1,448 Million metric tons of my peeps blessings upon you

I’ve been pondering my roots…

Did you know that The Ivory Coast is the world’s largest cocoa producer?  This relatively unknown West-African nation gifted the human race with 1.448 million metric tons of its yummy goodness in 2013 – 31.6% of the world’s total.

What does this have to do with my roots?

41 years ago (yesterday), Lil’ Baby Conz breathed his first breath of the warm equatorial air in Abidjan, The Ivory Coast’s second capital.

Two civil wars later, she boasts a fast growing economy, a stable democracy…

She’s the jewel of West Africa.

Her rich, tastelicious resources are one reason.

Let’s be that way, too.

Let’s find one thing we’re good at – a gift, something we contribute to the world – seed it, grow it to the max, then harvest its fruits and share them as broadly as possible.  That’s where I’m at these days.  Hope you’ll accept my challenge and join me there.

So this is 41, huh?

Not quite what I expected.

Then again, that’s the journey.

I figure about five more years and I’ll have this “life” thing figured out.


To Your Gift,

Conor Kelly


How long should your emails be?

Let’s do a little Q&A action today.

Ok, first question…

QUESTION: Hey Conor, what’s the ideal length for an email?

CONOR: Short answer…as long as it needs to be.  Personally, I aim to keep them around 300 words or less – most days.  Look, folks are busy.  And a lot of them are reading your emails on their phone.  By keeping things short and tantalizingly sweet, you train them to open your emails because they’re not expecting some big commitment.

That said I’m not against using 500-600 words if the message is good and it serves to do so.

I just wouldn’t do it very often.

I also want to make a distinction between articles vs. emails.  I find many business owners are confused about this.  Articles are content.  The idea of email is to ask your customer to engage with you in some way, whether it’s to reply, book an appointment, or click through to a longer piece of content that serves your marketing strategy.

Alright, next question…

QUESTION: Conor, any tips on using cold emails for B2B prospects?

CONOR:  A few years ago I booked close to sixty talks at various companies by cold messaging HR people on LinkedIN.  I was offering a free talk on health (which I’d then use to promote my services).  HR people have a mandate to do a certain number of those, which I knew.  And ‘free’… well, the price was right.

That’s the simplest way I know to do it: straight benefit.

Still, you have to play the numbers.

Most people won’t respond.

I recently rebooted this practice for my business – and again, it worked.  My revised 2.0 strategy for attracting cold prospects is twofold: (1) be utterly transparent, and (2) if you can, be funny.

Both of those things defy expectations.  And you want to stand out.  A smile is a good reaction!  Many people are too formal, especially when talking to high-level business execs, like they somehow lost their sense of humor when they became successful.

Your potential customers are human.  Don’t be afraid to be human with them.

Final question…

QUESTION: I don’t have an email list, any tips for getting started?

CONOR: When I started, I told everyone I knew I’m doing a free newsletter with fitness tips and did they want to be on the list.

Start with people you know.

Then, I collected emails at each of my talks, usually 20-30 at a time.  That, together with leads coming through my website helped me build my list to 2,500 in less than three years.

NOTE: If you’re a local business that sees customers every day, the fastest way is to get them to join your list.  We provide you the exact scripts you give your employees to get people to say ‘yes’.  Plus, we handle the tech involved in setting up your Aweber account and entering the data.  See the P.S.

Well, that does it for today.

Stay tuned for next time when I break down the power of subject lines and pull back the curtains to reveal what works to get your emails opened!

It’ll be a fun time in the Olde Towne, indeed.

Happy Prospecting,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a  The Muscle @Marketing Muscle

P.S.  I have great news for those who have been asking.  I recently freed up time in my schedule to take on one more local business.  If you’d be interested, book your stress-free brainstorm call here:


Fat Squirrel proves Zig Ziglar was right

I just got back from my daily walk.

As I was walking, a squirrel accosted me.  What I mean is it skittered over – while I was in full stride – planted itself in front of me, sat up on its hind legs, and stared me down.

I’ve never seen a squirrel behave so brazenly.

So I stopped.

I said hi.

(It seemed like the thing to do.)

My furry friend then cautiously crept forward, even touching my shoe.

I knew he was looking for food.

I said “sorry bud, don’t have any,” and went on about my merry way.

