Your marketing. Simplified.

written by john c ashworth

I would be doing you a disservice here if I tried to tell you that marketing and the sales that result from it were easy. Remember, the mission here on the ash flash is to share real expertise in small doses for both your small business and your health and fitness program.


Two reasons.

First, I have a lost of expertise to share when it comes to your health and fitness. And though I currently spend most of my time working as a salesman and marketing maniac, I spent the first 25 years of my career focused on clinical exercise physiology, personal training and fitness coaching. As my son Carl has pointed out on many occasions, “it would be a shame to waste all that talent and wisdom, Dad.” He’s right.

Second, there is such a preponderance of nonsense out here anymore that I also fee strongly that those of us committed to the good stuff, the real stuff, absolutely MUST make a commitment to sharing what we know. And what I know is that if you spend even just a little bit of time here on the ash flash, and especially if you come back regularly, you are bound to run into things that help you cultivate the slight edge .

Today, that might be the following two things I felt compared to share with you today.

A really great blog and expert whom I was fortunate to find and connect with on linkedin and the latest post on his blog about story-telling.

Assuming you really want to get it right, and that you want to build the ultimate sale machine inside your business, you must embrace the idea that you are a marketer in the business of whatever it is you’re doing. Not the other way around. Once there, the next step is to embrace the complexity of creating a system from which you can derive a steady stream of leads and new business as well as cultivate more business from existing customers, generate referrals, constantly obtain good reviews and success stories, and so on.

Feeling overwhelmed by all this?

That’s OK.

Start telling stories. As pointed out in the article, marketing at its core is really about stories. About seeing stuff, writing it down, and then sharing it in ways that are compelling, interesting, and prone to stir emotions and drive people to the actions that you desire.

So, if you’re in need of something today that will ground you in the ultimate truth that simplicity really is the ultimate sophistication, tell me a story. If it’s a good one, I’m always ready to listen.


Our democracy is like the steel of a sword. The more you temper it, the stronger it becomes…

from the desk of johnny renaissance

This is a beautiful message from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Personal. Heartfelt. A powerful example of how eloquent and personal story-telling can produce a truly moving message.


The importance of personality in YOUR marketing


The importance of personality in YOUR Copy & Marketing

written by john c ashworth

john c ashworth after the 8th grade parent, teacher, versus the students basketball game. -circa 2015

There is an absolutely wonderful marketing principle for your small business that may be applied in many different situations that has to do with scarcity and the fact that most people want more of which they can’t seem to get enough. Denial or exclusivity increases desire. This is one of life’s greatest truths if you ask me.

Generally speaking, when it comes to being a consumer, really personal, memorable, and amazing experiences worth talking about and sharing are extremely rare. This is not only unfortunate for all of us, but it is actually a huge missed opportunity for you and your small business and everything you are trying to do to grow your enterprise.

So, when you give your public, and especially your own prospects and customers a really friendly, personable, believable “regular guy” to deal with, people are thrilled to have found you. Add to that an expert dose of entertainment in everything you do and communicate to your lists and you have an extremely powerful elixer for small business growth.

You as the owner or operator of your enterprise have this opportunity. As I said earlier, most squander it for a variety of reasons, the main one being that you sell yourself short and think that no one will be interested in what you have to say and/or don’t feel this a valuable use of your time or you simply don’t feel comfortable with so much attention directly focused on YOU. That’s OK in part. You don’t necessarily have to be the one to take on the task of becoming the ‘attractive character’ in your business. But someone should. Think of some of the great companies out there who have done this with their advertising with a memorable spokesperson and think about how effective that really is.

Find this spokesperson and attractive character inside your small business. Promote them constantly and outrageously and be entertaining and not boring and you will be amazed at what kind of sales growth you can create and then sustain over time.

Good luck!


PS If you’re interested in speaking with me directly about how I can help you achieve this effect inside your small business and want to explore the possibility of me becoming your spokesperson, check out the video feed on the ash flash, my youtube channel, and almost anything else I share here and then let’s talk about how and what I might be able to create and do for you and your small business.

