The positives of being negative and my crazy ex

In my freshman year of college I dated a girl named Candy.    

As Martin Lawrence would say, she was “crazy and deranged”.

She’d make Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction look like a mild-mannered Sunday school teacher.  

I learned a lot from that experience.  Mostly notably was how to spot a CRAZY bee-yotch in the wild.  It’s like watching Animal Planet but with a twist.  

I’d complain but that’s life.  There’s positive and there’s negative.  Just like in dating and everything else in the world.

When it comes to writing copy, adding the negative can take your writing to the next level.  Especially on your sales pages and emails.

I’ll do a biz-op example.  Most Promises look like this:

  • You’ll earn more.
  • Have more free time.
  • You can build your biz with little experience.


That’s all well and good but NEGATIVE Promises help balance out your message.  You could say something like…

Are you tired of:

Companies that prey on your “Hopes and dreams”.

Marketing materials that are just long boring sales pitches.

Without the negatives you can risk sounding like a really annoying overly positive person.  Like Pollyanna or Kenneth from 30 Rock.

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The meat and potatoes of writing emails

Writing emails can be tough.

And if you take my advice and email every day, sometimes it can feel like pushing a baby elephant…


I admit, I have different approaches in creating emails but one method I use is to start with a theme or premise.

And by ‘theme’ I just mean, what your email is about or the meat of your message.  

Here’s the theme of the movie i, Robot:

“A technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.”

So how does this work for emails?

Let’s say my theme is based on something I heard Darren Hardy say last week.  I don’t remember it verbatim but he said, environment is stronger than willpower.  

I had to think on that one for a second. 

That was powerful!  

It reminded me about a book I read called Influencer and all sorts of memories and ideas that backed up what Hardy said. 

So if Darren Hardy’s quote was the “meat” of email, the next thing to do is add a vegetable, a grain, and maybe even a roll or two to support your theme.

That’s why the concept of writer’s block is more fictitious than Spongebob and Patrick barbecuing underwater.

If you need help cooking up content all you need to do is open a book or an Internet browser.

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Facebook: The dark night

My nephew’s goal is to make a full-time living as a social media influencer.  Some of his favorite Internet personalities make tens of thousands each month and he wants his share of the pie. 

I can’t blame him.  

He gets frustrated though because it’s taking him much longer than he thought it would.  It reminded me of some advice I received years ago.  It went something like this…

When it comes to getting your biz going it will usually take three times as long and cost twice as much as you think it will.  

No truer words have ever been spoken for young entrepreneurs.  There’s exceptions to the rule but better to think that way than think you’ll be the next Zuckerberg rich at age 23.

I harp on my nephew about one other thing.  And it’s the most important…

Build a list of customers and prospects.  It could just be their name and email address but having a list that YOU own can save your bacon. 

Pushing people off social networks to your website sounds easy but it’s not.  Why?  Because of Network Effect.  Network effect is when the number of people improve the value of the product or service. 

Take Uber for example.  Uber is #1 in ride share service which mean they attracts more drivers.  This lowers the wait time, which attracts more riders, which attracts more drivers, which lowers the wait time…etc.

It’s a constant circle that’s extremely hard to break.  That’s why you could spend billions and never take over Uber’s place as #1.  

The same is true with Google, Ebay, or Apple.  

It’d be like trying to stop a t-rex from charging at you with a fly-swatter.  You can’t break the momentum.

By having your own list you can rely on your direct marketing skills and NOT “the network”. 

That way when Facebook goes dark, or they change their rules or terms and conditions you can bounce back and pivot way faster than the poor sap that thought he didn’t need to build a list.

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Connecting to your audience like Wi-Fi

Seth Godin said something years ago that I thought was provoking.  He said would they [your audience] miss you if you were gone? 

I’ve done some good art and facilitated some transformations.  Like the Chicago Bulls, I’ve had a pretty good run.    I didn’t think anyone other than maybe my inner circle would miss me if I was gone though.

I mean, by god, I wasn’t the Salvador Dali of comics or the Dan Kennedy of email copywriting.  I’m just some dude from Arizona.  

Last year when politics got bat shit crazy and a murderous virus came to seemingly kill us all, I decided to use my social platforms to bring humor and fun to my followers.  

I posted every day and ignored everything but the replies to my content.  

Once the election was over and things settled down a notch I stopped posting.  And then it happened…

One of my old clients reached out  asked me if anything was wrong because i wasn’t posting anymore.  I was touched beyond words.  

Seth was right.  I was making a difference, even if it was just to a few people.  

It reminded me of something former American Idol judge Randy Jackson said.  He was at a Journey concert and all of the 70,000 people were singing along.  

“It’s the true connection to the human spirt.  This is what it’s all about.  People loved it so much that they learned every word and every melody.”

Everyone communicates.  Not everyone connects though.

Jackson said when he was on American Idol people would come up to him and talk like they knew him.  He said this was because American Idol was on two days a week.  Most shows are on once a week.

So why e-mail every day?  For this.  The connection.

When you stay in your list’s “face” every day, giving them content they want to see, you connect with them.  You become someone they’ll miss if you are gone.

To learn how to connect with your audience with your emails download my free PDF at .


The first step to writing better emails

I was at the farmers market by my house, waiting to check out.  The lady directly ahead of me kept tinkering with her cell phone.  She’s lazily putting her stuff on the conveyor belt and I’m trying not to get frustrated. 

I look left.  I look right.  Yup. This lane is still probably the fastest option out.  

She finally starts moving forward with her items.  She’s not quick about it and I imagine she’d do it a lot faster if she stopped fiddling around with her phone.

Is she texting?  Is she on Facebook?  Who knows.  I wish she could get it together though because I’d really like to get outta here with my “two things”.  

Who is this lady?  She is most of the people that are looking at your emails (and social posts too for that matter).

We want to believe that our readers are at home opening our emails with undivided attention and discernment.  This was true in the 90’s maybe but that was a LONG time ago.  

Now when your list is reading your emails they’re in line at the bank, grocery store, or at the gym.  Or worse they’re ‘reading’ while they’re texting and watching YouTube.  Or driving!!!

Your first step to writing better emails is understanding that the people who will read them are more ADHD than Hammy from the movie Over The Hedge.  Hammy is loving and adorable but a tough nut to crack with average emails.

Better to put in the work using a little flash and Blockbuster Storytelling to capture Hammy’s focus than to make believe your reader is some unicorn that’s giving your email her undivided attention.

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