What kind of marketing is the most effective?

sneezr.ca Have you ever asked yourself that question? I did. In fact, many years ago I spent countless hours trying to figure it out.
The answer turned out to be quite simple: word of mouth marketing. Or as I call it: the art of cultivating recommendations.

Surprised? Probably not. With recommendations, there is no sales pressure and no credibility issues. When your friends, family members or trusted co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot, which is why you usually remember it for a long time. But here is the catch: recommendations must be earned. How do you do that? Where do you start? How do you give people a reason to talk about your products/services? How do you nudge your story into every day conversations? I launched sneezr.ca to help you answer those questions.

What happens when facts meet a story?


Image via http://bit.ly/293C9Mh

You know that when scissors meet paper, paper loses.
But do you know what happens when facts meet a story?

More often than not, when facts meet a story, facts lose. Case in point: the Brexit hullabaloo, or how Britain recently divorced the European Union (EU).

It all began with the fine people of Britain hearing a story about how their 43-year-long marriage with the EU was a bad one. How bad? Practically deadly.

Was the story factual? Heck no.

That’s not me talking. That’s countless prominent British citizens talking. Their famous athletes (e.g. David Beckham), business leaders (e.g. Michael Kevin O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, aka Europe’s largest airline), entertainers (e.g. Daniel Craig, aka the current James Bond), writers (e.g. John le Carré), etc. all argued that Britain’s marriage with the EU was a good one. (See an article about this in the Telegraph.)

What’s more, the same folks (that is, those in favour of Britain staying in the EU) actually had facts to prove it. For example, the British-based EasyJet airline is the second largest airline in France. And the only reason why EasyJet was granted the privilege to serve the French market was because Britain was in the EU.

There was only one problem that those forward-thinking folks in favour of Britain staying in a marriage with the EU overlooked. And it was a big one. The problem: in life and in politics, facts can’t replace a story. Only a story can replace a story.

We all know what happened next. However slight, the majority of the Brits believed the story that their 43-year-long marriage with the EU was not just repetitive, but actually very bad. So they decided to divorce the EU. :(

Let’s wrap this up.

What can we learn from the above? Whether you seek to inform, persuade, or delight, you will get better results if you start your quest with one simple question. The question? Ask: What would people love? Would they love to hear more facts, or would they love to hear a good story?

Jun 26, 2016


How hard & how important is it to be interesting on a page?


Incredibly hard and incredibly important. 

By being interesting on a page, you create a context that helps others do some of the most important things on Earth: think, act, laugh, dream, and love, to name a few. That’s why, we feel, being interesting on a page is the best vehicle of progress in our civilization. And the basis of all its wealth.

Not convinced? Let me show you. Let’s take one of the tiniest examples of what being interesting on a page looks like in action. Let’s look at a good joke and see how it fuelled culture and created wealth. Here is that joke: “The other night, I bought a movie on iTunes that I own on DVD. Just so I wouldn’t have to get out of bed.” — Garry Gulman, comedian

Fun, no? Your life is richer for it, isn’t it? You’re not the only one who’s richer for it. Garry is, too. The above joke, along with a few others, was recently purchased by Netflix. They, then, turned it into a Netflix special to make even more people entertained. And to make even more money.

And all of that started as a collection of words on a page that Garry wrote.

You know what’s funny? Most folks think that being interesting on a page is confined only to mediums such as books, sheets of music, or movies and TV shows.

And that’s where most folks are wrong. Today, being interesting on a page matters in so many other areas in life. For example, those who know how to be interesting on a special, digital kind of page run the Internet. (Maybe even the world?)

I’m talking about folks who write software. Surprised? Software is a form of writing on a page, not some alien thingamajig. And those who are good at it are driving progress, usually enriching both the world and themselves.

Case in point: Mark Zuckerberg. He knows how to be interesting on a page. Mark is so good at it that he even got all of our grandmas hooked on Facebook.

Whether it’s helping people find people, find love, raise funds, or be reunited with their pets after natural disasters (it’s a thing, Google it), Facebook is driving progress in the world. It has enriched it. Mark, too. Which is OK. As the old saying goes, you can get everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.

The takeaway: Being interesting on a page is incredibly hard and incredibly important. Because writing that’s interesting on a page motivates thinking, feeling, and acting, which are the things that fuel culture. And culture shapes values. And values determine the future. And the future is important, no? :)


No one is too old to make history online.

May 2, 2016.



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“I love my files and storage.”

Said no one.


And yet, even great startups like Dropbox talk only about ‘files and storage.’

That kind of language is… how can I put this politely… dead.

And that’s one of the reasons why Dropbox is not as successful as it ought to be.

In life and in business, if the language you’re using is not large enough for the territory that you’ve entered, you’re not going to be as successful as you could be.


Do you ever send snippy emails?

“I never send snippy emails. I’m just direct and efficient,” you say.

Great, you rock! :)

The following is just for all those other people out there who send snippy emails:

Yes, it takes a few more minutes to craft an email with the right tone.

And those minutes are totally worth taking.

If your schedule is so jam-packed that you think you don’t have time to make sure you’re treating people with kindness and respect, then maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities, no?

Have you ever had any training on how to write relationship-building emails?

If not, why not? For many, email is both the first and favourite point of contact. If your goal is to grow your business, you need to write relationship-building emails.