Look, I’m glad you’re here. There’s something you need to know. I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions lately. Difficult questions, like “how can I get people to do what I want them to do?” In our overwhelming world of digital distractions, social media and instant online shopping, how can I get someone to put down their mobile phone, take off their headphones, and pay attention to what I have to say? How can I produce something amazing and get it into the hands of people who will value it?

You’ve probably been asking yourself similar questions, without realizing it. Remember when you applied to that job that you really, really wanted (and were perfect for), but never even received a polite rejection letter? Remember the last time you sent someone you admired an email, but never got a response? What about the last great idea you presented at work that got shot-down in flames? Or what about when you made something really important that you knew could change the world, only to have no-one, anywhere, care.

It’s hard to get noticed, isn’t it?

And yet, some people manage it. How do they do it? Why do they get picked instead of you? Why are they able to get people to listen to what they have to say, while your ideas and actions get ignored?

Like I said, these are really difficult questions. It’s extra difficult for me, because it’s my job to sell things. So I’ve had to learn fast. And I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Want to know the secret? I made one unusual decision that has given me an unfair advantage. Instead of only looking forward, to the latest marketing research and trends, and outward for the newest ideas and cutting-edge digital platforms, I also did the opposite. I looked backward and studied the marketing greats, and inward to understand what motivates us as human beings. It turns out that putting all of these things together results in really good advertising.

Some of this stuff about getting noticed is pretty simple, like the following trick:

You read this first didn’t you? Don’t feel bad, it happens to everyone. Works like a charm. Now read the first sentence.

Some of this stuff involves throwing out tired marketing dogma about short attention spans and allergies to reading - you’ve just proven that one wrong, haven’t you?

But most of what I’ve learned can be summed up by the following: approach marketing as an art rather than a science. Be different and interesting. Treat the consumer with respect. These things are sadly lacking from a lot of advertising today.

On the plus side, it means that people really notice when it’s there.

I mean, just look at this mess of a website. A page full of text, no headline, no clear call-to-action, and no pictures. Most people left immediately. A few of you stuck around though. You get what’s going on here.

Now that everyone one else has gone, it’s just the three of us left - you, me, and the other guy. You’ve both got something to sell, and you both want to get noticed. Take a look around and see if you think I can help you do that.

Then get in touch, before the other guy does.

—Ian

How modern websites persuade you to buy things... without you realizing it

Imagine walking into your office on a Monday morning to discover that your website traffic has tripled since last Friday. Social media follows and email subscription rates have soared, causing a torrent of potential leads and new customers. Best of all, the new traffic has made your conversion rate skyrocket, resulting in an avalanche of customers doing what you’ve been struggling to get them to do for months — buy more of what you’re selling!

You don’t need a cutting edge website or complex ad campaigns that cost thousands of dollars to make this happen. In fact, those things can sometimes hurt you more than they help to grow your business. It’s too easy to get lost in the latest new technology trend, social media platform or analytics report. With the sheer number of marketing options available today, how can you figure out what works and which ones are a waste of time?

Trends come and go, but human nature remains constant. Connecting with people’s needs and desires has been the foundation of good advertising for over a hundred years. The techniques have evolved over time, but the principles of selling never change.

As a Marketing Specialist, I adapt these principles to the digital world to help people grow their businesses. By following a few simple rules and guidelines, I’ve created websites that have drawn huge increases in traffic, literally overnight, and written landing pages that were so successful the company had to hire more staff.

I’m going to show you exactly how I do it: by mixing the lost art of long copywriting with modern digital marketing techniques and design.

(Continue Reading)



Two men consulting a data feed from an old computer

Your browser tracks your online habits and builds a profile of your interests that marketers can use to sell you things.

Man examining data cans from an old IBM computer

Job applications submitted online are often screened by advanced computer software that looks for keywords in your resume.


Get hired faster

Are you struggling to get job interviews? How many dozens of carefully tailored resumes and cover letters have you submitted into the black void of HR email addresses and Taleo forms?

In our hyper-competitive job market, the traditional method of sending applications to job postings online often feels like throwing resumes into the sea. Where do they go? Does anyone read them? Why do you never get a reponse?

Job Hacking is a job search technique influenced by the practices of technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to showcase an individual’s talents and gain exposure.

Think of it as a digital campaign that advertises your skills and creativity.

Here’s a neat and simple trick you can use to order to see if HR managers are actually checking out the applications you’re sending them.

(Continue reading)


1

How to have a creative mid-life crisis

I celebrated turning 34 by trying to complete six creative projects in 12 months. Why am I doing this? Will it work?

(Coming Soon)

2

Failed DJ collective refuses to die

Have you ever wondered what the Paradise Garage would have been like if it was relocated to a dank Manchester warehouse in the late 80s? Neither has anyone else. It failed miserably, but it was fun trying.

Read More

3

Are you making these 7 common marketing mistakes?

Understand the key elements of successful online marketing campaigns and websites.

Read More

4

Contact Us

Send me an email, or follow me on Twitter. Go on, do it.

About Ian

Ian black and white headshot

I’m a digital marketing professional that uses classic marketing strategies, behavioural psychology, and design to create websites and online campaigns that sell more stuff.

Holding a degree in Political Science, a chance internship during my last year of university kickstarted a love affair with marketing and communications that lasts to this day. I get excited over things like click rates, conversions, and behaviour flows so you don’t have to.

Outside of marketing, I enjoy cooking, listening to miserable English bands, and solving life problems by thinking, “What would James Murphy do?”

Graphic Design

Annual Report design

Annual reports have an established formula: feature pictures of smiling clients sharing their success story.

JVS Toronto, a non-profit employment services charity, needed a way to highlight the impact of their services in a way that would make them stand out to potential funders. I replaced industry cliches with the unusual and unexpected.

Logo alphabet logos

The Logo Alphabet - a logo for every letter of the alphabet.

Marketing Strategy

Job Interview Guide pamphlet cover

Sometimes the best laid plans fail. How do you rescue a marketing campaign that doesn’t have the desired impact?

Web Design

Glennie Acres dog breeder logo

How can you kickstart a new business in a rural area with no advertising budget? By building an SEO optimized website.