Blogging Online Marketing

My 4 Most Important Digital Marketing Metrics

Digital marketing ireland

Are you wondering about how to use the internet and social media to start or grow your business?

Do you have a healthy degree of skepticism about what works and doesn’t work?

Have you come across individuals who claim to be experts and gurus in the area but you have your doubts?

I have built my solicitor’s practice almost entirely through digital or online marketing. So what I have to tell you is based on what works, not some theoretical nonsense with no valid evidence or data to support it.

There is plenty of spoofers out there, quite frankly, giving advice about digital marketing, online marketing, social media marketing who really only talk the talk.

Not only will I tell you what works, and what the important metrics for my business are, but I will prove it.

Yes, I will give you evidence of critically important areas I monitor and measure on a weekly basis to ensure my marketing machine is ticking over nicely with a nice, smooth sound.


Let’s go.

Website traffic

Firstly, if you were ever involved in a retail business you will know that footfall is critical to your success. Without footfall-that is, passing visitors in the immediate vicinity of your business premises-you will struggle big time.

The online equivalent of footfall is website traffic. How you get visitors to your website can fall into two large categories:

1. Organic methods

2. Paid methods

Organic methods include organic search traffic and social media traffic.

Paid methods include advertising such as Adwords, YouTube advertising, Facebook advertising, and so forth.

Clearly, the best type of traffic is organic search traffic, and there are 2 reasons for this:

1. It is free

2. It is motivated to find a solution to a problem

To clarify, organic search traffic is when you are looking for a product or service and you search online in a search engine like Google. If your website ranks well in the search engines, especially Google, you will get more of this top quality traffic.

So, my number one metric to measure on a regular basis is my website traffic figures. Putting it plainly how many people visit my store each day-that is, how much daily traffic do I achieve?

I have a number of websites dealing with differing aspects of Irish law but the two main sites I look at are:



I have other sites, too, such as,, and

But these 2 sites are the ones which drive all my traffic and in the year to date (early May 2018) the average number of daily visitors to my sites are as follows:

March, 2018, average daily visitors: 4389

Average daily traffic: 1,356 per day in April, 2018

So, between these 2 sites alone I receive 5,745 visitors per day.

It is self evident that the more traffic I get the more leads/queries I receive, the more consultations I book, and the more clients I add to my books.

The next time you are being regaled by a ‘guru’ or expert with the latest shiny new object for growing your business online ask him/her how many daily visitors he/she gets to his/her website or blog. It will give you some food for thought and should influence you as to whether to do business or not.

Let’s face it: if the guru cannot get traffic to his/her site how will he/she do it for your business?

Email marketing subscribers

Email marketing is incredibly powerful for it allows you to communicate with potential clients/customers in a way which is expected, consented to, and personal.

Email marketing, however, is not about asking people to sign up for a newsletter (yawn). No, you want to be much more intentional, useful and strategic than that.

Here are a couple of email marketing articles I have written previously, they explain email marketing in greater detail:

From my business perspective, I monitor the number of subscribers to my list on a weekly basis. Today my total number of subscribers is 6,067. The vast majority of these subscribers have signed up for my free employment law report and free weekly employment law tips.

These subscribers are valuable to my business and I am ruthless in ensure good list hygiene by removing anyone whose email address is undeliverable or who have unsubscribed. In fact I encourage people to unsubscribe as I only want people on my list who are interested in what I have to offer.

So every week I will scrub my list to ensure only people who want to hear from me do, in fact, hear from me.

Here’s the proof:

YouTube subscribers

Video is powerful and allows a connection between video maker and viewer that is difficult to achieve with words alone, especially given the attention span deficit of people nowadays.

This is why I put a lot of effort into my YouTube channel.Checking the number of subscribers I have is an extremely regular occurrence.

