Give your business or career an instant upgrade!

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Are you ready to take on more challenges, assume more responsibility, and reap greater rewards? You can upgrade your energy, resilience, skills and creativity almost instantly with a simple shift in your thinking. I’m going to show you how in my next masterclass, Finding Your Fire.

Click Here to register for this free event. I hope to see you there!

I’ve been working hard on this one for weeks.  If you join me, you’ll learn the formula for an inspired vision that will radically transform your business and your life.

I’ll share two uncomfortable truths that are probably keeping you from reaching your highest potential, and show you how to reclaim an extra hour of productive time each day. 

We’ll also shine a spotlight on the culprit that is killing your productivity, stopping sales, and undermining the skills and talents of your team.

Click Here to register for this free event. I hope to see you there!

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In Ideas

You are on a journey

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Nothing looks better than blinking and taking a breath as the camera starts to roll…

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In Ideas

The second biggest marketing mistake you’re making (468 words)

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Nobody wants to merely blend in with all the marketing noise. That’s how businesses die. 

But if you’ve ever read even one marketing book, you might fall for a crippling misconception. You see, practically everyone knows rule #1: Emphasize benefits, not features. This is an important rule, but if you leave out its counterpart, you will be crushed.

When benefits work against you

If you’ve got a completely different set of benefits that nobody else is promising, then rule #1 might be enough. But what happens when all your competitors are touting the same benefits? Chances are you’ve been caught in this swamp before:

  • Almost any real estate agent you ask will offer to sell your house fast, for the best possible price 
  • Most IT services will reduce downtime and streamline your workflow
  • Every single copywriter in the world is going to promise you more clients, more sales, and bigger profits with less effort

If your benefits are the same as everybody else, a prospect doesn’t really have a reason to choose you, and they may fall back on the cheapest or loudest option. 

Escape the “Me Too” Syndrome

Luckily, there’s an easy way around this “me too” syndrome: Start focusing again on the features.

How will you sell my house faster for a better price? Tell me the steps you’ll go through. Even if every realtor goes through the exact same steps, nobody has ever told me about them.

If you’re a personal trainer, explain that you spend half of each session doing resistance training at the weakest point in your client’s range of motion. List the 27 different muscle groups that you test and work with. Describe the weights and equipment you use. 

Do you offer IT services that reduce downtime? Be sure to show that your software refreshes the data and scans for bugs 37 times per minute. That you analyze 29 data points on an hourly basis. That most problems are discovered and corrected within 11 minutes. Mention the names, model numbers, and versions of all your software and equipment.

All of this information will be meaningless to most of your clients, but it’s a billion times more refreshing than the overused term, “state of the art.”

I always start every project by collecting as many facts as I can about a client or their products. I try to get at least 100, or even 1,000 if I’m not in a hurry. One of my early mentors refused to write a single sentence until he had compiled 15 pages of facts about a product. Fifteen pages.

When everyone in your industry is boasting the same benefits, there’s only one way to stand out. Show your market, in a very concrete and tangible way, exactly how you deliver those benefits.

The old rule still applies. Benefits before features. But never leave out the features.

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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The four things you need for marketing success (519 words)

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Four things.

That’s all you need for your marketing in 2021, and you probably already have most of them.

If you’re not getting the results you want, it probably means you’re lacking in one of these four areas, or they aren’t working together as a whole.

The marketing tree revisited

Imagine your marketing is a tree. The tree has four elements: Leaves, branches, a trunk, and roots. Let’s check them out one at a time.

The leaves collect the sun. They attract energy and money into your marketing system.

Leaves are the thing most businesses focus on: Your advertising, social media posts, memes, emails–all the surface things that drive traffic, attention, and branding.

Leaves are essential. But if the energy they create doesn’t go into your branches, trunk, and root system, the leaves won’t help you very much.

And if you’re not nourishing your leaves from the roots out through the trunk and the branches, then they will shrivel up and stop working.

Branches are the utility part of the marketing tree.

