ASH AMBIRGE

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I Hate Monday: Edition #6

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Welcome to I Hate Monday, the most productive way for small business owners & bloggers to procrastinate until it’s not Monday anymore.

  1. First and foremost, let it be known that Cards Against Humanity ran the world’s best Black Friday sale ever, offering a revolutionary opportunity to pay $5 in exchange for…nothing. From their FAQ: “On Black Friday, everybody is selling something. We’re the only company to offer the superior Black Friday experience of buying nothing.” And guess what? They made $71,145! How’s that for brand power? When people love your brand so much that they give you money for nothing, just for the sake of being a part of it all, you know you’re doing something right. “Branding” gets a bad rap because it’s one of those intangible metrics that can’t easily be measured. But I’ll tell you what—revenue certainly can be.
  2. Surely you’ve experienced the joy that is the prospective client video call happening in four minutes as you run around trying to brush your hair, find your smart-people glasses, pour a cup of coffee, feed the dog, pee real quick and—oh yeah—actually look up who the **** you’re even talking to. We all know that in theory, doing your homework on prospective clients is really, really, really important…but we also know that in practice, sometimes our days can whirlwind right away from us…and before we know it we’re hopping on the phone like total idiots trying to make small talk and RUINING EVERYTHING. Possible lifesaver? Charlie. Syncs up with your calendar and gives you intelligent briefs on the people you’ve got meetings with. Gives you categories like “ways to open dialogue” and “things you can congratulate them on” and “big moments from this year.” I dig.
  3. In the past, I’ve encouraged students to build client proposals with web builder tools like Strikingly; however, Attach has caught my eye for its ability to not only track every move your client makes (when they opened your proposal, what pages they spent the most time considering, etc.), but also allows you to edit the proposal even after it’s sent. Even if you sent the wrong one. Even if you accidentally quoted $78 dollars instead of $780. Even when you spelled their name Jogn Doe. Say bye bye to last minute oh sh*t moments. (That should really be their tagline—ha.)
  4. Damn delighted to be featured in this HuffPost piece about Why Women Are Dominating Thought Leadership. *Brushes shoulders off while pretending to look smooth before tripping over high heels and looking totally stupid* Favorite quote: “It’s about the people whose lives you change.” (Also so pleased to see Katelyn Bourgeon, CEO and founder of Vendeve—a referral platform for female entrepreneurs—featured here, too! We’ll be doing some collab in the future. Do keep an eye on them!)
  5. Here’s a fun personal tip I’ve been doing a lot myself: Take a screenshot of any piece of text, say from your Kindle, and then set it as your phone or iPad’s lock screen. You’ll see it so many times every day, you’ll remember those important philosophical soundbites you always promise yourself to remember…and then never do. (Which is really useful for anytime you’re sitting around the table over the holidays and want to sound smarter than your snootypants cousins…suckersssss.)
  6. Here, Emma writes about the importance of actually telling people you exist. Here, she recounts a story about a friend who was discouraged he was never getting published / found / cared about / noticed. When she asked him why he didm’t put himself out there, it turned out that he wasn’t afraid, per se, of self-promotion…but was afraid of using seemingly shallow tools like social media. Food for thought.
  7. Then again, if business really blows and you get desperate, you can always sit in a coffee shop and try this. (Nobody’s judging except for the barista but he has sugar free vanilla syrup on his beard so really don’t even worry about it.)
  8. Public Service Announcement: You can now resurrect your old MySpace profile. (I just made the internet a whole lot scarier, didn’t I?) This is not only hilarious, but an example of a killer marketing campaign on behalf of the Victor Frankenstein movie, which opened in theaters on the 25th of this month. This campaign illustrates the importance of timing—and why being in the right place at the right time isn’t always mere luck…but it does get you lucky.
  9. Ever go to watch a movie on your Mac and you can barely hear anything which automatically makes you hangry and eye-twitchy and WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD? Well, well, friends. We’ve all got a new toy for us to try. I’ll be watching The Grinch and testing out this app called Boom 2, which is suppose to amplify all of the sound that comes out of your Mac, making everything bigger, louder, clearer. Kind of like if you lit Apple’s lungs on fire. In a good way?
  10. The Official Ashley Ambirge History of the Internet:

    Era #1:
    Get a website. Beat the pants off competitors. …Until everybody else started doing it, too.Era #2: Get found. Dominate SEO. Mack Google. Beat the pants off competitors. …Until everybody else started doing it, too.Era  #3: Get trusted. Make blog. Create content. “Serve your tribe.” Oh, and write manifestos and tweet about it, too. …Until everybody else started doing it, too.

    Era #4: Get loved. <—The one we’re going into now. Here’s a fun fact: There have been 3,689,456 blog posts written today alone. Know what that means? It means that just echoing everybody else doesn’t cut it anymore. Talking about things in the same tired way doesn’t cut it anymore. Just blogging because“you’re suppose to” doesn’t cut it anymore. The only way blogging gets you noticed is if your words excite people and make them fall in love with you. Loving something cannot be replicated. How to make that happen? Have an opinion. Say it in a new way. Tell them what they secretly were thinking all along. Use words to make them scream, “Yesssss!” Seduce them like you would a lover. But whatever you do, do not “publish blog posts.” The bar is higher than it’s ever been, but the good news is that creativity has never been more valuable in the marketplace. (Psst. Starving artists? This is your chance.)

  11. Hopping off and on Skype calls with clients? Wish you could see what your mug looks like on camera…before you get on camera? This app hangs out in your menu bar and with one click, shows your face as it’ll appear on the screen (and exactly how many chin hairs you seriously need to pluck.)
  12. This piece is by a dear friend, Donna Talarico, on how and why she’s quitting her job to lead a more creative life. Donna and I were in the Communications Department at Wilkes University together, back in the day, and she’s always been one of my favorite creative in-real-life-people-I-know. (Actually a thing.) My favorite quote? “I was moved to tears not because of what I wrote, but because I wrote it.” <—That’s what it feels like when you finally just do it…and stop beating yourself up about not doing it. The cognitive dissonance will kill you.
  13. I’m curious about this screencast recording software. Things I love in particular: Being able to undo parts of your recording and re-record over it without re-recording the entire thing. Being able to share videos and see if your clients or customers have watched them. Using this to teach clients and customers what to do. Being able to replace outdated videos from the backend and automatically have all the old links still work.
  14. If you love Amazon’s one-click technology, you might be obsessed with this universal checkout…so you can make a purchase from any website from your browser. Worth checking out…pun so intended.
  15. Here’s a great example of positioning. This could have been just another web design service. But they chose to specialize in designing websites for people building subscription services. End result? A no brainer for the clients they actually want to serve.
  16. Speaking of positioning, this website is great for gift-hunting…and finding just the right thing. But you know what this site really is? Just a site full of Amazon affiliate links on crack. BUT—and this is key—it’s specific. It’s not just any site full of Amazon affiliate links. It’s a site that’s painted as a gift-giving finder site. Because they found the right angle. And the right angle is all it takes to go from just another website, to one that matters to people.
  17. And for the record? This.Unfuckwithable

 

There we go. Politely piss off now, Monday. We’ll see you next week.

Love,

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and This Blog

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