Today the number of subscribers is at 873 with my first major target being 1,000 subscribers. That should be achieved soon because I am adding an average of 70 new subscribers every 30 days. Here’s the proof:

Facebook metrics

Facebook allows me to reach an enormous audience easily and I check certain FAcebook metrics every day, including:

  • Number of fans of my two main pages (here and here)
  • Cost per result of any advertising campaign I am running
  • Cost per acquisition of leads to sign up to my email list (see above)

Fans of my employment rights Ireland page number over 18,662 today and fans of my Terry Gorry & Co. Solicitors page number 6,864 today. Here’s the proof:


  1. Understand the digital marketing metrics that are most relevant for your business and monitor them relentlessly
  2. Don’t fall for ‘shiny new objects’
  3. Don’t accept assertions or promises from people who promise to help you grow your business online without getting some cold, hard evidence and facts from them about the important metrics in their own business
  4. In other words, ask them politely, ‘don’t tell me, show me’ when it comes to growing your business online.
Blogging Online Marketing

How I Sold 306 Kindle Books in 5 Days Last Week, and 3 Vital Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Click on image to enlarge

Stunned, I was. It was beyond my wildest expectations.

And my birthday, too!

256 books sold on Monday 5th February, 2018-one day.

Let me explain.

I have a number of books for sale on the Kindle publishing platform. A few years ago I decided to take advantage of what Jeff Bezos has created with Amazon and Kindle publishing. At its essence Kindle publishing allows small business owners like me publish what we like, when we like.

The good news is that there are no gatekeepers now, nobody whose permission I require. No seal of approval required.

And I could care less for anyone who looks down their nose at ‘self publishing’, as somehow a lesser form of writing and publishing.

Kindle countdown deal

Last week I decided to do my first price promotion since 2016. It’s called a Kindle Countdown deal.

It works like this: the regular price of one of my Kindle books is £9.99. The Kindle countdown deal allows me to discount this book to £.99 and increase the price in 5 increments over the following 5 days, reverting back to its previous, regular price of £9.99.

To recap, the promotion started on Monday 5th Feb at 8 am and the price of the book was £.99.

Then the price of the book increased each day for 5 days as follows:
£.99 (Monday 5th Feb)
£9.99 (original list price) (Monday 12th Feb at 12 am)

I did a Kindle countdown deal for four of my books:

Employment Law in Ireland: The Essentials for Employers, Employees, and HR Managers

27 Irish Employment Law Cases: Priceless Lessons for Employers and Employees from Decided Cases of the EAT, Equality Tribunal, and High Court

How to Carry Out a Workplace Disciplinary Procedure: Avoid Costly Claims for Unfair Dismissal and Other Employment Related Claims

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online: How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy


The results are as follows:

5th Feb: 256 units sold

6th Feb: 33 units sold

7th Feb: 12 units sold

8th Feb: 1 units sold

9th Feb: 4 units sold

Total sold over 5 days 306

Click on image to enlarge


Promotion of the deal

I promoted the deal in two main ways:

Why publish on Kindle?

Two main reasons: 1) it’s easy to do, and 2) it allows a person in a particular field or niche to position themselves as an expert, a trusted authority.

Lessons for entrepreneurs and small business owners

There are broader lessons, however, that you can learn from this.

  1. You don’t need permission.

If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, a grinder, hustler, budding entrepreneur, or wannabe writer, the good news is you don’t need permission or a seal of approval from anyone anymore. Amazon and Kindle allow you to just do the work now and publish your own story, thought leadership, expertise, or, quite frankly, whatever you want.

You can also publish on your own blog or YouTube channel or podcast.

2.Traditional bookstores are screwed.

Last week it was a long established, much loved book shop in Cork that closed down. The previous week I listened to a bookshop owner on the Sean O’Rourke radio programme who is struggling in Dublin. She even told the story of a lady who came into her shop, had a coffee and read her book on her Kindle, and then complimented the shop owner for such a ‘charming little shop’ after spending an hour there and having a coffee while she read her Kindle.

Fighting against Kindle, fighting against Amazon, fighting against the convenience and price of shopping online for books when you live in a rural area and have virtually every book ever published downloadable within 10 seconds, many of them for free (the classics), is a futile exercise.

