I want to tell you about four “rebels” today…cut from the same cloth but completely different…all with a mission of spreading the gospel of direct response marketing, audience engagement…and entrepreneurial freedom.
As a bonus, while they spread their influence, they also leave us no excuses when we stare at a blank piece of paper, complaining about “writer’s block.”
They make it look easy to communicate with their respective audiences…and we can learn a lot by studying these four rebels.
We are all born to create content…especially those in my online family…and while it’s not easy to be in a creative mode all the time, today I want to tell you about some simple steps, inspired by these rebels, to never be at a loss for words.
One way is to repeat your greatest hits over and over again…with different spins…because there are new spins on what you write as soon as you publish those hits for the first time.
In “Reruns with a purpose,” I went deep on this topic, specifically why meaningful and purposeful repetition is also new and refreshing.
Especially if you are communicating via email where you’re lucky if 20% of the people who open your emails actually read them.
I’m fortunate that close to 50% of you open these emails each week…many of you engage with me regularly too (which I am grateful for)…but that doesn’t mean you are all reading them…although if you’re not, you’re missing out. 🙂
I know these blogs are long and that’s because I am (overly) eager to share…I know I get carried away sometimes…and that is not an apology.
Rather, take the ideas I am sharing with you today (in this lengthy blog) to create your own pieces of any length you choose.
But no matter what, you must write.
And of those who read our messages, only a small fraction will actually remember the original theme a year later. Or should I say a month later?
Reminding them and building on that original theme becomes new content rather than repeated content.
Then there’s the idea of “marketing by walking around” to create content, a theme I’ve talked about before but I’m building on it now. 🙂
Walking can be physical (e.g., a stroll through Wal-Mart or an elevator ride eavesdropping on others conversations) or virtual (e.g., surfing online on Google or YouTube or being on a webinar or inside a Facebook Forum).
That is, proactively jumping into rabbit holes to find topics to write about.
Being engaged with the world around you is a good practice no matter what you do for a living…and I maintain it’s mandatory if you are involved in marketing of any kind.
Even when you’re not staring at that blank sheet of paper, it’s critical for content creation.
It’s walking meditation with your eyes wide open.
I put this into practice in a big way just a few years ago after recording a video with the “Marketing Rebel” himself, copywriter John Carlton.
More on him (and that video) in a minute.
I took the advice that John shared in that video and wrote a post in 2018 called “Shooting underhand.”
I always thought I was aware of my surroundings but John helped me reconfigure my wiring to pick up on many more frequencies that are omnipresent.
For that blog post, the frequency was picked up in my synagogue during my Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah sermon.
And since that’s one time during the year that many Jews reserve for a power nap, I am glad I was aware of John’s advice…and I was awake.
The Rabbi’s story was about basketball hall-of-famers Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry and I turned his sermon into a blog post about “marketing congruently.”
Add “houses of worship” to Wal-Marts and elevators to gather ideas.
Then I began seeing examples of this everywhere.
How does an entrepreneur come up with an idea for a new product?
It’s the same process expressed when you see an innovative “Shark Tank” pitch, which is the result of a mindful inventor who connects the dots.
I also saw this play out at a Titans Mastermind meeting when marketer extraordinaire Chad Collins shared his entrepreneurial journey which began with a fascination with Legos while “brick building” with his daughter…which turned into a multi-million-dollar business.
Ideas are everywhere…the key is to be able to see what is a shiny object and what is a viable idea…and that takes practice…but it is so worth it.
It can change your career path in an instant.
Or at least create a compelling blog post. 🙂
You make the observation, write it out, and then as John says, “it’s off to the races” (and the copy will just flow).
This works for seasoned copywriters like John…and copywriter wannabes like me.
Then there are “rants” …letting off steam on topics that annoy you, perplex you or things in life that you just don’t understand…so writing or talking about them becomes therapy at a base level…and stellar content when you develop it further.