What struck me about this close encounter of the rodent kind is that he was the fattest squirrel I’d ever seen.  And why not?  He’s clearly not afraid to ask for his meal.

It reminded me of Zig Ziglar’s famous quote:

“Timid salespeople have skinny children.”

The point is to ASK for what you want.

The email marketing equivalent is having a clear and highly visible call-to-action for your reader to follow.

When someone reads your emails, do they know what you want them to DO?

If there’s even the slightest bit of confusion about this, you won’t get many sales/leads/appointments.

Squirrel-food for thought…

For more on how you can have done-for-you emails that deliver you new customers each week on auto-pilot, book your stress-free brainstorm call and get your fat-squirrel-nut-lovin’ here:


(There’s a call-to-action in action.)

Happy Asking,

Conor Kelly
“The Muscle” @ Marketing Muscle

Mission 2045: Immortality

“I’ll tell you a secret…something they don’t teach you in your temple.  The Gods envy us.  They envy us because we’re mortal.  Because any moment might be our last, everything’s more beautiful.” –Achilles, to a captive Briseis in Troy

Author Ray Kurzweil, in his best-selling 2006 book The Singularity Is Near, predicted that thanks to advances in genetics, nanotechnology (such as tiny robots that will repair our cells from the inside), and artificial intelligence, anyone who makes it to 2045 will basically live forever.

The race is on.

There is of course the issue of whether or not we should want to live forever.

Hence my lovely, thought-provoking quote today.

Questions, questions…


In other longevity news, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a 90-year-old American cyclist was stripped of his medal for testing positive for a banned substance.

That’s not a typo.

The man is 90 years old.

Not only is he able to get on a bike at his age…he’s still racing.

I don’t care what he’s on, unless his name is Robocop, let the guy keep his medal.

Who’s with me?


Our high-test nonagenarian ain’t got nothing on this guy:

French cyclist Robert Marchand announced he’s hanging up his bicycle shorts at a seasoned 106 years of age.

(That’s a lot of seasons.)

Last year, he broke the world record in the 105+ age category (a category that had to be created for him) by riding over 22KM in one hour:


He’s retiring from record attempts, but says he’ll keep peddling his stationary bike at home.

Well, there you have it.

Thought I’d lay down a little inspiration for the Drive To 2045.

Effective, n’est ce pas?

Live Long & Prosper,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Are you on LinkedIN?  If we’re not already contacts, please send me an invitation to connect here:


A 6-yr-old’s guide to writing persuasive emails

Let me share a brief story.

This story is 100% true and illustrates a rule of good copy.  Fail to do this, and dollars will leak from your emails like sand from a bucket with a hole in the bottom.  Do this, and it will instantly make your emails more persuasive.

The other day, as we were headed to school, my 6-year old daughter Olivia was giving her old man all kinds of grief.  She didn’t want to wear tights under her jeans.  She didn’t want to put her winter boots on.

I tried gentle cajoling, “ok, please just put your boots on.”

I tried explaining it’s the coldest day of the year (-12) and she’ll freeze.

Finally, we were getting late.  So I said, “I don’t want to do this but you leave me no choice.  You have until the count of three to put those boots on or they’ll be no T.V. tonight.  One…two…”


Still no boots.  BOOM. Officially sanctioned.

Fast forward to pick up.  After some pleasant exchange she queries, “what are we gonna watch tonight?”

I reply, “nothing, remember?”

At home she asks for a sheet of paper.  She begins to write.  Every now and then she stops to ask me how to spell a word.  Here then, is her first plea bargain attempt:



And written just the way she talks, “like, c’mon Dad, ugh!!”

I tell her it’s cute and funny — great start.  But here’s the problem: it’s all about how SHE feels.

What about how I feel?

Try putting yourself in my position, I say.

Show me you understand and you’re sorry — but only if you mean it.

She watches and listens intently, eyes narrowed, then picks up her pen with a fresh piece of paper.  Again she goes to work.  She gets some spelling help on the big words but the sentiment is all hers.  Here’s attempt #2:


Much better.

(Notice the well-placed call-to-action of the yes and no boxes.)

Anyway, here’s the point…

Being cute, funny, or clever in your emails doesn’t hurt (indeed I’m using a smattering of all three right now).

But people are motivated by self-interest.

What are your market’s most fervent fears and desires?