I love books and have read copiously for years. I have spent years trawling bookshops, but not in the last few years. I cannot remember when I bought a physical book in a shop last.

On a wet, miserable, February Saturday like today I can download a good book in a matter of seconds at a great price. I live in rural Ireland. The alternative is to get into my car and drive to Liffey Valley shopping centre, go into Easons and hope they will have what I am looking for.

It’s unlikely they will have what I want because I read a lot of obscure books which are often specialist in a particular area of activity-for example law, or a particular area of law such as advocacy.

The regular bookstore simply cannot match the choice or price or convenience of shopping on Amazon and reading on my Kindle.

And when you get to my age the eyesight for reading disimproves and the text in a physical book is too small. On Kindle I can simply enlarge the text size, and choose the font.

3. Learn and understand digital marketing

The four big factors in selling these books, and promoting the growth of my business and new client acquisition are:

  1. blogging/publishing good content on my websites
  2. Email marketing
  3. Facebook marketing and advertising
  4. YouTube publishing

As long as I have access to these four tools I can generate clients and grow my business.

And the two critical common areas between blogging and publishing my own Kindle books and creating my own videos and growing my YouTube channel?

Firstly, I don’t need permission to do any of it, and secondly I can establish a position of expertise in whatever I publish about. And I can publish with words or video or audio.

So, if you can’t write, whip out your phone and make a video and give something of value to your potential customers/clients. You might be surprised at the outcome.

Online Marketing

1 Email Marketing Mistake that Makes You Look Stupid and Lazy


I would attribute a huge part of my success in growing my solicitor’s practice to email marketing.

Anybody with an ounce of sense can, with a little research and study of online/digital marketing, quickly recognise the stunning power of email marketing in helping you grow your business.

However, it is not all plain sailing.

In fact, there is one simple way to ensure that your attempts at using email marketing will flounder badly and, in fact, be stunningly counter-productive.

The power and purpose of email marketing

Let’s back up for a minute and take a look at the power and purpose of email marketing: the power is that you get access to a person’s email inbox.

The purpose is to get the opportunity to earn your position as a trusted advisor/expert in your particular field.

The knock on effect of this win is you get a chance to sell your products or services later on in your relationship, when the subscriber to your list feels the time is right and he/she is comfortable in doing business with you.

It’s worth dwelling on this idea briefly:in exchange for someone’s email address you promise to deliver into their inbox something of value, probably on a regular basis.

The outcome of this exchange will be, if done property, the trusted authority status you seek, and of benefit to you as business owner and to your subscriber.

But before this exchange, before a website visitor gives you their email address, you must give them something of value in advance-an “ethical bribe”, if you will.

One way to blow this strategy out of the water is not to deliver value in advance, not to provide an incentive for the reader to give their email address, not to give them the opportunity to confirm that they want to join your email list, and simply to go for the short cut.

The counterproductive shortcut

The short cut?

Simply putting someone’s email address on your list, without their consent, without a “double opt in”, and sending them unwanted commercial emails.

There is probably more than one definition of spam, but unwanted, unrequested commercial emails into my inbox is a sufficiently accurate definition for me.

So, for me, it’s spam.

Look: let me be clear: if you add me to an email list of subscribers without my consent, and send me commercial emails, I will simply report your emails as spam in my Gmail account.

And the consequence of this is that your email will simply be undeliverable with future emails going straight into my spam folder.

Google is good like this.

There is only one thing worse than this mistake in your email marketing and that is getting someone else, for example a so called professional marketing company, to make this mistake on your behalf.

Not only will your emails go straight into spam, but you will be paying some “marketing/promotions” company for the privilege of having your email address blacklisted.

As I said earlier in this piece, I rely hugely on email marketing.

I work very hard to grow my subscriber lists

But each and every one of my subscribers to my many email marketing lists has been bribed in advance with something of value, such as a free guide, in return for their email address.

In addition, they must also confirm that they want to opt in and receive communications from me; and, finally, they have the opportunity in every single email to unsubscribe from the list.

