Vanity Metrics and the Fools Who Obsess Over Them

I spent the last couple of my teenage years working in a restaurant. This was in 1997-ish, so long before social media and ubiquitous smartphones. For some reason, the owners of the joint saw fit to promote me to assistant manager. Probably for lack of options. When we evaluated our performance over a given period […]

3 Simple Steps to Creating Content People Want to Consume

We all know that guy or gal… The one who yammers on incessantly about whatever floats into his or her mind. Filtering is rarely a concern as the inane crap leaves this person’s lips while everybody within earshot grows slowly dumber and more bored. As far as the speaker is concerned, they’re spinning a world-class […]

Turn Your Followers into Dragonslayers

No matter how old you are, you’ll have a set of problems. Little kids don’t want to eat their broccoli and would gnaw their left arm off to stay up until 9:30pm. Teenagers rage against their parents and educators for compelling them to fill most of their days doing stuff they hate and see as […]

How to Be Memorable (Starting Right Now)

Growing up, most of us had heroes. People we admired and wanted to emulate. “Man, I want to be just like [somebody] when I grow up!” Somebody could have been Aunt Susan or Superman. It didn’t really matter. We liked the cut of their jib and wanted the same cut for ours. Well into adulthood, […]

PSA: Content Marketing Takes Time

Content marketing is a long game. It just is. Some don’t have the stomach for it. They want results, sales, and all of the other benefits of a consistent, well-executed content strategy, but without the patience and planning. It’s another symptom of an on-demand existence. In an effort to force the positive outcome they seek, […]

Your Job is to Publish, Not Worry

Let’s talk about outcomes. You know you should be publishing—creating new stuff for your audience so they’ll listen to you and buy your goods, support your cause, or just think you’re a smart cookie. And that’s true, you should. This puts pressure on us as content creators. We feel like we need to obsess over […]

Three Steps to Content Marketing Success

Hopefully, you’re already convinced that the content is an integral part of growing a small business. (If you’re not persuaded of that, message me.) Now that you know it’s necessary, how do you make it work for you? The old “if you build it, they will come” has been cited and defeated so completely that […]

How to Read Your Audience's Mind

People will respond better and more enthusiastically when they feel like the speaker/writer/whatever-er knows their mind intuitively. That should be obvious. It’s the knowing part that’s hard. There are a couple of trusted methods for understanding your audience’s desires and motivations. The first is to watch their behavior. When you create things for people to […]

The Art of Interruption for Fun and Profit

You can divide just about any person’s life into two discrete states. In the first state—which we’ll call the “unsettled” state—there’s a possibility of the unexpected. It’s not the wild west or anything, but a given person will be more alert during these times because his or her brain is aware of the possibility of […]

How to be Addictive

At any given moment, we each have a “biggest” problem. There are tons of other problems, of course, but one single problem is the reigning king of our hill of distraction, fear, and anxiety. Maybe you got a sideways glance from the boss when you walked in. Or perhaps your sweetie was a little standoffish […]