The One Key to Grabbing—and Holding—Your Audience’s Attention


April 16th, 2014

Content without context is a wasted effort. No matter how well-written your blog post is, how many times you’ve rehearsed your webinar or how great your opening animations are, if your audience doesn’t know why they need to be listening to you, they’ll simply tune you out.

Why?

In other words, telling your audience why you’re delivering this content to them in particular helps them understand why they should care about what you have to say and take time out of their busy day to listen to you.

Most important, without a strong emotional connection and compelling reason to engage, your audience is just one click away from going to the next website or competitor.

This is true for any form of content you put out, whether it’s an eBook, an infographic, a blog post, or a podcast. In order for your audience to engage with you on any level, they need to know why they should pay attention and how it’s going to help them specifically.

To get to the “why” of your content, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. What’s the result you want to deliver with your content?

    This is the heart of your “why”—the key takeaway of your piece. What is the one thing your audience going to learn, better understand or be able to solve by engaging with your content?

  2. Why would this matter to your target audience?

    Does the purpose of your piece align with a want, need, problem or concern that’s on the minds of your audience members? If not, you may need to tweak your “why” to cater more specifically to their needs and show how your content is immediately relevant to them.

  3. How do you want your content to affect your audience?

    One of the big keys to effective content marketing is to create an emotional connection to your brand. What’s your unique perspective? Why should your customer care about you instead of just caring about your products and services? Focus on the emotion—and the story behind it—and your audience will be compelled to engage in a relationships with you and your business.

Always get your “why” squared away before putting a piece of content together. You’ll find that your content flows easier when you have its purpose nailed down. Then, be sure to share your big “why” with your audience so they have a context and connection for what you’re giving them.

I’m curious—what are your go-to strategies for finding your “why”?

One more note: one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started creating content was focusing too much on creating the content—and not enough on getting in front of an audience of potential customers.

One of the easiest systems I’ve found for getting your content out to a bunch of different audiences with the click of a button is Traffic Geyser 2.0. You’ll have to opt-in to see the video series on distributing your content, but you’ll also get a free copy of Mike Koenigs’ book, You. Everywhere. Now.

I promise this is a trend you’ll want to be on top of. Click below to discover more.

Click Here to get Traffic Geyser 2.0


No Comments, Likes, Views – or Sales? Here’s Why . . .


April 16th, 2014

Have you ever created an awesome new video, then sat back and waited for the views, likes and comments . . . that never showed up? I’ve been there. It’s a bummer. :(

For a long time, I thought it was my content.
However, when I started analyzing my traffic statistics using tools like Optimizely and Google Analytics, I realized that the problem was my audience. I wasn’t getting enough people to my site.
Getting Interaction
Once I started focusing on increasing my audience, the views, likes and comments started to roll in.

This is also true for your sales pages. So many times, people think they have a conversion problem, but they really have a traffic problem. Conversion rates for sales pages hover between 1-3%, so getting more people to your page is more crucial to hit your revenue goals.

When I built my audience, I did it the hard way, piece by piece, channel by channel. It’s a hard-won list, and it’s responsive to my content and my offers, but I couldn’t help thinking there was a better way.

I recently got a sneak preview of a top-secret piece of new software that’s going to totally change content distribution—and the way you build your audience. (Think: easier, faster, better!)

My friend, Mike Koenigs, has developed ONE way to press a button to promote you, your products and services onto every screen, computer, tablet, television, pocket and even in the cars of every person, prospect or business in the world.

Sound intriguing? I know it’s something I’d want to get my hands on. :)

Check it out for yourself. You’ll have to opt-in to see the video series on distributing your content, but you’ll also get a free copy of Mike Koenigs’ book, You. Everywhere. Now. Plus, I promise this is a trend you’ll want to be on top of. Click below to discover more.

Click here to check out Traffic Geyser


The Power of Story: A Man, His Dog and a Quadrupled Customer List


April 10th, 2014

I want to share a real-life example with you about the power of story and the very real, very tangible outcomes of developing yours for your business.

When Andy Falco Jimenez came to Mike Koenigs’ Instant Customer Reinvention event two years ago, he was $70,000 in debt and his house was in foreclosure. The dog training business he had run for 25 years, Falco K9 Academy, was not bringing in enough income to support his family, and he had no idea how he was going to get through the next month. In fact, he’d only been able to attend the event because a friend had given him a free ticket.