Don’t want to hear from me any more? Just hit the “unsubscribe” link and I’ll be gone like a thief in the night appears regularly in my emails.

When you go to the trouble of doing it right, and creating something of value to swap for an email address, I find it easy to get angry when I receive commercial emails from people who have simply added me to their list and hoped for the best.

Copywriting Online Marketing

Have You These 4 Essential Elements in Your Sales Page?


Have you a sales page on your website or blog?

Even if you haven’t a dedicated sale page you will still want website/blog visitors to purchase your service or product.

If you have, there are 4 things that are absolutely essential if you want it to be effective in making sales of your product or service.

Let’s take a look at what they are. Sounds good?

The 4 questions are what, who, why, and when.

1.      What is it?

The first thing to address is to answer the question, “what is it?”. This might seem obvious to you, and it probably is, but you must guard against the well-known curse of knowledge.

You are completely familiar with your product or service; in fact, you may have created it and lived with it with passion for years. We all take things for granted.

But, your website visitor may never have heard of you or your product or service.

So, you must be absolutely clear about what your product or service is, what it does, who it helps, and what problems does it solve for your reader.

2.      Who are you?

You need to address the question, “who are you?”

Why should the reader believe you? Why should she trust you?

Have you the necessary expertise and experience to help her solve her problem?

Do you know what you are talking about? Can you show this?

3.      Why is your product/service essential for the reader?

Why does the reader need what you have to sell? Why can they not do without it if they want to solve their problem?

4.      When will they see results?

If the reader buys your product or service, when will they see results?

People are impatient for solutions to problems, and nowadays especially are used to shortened time spans, shortened attention spans due to social media usage etc.


An effective sales page on your website or blog, or in print, will need many more components.

But without the four essentials above it is very unlikely to perform in the way you deserve, or is supportive of your business.

Online Marketing

The Stupidest Article I Ever Wrote


I have to admit it-I was completely, utterly wrong.

Misinformed, misguided, wrong-headed, mistaken, idiotic.

I’m talking about Facebook ads.

I wrote a blog post entitled “The Shocking Truth About Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses”.

The sad thing is that I received a lot of good comment about the article at the time. Positive comments from people who had the same view as me. You can see them below the article.

But I was completely wrong, and advertising on Facebook is now a central part of my online marketing efforts.

I took the time to learn about Facebook advertising, and then began implementing what I learned from others, and from my own trial and error and observation.

Now, I get likes, engagement, page likes, post likes, shares, comments, video views and, most importantly of all, leads and clients. Yes-I have got clients straight off Facebook, at very small cost per lead/client.

Cost of Facebook Advertising

I primarily advertise with an objective of page post engagement with my video posts, and for page likes (not so much now because I have enough of them).

Facebook Page Likes

I can now easily obtain Facebook page likes for $.01. Take a look at the screenshot image below, and you will see that I got 6,013 page likes for my Terry Gorry & Co. Solicitors Facebook page for $51.75-a cost of $.01 per page like.


What is the value of a page like? Social proof.(You might be interested in Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool in Your Business).

When somebody comes to any of my Facebook pages some of the questions that cross their mind will be: “does this man know what he is talking about?”, “what do others think?”

When they see over 6,759 page likes they are reassured.

The same story applies to other pages of mine: Employment Rights Ireland Facebook page has 10,549 page likes today and Family Law Ireland has 4,752.

When anyone lands on any of these individual pages they are not backing away because nobody else likes the page, or because they are doubtful; they are reassured by the large number of other people who like the page.

Video Page Post Engagement

Most of my ads on Facebook are Page Post Engagement ads with a video in the post. Here’s an example about rest breaks in the workplace.

Not the sexiest topic in the world, you’ll have to admit, yet take a look at the statistics:

172 likes, 51 comments, over 40,000 views, 25,351 post engagements for $46.28

And the cost per post engagement? .002 of a $US. That’s two tenths of a cent per post engagement!

The vast majority of my ads, over 95% in fact, are video based ads. The videos are basic, just simple, useful tips for my audience/target market.


