ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Difference Isn’t About Being Different.

In: Online Marketing

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 say it?—embellishing how to describe what you do // help with // are.

“Me? I'm the Chief Happiness Officer and I, well, I help people self-actualize.”

While there's nothing wrong with trying to seem interesting // not sound plain // differentiate ourselves, there's also nothing right about accidentally confusing the people you need to understand you in order to say YES to you.

What we're missing here is a slice of clarity cake. Not to be confused with carrot cake. At least not today.

Yes, you may bring me happiness. (Officer? Sir? Offi-sirrrr?)

Yes, you may save me time and money. 

Yes, you may provide solutions.

Yes, you may have a quote unquote holistic approach.

But if I can't connect the dots from the end result, back to my problem?

I'm going to give you a blank stare before polite-smiling and saying, “Pass.”

As products (and they're all products of some kind) become less and less tangible, or something we can't put our hands on (life coaching, branding, grief counseling, etc.), the more we need to describe them in ways that are human, or what I call G friendly:

Grandma friendly.

Would the mother of your mother, bearded or not, understand who you are and what you're selling?

If not, then—surprise!—neither will anyone else.

Don't forget: The people you are selling to aren't in your industry. They don't know your jargon, or why something like “photojournalistic” is even a selling point. It flies riiiiight over their heads—while you're left scratching yours.

Stop trying selling to your competitors. YOUR COMPETITOR'S AREN'T BUYING FROM YOU. (Except for the desperate, scared ones spying on you, in which case, GOOD, make 'em sweat your game.)

I'm an accountant. I save people time and money…by sending all of their contractors 1099's so they don't have to worry about it themselves.

I'm a photographer. I create memories…by helping travelers get vacation photos by local photographers around the world. (What new company Flytographer is up to.)

I'm a creative brand strategist. I make people money…by helping them screw business as usual & break through the sea of sameness.

Don't forget the by.

Because once you've got the by, you're in a much better position to get the buy…if you know what I'm sayin'. (This is me. Elbowing you. Cigar hanging out of mouth. John Candy in Uncle Buck.)

Use those words, and that language, and then you've got yourself a starting point for saying something people will care about.

Because let's be honest: If I had called this website, “Ashley Ambirge Brand Strategy,” would you be reading this right now?

Nope.

And you wouldn't have the opportunity to have nightmares about this terrifying image, either.

polka elephant 2

The difference doesn't lie in calling yourself something different.

In fact, the difference doesn't even lie in being different.

The difference lies in how different your customers feel—

even when what you do is exactly the same. 

Jan 16

2012

How to Fuck Up a Sale in 27 Minutes Flat (But Still Score a Date)

Jan 16, 2012

The Scene: The United States of America. 9:57 am: Walk into L.A. Fitness. 9:58: Meet stunningly fit individual named Alberto. 10:00: Decide there is some fucked up pheromones wandering around body that insist on me + Latino men. 10:01: Wonder if Alberto’s name really is Alberto. Consider how unsexy it would be to call him […]

In: Online Marketing

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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

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Jan 18

2013

Butt Paste–And How It’ll Help You Market Yourself Better.

Jan 18, 2013

Last night, I bought three tubes of something called Butt Paste.  You’re probably thinking the same thing that the 19 year old male cashier was. Try making that transaction with a straight face. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, after all. And this girl is headed to The Bahamas tomorrow with […]

In: Online Marketing

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May 13

2017

Let’s Get One Thing Straight: There’s Only One Way to Stand Out from the Sea of Sameness, and It’s Free

May 13, 2017

Everyone wants to stand out from the sea of sameness—a phrase I coined years ago, right here on this blog, when the Internet first started teetering toward “me, too!” syndrome. Ask most people how to stand out, and depending on their industry, they’ll tell you something different: Get a website! Learn how to write copy! […]

In: Online Marketing

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Nov 9

2012

Call Your Fucking Tribe. (Quickie Friday Piece of Ass)

Nov 9, 2012

For my WRITERS–at heart, by trade, or in their wildest, rowdiest, wettest dreams. Because it’s Friday. And this short video will be the most important thing you do all day. (You can’t fool me – I know nobody’s really working.) This is why I do what I do as a copywriter. This is why the […]

In: Online Marketing

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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

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Apr 20

2011

The Secret to Client Attraction – Grey Goose Vodka, Baby.

Apr 20, 2011

When I say the words, “Grey Goose,” what automatically comes to mind? a) Purple fairies b) Your high school prom date c) Roseanne Barr d) Vodka As much as I’d love it if the answer were C, you probably picked D, vodka. Congratulations, you are correct. Whether prompted or not, most everyone who sees the […]

In: Online Marketing

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Feb 2

2012

Is This Simple Thing Preventing You From Getting More Clients?

Feb 2, 2012

So once upon a time I dated a guy with lots of tattoos who worshiped his mom. Wait. Wait a minute. That has nothing to do with the story. Rewind. Back up. Let’s start again. *clears throat*– Once upon a time, my official job title was “Director of Business Development.” There. That’s better. Right story. […]

In: Online Marketing

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Oct 17

2011

Cut The Fat.

Oct 17, 2011

Cut the fat. Give yourself the white space you need in order to grow. And… …pursue what you’re really here to pursue. Hint: It’s probably the one thing on your to-do list that doesn’t have any guidelines, instructions, paths to follow or tried and true ways of doing it. And that’s exactly why you’re procrastinating […]

In: Online Marketing

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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

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Jan 30

2012

Don’t Stand Out – Stand the Fuck Up.

Jan 30, 2012

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, […]

In: Online Marketing

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