Andy and Me

I’d been invited to speak at the event and Mike and I sat down with Andy for a one-on-one “Hot Seat” coaching session. Andy told us his story and his situation. He was frustrated because he was an intelligent person, yet he just couldn’t seem to turn things around. He also wanted to write a book, and had been working on it for about five years.

The first thing that struck me and Mike about Andy was his story—and the fact that he wasn’t incorporating it into his business’s USP and messaging. Andy had started his business after a life-changing experience he had had as a police officer. In a chase to capture a suspect who was on the loose, Andy had followed him to a garage, where the suspect was hiding. As he approached the door to the garage, Andy’s police dog ran around to a back entrance. Just before Andy stepped through the door, the dog bit the suspect, who was hiding just behind the door—with a gun. The dog had saved Andy’s life.

We urged Andy to embrace this experience, make it a core part of his USP, and use it to connect with his target audience. We also assured him that he was an expert in his field—a title that he struggled with himself because he doubted his own skills and authority.

Dog Sniff Evidence

Andy took our advice and ran with it. Two months after the event, he had finished his book, Falco: Walking with God and a Dog. Understanding the importance of a list, he built up his own using crowd grabber campaigns with Instant Customer, and marketed to his ideal customers with videos, podcasts and a blog.

Since that Hot Seat session in 2012, Andy’s clientele has quadrupled. He receives invitations to speak all over the country in front of large audiences, giving presentations at venues such as Planet Hollywood. He has appeared in two documentaries and has been featured on the National Geographic Channel, the Disney Channel, and Animal Planet. A few months ago he published his second book, Dog Sniff Evidence, which is now a number-one bestseller on Amazon. Andy had found his story—the driving, core purpose behind his business.

So now I ask you: Are you leveraging your story within your business? Let me know in the comments.

Sometimes all it takes is an outside point of view to help us pinpoint the changes we need to make in our own businesses. Mike and I are looking forward to the Hot Seat sessions at our Make Market Launch IT event on May 2–4! Find out more about our event here. Seats are limited!


It’s Science: Your Customers’ Brains Are Wired for Storytelling


April 2nd, 2014

Ever wonder why people tear up at the end of a Hallmark commercial? Why you smile when you hear a baby laugh? Why people are so devoted to their iPhones?

The Power of Storytelling

There’s a neurological connection between all three, but two of these are connected to a strategy at the forefront of content marketing: storytelling.

First, the behind-the-scenes psychology. (I was a psych major, after all!) Whenever we’re listening to a story told with emotion, we feel that same emotion because of what neurologists call "mirror neurons"—brain cells that fire whenever we find ourselves doing or experiencing the same thing as someone else, and vice versa. So when you—or someone more emotional than you—cries at a Hallmark commercial or smiles at the sound of a baby’s laugh, their mirror neutrons are firing away. They are "mirroring" that emotion.

Content marketers have leveraged this research and crafted an effective strategy out of it. Going above and beyond the more utilitarian elements of traditional content marketing—blogs, tweets, webinars, Facebook posts, etc. (which, don’t get me wrong, are essential to any good content marketing strategy)—storytelling is about connecting with your audience on an emotional level. It’s about creating a certain feeling around your brand, products, and services that will establish an emotional bond between your customers and your business, ultimately leading to the coveted holy ground of marketing strategy: brand loyalty.

Two examples of this in action:

  1. Coca-Cola has also jumped on the bandwagon with their Content 2020 project, which is a content marketing strategy focused producing content that engages their audience by spreading happiness.
  2. Cisco’s documentary series, The Network Effect, connects technology with the emotional connection within networks of people. Although this is subtly related to the Cisco product, it has nothing to do with selling computers and routers. Instead, it focuses on stirring emotion within the audience.

I personally love to insert my own personal stories about interacting with customers, being with my family, whatever connects the reader to the content in way to make them feel. The power is in those personal details, which makes facts, figures, information come alive. Now, this takes a certain level of vulnerability and openness, which I think is crucial to truly connecting with your core customers.

I’m looking forward to learning more about storytelling from one of today’s leading content marketing experts—Robert Rose. At this year’s Make Market Launch IT LIVE! event on May 2-4, Robert will teach us how people filter with their brains, but ultimately buy based on emotion. You can discover more about his presentation here.


