Buff up your beach brain!

Summertime is in full swing, as evidenced by the sheer number of out of office replies I’ve been getting to my newsletter. To help you make the most of it, I’ve put together my annual summer reading list. I can’t do much about your beach body, but I can give you some suggestions on buffing up that beach brain. Enjoy the summer with these great reads.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to B… 
by Peter Thiel 
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Toget…
by Simon Sinek 
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less 
by Greg McKeown 
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make… 
by Chris Guillebeau 
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in H… 
by Jeff Sutherland 
Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakono… 
by Steven D. Levitt 
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Lif… 
by Chip Heath 
The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science …
by Steven Kotler 
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networ… 
by Reid Hoffman 

And for those of you looking for some fun to go with your vacation, here are some of my favorites. Note that a few of these are not, in fact, toys and can be dangerous weapons if misused. Check local laws before ordering.

ALPS Mountaineering Lay-Z Lounger Nylon Mesh Anti-Gravity Reclining Chair AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black AmazonBasics 67-Inch Monopod
ALPS Mountaineering Lay-Z Lounger AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker AmazonBasics 67-Inch Monopod 
Super Soaker Thunderstorm Nerf CS-18 N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike (Colors may vary) Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow
Super Soaker Thunderstorm  Nerf CS-18 N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike (Colo…  Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow – not a toy
Black Hole Archery Target 18' Perfect Point PP-060-9 Throwing Knife Set 6.25-Inch Overall Cold Steel 97THKLS Two Handed Katana Machete with Sheath
Black Hole Archery Target 18″  Perfect Point Throwing Knife Set – not a toy

Cold Steel Two Handed Katana Machete – not a toy

Disclosure: unsurprisingly, every item on this page is an affiliate link to Amazon.


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What order should you read my marketing books in?

I was asked recently about my books and what order you should read them in. That’s an interesting question. The order they came out in is not necessarily the order you should read them in.

Marketing White Belt is about basics of marketing, and includes lots of frameworks.

Marketing Red Belt is about training yourself to be more creative.

Marketing Blue Belt is about learning how to measure marketing more effectively.

Here’s a continuum of processes that I first saw on Avinash Kaushik’s excellent blog, the See / Think / Do framework.

You have to first see. This means to learn how to analyze data, develop insights, understand what happened and why.

Once you know what has happened, once you’ve done your homework, you can think about what to do next. This is the essence of strategy.

After you’ve set strategy, you have to do the work.

seethinkdo1.jpg

What order you should read my books in depends on where in the See / Think / Do cycle you’re experiencing the most trouble.

seethinkdo2.jpg

If you’ve got no problem with strategy but you’re struggling to come up with creative ways to execute, you’d start with Marketing Red Belt.

If you’ve got execution down pat but you have no idea how to measure your efforts, you’d start with Marketing Blue Belt.

If you just throw things against the wall and hope for the best, you’d start with Marketing White Belt.

Whichever order you read them in, I hope you find great value in them.


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Does a daily social media ask help to sell more?

One of the social media marketing tactics that I’d always been opposed to in the past is high frequency repetition of an offer on social media. I made the assumption in years past that your audience was relatively static, and peppering them with offer after offer would eventually make them flee.

Then the era of social media churn began, wherein your audience comes and goes. On top of that, algorithms changed, and you could no longer count on your social content being seen simply because you posted it. Suddenly, it was no longer guaranteed that even a majority of your audience knew about a one-time offer post.

I began a test on March 11, 2015 to do a daily social promotion. My usual schedule of 5 items of note remained the same; the social offer was simply tacked on later in the day.

Christopher_Penn_on_Twitter___Struggling_with_marketing_analytics__Get_your_copy_of_Marketing_Blue_Belt_and_reach_analytics_freedom__http___t_co_jyV7F4WyBQ_.jpg

Because I have 3 books for sale, I was able to present a new offer every day, repeating only every 4th day.

Other important things to note were that I wasn’t running any other promotions concurrently. My cadence of other posts and my weekly newsletter did not change. As best as possible, testing conditions were held stable and normal for the duration of the period.

What have the results been? Here are my sales numbers:

the_daily_ask-2.jpg

To say the least, worthwhile. In the chart above, the blue bars represent daily sales of all books. The red line is a 14 day moving average of book sales. By incorporating a daily social media ask, it’s brought my 14 day sales average as high as it was during the initial launch.

Does this mean you should adopt a daily ask? As with all things, you have to test for yourself. Try it out, see if you generate similar, better, or worse results. Keep what works, leave behind what doesn’t work.


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