That was the topic of the aforementioned video with John (Rebel #1: “The Marketing Rebel”); and it also includes Perry Marshall (Rebel #2: “The Evolutionary Rebel”) who is one of the smartest minds with his own planet (who happens to be a marketing giant at the same time).
NOTE: See the P.S. and P.P.S. to learn about Rebels #3 and #4.
The video, “How to Galvanize Your Audience with a Pulse-Pounding RANT,” (see password in the P.P.P.S) is worth watching if you have some time—but I’ll give you a preview and a little summary in case you can’t get to it.
Many of you may have seen this video previously as part of the new welcome series to my online family…and if you watched it, or watch it now, I’d love to know what you think.
When Perry asked me to do this video, knowing I am the nicest guy in direct marketing, I asked “why do you want me?”
After all, John and Perry are famous for their rants and I’m not…or so I thought.
The idea of “rants” didn’t seem like something I did (or was even capable of); but what they are talking about is a whole lot more than just being angry about something.
When I started looking at “Perry’s RANT formula” (see below) –and reading some of my blog posts over the past eight years–I realized that I am just another guy with a weekly blog who loves to rant too.
I think I had a misconception that a “rant” was the same as a “vent”—and when I checked the definitions of both terms, here is what I found:
Venting is when you’re angry and you need to get something out of your system. You vent to a person who actually wants to listen and cares about why you’re angry.
When you rant, you are just shouting your angry feelings out loud, and don’t care if someone’s listening or not.
I kind of despise vents since I rarely see the purpose–although I never want to be insensitive to anyone’s feelings; and with this definition of rants, it would seem like rants are even more of a waste of time than vents.
But that was before learning a more profound definition of rants from Perry and John:
With an appropriate rant to the right audience, rants can lead to real action…and even a movement.
Now that’s not even close to that Googled definition of a “rant” above.
This video I will share with you today (note that it is password protected…see the P.P.P.S.) puts structure around ranting–so it’s not just “…shouting your angry feelings out loud…” to no one in particular.
In short, John and Perry have redefined rants in the context of community building and marketing.
An indication of how much I hate venting is illustrated by a framed 4” X 6” card on my desk, facing out, specifically for anyone who comes knocking at my door wanting to vent, especially about a particular person or a group of people:
Dysfunction: The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you
That card has been there for over 25 years to warn all who enter that if they plan to vent about all the people who have wronged them, we will need to start with the role they played in how that happened.
That’s why I’m allergic to venting…yes, I still care…but I am now in love with ranting…Carlton-Marshall style.
The video is 2 hours long but it will be well worth your time.
And please don’t share it freely…it’s only for you (and for those who are part of John’s inner circle and those who reside on “Planet Perry”).
John and Perry are masters at moving an audience to action (and I am learning how to do that too with both of them as role models) …and there is a method to this madness.
To tee this up further for you, here is “Perry’s 7-point RANT Formula” when you are talking with your tribe:
- Start with something you’re angry about. (I tried to convince John and Perry I am not an angry person…so they said it’s OK for me to define this first point in a kinder and gentler way:
“Start with something you’re passionate about where you think there is a misleading perception.”
- There’s an injustice to be discussed (and for me, it’s usually more of a “misconception”)
- There’s an argument to be made
- “Twist the Knife” to add controversy…or for me, a poke in the side?
- There is a Moral Imperative at play (and this is where the passion has to come through)
- You need a Call to Action…which adds engagement which is always a good thing…and you may even change the world in the process
- Leave ‘em Hanging…to which I will add it’s about encouraging lots of discourse and dialogue.
If you ever get to see or read any rants from John or Perry, the comments and/or thread, whether on email, Facebook, anywhere, is long and equally passionate.
Perry talks about this formula in more detail on the video.
He’s brilliant. So is John.
And if you have never been exposed to John or Perry in the past, you are in for a treat.
Even if you have no idea what a rant is in this context–or if you do and you are where I was, thinking “I don’t rant,” you must watch this video.