4 Tips That Will Change How You Handle Speed Bumps in Your Business


March 20th, 2014

For Sir Richard Branson, business is just another adventure. What an amazing mindset.

I read a recent BBC article in which Richard Branson compared the life of an entrepreneur to that of an explorer. If anyone is qualified to make this comparison, it’s Branson, a man as famous for his kitesurfing foray across the English Channel and record-breaking trip from Japan to Canada via air balloon as he is for his entrepreneurship.

Dealing with Challenges

Branson went on to make the point that even though we entrepreneurs often find ourselves backed up against a wall, the important thing is to do whatever we need to do to overcome each problem as it comes, and keep moving forward.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about dealing with business speed bumps. When I make a mistake, it often feels like a disaster in the moment. However, with time, I can (usually) look back and learn from the experience (and maybe even laugh about it)! Perspective is a beautiful thing. :)

I wanted to share with you four tips I’ve learned to get better perspective and overcome business challenges as they present themselves (as they inevitably will):

1. Make Room for Mistakes

Planning ahead for mistakes may feel pessimistic to some people, but I think it’s just good sense. In fact, studies show that when people are allowed to make mistakes, they are significantly less likely to make those mistakes. Anticipating speed bumps also means that you will be able to respond better to anything that might happen. Whenever I start a big project, I always ask myself, "What could go wrong? And what will we do to fix it?" Then, when a problem presents itself, I’m often prepared to act quickly with a backup plan.

2. Reconnect to Your Why

I can sometimes find calmness in a storm when I remind myself why I do what I do: to give back to my husband and two boys by being around more often and being more present during our time together. If you’re struggling, ask yourself what your purpose was for starting your business in the first place. Was it financial freedom? More time to spend with your family? A career you felt passionate about? Reassociate with the emotion and drive that inspired you to start your business, and you’ll often move yourself into a calmer state of mind. It might even help to keep a reminder near your workspace, so you’re reminded every day of why you decided to do this in the first place. I’ve got our family pictures above my desk and they encourage me to persevere through my challenges.

3. Remember Who You’re Doing This For

I believe we each have a contribution to make to this world, and that there are people out there who need to hear your message. If you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, bring yur current and future customers to mind. How are your products or services making their lives better? And, if you don’t help them, who will? Every day, I get to help people turn their passions into real businesses. When I get frustrated, I anchor myself back to that mission and I find a way to take the next step forward, and the next, until I’ve created a solution.

4. Reach Out for Support

A trusted network of select friends and colleagues who can give you advice and support will help you get through the challenges you face—and also help you create a sense of community, even when you’re flying solo. I have a couple of very close friends who I bounce ideas around with, and those discussions give me a much greater sense of certainty. For that, I’m extremely grateful.

The bottom line is this: as an entrepreneur, you’re going to run into challenges. I hope these four tips help you keep the perspective you need to continue to move forward. :)

By the way, if you want to read that article about Richard Branson, you’ll find it here on the BBC website.

I’m curious: How do you deal with business roadblocks as an adventurer? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


My 5 Epic (and Embarrassing) Webinar Fails—and How to Avoid Them


March 4th, 2014

Yes, every one of these actually happened to me. Some days, it feels like I’ve made every webinar mistake in the book!

I’m sharing my epic fails to help you skip these mistakes and head right toward becoming a webinar expert, one who presents with the confidence and authority you need to use webinars to sell more of your products and services. Enjoy!

After you watch the video, makes sure to scroll down and see my solutions below!

You’ll notice the culprit in a number of these is GoToWebinar. Finally, there’s an alternative: WebinarJam. Check out this great webinar software, which turns Google Hangout into a marketer’s dream here:

Click here to get WebinarJam

How to Prevent My Epic Fails in Your Business

Epic Fail #5: The time I hooked my Yeti microphone into my computer thinking I’d get better sound—only to discover that it wasn’t compatible with the webinar system I was using. I was talking to myself for the first 12 minutes of my webinar.

Solution: Always, always test new technology with a team member before going in front of a live audience. No exceptions.

Epic Fail #4: The time I put the wrong time on the webinar registration page because it’s so small and dang hard to see in the system I was using. No one on my team caught it, either, so I showed up an hour late to my own webinar.