Are you intimate enough?

written by john c ashworth

Most marketing is missing one of the most significant and important ingredients of life itself…


Before you sit down to write your next sales letter, produce your next newsletter, or craft your next radio or television spot, ask yourself whether or not you are really speaking to the hearts of those you desire as customers. And if for some reason, you feel you can’t do this, because your product, service and business don’t resonate with you in this way, then it might just be time to go back to the drawing board.

Remember, people buy things for emotional, not logical reasons. When you ignore this, and your marketing and sales efforts lack the intimate ability to tug gently on people’s heart strings, you and your marketing and sales efforts lose – every time. You also miss an intimate opportunity to connect with people in ways that make life that much more fulfilling.

When I was running my fitness business back in the mid-2000s, middle-aged women would come to me for personal training and coaching because they felt as if I was speaking directly to them in my marketing. This is what they told me when they arrived. This is what you must find a way to do in your own business.

The only way to make that happen is to love your prospects and customers. I mean really love them. Show them you care. Reveal to them why you care. Show them you understand.

In order to write strong copy and to create powerful marketing campaigns that drive profitable response, you MUST get to know your prospects and customers as intimately as you possibly can.

You must know them so well that they are real to you. You can see them. You can define them. You can describe them perfectly. You can speak to them as if they were standing right there with you.

When you can know your prospects and customers and court them in this manner, your copywriting and marketing will sing to them in ways they’re not used to and in ways that will make them feel they know you, like you and trust you; and they will begin responding to the offers you’re making them.

When you can foster this kind of connection with your tribe of readers, prospects, customers, and colleagues you will begin to gain a level of influence that is not only powerful in its ability to help you grow your business, but also in its ability to help you create a business that is not only more profitable, but a lot more fulfilling for you and everyone else who comes in contact with YOU each day.


How Great Letters can help you form seductive bonds with your prospects and customers


written by john c ashworth

How great letters help you form ‘something’ bonds with your customers and prospects

People don’t write enough letters anymore…

According to the United States Postal Service, on average, American households now receive only one personal letter every ten weeks. This about half what it was 10 years ago. Americans also mailed 42 percent fewer holiday cards in 2018 than they did in 2008. (The Art of Imperfection: Peopler are Turning to Robots to write their ‘handwritten’ cards. The Washington Post, December 21st, 2019)

I sense BIG opportunity for YOU here.

You’ll NEVER convince me there’s a better way to connect with someone when you’re not there. Yes. This is coming from a guy who has produced a lot of videos over the years. Someone who believes this is extremely important too. But letters? Letters are incredibly more powerful in so many ways.

There are essentially two ways to sell stuff.

One, you focus on the all the benefits of your product or service and show your prospects how these benefits will solve their problems.

Second, YOU create focus on the ultimate benefit of your product or service. The benefit of becoming familiar and then personally connected with You, the seller. Because YOU have a lot to offer your prospects and customers; and their lives are destined to improve significantly once this intimate relationship is established.

There is no better way to do this than through direct-mail.

Yes. Letters, newsletters, postcards, catalogues, and just about anything you can think of that you can fit inside my mailbox and that touches mer personally in some way. Regularly.

When you can get intimate with your prospects and customers, and you do it the right way, the right ones will find you, buy from you, and stay hungry for MORE.

If you’ve ever bought something you didn’t really need from a salesperson who you really liked, you have experienced the power of intimacy first-hand. What happens is that through a careful blend of communication, charisma, and connection, a great salesperson gains influence with you and this makes it easier and easier to influence your opinion or behavior.

I’ve mentioned before that all sales are manipulative in some manner or another. That’s the nature of the game. But this is not a seditious pursuit. Or, it shouldn’t be. Because if I’m a salesperson with a great product that I know can help you immensely and I fail to persuade you to buy my product or service, I’ve failed you.

There is no better way to gain this kind of intimacy and opportunity with your prospects and customers than through the mail – by sending letters. Especially in today’s world where we receive so few personal pieces of mail, you can literally ‘own’ someone’s mailbox and create a powerful situation where they begin anticipating the things you send each month and consuming them with a ravenous hunger driven by your immensely powerful skills of communication, connection, and influence in which your people also find great value, entertainment, and benefit.

I have people that I follow in this manner and many of them have had important and powerful impacts on my life in many ways.

