ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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STOP Giving Away Free Consults. I Beg You.

In: How to Sell Yourself

“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 and claw to make a name for themselves online, in particular, are being quietly indoctrinated into a school of sameness by one or two or three or four thought leaders—likely including myself—who have fancy websites and ARE LARGELY JUST WINGING THEIR NEXT MOVE, TOO. The only difference is that they're better at seeming like they aren't.

So don't second guess your own opinion. Please. 
Don't surrender common sense in favor of commonly done
Don't waste your time imitating anyone.

Trust yourself MORE.

Those things they're telling you to do?

To offer a “free consult,” or start a “newsletter,” or “figure out your ideal customer”—or anything else facilitating the cringe-worthy sea of sameness?

Consider, first, if what you're saying or doing is something YOU would get excited about.

I don't care if you fit into “your ideal customer profile” or not. You're still a human being. And as a human being—WOULD YOU FIND YOURSELF WORTH LISTENING TO? PAYING ATTENTION TO? WORTH GIVING YOUR MONEY TO?

If the answer is no, then you have important work to do.

Too often, I think you'll find that if you ask yourself this question honestly, you'll find that a lot of the very things you're doing, with all the best intentions, are very things that would make you say, “No, thanks” to someone else.

PAY ATTENTION.

Stop taking advice at face value, and start thinking for yourself.

Your business depends on it.

And maybe even your integrity.

Aug 28

2017

“Hire Me” versus “Listen To Me”

Aug 28, 2017

If you’re a freelancer, there are two different power dynamics: Hire me! Please hire me! I’m shitting my pants, over here, because I’m depending on you entirely and I’ll do anything it takes, even work for peanuts, because I need you to take mercyyyyy onnnnn meeeeee. Listen to me. I’m great at what I do, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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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

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Aug 5

2013

CAUTION: Do NOT Pitch Yourself Like This. Ever.

Aug 5, 2013

I hate when there’s an elephant in the room. And let’s face it – we’ve got quite a few elephants roaming around our little online community. One of them is the fact that everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything. For example, the other day we got this unsolicited pitch […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Jun 4

2017

Are You Sorry About Charging Money?

Jun 4, 2017

I was talking to a client yesterday, who, bless her heart, is LITERALLY working for free. She feels bad charging. And my goodness, she’s one of the smartest, most qualified women in her industry! She’s out there helping people every single day, in person, face-to-face! She’s spearheading an entire movement in Canada! And now the […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 2

2014

The Short, Slightly Sarcastic Answer to (At Least Eleven) Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Selling Yourself. Featuring: A Strong Opinion.

Sep 2, 2014

Q: Should I give away free consults? A: Are you running a business or a charity? EEEEEEEEEEET. Time’s up. The correct answer is [extra title=”Unless you *are* running a charity, in which case, oops?” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]business. [/extra] Ding, ding, ding. And businesses are for profit. Key words: For profit. Respect your own time and prospects will, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Dec 9

2014

Running a Holiday Sale? Memorize This by Heart.

Dec 9, 2014

So the other day I’m Christmas shopping here in Costa Rica, which is automatically hilarious because, first of all, because they spell “Ho Ho Ho!” like “Jo Jo Jo!” which never gets less funny, and second, because Santa was dressed in a royal blue suit. (I still haven’t decided if this is posh or ridiculous, […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Jun 12

2015

How to Sell a $250,000 Diamond Ring

Jun 12, 2015

You know how when you want to sound professional on the phone, you do that thing where you clear your throat, steady your voice, and then inevitably start talking THREE OCTAVES HIGHER in that sickening sweet, Southern-Belle-esque manner, almost as if you were speaking to a priest, or maybe the sheriff, all while using words […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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Sep 14

2014

If you’re both killer & poet, YOU GET RICH.

Sep 14, 2014

“Most good copywriters fall into two categories: Poets and Killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers, as a means to an end. If you are both killer & poet? You get rich.” Ogilvy once said that about copywriters, but that’s just because he wasn’t around long enough to see the internet blow up. […]

In: How to Sell Yourself

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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.

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