Solution: We double, triple and quadruple check the times of our webinars. We also *never* send out an invitation before at least two people have proofread the date and time.

Epic Fail #3: The 57 times I thought I was recording using GoToWwebinar’s record feature, only to discover that apparently there are also 50+ ways GTW can screw up the recording. (You’ve lost your Internet connection, anyone?) Not to mention the fact you can’t upload recordings from an Apple computer. I mean, who doesn’t support apple devices these days?!

Solution: Run a backup recording at all times. Often, I have a team member record remotely and sometimes, I’ll even run a backup-backup, where I set up a different computer, put it on mute (<— don’t forget to do this!) and do a Screenflow capture. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but there are literally 50 ways to lose a GTW recording. (That’s what makes WebinarJam so great. It generates a recording without you having to worry about a thing!)

Epic Fail #2: The time I attended a webinar with my business partner—Mike Koenigs. When I went to leave, I hit "End Webinar," thinking it was just me leaving the webinar . . . only to find out I had ended the entire thing and shut all the participants out, right as Mike was heading into his close. I’m STILL trying to make it up to him. (Sorry, Mike!)

Solution: Restrict high-level roles only to the necessary people. Your whole team doesn’t need to have administrative or presenter privileges. And if you’re one of those lucky people who is given high-level privileges—and you’re stuck using GoToWebinar (aka, "the devil")—always, always hit "Leave Webinar." If you’re not 100% certain, stay on mute and just wait for the webinar to end.

Epic Fail #1: The crown jewel of webinars gone bad has to be the first time I set up a webinar for Tony Robbins—his first one—and my colleage Amy Porterfield and I accidentally deleted the entire webinar and all attendees one hour before it was supposed to start!

Solution: Sometimes, even teamwork won’t save you. :) Try to make as few changes to a webinar before it happens. Create it, double-check it, ask your team to look it over, then DON’T TOUCH IT. And if you have to make a change, go very, very slowly and read every option you check before you press any buttons.

What are your epic fails (and solutions)? Share them with me in the comments, if only to reassure me that I’m not the only one who makes mistakes like this. :)

If you’re looking for an alternative to GoToWebinar (and who isn’t?!), check out WebinarJam, which will help save you from your own epic fails:

Click here to get WebinarJam


[Graphic] My Favorite Ways to Brainstorm Outstanding Content


February 28th, 2014

One of the challenges we face as business owners is coming up with valuable content for our target audience on a regular basis.

While knowing your ideal customer backwards and forwards—as well as the main problems and issues they face in their lives—is key to creating content that is relevant and useful to their particular needs, there are some additional things you can do to help you step outside the box and offer content that is not only valuable but also creative and unique to your business.

Here are some of my favorite ways to brainstorm outstanding content. Click the image to view it full size.

brainstorm_graphic_small

I’d love to hear how you come up with great content as well. Share your thoughts in the comments below!


The Exhilaration of Blazing Your Own Trail


February 20th, 2014

Most of us have heard this familiar Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "With freedom comes responsibility." But many people haven’t heard the context of the quote—what Eleanor wrote just before that famous line in her book, You Learn By Living:

Blazing Your Own Trail

"There was a spiritual safety in what was old and established and familiar; in what was, or seemed to be, permanent. People knew what was expected of them. They understood the conditions had to deal with. They accepted the dogmas of their period.

"But today where are these familiar things? Where are these known conditions? Where is the old safety? Instead, we find ourselves in an unfamiliar world, attempting to deal with unknown factors, having to blaze new trails for ourselves.

“‘Anxiety,’ Kierkegaard said, ‘is the dizziness of freedom.’ This freedom of which men speak, for which they fight, seems to some people a perilous thing. It has to be earned at a bitter cost and then—it has to be lived with. For freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect."

As an entrepreneur, I immediately related to this message, because that is what we are doing as entrepreneurs—blazing new trails. We are designing our own professional lives and building our legacies. The territory is unfamiliar, unconventional, unboring—and totally exhilarating!

I hope this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt inspires you as much as it inspired me.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you to do what you do every day? Share it with me in the comments.


Taking Care of You—Yes, You!—On Your Journey as an Entrepreneur


February 13th, 2014

As entrepreneurs, we have the amazing opportunity to design our own professional lives. You run the show and make the decisions that will create and maintain the lifestyle you want.

