We all know having other people say good things about us is far and away better than saying it yourself. So why is it that the majority of “About” pages are just someone prattling on about all the things they’ve done? Or even worse, they just write it in the third person and it still ends up being a list of schools attended, and jobs held.
Okay. Let me get off my soapbox for a second. You can probably already tell I’m not much for self-delusion or any other form of B.S. So how about I let some other people – 2 clients and 1 editor – share what they think of me. Then I’ll come back and share a little more of how I see the world.
“Conrad is an ‘idea’ machine. He starts out quiet while he’s collecting information, and when he starts talking the ideas and implementation come fast.
“I’ve worked with Conrad on projects with Dr. Al Sears, Early to Rise, and he was my first choice for a copywriter when I launched For Working Moms Only. The extra effort Conrad puts into getting to know his clients makes his copy shine. He really brings a message to life.”
MaryEllen Tribby, CEO
“It’s still hard to believe we were able to put on a second shift in only four months. The first promotion Conrad did was a Lost Customer Reactivation, and it returned $106.20 to $1! I was stunned at how much money I had let slip through my hands.
“Conrad got me to let go a little bit and give more authority to my employees. He gave all of us ways to keep accountability in place while raising morale and productivity to the roof. I can’t recommend working with Conrad highly enough. He transformed 30 years of ‘getting by’ into a real business.”
Joe Sarna, Owner
Rapid Pro Truck Service
“Conrad is the best writer I’ve ever seen. He’s my first choice when I’m looking at a new project.
“I am the editor for the first four, and the seventh, books Conrad wrote. Most copywriters specialize in one or two types of writing. Conrad can write everything from a postcard or e-mail to a full-length book because he took the advice of his mentors to heart. Like all the best copywriters, Conrad’s specialty is understanding the marketing process. Then he writes the copy you need for your business, and shows you how to use it.
“The first book Conrad wrote for me is still my best seller. All his books get lots of praise from readers, and he’s still my first choice for new projects.”
Bob Bly, President
CTC Publishing Inc.
It’s nice to have people say good things about you, isn’t it? But I have to admit there’s a common element all my happy customers tend to leave out: I can be a real hard case when it comes to dealing with B.S., delusions and poppycock in general.
My first mentors in writing are Bob Bly, Dan Kennedy, and Mark Ford (a.k.a. Michael Masterson). All three are known for being straight shooters. The best advice they gave me – and all three said it – is to specialize in understanding the whole marketing process. Then you can write copy for anything.
Cranium Ex Rectum
That’s my motto. It translates literally as “Head Out Of Arse,” and that’s how I approach life. There is way too much “common wisdom” that keeps us from reaching our full potential.
The one that bugs me most is “Nobody likes change.” Really? Somebody needs to tell that to Donald Trump, Joan Rivers, and Dan Kennedy.
Donald Trump went bankrupt three times. Now he’s on top of the world, and making Billions by licensing his name. This is a guy who experienced a lot of negative and positive change in his life.
Joan Rivers has reinvented her career at least three times. She has gone from popular to poverty, and keeps bouncing back. And before you say, “Well, that doesn’t mean she liked it,” keep in mind that she credits the down periods for giving her the strength to make the comeback.
Then there’s Dan Kennedy. Maybe in one way he shows that keeping things the same is good. After all, his third wife is also his first wife. After wife #2, I guess he figured wife #1 was pretty good and re-married her.
Dan changed from a stuttering, insecure teenager into one of the world’s most highly paid and in demand speakers. He has sold his company twice while retaining an equity share. And he has successfully adapted to all the marketplace changes over the last 40 years. I’d say that’s a guy who welcomes change.
So maybe the saying should be “Narrow minded, unsuccessful people don’t like change because it means having to admit they got it wrong.”
Successful people welcome change.
There’s lots more common wisdom that’s really just crap. A preacher mentioned this one once: “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Obviously she hasn’t seen many dawns.
She was genuinely surprised when I told her that’s wrong. So much so, she asked when is the night darkest? The answer is around 1am – you know, the MIDDLE of the night?
In case you’re wondering, it starts getting plenty light enough to see easily about TWO HOURS before dawn.
Or how about “it takes money to make money.” That’s my favorite. Do people really think you put money in a rabbit hutch and let it breed?
The best proof that this is a bag of pooh is the entire industry of crowd funding. Sites like Kickstarter, Greedy Giver, IndiGogo, Crowdcube and Peerbackers are just a few places where people with good ideas – but no money – have gotten the funding to make their dreams come true.
It isn’t money that makes money. It’s a good idea wedded to persistence, hard work, and creativity that make money.
So that’s me in 1,071 words. If you buy into ideas like “direct mail doesn’t work” and “I just gotta have a Facebook Page,” then we’re going to have some uncomfortable conversations. In the end, we won’t work together because you need a tow truck to Cranium Ex Rectum.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to test to find out what works with your audience, then we’ll get along famously. And who knows, we might even make you famous locally – or nationally – in the bargain.
And just to show I’m not totally against social media (in fact, I think there is great use for it just like any other media – when it’s used well), please accept this invitation to connect with me on the following sites:
Watch for more links to be added as I become active on YouTube, iTunes, and Pinterest. Is there a site you’d like to have me participating on? Please let me know what it is by using the Contact page to send me a note.