The Books that Inspired Anti-Sell

Anti-Sell alt cover - bookshelfAt the end of Anti-Sell, there’s a ‘Further Reading’ section, recommending a bunch of books that the reader can check out beyond mine. And even though it might seem like a really lazy rather ingenious copy/paste job from the book (😉), I thought it made a lot of sense to share it on here, too.

Throughout the book I’ve mentioned numerous books and resources that can help you on your Anti-Selling journey. Here’s a list, with a bit more info about each of them, plus a few more for good measure.

A quick note: None of these authors paid me a fee to be included, nor do I get a commission if you buy any of them. I recommend these books 100% wholeheartedly – because I actually really like them.*

ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

ReWork book coverReWork is probably my favourite business self-help book of all time, and a big influence on Anti-Sell. Why? Because ReWork is also quite rebellious in nature: it goes against the grain of traditional business advice but makes excellent recommendations in spite of that. It was recommended to me by a client (thank you Scott of TestLodge!) and on the first listen (I bought the audiobook), I fell in love with it. While listening to it in the car, I used to scream “YES!!!” after sentences I agreed with – which happened a lot. And probably sounded weird if I had my car window open. But there we go.

Some of its takeaways include:

  • Other people’s failures are other people’s failures, not yours. So when people talk about the survival rate of freelancers, small businesses and startups, just remember: if other people fail, that doesn’t mean you will too.
  • Plans should be called “guesses.” I remember freaking out when I had to put together a business ‘plan’ for some funding that I was seeking in the early days of freelancing (if I remember correctly, it was funding to cover my first year’s membership at my coworking space). How do I know how my business is going to do next year or the year after that? And that’s precisely the point. Call them guesses. To quote the book: “Start referring to your business plans as business guesses, your financial plans as financial guesses, and your strategic plans as strategic guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them as much.”
  • Everything you do is marketing. This ties in very closely to the message of the book you are currently reading. Marketing isn’t defined by adverts and promotional materials – it’s literally everything you do. Every. Single. Thing. You. Do. Every email you send is marketing. Every invoice you send is marketing. Just because you’ve won a client, it doesn’t mean that the marketing stops there for them. Every action you take can leave an impression on someone – good or bad.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there (not-in-the-book note: I actually wrote about my biggest takeaways from ReWork – including the above points plus more – on this very blog a few years ago: here’s the link). If Anti-Sell has resonated with you, and you haven’t yet read ReWork, pick up a copy. I’m sure it will resonate with you as well.

While writing this book, Fried and DHH released a new book: It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, which – as you can probably guess from its title – addresses the sensitive subject of work-life balance. It’s worth checking out as well.

> Buy ReWork on Amazon

The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz

The Pumpkin Plan book coverThe Pumpkin Plan is a special book to me. Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been running a small business for a while and you’ve hit a rut, there are some great tips in it. As mentioned in earlier chapters of the book, it has advice on:

  • How to go niche when it comes to targeting clients.
  • Creating your own Assessment Chart, which can be used to score clients on certain criteria, in order to help you to detect which clients are the best-fit for you (not-in-the-book note: I’ve blogged about the Assessment Chart over on State of Digital).
  • Tactics for cutting bad-fit clients in a way that won’t cause any animosity, fallout or professional embarrassment.

Mike also has another good book called Profit First, where he recommends paying yourself first before paying bills, whereas typically we do the opposite (we pay our bills and then keep what’s left over as profit, however big or small that amount may be), so it’s worth checking out what he has to say on that as well.

> Buy The Pumpkin Plan on Amazon

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Anti-Sell – My Freelance Heroes Day Talk

Steve Morgan at FH Day 2019 photoOn Thursday I spoke at the incredible Freelance Heroes Day in Wolverhampton, which is an annual one-day conference run by Annie & Ed of the amazing Freelance Heroes community.

My talk was in conjunction with my new book, Anti-Sell – essentially a condensed talk version of the book, giving sales and networking tips to freelancers and small business owners who struggle with (or simply downright hate) sales.

Here’s the link to the slides, plus they’re embedded below:

I was blown away from the feedback following on from my talk. Here’s just a few examples of some of the lovely things people said:

Incidentally, if you’d like me to speak at your event about small business sales/networking, then please do get in touch. You can see my list of past speaking gigs here.

Oh and if you’ve yet to buy the book, go here. It’s available in paperback, Kindle and self-narrated audiobook formats from Amazon, Audible and the iTunes Store.