And new clients?

I have a “conveyancing/property purchase” campaign running at the moment. It comprises approximately 10 videos dealing with various aspects of buying a house.

My spend is $5 per day, and I have obtained 3 new conveyancing clients in the last 3 weeks. This is a massive return on my spend if you consider that one conveyance will generate a fee of €1,100 to €1,900 plus vat and if you are acting in the sale and purchase, which I will, I will get both the sale of the existing house and the purchase of the new one.


I haven’t even discussed probably the most powerful aspect of advertising on Facebook: the powerful targeting possibilities with all your ads.

Do yourself a favour: don’t make the mistake I made and overlook the power of Facebook advertising. Take the time, though, to learn Facebook advertising.

And be sceptical about commonly accepted wisdom as to what works and doesn’t work with Facebook advertising.

Experiment and test yourself. Think about who your ideal audience is, your perfect customer, start small, scale up.

And don’t be afraid to change your mind and put the power of Facebook to work for your business.

Online Marketing Starting a Business

Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool for Your Business


Holy s**t!

That was my son’s reaction when I showed him the Facebook page.

Do you know the way young people know everything?

The way they are all full of piss and vinegar?

My son’s 19, so anything that would impress him in relation to social media is worth a second look.

And if you are a business owner, or thinking about starting up a business, or you need to sell a product or service this piece about what I showed Paddy will be useful.

Sounds good? Let’s take a look.

Firstly, we need to understand and recognise social proof.

Social Proof

Wikipedia defines social proof as

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.

If you have teenage kids you will know that when they tell you all their friends are going to the concert, or all their friends have a particular brand of runners, or football boots, or other brand you will have to start reaching for your purse or wallet.

Because your kids won’t want to be left out. They won’t want to be seen as socially gauche, or nerdy, or geeky, or “uncool”.

And you won’t want that either.

Social proof was described as one of the 7 principles of persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his seminal work, “Influence-The Psychology of Persuasion”. At its most basic Cialdini recognised that we are hugely influenced by what others have bought and approved of.

Another example of social proof at work is when you are invited to a party. There are two sure things:

  1. You don’t want to go if nobody else is going, and
  2. You don’t want to be first.

So, what’s this got to do with the Facebook page I showed Paddy?

Let me explain.

I have this Facebook page about employment law in Ireland. There is quite a lot of useful information, links to articles, videos, employment related stories in the news etc.

When someone lands on the page, and they are researching an employment related problem, one of the first things they will consider is whether I, as the man in the videos and owner of the page, actually knows what I am talking about.

Am I spoofing, or am I an authority, someone who knows their stuff?

On Facebook they will invariably check how many fans the page has.

This is social proof. This is what I showed Paddy.

The number of fans is over 10,000.

This is what prompted the “holy s**t” remark.

Ireland is a small country; employment law is not the sexiest topic in the world. We are not talking about a fan page for Justin Timberlake or Miley Cyrus.

So, 10,000 fans is pretty good; it’s pretty impressive social proof.

Social proof is incredibly powerful. You need it in your business, no matter what you are selling.

Because nobody wants to be first, nobody wants to be the guinea pig, nobody wants to discover that you are completely untested.

You may not have a Facebook page with 10,000+ fans. But you should make it your business not to overlook the power of social proof.

Perhaps start with a testimonials page on your website or blog?

Or on your YouTube channel?

Or on Facebook?

Online Marketing

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-Kindle and Paperback

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-ex amazon

Have you a service based business?

Do you want to increase your client base?

Are you confused about what actually works to grow your business on the internet?

Yes, it’s easy to be confused. Because there is lots of conflicting advice.

About blogging, websites, social media marketing, video, audio, YouTube, podcasting, search engine optimisation, guest posting, etc.

Some of this advice is well intentioned, some is plain wrong, and some is simply theory as to what might work.

Throw paid advertising and expensive “consultants” into the mix and it’s easy to just sit tight and do nothing.

I understand your situation, because I was there too, not so long ago.