Strong branches support your clients, your potential clients, and your mission. Your branches are your videos, white papers, and downloads. Your branches are the content your clients want, and they are the tools that show potential clients what your business can do for them.

Leaves drive traffic to the branches, and the branches should support the leaves. Good content, worthy of being bragged about by the leaves of your tree, provides this support.

Branches in turn, rise up from the trunk of the tree. Your trunk is the core of your business, what you do best for your clients and how you’re different from similar businesses.

If your business has a good core, a good trunk, then it’s not hard to come up with solid, evergreen content (branches) to promote your business.

How do you build a good trunk? It all depends on the roots.

You probably already know what the roots of your tree are. These are your values, your mission, your reasons for doing what you do. The roots are underground, and many people will never see them. But they are reflected in the trunk of your tree.

In fact, you can’t have a sturdy trunk without good roots.

Do this for the next four months

After the gazpacho smoothie blender explosion that was 2020, the world is grateful for healthy trees. Especially the ones with solid roots. Everyone is concerned about roots these days. How are yours doing?

I recommend you spend the next month looking at your roots.

Think of ways you can have your roots spread their influence up through the trunk, the branches, all the way to the tip of every leaf.

Then spend a month on your trunk, another month on branches, and finally give a month of focus to your leaves.

If you do this, you will have a formidable marketing system in place by the beginning of summer.

Now I have a question for you. Actually two questions. What are your most important values? What got you through 2020?

I would love to hear your answers. Leave a comment below.

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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How your audacious vision can become a wealth magnet

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This is what my 2021 is going to be all about. I ramble a bit, but it’s sincere. Think of it as the first draft that you never get to read. There’s an explanation after the video.

First, a quick history lesson. There was a time when the Roman Empire was a small business.

The story of their growth has something that might help you. 

You see, back when Rome was just a large village in the middle of Italy, when fierce enemies lurked a few days’ journey away, back when Roman roads were just dusty pathways in the summer and streams of mud in the winter, way back in the days when the southern third of Italy was part of Greece, someone had an audacious vision. 

A Roman Censor named Appius Claudius initiated a project that caused a lot of people to shake their heads. 

He built a road. A real road. The first true Roman Road. Nobody had ever done anything like this before.

The road was paved with multiple layers of stone and interlocking hexagon plates of hand-carved volcanic rock that was almost indestructible. Drainage ditches were dug to keep the water off. He set up outposts along the road to provide travelers with food, water, and fresh horses.

You might think a road like this would go somewhere important, but it didn’t. It just led into the wilderness and sort of petered out. A lot of people shook their heads.

This project bankrupted the treasury, which probably caused even more people to shake their heads. But you know what happened next.

With this infrastructure in place, the Romans could move their troops, supplies, and messengers year round with startling speed. Soon they controlled the Italian peninsula, and then they copied this system on every shore along the Mediterranean sea. 

I wrote about this a few months ago on Medium, in an article titled, “How Appius Claudius Invented Rome.” It’s been getting some attention, and I think I know why. Many people are asking themselves the same question:

What could you accomplish, if you were willing to make a few people shake their heads?

No matter where you are in your life, in your business, you can benefit by having an audacious vision. When you have an audacious vision, something happens. You will find yourself inspiring others. You will have energy and power behind your every move. Decision-making becomes easy.

Best of all, you gain an unfair advantage over your competitors.

Dan Kennedy once listed 26 “Wealth Magnets” used by many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. (There are really 27 of these, but the last one is hidden. Wealth Magnet #15 is Passion. #16 is See What Isn’t There. The 17th magnet is No Boundaries. 

My favorite, Wealth Magnet #10, is Do Something. 

If you have an audacious vision, take massive action to bring it into the world. Heads will shake, but soon you’ll have four wealth magnets, and you’ll be on your way to activating others.

Over the weekend, I had my own Audacious Vision. I’ll be sharing it with you a little bit in these emails, or you can find out about it on the video at the top of this post.

But meanwhile, what is your audacious vision? Go on! Make my head shake!

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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The World’s Most Prescient Investor?

