Skip to content
Photo of Adam surrounded by the blog cartoon characters

Adam’s Daily Post

Join thousands of readers who get short, visual daily posts on listening to the right voices in your head about marketing & business, delivered to your inbox weekly.

Featured in Huffington Post and Inc Magazine
Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 21 2021
Convincing People VS Winning People

Convincing People VS Winning People

Good marketing convinces people. Great marketing wins people. What’s the difference?

I’ve led a lot of sales calls over the years…

I discovered that there’s an entirely different set of skills required to lead someone to a good buying decision from decent marketing vs great marketing.

One requires you to “convince people to buy”.

The other invites you to “win them over as people”.

Here’s the difference:

Convincing people:

  • Listing available features
  • Comparing to competitors
  • Explaining how the service works
  • Wrapping it in a limited-time offer

Winning people:

  • Empathising with their problem
  • Sharing their vision for the future
  • Knowing the way to their goal
  • Going there with them

You can convince a mind to take a step after winning their heart.

But you can’t win a heart by convincing their mind.

Which do you do?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 20 2021
Don’t Automate These Things

Don’t Automate These Things

Here’s a list of 5 things you may think are pointless distractions in business, worth eliminating or automating away.

And reasons why you shouldn’t:

#1 Quick replies

You may not think it’s useful.

It is. People just want to feel heard.

You don’t need all the answers right away. Just let them know you see them.

#2 Warm welcomes

A hotel lobby with no welcome isn’t welcoming, regardless of decor.

Paying a coach without prompt acknowledgment or gratitude doesn’t feel good, no matter how good they are.

#3 Pointless check-ins

Calls without a point aren’t pointless. They show you cared enough to see how they’re doing.

If you only called your mother when you needed something, that’s not much of a relationship. Same with your clients.

#4 Hand-written notes

True: They’re inefficient, expensive, slow. Also true: They’re personal, intimate, caring.

That’s why mass-printed hand-written notes don’t work as well as personal ones.

#5 Better thank yous

One way to say thank you is to send a confirmation message. Or to say “thanks”.

Other ways: Call them. Send a gift. Retweet them. Publicly thank them on Facebook.

The list goes on. So does the ROI.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 19 2021
The Danger Of Being “All Set” VS “Busy”

The Danger Of Being “All Set” VS “Busy”

We’ve all heard of the “feast-or-famine” cycle.

Most of us know how to overcome it.

But there’s a bigger danger waiting when you do:

#1 First, you break the cycle

The feast-or-famine cycle is broken when you stop swinging from ‘busy’ to ‘desperate’.

Breaking the cycle means you stay in the ‘busy’ camp. That’s just the first step. It’s the second step that kills service businesses:

#2 The danger of being ‘all set’

Once a service is ‘all set’, unstable dependencies emerge.

Retainers you expect to stick around indefinitely. Key clients who dictate your schedule. Accounts that would hurt to lose.

You becoming an employee without benefits.

#3 Get ‘busy’, never ‘all set’

‘Busy’ means there’s lots going on:

  • You’re marketing.
  • You’re winning accounts.
  • You may even be turning accounts away.

‘All set’ has lots going on too, except:

  • You stopped marketing.
  • Stopped winning accounts.
  • You’re dependent.

It’s great to want your clients to stick around long-term.

It’s great to have more opportunity than you can take.

It’s great to know your audience and what they need to hear from you so you can earn new relationships at any time.

Don’t throw it away by moving from ‘busy’ to ‘all set’.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 18 2021
The data you need is right there

The data you need is right there

Marketing isn’t about collecting sage secrets from influencers.

It’s about knowing your people.

The data is right there. We just don’t always see it.

Here it is:

#1 Want solid market research?

One star Amazon reviews tell you what people expect.

Five star competitor reviews tell you what people love.

Picking up the phone lets you test your theories.

The data is right there, we just need to use it.

#2 Want your marketing to attract customers?

Get to know who they are.

Get to know the journey they’re on.

Get to know what they need to hear from you.

That’s your marketing. The data is right there, we just need to use it.