I am a lawyer and my book “The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online:How to Get New Clients With a Proven, Inexpensive 5 Part Digital Marketing Strategy” sets out exactly the steps I have taken, and take every day even now, to grow my client base.

And my income and profits.

What’s in this book is the exact strategy I have followed since 2011 to build my law practice by getting new clients through smart, cost-effective online marketing.

So if you want theory or a bird’s eye view of online/digital marketing this book is not for you.

But if your business provides a service, and you want to increase the number of your clients by exploiting the power of the internet, this book will help.

Because it sets out the proven, simple 5 step strategy I use on a daily basis since 2011.

With my strategy you will have a clear action plan to exploit the power of the internet to increase your client numbers.

This clarity will allow you to clear away the fog of confusion surrounding your efforts, and help overcome any procrastination about what you should be doing.

The strategy I set out in this book can work for you too, provided you take action and follow the steps, and adapt it for your particular business.

It’s not a silver bullet. There are none, I’m afraid.

It is a cost effective strategy that will, as sure as day follows night, drive new clients to your business.

It doesn’t require a huge investment of capital.

All it requires is consistent work by you on the 5 pillars of the strategy.

They are easy to follow, provided you are committed to serving your market, and want to grow your business by tapping into the power of the internet.

This strategy has worked for me, and allowed me to build a successful law practice with practically no money investment.

No advertising.

No virtual assistants.

No unethical practices.

Take the steps in this strategy and you will truly serve your market.

And grow your business by steadily acquiring new clients who will see you as trusted authority, a “go to person” in your industry.

Are you ready to grow your business online?

Order on Amazon now.

Also available in paperback-click here.


Blogging Online Marketing

The Biggest Obstacle to Selling Anything Online


The biggest obstacle to selling your goods or services online is not price, not technology, not lack of traffic, not paucity of Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

There is one fundamental element necessary to persuade your visitors, followers, fans, random surfers to reach for their credit card and buy what you are selling.

And that one element is trust..or lack of it.

Trust can be defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

On the internet especially this vital element is the one big barrier between your business and a sale or new client/customer or even a new subscriber to your website content.

Overcoming a lack of trust

Trust online, just like in the real world, must be earned. In the context of marketing your business online gaining your visitors trust must be one of your principle goals for your website.

Gaining your visitors trust firstly involves demonstrating your expertise or authority in your marketplace.

This is not a short term thing though-it involves a commitment to providing great value content on a consistent basis for your website visitors-publishing really useful information or tips addressing the very real problems that your visitors are seeking to solve or ameliorate.

It involves building a relationship with your visitors through various incredibly effective and ethical means. The two most important and effective methods of building trust and demonstrating authority are:-

1. Publishing great content consistently on your site
2. Email marketing-building and maintaining a relationship with your subscribers by firstly giving them something of value for free for becoming subscribers and just when you think you have done enough..give even more value.

You will know that you have succeeded when someone emails or calls you and asks you this question:

“what would you recommend?”

Aside: a number of years ago in the United States a tv company carried out an experiment outside a small town bank. They, with the consent of the bank, put a sign in the window saying “Bank closed for training- please give your deposits to the security guard”.

Outside the bank the security guard, resplendent in a new security guard’s uniform, accepted deposits for the duration of the experiment. This “security guard” was an employee of the tv company..

Over 90% of bank customers willingly gave their hard earned cash to the security guard. When asked afterwards why they, to a man and woman, pointed to the uniform and the sign.

“He looked official”.

This experiment demonstrates the power of trust and being the authority and is why police, army, judges, barristers and so many other figures of authority wear a uniform of sorts.

Fortunately you don’t/can’t wear a uniform online..

..but you can become the authority and overcome the single biggest impediment to sales online-trust.

Copywriting Online Marketing

2 Powerful Marketing Lessons from a Farm Safety Campaign by the Health and Safety Authority


“Because McGeadys’ farm became the bank’s farm.”

There are not too many farmers around Ireland who could ignore a radio ad which explains how a family farm became the bank’s farm.

