ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Repeat After Me: You Are Not Your Buyer

In: How to Sell Yourself

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 you to do, right here, right now, before you slug the last of the egg nog and run around with streamers on your head.

And that is to listen up.

Maybe you've been preparing for a big launch in January. Maybe you've been re-structuring your pricing model.  Maybe you've been plotting new service offerings. Maybe you're entirely re-doing your website.

Whatever it is, you've probably been making every decision from inside your own head, am I right?

Your own perception of what people might want.
Your own perception of how much people will pay.
Your own perception of what will sell (and what won't).
Your own perception of what people need to hear.

But – and allow me to insert a brief awkward moment here – how many times have you actually asked somebody in a position to actually buy from you…what they wanted? How many times have you, instead, spoken for them, over them, and on behalf of them? And how many times have you based critical business decisions on your own past experiences, your own buying power, your own preferences and your own fears…instead of theirs?

Do not forget: You are not your buyer.

And that means something.

First of all, it means you've gotta get out of your own head once and a while…or the only person who your stuff is going to appeal to is youSecond, it means you can't assume anything without doing your due diligence. Are you sure they won't pay that?

When you first subscribe to this blog, I'll send you an email asking you to tell me who the fuck you are. I don't do this to be cute; I do it because if you want to build a community, you gotta talk to people. It's not a one-sided conversation, and you can't be a grouchy little hermit crab.

However, another benefit of having this in place is the opportunity to take a stroll through people's minds; to understand why they were attracted to The Middle Finger Project in the first place, and what they need from me. I get to hear their worries, their bitching, their funny jokes, their humble admissions. And time and time again, reading through these responses is the #1 thing I do for my creative businesses. (Besides blogging and drinking, of course.)

Their words humanize this whole god damn internet stuff, making sure I remember that no one, not now, not ever, is a number, but rather, a real person, with real thoughts, and real feelings, and real struggles.

And teasing out that HUMANITY and applying it to your business is what separates the average from the brilliant.

It's the difference between the coach who says, “I'll help you self actualize,” and the coach who says, “I'll help you stop crying yourself to sleep over your divorce.” It's the difference between the website designer who says, “I'll optimize your site for mobile” and “I'll make sure every single person who sees your website, whether they're on a computer, an iPhone, a tablet or their 8 year old's PS4 – sees the best of you, clear as day.” It's the difference between the interior designer who says, “I'll give you a free quote” and “How about I swing by and take a peek?”

This particular set of examples is a head nod to my signature “wake up sweaty” test that I traditionally teach in my copywriting workshops; if it isn't going through their mind at 3am, it shouldn't show up as copy on your website.

But teasing out the humanity can apply in so many other ways.

Going out of your way to send actual Christmas cards in the mail, for example (we sent a bunch to our most engaged community members this year).  Understanding what the real hesitation is between them and the buy button. Remembering, on days when you're frazzled and frustrated and overwhelmed and pissy, that the person on the other side of the inbox is REAL. (And you're sometimes nicer to the stranger in line behind you at Dunkin' Donuts, which is saying something.) Finding creative ways to solve their problems in a way that'll delight the hell out of them. Introducing a new service that you hadn't even thought of before. Realizing that nobody wants another freaking email; they want what's in the email, and what's in the email…is you. (Which is one reason I censor myself less than most.)

If it's not about being human together, and finding creative ways to help one another, then what is it about?

I don't know. But one thing I do know is that nobody wants to be helped by the cold, fish-like, clammy “professional” with the stick up their butt.

You don't have to distance yourself from people in order to be taken seriously; you just need to do a better job of demonstrating your brilliance.

In the meantime, listen to what the people who do love you are saying.

Take the next couple of days to spy on their websites. Go into that fancy Infusionsoft database you're bleeding out the eyeballs to pay for, and call somebody. Actually have a conversation or two on – god forbid – Twitter. And have some FUN.

Turns out, listening isn't just polite; it's profitable.  And maybe the one thing your business has been missing – in all this trying to cut through the noise and the yelling and the webinars and the hubalub – isn't more shouting.

But more silence.   

Mar 6

2014

Are You Selling The Wrong Thing?

Mar 6, 2014

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of making a list of “what’s included” that looks like this: Modules! PDFs! Videos! Audios of the Videos! Transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! Commentary on the transcripts of the Audios of the Videos! A revolutionary new—drum roll— Facebook Group! AND THERE’S MORE! Buy now and […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

READ ME >>

Feb 11

2014

STOP Giving Away Free Consults. I Beg You.

Feb 11, 2014

“Nobody ever paid top dollar for a cheap imitation. Don’t let somebody else’s business move dictate yours.” I wrote that in our TMF Facebook page yesterday. Here’s why: Keep in mind that the people you’re watching are winging their next move just as much as you. Yet, so many new business owners who are fighting tooth […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

READ ME >>

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

READ ME >>

Aug 30

2017

$5 Discount or $5 Surcharge?

Aug 30, 2017

Would you rather get a $5 discount or receive a $5 surcharge? It’s the same change in price, just framed differently—and yet, I bet even the word “surcharge” just had you up in arms. LISTEN HERE, AT&T!!!!!!!!!!! That’s because humans are reeeeepulsed by the idea of losing something we already have. It makes us hangry. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

READ ME >>

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

READ ME >>

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

READ ME >>

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.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

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

Privacy Policy Info Here