#3 Want higher prices and happier customers?

Make #1 and #2 constant habits.

E.g. Most coaches don’t want “to grow their business”…

They want to:

  • fill their programs
  • stop wasting time on FB groups
  • stop the months rolling by with no progress
  • marketing to be as easy as their sales calls

Message matters.

The data is right there. We just don’t always see it.

What will you build now that you can?

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 17 2021
Your Hidden Salesforce

Your Hidden Salesforce

Here’s what I’ve noticed about “winning on social” after watching entrepreneurs socialise online (for 12 years).

There are 2 things the successful ones have that the unsuccessful ones don’t…

#1 Somewhere for you to belong

If you post but nobody sees it, you didn’t post. But if you know…

Know WHERE your people congregate, Know WHY they congregate there, Know WHAT they want there,

…You can be there & capture their attention with what they want.

Now you’re not ‘selling’. You’re facilitating success.

#2 Somewhere for others to belong

Do you help people with something specific that existing communities don’t cover?

Start that community.

Give them a WHERE to join. Give them a WHY to join. Give them WHAT they need to win.

Now you’re not ‘selling’. You’re facilitating success.

People want to move from Problem to Solution.

And while they struggle saying ‘Yes!’ to salespeople… they struggle not to want to join a group of winners.

Don’t underestimate the power of community. It’s a salesforce, client base and referral network all-in-one.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 16 2021
Don’t have a calendar like this

Don’t have a calendar like this

Which type are you:

#1 Empty calendar = successful #2 Full calendar = successful

Both are popular on social media these days. Which actually contributes to “success” the most?

#1 Empty calendar

The flex here is that you’re not obligated to do anything.

Well done, you delegator, you.

You have time to think. To connect the dots. To see around corners.

But if you don’t engage that opportunity with daily discipline of action, you’ll go soft.

#2 Full calendar

The flex here is that you’re highly in-demand.

Demand is good. Well done for having it.

But if you have no time to think… to connect the dots… to see around corners…

…you risk sacrificing the spark that created the demand in the first place. You’ll fall behind.

As with so many things, the sweet-spot is balance.

Show me a semi-booked calendar and I’ll show you someone who is growing.

Show me a full or empty calendar and I’ll show you someone who is stuck.

We need YOU to grow. It looks so good on you!

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 15 2021
Get a new delusion

Get a new delusion

If you run a business, you might be delusional.

A new delusion might help you grow faster:

#1 Business coaches get in their own way by not believing in their skills.

Possibly because of the testosterone-fuelled charades of their peers.

‘Inability’ is usually a delusion. Get a new delusion: One where you’re worthy of your goals.

#2 E-commerce startups get in their own way by not believing in their brand.

Possibly because of the titan competitors who couldn’t niche like they can anyway.

‘Too small’ is usually a delusion. Get a new delusion: One where you can be the very best for your chosen few.

#3 Successful entrepreneurs get in their own way by making themselves blind.

Possibly thinking, “I have it all worked out”, or from fear of falling from grace.

‘Successful’ is usually a delusion. Get a new delusion: One where you stay close to your audience, not assuming you know them better than they do.

The world is very speculative, full of more fiction than we’d like to believe.

Get a new delusion. One where you’re worthy, able, and committed to those you serve.

Just watch what it does for your work.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 14 2021
Hey, No Negativity

Hey, No Negativity

Do you know what my biggest roadblock is to growth and progress?

My wife and I were talking about this today, so it felt timely to write about it.

Its probably your biggest roadblock too:

#1 Your relationship with yourself

I beat myself up quite a lot. My wife’s the same way.

For us, it’s a deliberate act to quiet the judgemental voices inside that state, “you’re not good enough.”

When we listen, we suffer. When we ignore, we grow.

#2 Your overthink

You might be thinking too much.

I’m a thinker… I love reading philosophy and comprehending the world and our experience in it…

…But sometimes, ‘think’ gets in the way of ‘do’. Don’t let that happen.

#3 Can’t is a four-letter word

We use “can’t” like a swear word.