One of the most important aspects of the entrepreneurial lifestyle—one we often overlook—is how you support yourself. As you succeed in your professional life, you also want to make sure you are maintaining you—the person behind the scenes who has wants, needs and responsibilities outside of your business.

Here are four tips—things I’ve learned from my own experience that I’d like to pass on to you. My hope is that these tips will help you maintain balance and harmony as you run your business, just as they’ve helped me.

  1. Give Yourself Room to Breathe

    Believe me, I know a little something about being overly ambitious! It’s great to be enthusiastic about your business, but be careful not to take on too many projects at once. Before committing to anything, take a step back and a deep breath. Ask yourself if a) it’s something that will further your business in the precise direction you want to be heading in and b) it’s something you need to do right now, or if it can wait and will still benefit you if you take it on at a later date.

    Remember, you’re in control—you don’t need to spread yourself too thin! Be sure to give yourself some time between projects to handle any problems that may come up and keep your cool in the process.

    “People tend to overestimate what they can do in a year,
    but underestimate what they can do in 3-5 years.” —Tony Robbins

  2. Track Your Progress

    Sometimes we don’t realize how much work we’ve gotten done and how far we’ve actually come toward achieving our goals. It’s important to keep track of this by recording the milestones you hit along your journey.

    I would recommend putting together a simple system to track your progress. This could be a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet on your computer (or that you share with your team on Google Drive), an online planning tool like WeekPlan.net, project management software (i.e. Wrike.com), or a giant poster that you fill in by hand—whatever works best for you. Whichever method you choose, it should a) be easy for you to use and b) make you excited to track your progress. The best system is the one you’ll actually use, so the more simple, the better.

    Once a month, sit down and review the progress you’ve made and the successes you’ve had thus far. I guarantee that you’ll feel pumped up and inspired to keep going!

  3. Celebrate!

    When you work for yourself—and sometimes by yourself—it can be hard to remember to pat yourself on the back when you do something right. What many of us don’t realize is that this is an essential step to maintaining a positive attitude about your business.

    Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote that next to physical survival, “the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.” Since you are working for yourself, it’s your responsibility to validate your own progress and celebrate every success you have.

    Every time you set a goal for yourself, also determine the reward you’ll get once you achieve that goal. This can be anything—a fun trip, a massage, a dinner out—whatever will make you feel a sense of completion and acknowledgment for your hard work.

  4. Find Support in Your Peers

    Don’t let yourself become an island—population: you. Connecting with other entrepreneurs not only expands your professional network, it also helps you form a support system for yourself. There are so many others out there who are experiencing the same successes and challenges that you are—why not be there for each other? A peer network can help you stay inspired, refresh your mindset, and push you harder toward your professional goals.
    Join us at MML LIVE!

    You can also take this a step further and find a peer mentor—a fellow entrepreneur who makes sure you stay motivated and on track. A peer mentor is like a personal trainer for the workplace, cheering you on and providing support as you work toward your goals. Doing this for someone else is also a fantastic boost for your own morale. Giving support to someone else in this way and focusing on their business instead of yours will help pull you out of your world for a moment and put things in perspective.

    To connect with a growing community of entrepreneurs like you (myself included!), consider going to a live event. Along with internet marketing mastermind Mike Koenigs, I’ll be hosting a live, 3-day business training event, Make Market Launch IT LIVE, on May 2-4, 2014 in San Diego. Not only will you learn the proven models and formulas we’ve perfected to build, launch, and run your own business successfully, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded business people and product creators. I hope to see you there! You can reserve your seats here.

When you make a decision to maintain your own well-being, you’ll feel more fulfilled, balanced, and happier overall. It will also help you maintain your enthusiasm and amp up your energy to pursue the goals you’ve set for your business with even more verve.

What other methods do you use to maintain balance in your professional life? Let me know in the comments below!


Here’s What You Need to Sell More Stuff with Your Email Marketing


February 5th, 2014

Louis CK

Last week, I came clean on my historical crush on Ben Franklin on my Facebook page. This week, I am revealing my latest, not-so-secret crush on the comedian Louis C.K.

For those of you not in the know, Louis C.K. is a fantastic comedian whose epic rants on parenting I find laugh-out-loud funny. Fair warning: he also uses a lot of curse words, so his work is the kind of stuff that Chris and I watch only after the boys have gone to bed.