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More than 2,000 years ago, a Roman censor named Appius Claudius built the most expensive road ever seen. Rome was just a city at the time, and the road led to wilderness and enemy territory in southern Italy.

His “road to nowhere” nearly bankrupted the treasury.

It also enabled this quirky city state to control the Italian peninsula, and eventually all the lands touched by the Mediterranean sea.

Appius Claudius knew that when you combine bold action with ambitious vision, people and circumstances will hustle to “catch up” with you. He famously said, “Every man is the architect of his own fortune.”

Next week, I’m going to show you how to be the architect of your own fortune. In this workshop, “Crush Social Media Without Crushing Your Soul,” you’ll learn how to map out a route that will put you in the top 10% of your field.

And that’s not all. I’m going to share my best tips and tricks, including:

How to integrate 4 types of content to build instant funnels and automated marketing sequences
The secret of to Timeless Content that lets you attract fantastic clients and customers with almost no effort
A shortcut to building authentic connections online in just a few minutes a day

It’s all happening at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 18. Here’s the link: https://newthinkable.lpages.co/wcsm-11-18-main/

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My favorite social media hack (441 words)

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Internet gurus invented the hamster wheel.

“If you don’t post at least 3 times a day,” they warn you, “you’re invisible.”

Important, high quality activities like sales and marketing, personal contact, and doing the work you’re great at–all those things have to wait. You’ve gotta create more CONTENT and post the living frack out of it.

You’re welcome to stay on the social media treadmill, if you think you need the exercise.

But I think there’s something else you can do.

Something way more authentic, something that doesn’t take as much out of you, and something that might even work better–at least on certain platforms.

How to Use the Law of Acknowledgement

You know what everyone wants on social media, right? Attention and recognition. So why not give them what they want?

Acknowledge the people most important to you, the ones you really want to impress, by sharing their content and leaving thoughtful comments.

I did an experiment. For one week, I didn’t post anything new. Instead, I spent about 10 minutes a day giving comments and shares to other people. Here were the results:

  • 11 new opt-ins for my list
  • 2 old clients I hadn’t spoken to in years reached out to talk about new projects
  • 3 total strangers liked and shared some of my older content

Results like this won’t turn you into a billionaire, but they cumulative impact of sincere, personal interaction will compound over the years.

If you want to get the most out of the Law of Acknowledgement, combine it with some critical preparation.

Prime Yourself for the Law of Acknowledgement

Leaving positive comments for others will get attention. People will start to look at your feed and see what you’ve got. Ideally you’ve got something good to show them.

I listed the details in the Social Media Cheat Sheet, but here’s a quick rundown of what you should have in place:

  • 5 or more examples of “core content” available in multiple formats (blog post, video, podcast, audio, etc.) that show you at your best and provide real value
  • A series of memes and clickbait that lead back to your core content, automated via software or posted regularly by an assistant
  • A good lead magnet that triggers a welcome/nurturing email sequence

If you have these three things set up, and then you spend 10 minutes a day giving your peers and prospects the attention they crave on social media, you won’t have to spend your days on the treadmill anymore.

You will free up hours of time to innovate, optimize your business, invent new products, and enjoy more personal interactions with your best prospects.

You’re going to be a fat hamster.

About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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Attract a flood of new clients when you apply this simple concept

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Capitalism and racism are incompatible

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As I write this, people are marching in the streets around the country.

Most of them are peaceful, most of them are not looting stores and businesses, and most of them have only three words they want you to hear: Black lives matter. 

Whatever you think about the protests and the events that led up to this demonstration, let me ask you a question that might not seem related.

Why are you an entrepreneur? Your answer matters.

Every one of us is in this world for a reason. You have a unique purpose. You have a talent, a perspective, or a way of doing things that nobody else can offer. 

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to uncover your gift and share it with the world.

But when anyone is systematically denied a level playing field, we are all deprived of their unique gifts. Capitalism and racism are incompatible. Black lives matter.

I’ll have some great new marketing ideas for you soon, including a neat little trick to make perpetual, unique content. But for now, think about the people marching in the street, and the one simple request that most of them have.