It has its place… I’m not woo-woo and understand it has a role in nature…

But you probably need to wash your mouth (and brain) out with soap.

Stop swearing!

Most of business and creating is a mental game.

A game where you think you’re competing with the world.

But really you’re just competing against yourself.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 13 2021
A Business Coach Manifesto

A Business Coach Manifesto

In 2009, a client haggled me down from $20.

Then, I 1000X’d my price and found clients eager to buy before they’d even talked to me.

A Business Coach Manifesto:

Here’s the 4-step process to build a happy client community for business coaches: 1) Audience 2) Message 3) Narrate 4) Cycle

  1. Audience Know who they are. Know how to draw connecting their objectives with yours. Understand how tugging on their objectives tugs on yours by extension.

These are your people. This is your world. 🌎

  1. Message Know what they need to hear from you. Most talk about themselves, in their language. You’ll talk about the client, in their language.

That’s your opportunity.

  1. Narrate Your clients are on a journey. Our job isn’t to make detours to our products. Our job is to offer to help them along their journey using our coaching service.

Paint a picture of their world and how you fit in, not the other way around.

  1. Cycle Your message should be the best it’s ever been. And the worst it’ll ever be.

Talk to your clients, test every assumption, challenge every choice of phrase. Every signal you receive (good/bad) makes you stronger.

Re-apply it in your marketing. You’ll be unstoppable.

That’s it!

It’s deceptively simple.

And your opportunity to be the best business coach in the (‘the’ being ‘their’) world.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 12 2021
How to scale up content production

How to scale up content production

This week I had someone gush over how much daily content I produce.

Last week I gushed over how much daily content someone else produces.

It’s relative. Wherever you’re at, here’s how people manage to create more than you:

#1 They do the things you don’t, one at a time. You can’t learn everything at once. Focus on what you want to make next. The rest will gladly wait their turn.

#2 They do the things you don’t, faster than you. Everything takes a long time until it doesn’t. More practice usually means better output in less time. Keep practicing.

#3 They do the things you do, without you. A skill you’ve mastered is a skill you can teach to others. Delegating the parts that don’t explicitly require YOU allow you to go even faster still.

#4 They know their audience and what that audience needs to hear “More content” isn’t the point. “More connection” is the point.

He/she who‘s closest to those the customer wins. Know them. Know what they need to hear from you.

Then scale up the production.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 11 2021
How to get what you want using questions

How to get what you want using questions

We’ve all got goals for our businesses…

Getting what we want is quite straightforward.

It usually comes down to swapping a desire with a question:

How do you get 1,000 new followers? You ask yourself how you could give follow-worthy levels of value to 1,000 people who don’t yet follow you.

Then do that.

How do you get an extra 10k per month? You ask yourself how you could produce 10k worth of additional value per month.

Then do that.

How do you get on that podcast or secure that partnership? You ask yourself what that podcast or partner needs, that you can overdeliver on for them.

Then do that.

What we want is usually on the other side of a give.

The secret? Learning to love the giving (the journey) more than the getting (the destination).

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 10 2021
What coaches and NFTs have in common

What coaches and NFTs have in common

What do successful coaches/consultants and …NFT projects… have in common?

More than you think!

Here are 3 traits they share – and why they matter:

#1 They know what they really sell. Successful coaches know they aren’t selling coaching, but movement. The promise of progress. A journey shared toward a desired destination.

Same goes for successful NFT projects – the jpeg isn’t just the product, but a ticket to ride.

#2 They know what really lasts. Successful coaches create attention around their work, but back it with substance. Others create buzz but fizzle out when the world gets wise.

Same goes for NFT projects – pure hype causes a frenetic pump-n-dump, whereas strong community creates longer term value.

#3 They know who really matters. Successful coaches look after their customers. Enrolment when the shoe fits, refunds for the bad bits. The market pays attention to these things, even when you don’t think it does.

Same goes for NFT projects – one refund demonstrates more faith and goodwill among a community than the order value of any one buyer. Everyone feels looked after. Safe. Confident. This is what coaches want for their audience, too!