You need to work to become this kind of influence on your prospects and customers and you’re not going to do it through facebook, instagram, your website, or anywhere else online where people are telling you you need to spend money and time. Yes! Some of those things are important as part of your overall marketing and communication strategy, but none of them will compare to what you can accomplish through the mail.

If you want to begin receiving examples of this kind of communication and marketing strategy, I encourage you to subscribe to my mailing list.

I hope to ben sending you cool stuff very soon 🙂


Most Businesses make this unfortunate Copywriting Mistake all the time

Most Businesses make this unfortunate Copywriting Mistake all the time

written by john c ashworth

I’m working my way through a copywriting course online and it’s jammed with golden nuggets full of potential for both you and I. I’m sharing as many of them as possible along the way here.

This one is very important because I do see MOST businesses making this mistake. And right now, while we’re all adjusting to new and unfortunate realities associated with COVID-19 as we continue to sell our wares, this idea is even more poignant and important. Vital.

ALWAYS start with the prospect in mind.

ALWAYS startwith their needs, concerns, fears, problems, and desires. ALWAYS.


Because yes, features are cool, but as you potential customer what I really need to know is how you will fulfill on your big promise to solve my problem(s). And you can’t do that unless you’re focused on the benefits I will accrue by investing in your solution.

You do have a legitimate solution, don’t you?

You are an invaluable resource for your customers and prospects aren’t you?

You do provide unmatched expertise and a unique and unbeatable flavor don’t you?

Because if you don’t, and you’re finding it difficult to fulfill on this idea, then it might be time to go back to the drawing board again and make sure you’ve built something of real and lasting value to your prospects and customers; and that you’re offering something that truly has the potential to solve their problems and make their lives and businesses better than they were before.

You MUST work to persuade someone to choose your stuff over all the other stuff that’s out there; and not only that, but also convince your potential buyer not to just do nothing at all. Once again, right now, as we adjust to the realities presented us with the arrival of COVID-19, this last point is more important than ever. Because in times like this, the same old thing is even less effective than before.

That’s your BIG challenge every day in your business. That you must continually position your solution as THE choice over all other choices, including the choice to just do NOTHING.

In order to do this, you MUST stay focused on the buyer of your stuff. Because if you don’t and you begin to drone on about your boring features that I have no quick and efficient way of positioning correctly in my mind of desires, I will get bored and walk away from you. I might even run! Or worse, I might just become indifferent to you and your business and your products and services, because you have not given me any reason to pay attention to you.

Remember, your goal is to help a prospect make a buying decision. To help him solve a problem or achieve a goal. People do love to buy things. I know I certainly do, but they won’t just do it unless you give them a lot of good emotional reasons to do so.

Focus on making people feel good. Think about how you feel when a business does this for you. It’s amazing how much easier this makes it to open your wallet and part with your hard-earned cash.

Focus on your prospects’ emotions – the good ones and the bad ones. Great sales copywriters know how to do this very very well.

Learn to stimulate desire without drawing attention to yourself and your business. This is an art that takes great care and practice and when you really begin to understand it and produce marketing and sales systems that become an extension of this idea, you will really begin to see your sales soar.

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”

-Frederick Nietzsche

I’m going to leave you now with two important ideas and a great list that will help keep you focused the next time you sit down to write or re-write copy for your emails, website, and sales letters if you have them. Which, by the way, you should be thinking about a lot right now so that you can communicate as effectively as possible during this extremely challenging and cathartic time for the entire world.

I will cover these ideas in more and more detail as time goes on…

Charismatic Flair

This one is just worth a mention real quick because I could probably start an entirely new blog focused on this subject alone. You can get more people to buy from you when you cultivate more of your charm in all of your messaging. Most businesses and salespeople hold too much of this back when in fact it is often MORE of the reason someone will buy from you than any other reason; and the source from which you will often first gain your prospects’ attention.

Second, here is a short list that will help keep you focused the next time you sit down to write…which again, you should be thinking a lot about right now so that your company’s messaging doesn’t seem out of touch with our current reality.

Follow this copywriting formula EVERY time your write ANYTHING

  1. Get attention with a great headline
  2. Identify the reader’s problems
  3. Position the product as the solution
  4. Prove the value of your solution versus others
  5. Call for action – make them an offer

Good luck out there!


PS Happy St. Patrick’s Day!