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Instagram Wisdom

1. You’re not posting for you, you’re posting for them.

Let’s say you’re a butcher. You post beautiful cuts of meats, maybe even some recipes. Then one day you see a beautiful sunrise so you decide to share it on your account. DON’T! Your followers are following you because they are interested in meat. They DO NOT like you. Neither are they interested in your life. They liked and followed you because you posted something they were interested in: meat & recipes. Simple as that. Therefore, please DO NOT post your super cool organic dinners, your cat, or even a crushed soda can that looks just like you. THEY WILL UNFOLLOW YOU. Pick one category (meat & recipes)  and don’t post anything else. Try it and you’ll thank me.

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Got Passion? Feed Their Desire.

You’ve got product. They want purpose.
You’ve got a commodity. They want camaraderie.

Turns out, what people want most today, is uncannily similar to what they’ve always wanted. Only for thousands of years, those needs used to be supplied by community, culture and organized religion. In today’s scattered and individualistic society, those moorings have been severed, leaving a profound, gaping hollow.

Savvy brands are stepping in to fill that void, building causes and cultures around themselves. Read more

The Donald Trump Effect

Along with millions of Americans, I’ve been avidly following the 2016 election process. It’s been a wild, turbulent spectacle, and has commanded everyone’s attention.

We’ve seen how one man took the entire political system and threw it into a complete frenzy. I’m referring, of course, to Donald Trump.

Now, don’t worry – I’m going to steer clear of the political arena, and in no way is this an endorsement. However, I feel there are always valuable business lessons to be learned from current events.

Agree with him or not, there is no denying that Trump has positioned himself as the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination. To many, this has been nothing short of an astonishment. Astute businesspeople will notice, however, that he has simply applied a couple of basic, winning business concepts to his campaign:

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Click It & Ticket: Here’s What Makes Ezra Firestone Tick (And Me Click)

I just love buying stuff on Amazon. That new 400,000 BTU Red Dragon flamethrower. A bulky 10LB Flame King propane tank. The optional flame control valve kit. Did I forget to buy extra gauze pads and sterile burn cream? Click, click, click, click. Hey, life seems great.

That is, until I get the whopping credit card bill.

Paranoia issues aside, I know there’s a sinister plot waiting to be uncovered here. The sales geeks over at Amazon wirelessly injected my keyboard with a clandestine concoction that forces me to buy more than I need. And don’t even get me started about what happens when the wife gets into the act. No Tory Burch flats or Jimmy Choo pumps can hide from the long arm of a woman equipped with a FiOS 25MBPS internet connection and a hungry American Express credit card.

So it was with a sigh of relief – and a tinge of debt – that I was pleased to hear how the man responsible for creating this economically perplexing phenomena, Ezra Firestone, will be speaking at LTB 2015 about a topic that is oh-so-relevant: selling stuff on Amazon and beyond.

Boy, have I got a boatload of questions for him.

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Selling Features vs. Selling Benefits: The Big Difference

I had the privilege of speaking to a group of retail business owners last month. We discussed a variety of different topics and I explained how it could help them make their businesses more profitable. One of the more interesting points of the evening was very well received and I felt it was worth sharing.

It’s something that you’ll benefit from, even if you’re not a retailer. So I’ve decided to email you the basic details and hope you’ll make use of it in both life and business.

I began my talk by asking the audience this simple question: “We all know what selling is. But do you know the difference between selling features and selling benefits?”

There were a few good answers called out by the attendees, but none were entirely accurate. So here is what I told them.

People, by nature, are always asking themselves: “What’s in it for me?” Whether it’s a potential customer, a boss, a child, or a friend you are interacting with – they’ve often got their own interests in mind. No matter what you’re trying to get them to agree to, they may resist your advances. So you’ve got to make a little sales pitch of sorts. You can choose to sell them on the features or you can choose to sell them on the benefits.

Here’s the critical difference.

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NYPD Blues: My 5 Career-Saving Marketing Tips For Bill de Blasio

The Big Apple has been turning rather sour lately.

In the most recent showdown between the New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio, hundreds of uniformed police officers publicly turned their backs on the mayor as he delivered a eulogy during the funeral ceremony of Officer Rafael Ramos.

I’ve spent my entire day listening to acclaimed political pundits from both sides of the spectrum debate the underlying causes of this rocky relationship, argue whether aggressive policing tactics are a concern of reality or perception, and squabble over the possibility of reducing tensions between police departments and the communities they serve.

Frankly, the pacifist in me is getting nauseous.

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Can You Donate Your Brain?

I’m always getting requests from people.

Will you take out the garbage already? When can you buy me that shiny toy? Could you get this new project finished before tomorrow’s deadline?

The requests arrive hard and fast, throughout the day and without letup. At home or at work, while eating, reading, showering, dressing, typing, snoozing.

You get the idea.

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Generating Warm Leads With The Ice Bucket Challenge

Would you enjoy having an ice cold bucket of water dumped over your head? Apparently, there are thousands of people out there who actually do. Or so it seems based on the many viral videos circulating of people dumping water on each other in support of something called the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Conceived by the ALS Association – an organization dedicated to the research of Lou Gehrig’s disease – this inimitable challenge requires participants to have a bucket of ice water poured on their head or donate money to the cause. Those participating can nominate others and post a video online showing how they joined the movement.

Although you may be very familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge and have already laughed your way through dozens of clips showing people getting drenched in all sorts of hilarious ways – from former president George W. Bush and Mitt Romney to celebrities, camps and sports teams, you may not be as aware of the serious debate this campaign has caused in the world of marketing.

Articles in The New York Times, Fox News, Yahoo, and dozens of other media outlets are all dissecting the outcome of this seemingly successful campaign to establish if it indeed was a winner.

Let’s have a look at the hard facts.

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Be The Unexpected One

The month of July has proven to be a very busy on for all of us here at Ptex Group.

After weeks of intense planning and exhausting coordination, we successfully pulled off an amazing LTB 2014 mega-event. Hundreds of community business owners and entrepreneurs walked away inspired, ready to put the wealth of knowledge dispensed at this conference to good use. (You can check out the live LTB blog to get a real-time feel of what happened during the event.)

The very day after LTB 2014 ended, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Needless to say, I was overjoyed and thankful. Did I mention exhausted? I spent the next few days juggling my hours between work and enjoying the newest family addition – and I learned an extremely valuable marketing lesson in the process.

One morning while working at the dining room table, there was a knock at the door. It was from a man holding a beautiful breakfast platter. I automatically assumed it was being delivered from a family member or close friend. After all, a number of baby gifts had already been brought over by relatives and who else would be bringing my wife a fancy basket with breakfast inside?

A quick look at the attached card revealed who it was from: the local grocery store.

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