[Image credit – Steve Folland]

Using SEO & PPC Insights to Improve Your Digital Marketing Conversions in Both Channels

Gus Pelogia photoIntro from Steve: I don’t often publish guest posts on SEOno, and in fact I’ve only ever published two (way back in 2013), but my buddy Gus approached me about using this post as a guest post and – given that it’s related to his recent Cardiff SEO Meet talk – I thought it made a lot of sense. Over to you, Gus…

If you work in one specific digital marketing area such as SEO, PPC, content, social or even in related jobs such as designer or brand manager, chances are that you had a conflict with someone from other departments. Each department tends to have such specific views on how things should look and what’s best for the business and clients that it’s hard to not be protective sometimes.

Obviously, this is an exaggeration, but you probably can relate to this infographic made by the Digital Marketing Institute.

Taking a step away from your role, we know everyone contributes to a good digital marketing strategy. SEO brings traffic at no cost, PPC allows you to convert quickly, brand managers protect and improve how people perceive your brand, a designer makes a website you can navigate well and trust… You get the picture.

Here at Wolfgang Digital, we’re big on integration – in fact, it’s one of our company pillars. As per my talk during Cardiff SEO Meet in March, here are a few ways to integrate SEO and PPC, whereby instead of viewing them as two separate department, you can learn from each other to ultimately improve your KPIs.

How much would your SEO traffic cost… if you had to pay for it

SEO is a difficult channel to prove ROI. A lot of our work gives a return in the long run, so clients tend to be more sceptical investing, only to have to wait several months before you can demonstrate results.

Once you start getting results, you can show how much traffic and conversions have improved – but it’s also possible to show how much money you saved in the process. How so? Just calculate how much they’d have to pay for this traffic with PPC.

Click to read more!

Cardiff SEO Meet is Being Rebranded as Cardiff CEO Meet!

** I’m sorry to say that this was in fact an April Fool. Sorry Cardiff-based CEOs! See my AFs from 2014 & 2016. **

Since mid-2016, I’ve run 11 SEO meetup events under the name Cardiff SEO Meet.

But… while SEO is good n’ all, I feel though there’s a bigger, better, grander audience I could be running events for.

And then it hit me! Inspired by 1) some numpty who commented on one of the old Periscope videos trying to correct the speaker by saying “CEO, not SEO” (despite it being an SEO talk and – therefore – the speaker was right and the commenter was wrong), and 2) the fact that at least two past venues have referred to it as a CEO meetup, I have decided to rebrand Cardiff SEO Meet as…

Cardiff CEO Meet!

Behold, our new logo:

Cardiff CEO Meet logo
Subtle, huh?

…And our new website: cardiffceo.events (my plan is to redirect cardiffseo.events to it shortly).

I’ll get CEOs to come to the events and talk about all CEOy type things. Who knows… I might even get a CEO to do a talk about SEO! 🤯

And instead of the site review spending 20-30 mins reviewing a website, we’ll do a ‘business review’ instead, where we (the audience) will critique a CEO’s business and business practices.That’s likely to go down so well…! 😃

So there we go. I hope you will join me in celebrating the new vision and direction for the meetup.

‘Cos screw SEO. It’s dead, isn’t it?

Introducing… Anti-Sell: the Sales Book for Freelancers Who Hate Sales

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog over the last six months or so – but for good reason. In addition to doing client work and organising Cardiff SEO Meet stuff, I’ve been writing a book. And now it’s here…

Introducing Anti-Sell: Marketing, Lead Generation & Networking Tips for Freelancers Who Hate Sales.

Anti-Sell cover banner

Where to buy

Wanna just grab a copy? Go here for info & links!

Wanna learn more about how the book came to be? Read on…

The story of Anti-Sell

Anti-Sell mirror punk
Truth be told, I never thought I’d ever become an author. I love blogging (the fact that SEOno’s been going since 2011 is proof of that!) but I thought books were silly – after all, books can become obsolete (especially SEO books). But then…

A few years ago, I wrote a post on here titled 20 Ways That Freelancers Can Drum Up Sales During Quieter Times. Following on from that, I had a few more ideas of posts around the topic of sales and networking, aimed at freelancers specifically. Given that this is (mostly) an SEO blog, I wasn’t sure how best to proceed… That’s when I realised that the advice is pretty much timeless, and that each separate post idea I had could be a separate chapter in a book instead. That’s when the idea of writing a book – instead of lots of blog posts – became a plan.

Click to read more!