If you’d like a taste of his sense of humor, here’s a recent video from his appearance on Conan O’Brien. Since it’s network television, it’s a bit more tame than some of his stand up:

Louis C.K. isn’t just a funny comedian, though.

He’s also a genius email marketer. That’s why I wanted to feature him on my blog this week. He has a history of releasing his comedy specials on his website for $5, and, last week, he did the same with his first feature film, Tomorrow Night.

To announce the release of the film, he sent his list two emails, which I’m reproducing below in their entirety.

To me, they’re a fantastic example of authenticity in copywriting. Every word of these two emails sounds like it came right from Louis C.K.—and no one else.

Why is this important? This authenticity establishes rapport. Even though I’m only a fan, the authenticity in these emails made me feel like I was receiving a personal email, as opposed to some kind of generic sales promotion. And because it felt like these emails were coming from a friend, I really wanted to buy the movie to help him out (even though I’m sure Louis C.K. is doing just fine without my $5)!

The authenticity also makes Louis C.K. relatable. Consider this sentence from email #1: "Keep in mind that I am personally informed whenever anyone unsubscribes and I cry very hard every time it happens." Like Louis C.K., I also cry very hard whenever someone unsubscribes so I related to him instantly—and wanted to buy his stuff to make him feel better. :)

After all, once people feel like they can relate to you, they’re on your side. They want to support you in any way that they can. If you can establish this kind of relationship through email marketing, imagine how powerful it could be for your business. That’s why authenticity in your copywriting is so crucial.

Here are the full text of Louis C.K.’s two emails. After the emails, I’ll discuss how to establish an authentic copywriting voice you can use in your own marketing:

Email #1: January 28

Subject: Tomorrow Night to be released at Noon on Wednesday on louisck.com!

Well hello. This is Louis C.K. writing to you again to let you know about new stuff coming on my website. Mostly I would like to tell you that starting tomorrow (Wednesday the 29th) at noon, (New York time) my first movie "Tomorrow Night" will be available for download and streaming for the usual five dollars. As always you can buy it from anywhere in the world with no digital restrictions.

I made this movie, meaning I wrote and directed it, back in 1998. I was a struggling comedian and TV writer at the time and I pulled together my savings and some of my fiends money to make this movie on black and white 16mm film. There are some great people in this movie. Steve Carell, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and Conan O’Brien are some that you might have heard of. Robert Smigel, Chuck Sklar, Rick Shapiro, Heather Morgan, Nick Diapolo, Martha Greenhouse, Greg Hahn, Carey Prusa and Joseph Dolphin, you may have heard of a little less but they are all terrific. In fact all these people are comedians and actors I had been working with and around back in the 90s and I wrote all of their parts for them specifically. To me, that’s what this movie was for, to create performance opportunities for all my favorite funny people. And to photograph them with prime lenses on Black and White reversal film.

Tomorrow Night is a bizarre little indie film and it gets pretty weird. It was a labor of love for me. It’s how I learned to direct and there are some wonderful performances in it. The crew included some folks that still work with me today on my FX series "Louie" including director of Photography Paul Keostner and production designer Amy Silver.

Tomorrow Night screened at the Sundance film festival as well as other festivals from Seattle to Sweden. But it never got distribution. Any black and white movie is tricky to get a market for and this one is particularly strange. But it’s funny and it’s well worth watching. That’s what I think, anyway. It certainly isn’t for everyone.

In any case, Tomorrow Night has been sitting in storage in film cans for 15 years. No one has ever seen it. There are no tapes of it or even clips of it anywhere.

This year, I decided to get it out by putting it on my website. I had an excellent digital transfer made from the negative. The sound is the original Mono mix which is fitting for the style of the film. Be prepared to sit through people dialing rotary phones, which takes a while. The pace is sometimes slow and deliberate. Sometimes crazy. But it’s exactly the movie I wanted to make and I’m proud of it. I’m putting it on my website with the hopes that I can continue this way of distributing stuff. I’d also like to pay back some of the people who helped me finance the film. I’d also like people to finally see it so that the performances can be awarded with applause and laughter. I’d also like to make a profit from it so I can use the proceeds to make a new movie and release that on my website as well. Wouldn’t that be something? Ok, so buy it tomorrow. and tell your friends to do it also. Or don’t. It’s really only partially up to me what you do with your time and money.