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The “Shot Glass” Secret of Business Growth

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If we know each other from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, you might also know Wally and Teri and their company, Fancifull Gift Baskets.

They sell a wine, Domaine D’Aupilhac, that is a smoky bottle of gorgeous decadence. This wine was the beginning of my encounter with an irresistible marketing force. 

The shot glass principle has been used for centuries under many names. It’s become a best practice for internet marketers in the 21st century. Politicians, pastors and even drug dealers have moved the masses by using the shot glass. 

It will grow your business, too. 

Let me tell you what I learned about this secret on a busy night long ago. Our tale involves a laptop, a bottle of wine, a deadline, and of course a shot glass…

My wife had just opened a bottle of Domaine D’Aupilhac, a wicked potion of dusky brilliance. I was eating dinner in front of my laptop, working on the fourth draft of a new client’s landing page. The project was due in 24 hours. 

“No thanks, sweetie,” I had to say when my wife offered to pour me a goblet of the pure ineffable bliss. 

I kept working, and didn’t notice when she lovingly set down a shot glass of Domaine D’Aupilhac next to my elbow. 

When I took a break, I decided that one tiny shot of wine wouldn’t be enough to impair my immense creative talents. I took a sip and relaxed into a moment of divine ecstasy as a slow jazz standard played in my mouth. 

Then it was back to work!

An hour later, I reasoned that since I had already tasted a sip of seductive debauchery, there was no harm in having another shot.

When my wife went to bed, she handed me the half-empty bottle (or was it half full?).

You probably know what happened next. I poured myself a goblet and attacked my fifth draft. I worked on into the night, feeling more confident and uninhibited. The words flowed like wine…

The next morning I had a headache and one heck of an editing job to do. After washing down my espresso with about six gallons of water, I had an epiphany.

Why are we so darn consistent?

This same story has played out again and again over the centuries. The sailor ties a small weight to the end of a cord, and throws it to the crew on the shore. They pull on the cord, which is attached to a rope, which is attached to a chain that would have been way too heavy for the sailor to toss. 

From a lightweight cord, a ship is secured. From a falling pebble, an avalanche. From a tiny shot glass, the entire bottle of wine is consumed.

A psychology professor named Robert Cialdini describes a wicked experiment using this principle. A researcher approached innocent homeowners and asked them to display small public cards in their windows, which said, “Be a safe driver.” 

Two weeks later, the researcher came back with a ridiculous request: He asked the homeowners to put a huge billboard on their front lawn that said “Drive Carefully” in ugly letters. He showed the homeowners a picture of what the billboard would look like. In the photo, the ugly sign covered most of the house. 

A full 76% of the people who displayed the tiny cards in their windows agreed to put the outrageous signs on their lawns! 

Commitment and consistency are hard-wired in our brains. If you decide you’re the kind of civic-minded person who would put a safety sign in your window, you’ll feel inclined to be consistent by putting one on your lawn. If you decide it’s OK to have a shot of wine, you’re likely to be okay with a glass of wine.

How to use the shot glass if C19 has impacted your business

In your business, you can use this principle to get new clients. If someone decides your content is worth reading or watching, you have a much better chance that they’ll pay you for something. 

This doesn’t mean that whenever someone downloads your free report, they’ll turn into a six-figure client. But if you can sell them a tiny product or service for a negligible price, they’ll be open to almost any justifiable upsell. They have already paid for your work. In their mind, you’re someone who receives their money.

There’s a reason commitment and consistency work so well. They actually benefit us most of the time. You avoid spending a lot of cognitive effort by keeping consistent with your past choices. If a certain gardener cuts your lawn, you might as well hire him to trim your tree. It saves you the time and effort of finding someone new. 

You can make the power of commitment and consistency work for you during the covid-19 crisis. People are trying hard to cut back on their spending, but they are also making radical changes in how they work and live. 

All you have to do is offer an affordable, bite-size service that supports one of these changes. 

That’s your shot glass, and as the economy re-opens, you’ll have a rich new pipeline of customers ready to buy your whole bottle. 

 

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