These seemingly polar-opposite spaces are united by the things that truly matter:

  • Knowing who you’re talking to & what they care about
  • Knowing what to say to them that they need to hear
  • Knowing how to express that message so they can make the right decision

Even if you think you can’t learn anything from totally different markets and industries, think again: it’s where your best ideas will come from.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 09 2021
Weird Market Traits

Weird Market Traits

Here’s how I learned the importance of “weird traits” when it came to marketing a business.

When I used to design fashion/clothes, I wondered where the real deals were made.

Then someone “in the know” showed me: Art exhibits.

Every couple of months, there’d be an exhibition. Private. Invite-only. Exclusive.

These were the places that relationships formed and collaborations were born.

These places helped me scale up the sales of that project (and finally find a use for my art history studies). I started by discarding them… and ended by exhibiting art I’d created specifically to create more conversations in that room.

I incorporated their uniqueness into my message. A good brand message knows who it’s talking to and what they need to hear.

Your chosen market probably has some weird traits of its own.

Maybe it’s Frisbee Golf in the park. Weekly Twitter chats. Pokémon cards.

Maybe you’ve been disregarding it because it doesn’t feel business-y enough.

Maybe it’s time to dive deeper into your audience’s world.

After all, it’s in their world that buying decisions are made!

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 08 2021
An above-average day

An above-average day

Ever feel guilty for not being like others on social media who claim to “live their best life” every day?

It’s a lousy goal.

Here are some better goals to aim for:

#1 An above-average day Looking for “the best day” leaves no space.

A sad family member who reaches out for help will “ruin” your “best day”…

Spending time with an unhappy customer to make them feel supported and understood will “ruin” your “best day”…

Who wants a day so fickle that investing in family and work is unacceptable?

#2 A better day than yesterday If yesterday wasn’t great, pressure to find your “best life” in the next 24 hours is unlikely to help.

Businesses grow when they listen to their audience and express their needs back to them with solution in hand… imperfect daily progress.

People grow when they listen to yesterday’s signals and put changes in place to improve… imperfect daily progress.

#3 A day like yesterday Was yesterday awesome?

Was it full of messy business puzzles and real family life, struggles and progress, successes and lessons learned?

Sounds like you’re already living a “best life”.

Beach not required.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 07 2021
You get to go again

You get to go again

Here’s an uncomfortable truth to get comfortable with as a coach, creator, consultant or entrepreneur:

It might not work.

The project idea might not work. It might not be what the community needs. It might not get its messaging right and run out of time.

This happens. It’s OK. You get to go again.

The product marketing might not work. Your language may not connect with your audience. The ads might cost more than you can afford to pay, pricing you out.

This happens. It’s OK. You get to go again.

The partner or customers might not work. Those you trusted may let you down, badly. Those you served may leave you, badly.

This happens. It’s OK. You get to go again.

Our positivity bias wants us to believe that these things won’t happen to us, only to others.

This is not true, and that’s a good thing:

It means we get to go again and achieve even greater things next time.

Keep growing, friends.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 06 2021
Community First

Community First

I used to hate the idea of community.

It reminded me of group projects back in college. The ones where you’d do all the work and others would sign their names at the top.

It reminded me of lousy employees who wouldn’t bring their best to work without constant realignment and 1-on-1 interventions.

But then, all of a sudden, I loved community.

A group that naturally emerged around my creative work or a product or service I’d created.

A group that I enjoyed being a part of, that rallied around a project I started, to support their peer.

These aren’t people who sign your work or come to just get what they want.

These are people who come to belong. To contribute. To bring themselves to make the party better.

In the future, this is likely what the marketplace will look like. People who choose to show up because they belong, not just because they were told to. People who love their community first, and the products they build for it second.

I call those people “narrators” today, but I look forward to the day where we’d just call them “normal”.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 05 2021
You can’t track magic

You can’t track magic

Is marketing science or art?

Here’s why it SHOULD be both at the same time:

Example of science: “Our CPMs are increasing so we should contextualise our creative.”