Also, my latest HBO standup special "Louis C.K. – Oh My God" is available for the same 5 dollar download. You can’t get Oh My God on video anywhere else (unless you have HBO and want to watch it there) I put it up a couple of months ago and we had some website traffic issues but we have completely rebuilt the site and it’s far, far stronger than before (yes that’s 2 fars) so if you tried to downloaded and had trouble, please try again now.

Once again, TOMORROW NIGHT will be available tomorrow at noon (I know that sounds funny) at louisck.com for 5 dollars. You can pay with paypal, amazon payments and odwalla or whatever that other one is. I think Odwalla is the company that makes fruit smoothies.

Thank you for receiving this email. If you hated it, or you hate me, feel free to unsubscribe. Keep in mind that I am personally informed whenever anyone unsubscribes and I cry very hard every time it happens.

sincerely,
Louis C.K.

Email #2: January 29

Subject: Tomorrow Night available now on louisck.com!

Person,

My first feature film, Tomorrow Night, is available now on louisck.com for 5 dollars. You can go there now and get it. You don’t have to. But you can. And you may.

Thanks

Louis C.K.

PS – if you are not a person and instead you are a dog or you are 2 whales and a wooden box, then please disregard this message. Because I don’t want dogs or whales and boxes to watch my movie. This ps is now longer than the original message.

Did these emails make you want to go out and buy the film? (It’s here, by the way, along with his other comedy specials. I’m not getting a kickback from my crush, so you know. In fact, I’m 99.9% sure that he doesn’t know that I exist, which kind of makes me feel like a teenager all over again.)

In these emails, Louis C.K.’s voice is so powerful and so persuasive, all because it’s so purely him. If you’re looking for additional people to model, there are tons of other marketers who have used this kind of authenticity to knock it out of the park. Eben Pagan as David DeAngelo and Frank Kern are two who come to mind.

Writing in your own voice sounds so simple and yet, for some reason, it can feel like a challenge. When I sit down to write a marketing email, sometimes this strange formal, schoolteacher voice pops up as I type. (Does that happen to you?)

Here’s the deal: you don’t want to sound like a schoolteache—obviously—but you also don’t want to sound like Louis C.K. You need to sound like you. You already have a voice that’s full of authenticity. You just need to create the circumstances for it to show up when you need it.

Here are three tricks that have worked for me:

1. Imagine You’re Talking to a Friend
You may have heard the advice, "Write how you speak." This can be a great way to start harnessing your voice, but I like to add an additional layer.

If you’re having trouble writing like you, bring the face of a friend of yours to mind. (If you can think of someone who’s similar to your ideal customer, even better.) Type "Hi {your friend’s name}," at the top of your document and write your email to that one specific person. (Bonus tip: In your first draft, let it all hang out. Write as though you were writing a casual email. Just let the words flow. You can always go back and clean it up later. Pre-editing what you’re going to say often makes it tough to let your true voice come through.)

I find this kind of visualization really helpful for getting into my natural voice. If you’re having trouble with this visualization, you might try something a little more concrete.

2. Take a Break to Email a Friend
I’ve produced some of my best content when I get in a groove—a particular mode of focus in which I feel like I can churn out page after page of content.

If you’re having trouble finding your authentic voice, take a break and write a chatty email to a close friend. Then, without taking a break to check your email or Facebook, open up Word and take another shot at your marketing email. If you can stay focused between tasks, you might find that your personal email will propel you right into an authentic session of copywriting.

3. Try Another Medium: Sound
If you still find yourself stuck, try a different tack entirely. Pull out your smartphone and try dictating your email into a voice recording application, like the Voice Memos app that comes installed on your iPhone. After 20+ years of helping people develop content, I’ve discovered that some people feel more comfortable and authentic when they’re talking, rather than writing. If you don’t have the time to transcribe the audio yourself, get yourself an inexpensive transcriptionist on oDesk.com to turn your audio into a Word Document.

Ultimately, it’s going to take a few tries to get your voice pitch-perfect. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at allowing your authentic self to show up and speak—and the better you’ll be able to use email as a channel to market your business.

Enjoy—and let me know what you think of Louis C.K.’s emails in the comments!