ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Make 50% of the Population Hate You

In: Online Marketing

“Make 50% of the population hate you.”

My editor reminded me of this the other day when we were talking about the main argument of my book. (And then I immediately wanted to tongue her.)

Because that’s what arguments do, after all: they stand in opposition to something. They take a stand, plant their flag, and proclaim something they believe to be true—that, by design, not everyone will be able to agree with. You don’t want everyone to agree with you: you want people to charge down the field with you. But that doesn’t just require an army: it requires an enemy, too.

No matter what you’re working on—a website, a brand, a book, a course—you need an enemy. You need 50% of the population to side against you. This is a radical departure from the way we’re used to thinking: how can I make as many people as possible like me? (As you twirl your hair and offer some dude a Kit Kat.) But this is the thing about making something that’s compelling: it can only be compelling to some. Otherwise, what you have isn’t compelling: it’s generic. And the last time I checked?

Nobody fangirls over Great Value.

Sep 6

2017

Marketing Is Fucking Weird, Isn’t It?

Marketing is fucking weird, isn’t it? Everyone’s really anxious about it all the time, and it makes lots of people go into hiding and never, ever, ever want to come out. (I think they imagine others looking at them and pointing and growling, “Youuuu dirty rotten slimmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.) But I gotta say: marketing gets really easy […]

In: Online Marketing

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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

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Apr 20

2017

Own Your Edge

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

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Jul 14

2011

Paris, Wankers + Marketing for Local Business Owners

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

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Oct 29

2012

Sexy Matters. Whether You Like It Or Not.

Sexy matters. We hate to think that’s true. We look at the girl strutting down the sidewalk, who’s obviously “trying too hard,” and we silently disapprove. But it’s not because she’s trying too hard. It’s because she makes us feel inferior.  To soothe our egos, we immediately start telling ourselves the story that we’re “better,” […]

In: Online Marketing

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Jan 22

2013

Why Your Clients Should Never Have to “Think About It”

READ THIS FIRST. People are moving so fast now that they don’t have time to think. They’re scanning, swiping, clicking, liking, tweeting and moving on at full velocity. They’re making decisions based on feelings, not facts. They are often choosing not because of what they think, but because of how something makes them feel. What […]

In: Online Marketing

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