The scientific side of marketing can be measured directly with software. Our analytics tools can tell us what happens when we run an ad or create a session. Number of clicks, say.

Example of art: “That brand cracked an in-joke, I like that. Nice one, you guys.”

The artistic side probably won’t translate into a specific, direct, attributable reports. The in-joke you told that caused a conversation this week can’t be measured empirically with a tracking pixel.

Since “what gets measured gets improved”, the danger is to focus only on what can be measured with software. This is where brands go to lose their soul.

Software hasn’t yet got a grasp on culture, micro-communities, and the way someone lights up when they hear it’s you on the other end of the phone.

Those things are harder to track. Those things matter most.

Put the laptop down for a second and give a customer a call.

Say hi. Make their day.

You can’t track magic.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 04 2021
Waiting For Permission

Waiting For Permission

It’s overwhelming, the number of things we COULD be doing in our companies…

Know what the biggest hurdle is to getting them done?

It’s not skill… it’s not access… it’s not resources…

It’s permission:

Want ‘likes’ on social? Give ‘likes’ first.

Want customers to give you some time? Give them some time first.

Want someone to lend you a hand in your business? Lend them a hand first.

Want customers to buy? Give them something they want first.

Want your marketing message to say the right things? Listen for the right things first.

We’ve all seen the people who demand attention without giving it. Or those who give up because they waited for permission instead of going first.

Be the kind of person that goes first.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 03 2021
I’ve Started And It Isn’t Working

I’ve Started And It Isn’t Working

Hands up if you’ve ever gotten frustrated with how long some projects take to get working.

Even the calmest among us are surely guilty of this sometimes.

But every single project, task, campaign or venture begins with this statement:

“I’ve started and it isn’t working.”

Everything starts here!

New advert not working? Good: “I’ve started and it isn’t working” comes first. New product not selling Good: “I’ve started and it isn’t working” comes first. New role not gelling? Good: “I’ve started and it isn’t working” comes first.

Only then can we get to the next step, “I’m trying and it still isn’t working.”

Which leads to, “I’m learning and sticking it out, and it’s starting to work.”

Which ultimately leads to, “I’m still learning and still sticking it out, and it’s working!”

It all starts with the “not working” part. It means you’re on the right path.

Not the path of your actions resulting in success. But the path of your actions leading to actions that result in success.

Stay the path.

Adam Fairhead Adam Fairhead
September 02 2021
The Most Important Part Of A Business

The Most Important Part Of A Business

When I was running a “virtual clothes” store in 2007, I asked myself, “What is the most important part of a business?”

It makes you wonder, when you sell something as random like that!

#1 “Is it the quality of the materials?” It couldn’t be… they literally didn’t exist.

#2 “Is it the value for money?” It couldn’t be, at least in the conventional sense… you were buying nothingness. Keep in mind this was at least a decade before NFTs were popular.

#3 “Is it the sales or PR or marketing system?” They’re important, but tools and tactics change over time, and I was looking for something that lasts to peg as “the most important part”…

#4 “Is it the brand?” I thought it was, to start with… but when it comes to “brand building”, most of activity just drifted into #3 again…

#5 I ended up figuring out that it was the role a brand plays in the narrative being told in the lives of (prospective and existing) customers. It was “narrative”.

Now, #4 and #5 seem similar to start with… until you start thinking about how you would take action on them.

Acting on #4 ultimately turns into sales activity, where you’re essentially trying to get in front of your people with a pitch.

Whereas acting on #5 turns into listening. Building relationships. Spending time with people. Offering to make their problems go away. At scale.

Hardly anyone has a system in place for doing this. That’s your opportunity.

YOU can become a forerunner in your market.

Not because of deeper pockets, but deeper care. Not as a result of a silver tongue, but of using your ears. Not as a result of being the most celebrated, but of being the most celebratory. Not as a result of having it all figured out, but of figuring it out with them.

That’s your opportunity.

Go get it.

Photo of Adam surrounded by the blog cartoon characters

Get my posts delivered to your inbox

Max one email per week. All the latest posts. No spam, ever.