Why should they care about what you have to say?

For more persuasive emails, then, speak to what matters to them.  And note that this has little to do the features of your service or product, and everything to do with the outcomes you create, or the problems you solve for your customers.  One of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of effective people is seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Go back and reread my second paragraph.

You’ll see how I framed my story to appeal to the reader’s self-interest.

Unfortunately, many of the newsletters I get leave it up to their subscribers to bridge that gap.

Don’t let yours be one of them.

At bedtime, Olivia said: “I learned a valuable lesson today.”


Hope you did too…

Happy Persuading,

Conor Kelly

P.S. I’m looking for one more case study to add to the collection.  If you’d like me to do all this “marketing stuff” for you, just reply “Case Study” in the comments, and I’ll get you all the details. 🙂


My new year’s resolution (sort of)

Ok, so The Conz don’t make resolutions.

But one thing I’d like to start doing more of again is going for long walks.

I walk a lot in general.

I mean the ones of the forty-minutes-or-longer variety.

I’ve got so much to do it’s easy to talk myself out of it.  And with it being winter…well, that just whips up the rationalization hamster wheel even more.  I admit I was shamed into lacing up my walking boots at least once last winter when I heard my 83-year-old clients were still getting their daily 90-minute ‘constitutional’ despite the very-sub-zero temperatures.

All that aside, I’ve found few things better for my wellbeing.

I don’t count steps.  There’s no target mileage.  I just walk.  And I watch.  I stare at things off in the distance.  I let my body tell me if I should keep going or make for home.  Another point: no treadmills allowed on this particular journey.  You see, we Homo sapiens have a primal need to be outside…and most of us city-dwelling folk don’t do it nearly enough.

By the way, I’ve found this to be a great way to come up with content – little creativity tip for ya.

Some of my best emails have been ‘direct downloads’ I channeled during a walk, and that I couldn’t type out fast enough once I sat back down at my keyboard.  I also get ideas for what to do.  Solutions to problems or puzzles I’ve been struggling with often occur to me in the same fashion.

Many great thinkers knew this little secret.  Einstein’s daily walk was sacred to him.  Darwin did three 45-minute walks per day.

What’s the point of such ramblings?

I invite you to join me in boosting the step count, if you’re not already.

It doesn’t have to be every day.

We can aim for two or three days a week.

Just do this consistently and you’ll be amazed at what happens.

Then, write me back and share your story.

I’ll be genuinely curious.

See you out there,

Conor Kelly

P.S. In my next email marketing tip (Tuesday) I reveal the #1 thing you must do in every email if you want to make sales.  Get this one thing right, and you can do pretty much do everything else wrong and still get business.

Not too late to subscribe:

Go here to subscribe to my email marketing tips.


The Governator’s secret to winning at email

I’ve been ruminating on the Arnold Schwarzenegger clip I shared earlier this week.

All the books, audios, and courses I’ve ingested have more or less turned my brain into a search bar for self-help content.  Re: Arnie’s comment on it being ok to fail, the software of my memory turned up this little ditty…

I recall someone saying that the most remarkable thing about Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, was his ability to laugh about failure.

Whenever one of their initiatives flopped, and many did, he’d get a wry smile on his face, shake his head and go “wow that really didn’t work.”

Then he’d simply say “what next?”

During my brief stint in stand-up comedy, I wrote pages full of set ups and punchlines.  I quickly realized about 10% of it was funny.  The catch is the only way to know which 10% is to stand in front of people and let 90% of your stuff bomb.  Do that ten times and you wind up with five minutes of material that will do reasonably well with most audiences.

Call it accelerated failing.

That’s the great thing about email.  As a format, it’s very forgiving.  Most emails aren’t runaway successes.  Some might not resonate.  But there’s always the next one.  And if you have even a tiny bit of good will built up with your reader, they’ll quickly forget about any duds.

The only way you lose is if you stop.

Going back to the comedy thing for a moment, there were many times a joke landed and all I got back were crickets.  It never occurred to me those could be reasons to stop.  I just figured that was the process.

In fact, I’ll go you one further…

I embrace failing.

Because the more I fail, the smarter I get.

Besides, if that’s your approach, and every attempt results in either a win or a lesson…

Do we ever truly fail?

Happy Failing,

Conor Kelly

P.S. Go here:

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