The beginning of this latest ad from the HSA begins:

“The story of how a family’s name got wiped off the map. Because McGeady’s farm became the bank’s farm.”

I’ve written recently about the power of story and how to persuade with story. I’ve also written about what you can learn from William Shakespeare to tell your story, and the formula he used.

We know that the human brain is hard wired for story. Our love of story and gossip and news goes back thousands of years and the neuroscience confirms the scientific basis for the power of story.

We know too that we are far more likely to remember a story-by a factor of 5 or more-than data and facts alone.

And we know that the starting point for any good story is conflict-have you watched Eastenders or Fair City lately?

Well, the conflict at the beginning of this HSA ad is guaranteed to get attention; because it talks about the loss of a family farm-McGeadys’-to the bank.

That’s enough conflict for any farmer to pay attention.

And in telling the story of how this happened it uses another powerful tool-it explains why. Just listen to the use of the word “because”.

It tells how

“the farm became the bank’s farm because the books wouldn’t balance because the cows weren’t fed because the silage wasn’t made because the farmer was paralysed because the handbrake failed.”

This is a simple, easy to understand, easy to remember, stunningly powerful story.

2 critical lessons

Can you tell a story, like this one, which includes

  1. conflict
  2. the reason why.

Can you tell such a story about your business or product?

Can you describe the conflict or obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today?

Can you explain how you failed miserably? And what you’ve learned? And why you’re better now as a result?

Can what you’ve learned be put at the disposal of your client?

Can you explain why-the “because”- people should use you or your product/service? Passion mightn’t be enough, you know.

Can you tell a story like the HSA did about McGeadys’ farm?

Will your story make people more likely to use you or your service/product?

Once upon a time…

Copywriting Online Marketing

What You Can Learn From William Shakespeare to Grow Your Business


William Shakespeare, perhaps the greatest playwright in the English language, can help you grow your business.

What the fluff? Have you lost your marbles, I hear you ask?

Let me explain.

Have you ever heard of Freytag’s pyramid?

No? I don’t blame you.

I didn’t either, until I began researching the power of story in persuading people.

Story can go where data and facts alone are unable to travel: the human heart. Freytag’s pyramid sets out the structure of a dramatic work such as a play or film.

Freytag studied Shakespeare’s plays and ancient Greek drama and discovered that there were 5 steps or acts in a powerful drama:

  • Exposition/inciting incident
  • Rising action/complications
  • Climax/turning point
  • Falling action/reversal, with the protagonist/hero defeating the antagonist
  • Resolution/ending/happy ever after.

These, too, are the elements of a great story-one which will move the listener to action.


Superbowl 2014

The most popular ad at Superbowl 2014 was an Anheuser-Busch ad for Budweiser. It lasted 60 seconds and cost in excess of $4,000,000.

It told a story about a pup and a Clydesdale horse that people loved, and has been watched over 58 million times on YouTube.

(Unfortunately, they have made the ad “private” and it is no longer accessible on YouTube)

The success of the ad came as no surprise, though, to researchers at John Hopkins University in the United States who, after a 2 year analysis of 108 Superbowl commercials, predicted the success of the “Puppy Love” commercial.

One of the researchers, Keith Queensbury, knew this ad would be huge because:

“People are attracted to stories, because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people.”

Queensbury also found that ads that told a complete story using Freytag’s Pyramid were far more likely to succeed, and be popular.

Neurological science

There are good neurological reasons why stories work to move people. During tense moments in a story, our brains produce a stress hormone called cortisol, which allows us to concentrate.

A happy ending to a story triggers the limbic system to release dopamine, making us feel hopeful and optimistic.

It’s easier to persuade someone who is hopeful and optimistic rather than pessimistic and devoid of hope.

In short, storytelling induces trust in the listener.

Storytelling is old-fashioned because it has been with us since the first man/woman walked the earth.

But it works. It works to move people to action, to persuade.

Aristotle knew this. Shakespeare knew this.

Moving people to action, persuading is what you are trying to do in your business, isn’t it?