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All posts from December 2019

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750: Think People, Not Traffic

How much traffic does your website get?

Wrong question. Your website isn’t a highway, is it?

Rather, it’s a place designed to help a very particular type of person solve a very particular type of problem.

How often do you treat them as people, instead of traffic?

I am not an “audience”

We want to be acknowledged when we talk to people, whether it’s a business who can help us or an old friend. We want them to know where I’m going, and want to help us get there. We are not just an “audience”, but individuals. The more you make your message hyper-relevant to each person, the more each person will want to have a conversation with you.

I like feeling special, too

Hand-written letters don’t have measurable ROI. Personal videos aren’t particularly scaleable. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider them.

We’re humans. Not robots. We choose what will help us move forward, but we also choose what we like. What we have a connection with. You can’t really A/B test ‘like’.

The pursuit of automation and optimization often entices companies to abandon the idea of going personal. Their loss can be your gain: people want you to care, so use the channels available to you to show that you do.

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749: Intentional Culture

Every company and family has a culture.

Few have a culture they designed on purpose.

Great companies have intentional culture. They know that what we stand for (and against), how we approach trials and challenges, or how we perceive ourselves (for instance) are all opportunities to bring people together, or push people apart.

Have you decided how you’d like to be? As a company, as a leadership team, as a department, or at home in your family? A culture will form and change over time whether we like it or not.

We get to choose whether or not we’ll be intentional about nurturing a culture that helps us thrive, or leaving it to the winds of chance and change.

These cultures matter. How you approach your mission and meaningful work. How your family pulls together (or doesn’t) at home. All these things influence our ability to make a difference.

Do you belong to cultures you’re proud of?

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748: The Best Story Wins

Every person, business, family and relationship has a story.

While doing work that matters, when we move our choice of market away from their pain and toward their goals in a straighter line than our competitors, why would anyone choose an unclear, convoluted alternative?

When we’re able to answer questions like these critically, then wrap the value we bring to the marketplace in a narrative our audience can resonate with, we have what our Creative team’s clients refer to as “a siren-call that speaks to the hearts of minds of those we wish to serve.”

Leave the flash sales and coercive copy to your competitors. Focus your efforts on creating a real connection with those you wish to serve.

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747: The Danger of Hitting Targets

…is that you may hit them, even if you’ve set the wrong targets for yourself.

The young entrepreneur who longs to be a billionaire, assuming that’s where happiness lives. Ignoring the fact that the Gateses and Bransons of the world donate over 90% of their wealth to others.

The wantrepreneur who longs to park an expensive Italian car before an expensive Californian home, assuming that’s where happiness is. Ignoring the fact that those close to them are being pushed away along the way.

The SMBs who long to increase revenue for revenue’s sake, assuming that’s what success means. Ignoring the fact that money does a far better job of creating happiness through making a difference in the lives of others, than it does of creating happiness for those who earned it.

Please, thrive. Just make sure you’ve made an intentional decision about what it means to thrive, before you strive for it.

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746: Why “I Don’t Know” Works So Well

Everyone has an opinion.

Unfortunately, many deem their opinions empirically factual.

Which is why “I don’t know” works so well:

Amateurs and ‘experts’ know everything. They have definite answers that address everyone’s concerns. They’re vocal about their universal ‘solutions’ in interviews, blog posts and Facebook Ads. And we don’t trust any of it.

Masters know what they don’t know. For every honest “I don’t know” we get, the more certain we feel in their certainty of what they do know. Their understanding of their world, including that which is beyond their mastery, gives us confidence in their abilities.

If you want to be perceived as an amateur, please, continue to have the answer to everything. It lets the rest of us know what’s really going on.

And if you’ve achieved mastery, please, continue to be confident in your “I don’t know”.

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745: Ads Should be Gifts

Except they’re not, are they?

As we pass through the gift-giving season, we’re intimately familiar with both the giving and receiving of gifts.

What it’s like to buy something for someone that you think they’ll really appreciate.

What it’s like to receive something thoughtful from someone who thought of you.

You’ll likely be running new advertising soon.

What kind of a gift is it going to be for those you wish to serve? The thoughtful kind they’ll see themselves in, where they know how much thought you put into it? Or the kind that says “I don’t know you at all and didn’t really try that hard”?

Your choice.