For those who know exactly what we’re talking about (i.e., you are already expert “ranters”), I guarantee you will gain new insights and techniques to improve on what you are doing already…whether it’s ranting, creating content or generating new ideas.
It will improve how you write and compel people to action, always a good thing for any marketer or copywriter.
Click on the screenshot below to access the interview…and because it’s only for my online family (and John’s and Perry’s as well), the password is in the P.P.P.S.
If you are a student or a teacher of anything, and I know all of you play both of those roles somewhere in your life, understanding how to make an argument like this will be a skill that you can take everywherein your life…and to the bank.
This is both a content discussion and a marketing discussion and we know how much those two things are linked.
One of the big lessons I learned doing this video is that even nice guys like me rant all the time…with a purpose.
Maybe I do it with a different attitude or angle than John or Perry…but we all agreed (and talked extensively about) how critical it is to “rant congruently” with who you are and all you stand for.
We also all agreed that ranting is required of all of us who have a pulse—as is “ranting with a purpose” and not just howling at the moon.
“Standing for something is mandatory unless you are resigned to lead a boring life”
Sounds like I’m ranting.
P.S. Rebel #3: “The Intelligent Rebel”
My good friend from France, Olivier Roland, recently wrote a new book titled,The Way of the Intelligent Rebel.
Olivier is one of those marketers who doesn’t fit into any kind of box…and we are all the better for it.
He knows how to move people to action.
He is a free spirit with a defined mission…to live on his terms, in all parts of the world, traveling and learning…while running a multi-million-dollar business at the same time.
Another good friend of mine, Jeff Walker, explains Olivier’s book this way:“
“Some people seem to fit naturally into the ‘get a degree and get a 9-5 job’ world. This book is for the rest of us”
The book is about Olivier’s desire to live outside the system while taking advantage of the system (without exploiting it) …and being completely free of obstacles and barriers…and to create enormous success for himself and those he serves.
He is a serial entrepreneur, blogger, YouTuber, startup investor, bestselling author, amateur archaeologist, diver, amateur airplane pilot, globetrotter, international speaker and philanthropist.
And that’s just on Tuesdays. 🙂
He has built a global audience of more than 450,000 fans convinced by his method, while travelling the world 6 months a year for more than 10 years.
He writes one of the most followed blogs anywhere in the world…he does million dollar launches in real time while he is on the move…his experiences create his content…and everything he does is consistent with what was discussed in the video I did with John Carlton and Perry Marshall.
I want you to buy and read this book to explore what is possible.
You don’t have to be an intelligent rebel exactly like Olivier…but I believe we all need a bit more intelligent rebellion in our lives.
Pick up the book here and let me know what you think.
P.P.S. Rebel #4: “The Engaged Rebel”
Selena Soo is a force.
I met her a number of years ago and was impressed then…and I’m even more impressed now…by her ability to transform what she writes and what she shares with her students into actionable materials to help everyone she touches be more productive and impactful.
On the surface she is an influencer, writer, connector, publicity expert…but she goes so much deeper than that…and she qualifies as yet another rebel who breaks the mold and entices us with new ways to observe the world…and share with the world.
Her latest “invention” is her “2022 Publicity Calendar” …or explained another way, “Your shortcut to landing amazing visibility opportunities.”
My take on the calendar: You will never be at a loss for ideas to write about if you have Selena’s calendar next to your desk all year round. That’s where I keep mine.
Selena has done some serious “walking around on the outside” (for you) and created an idea factory in a powerful, concise and simple document…and it’s free if you click here.
Now that doesn’t mean you should stop walking around on the outside yourself…but this “calendar” (it’s so much more than that!) is something you need in your content creation toolbox.
Grab it here and then write something spectacular to those who follow you.
P.P.P.S. The password for the video with me, John Carlton and Perry Marshall is:
titanrant (all lower case)
But I don’t really rant. Except when I’m talking about ranting. 🙂