fashion*  I was on the spot.

And so, as I was telling this story to a friend the other day, it reminded me how important every single word you use actually is.

Every single word you use tells its own little story about a brand. About your brand. Because every single word carries its own nuances, its own imagery, its own character, its own personality. And when you pick one word over another to describe your business, for example, you're implicitly making a statement about your own nuances, character and personality–and VALUE.

My car was not a fucking eggplant.

Similarly, the same applies when you write things for your website.

There's a difference between describing yourself as “unconventional” versus “quirky” versus “eccentric”–certainly, out of these three words, “eccentric” carries almost a shade of a negative, cat-lady connotation, doesn't it?

Another example might be “coach” versus “consultant” versus “strategist.” All three could be applied to those who do business coaching, but not all three are going to convey the same meaning–or VALUE. And that's really where the heart of this whole post lies.

You may be willing to pay a business strategist 10x more what you'd be willing to pay a business coach.

And guess what?

Your customers may be, too.

So choose your words very, very carefully.

Content isn't king; nuance is.

Forget 50 Shades of Grey.

This is the 50 Shades of Getting Paid.™

One word at a time.

Feb 19

2014

Are You Peeing In The Sea of Sameness?

I was disgusted. She was the 11th person to pass by trying to peddle the same exact selection of sunglasses that ten other people had peddled just seconds before. “Senorita?” she said, tapping me on the shoulder from behind my table once more. I ignored her once more. She circled around me in case I […]

In: Online Marketing

READ MORE >>

Apr 3

2014

Difference Isn’t About Being Different.

You know what I’m passionate about? Elephants. Big, giant, hot chartreuse, polka dotted elephants. In the room. Online. Where there’s at least one Nigerian Prince sending out emails with the salutation, “Friend.” (Oh wait, that was me.) Right now, the elephant in the room I’m sitting in is the increasingly common practice of—how should I […]

In: Online Marketing

READ MORE >>

May 19

2017

Businesses Are Like Books: The Best Ones Actually SAY Something

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 MORE >>

Jun 2

2011

25 Ways the F-word Can Help Your Business THRIVE

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 MORE >>

Sep 14

2017

A Quick Piece of (Marketing) Advice for Every Broke, Newbie Entrepreneur Who Doesn’t Have Two Cents to Rub Together (YET…)

A question I get a lot is: what a limited marketing budget, what’s the one thing you’d do? And my answer is this: I would talk. I would talk about it everywhere, in front of whoever will listen. The medium doesn’t matter—the fact that you’re out there talking does. Instagram videos. Twitter streams. Podcasts. Webinars. YouTube. […]

In: Online Marketing

READ MORE >>

Exclusive VIP Access

Join The Middle Finger Project mafia—over 75,000+ disobedient humans strong—and as a welcome gift (which I promise won’t be a thug named Vinny), I’ll send you a top secret discount code for our best-selling courses, kits and workshops. Because #SOLIDARITY.

It’s free, and you’ll also get new posts every week, plus at least one GIF of Betty White for the win.

Privacy Policy Info Here