The Old Man and The Pen

This is a simple story about the life of a particular writer, and how he ignored the one thing about his craft that would have given him everything he truly wanted …
A young man in his late twenties decided to become a writer.
At the beginning of the pursuit of his craft, he sought out all the writing advice he could find. He attended writing workshops, went to many parties of a literary nature, drove far into the woods seeking the wisdom of writing retreats, and read countless books on writing by countless other writers.
After several years of this, he began to despair. He seemed to have found the correct knowledge, and a few seemingly valuable contacts along the way, but he hadn’t yet written anything of consequence.
He felt very validated by a number of his very nice friends in his Thursday night writing circle, but he couldn’t keep down the horror in his gut that something was going terribly wrong.
He was having a good time. There were the parties, the drink, the pills, and the long conversations about art and writing.
Then, somewhere in his mid-thirties, the not-so-young-anymore writer looked around and realized that he had wasted many years. This confused him, because his entire circle of friends were “writers” after all.
He had a decision to make.
On a particularly starry Thursday night, the phone rang — like it did almost every other night of the week — at 11:03 p.m. Pacific Time. Only this time,

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How to Know Exactly What Content to Deliver to Convert More Prospects

Back in the 1940s, psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel conducted an experiment. They showed study participants an animated film consisting of a rectangle with an opening, plus a circle and two triangles in motion.
The participants were then asked to simply describe what they saw in the film. Before you keep reading, take a look at it yourself. I’ll be here when you come back.
So, what did you see? Out of all the study participants, only one responded with “a rectangle with an opening, plus a circle and two triangles in motion.” The rest developed elaborate stories about the simple geometric shapes.
Many participants concluded the circle and the little triangle were in love, and that the evil grey triangle was trying to harm or abduct the circle. Others went further to conclude that the blue triangle fought back against the larger triangle, allowing his love to escape back inside, where they soon rendezvoused, embraced, and lived happily ever after.
That’s pretty wild when you think about it.
The Heider-Simmel experiment became the initial basis of attribution theory, which describes how people explain the behavior of others, themselves, and also, apparently, geometric shapes on the go.
More importantly, people explain things in terms of stories. Even in situations where no story is being intentionally told, we’re telling ourselves a tale as a way to explain our experience of reality.
And yes, we tell ourselves stories about brands, products, and services. Whether you’re consciously telling a story or not, prospects

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‘What Kind of Content Should I Create?’

Last week, we talked about how to really understand who is in your audience.
This week, we’re shifting into what kind of message they want and need from you. Brian kicked off on Monday with a piece of classic marketing advice (exemplified by a classic American comic film):
It’s not enough to just know your audience. You also need to put their interests and desires ahead of your own.
That might sound impossibly idealistic — but in fact, it’s pure pragmatism.
On Tuesday, Beth Hayden gave some specific thoughts on how to do it, by creating extraordinarily generous content that can open all kinds of doors for your business.
The Copyblogger FM podcast this week talks about your customer’s path to purchase and how to make it a little more appealing (and effective). I talk about the right places to ask for a sale and how you can discover what kinds of content to create.
In Wednesday’s post, I continued that theme of the content marketing path — taking a winding road through a new persuasion “formula” I’m calling ECUBED. I’d love your thoughts on how you’d tweak or add to that formula — drop by and leave a comment?
Last chance to get an exceptional price on the Rainmaker Platform
By the way, I wanted to remind you that this Friday (that’s tomorrow), January 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, the price of the Rainmaker Platform is going to rise significantly.
Sign up at the current lower price and we’ll

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A Review of Brand24 Social Monitoring with Mike Sadowski: One Last Tool 2.1

Social monitoring and free pizza? This week, George sits down with Mike Sadowski from Brand24 to discuss their social monitoring platform. It’s a giant review of the platform including cost, competitors, and common problems..
The post A Review of Brand24 Social Monitoring with Mike Sadowski: One Last Tool 2.1 appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


Don’t Get Flattened on the Attention Superhighway

When we talk about content marketing strategy, it’s amazing how often people think that means:
Can I Haz Moar Peoples!!!
(English translation: How can I get more traffic to my site?)
That’s not new — the quest for eyeballs is as old as online business.
And it does matter. It’s important to have a critical mass of folks who know you exist. Ask anyone trying to get a business off the ground with an email list of 34 people, 8 of whom they’re related to.
You need a big enough audience to allow for a meaningful response when you try out a new content idea, or craft an offer for your product or service.
But there’s no shortage of online publishers with big audiences and tiny businesses. If all you do is stand on the Information Superhighway trying to flag people down, you’re going to get flattened.
Instead, craft a thoughtful, well-designed path. Lead prospects from the noise and clutter of the larger web to a sustained and valuable connection that solves the problems they care about.
Smart business isn’t about gaining a massive amount of attention. It’s about gaining the right kind of attention from the right people … and continuing the journey from there.
Copywriting formulas
When you want to persuade, it’s useful to take a look at the classic “formulas” of copywriting — because copywriting is simply persuasion that takes place (partly or completely) without the help of an individual human salesperson.
Most of these formulas begin with the letter

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