Daniel Burstein

Influencers, Consultants, Publications, and Affiliate Marketers: Build an AI version of you (in just 30 minutes) that you can sell to your audience

June 14th, 2024
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This blog post is radically different than any other blog post I’ve ever written.

Because I had an idea. It’s an idea I just can’t let go of. It’s an idea that you can take part in to make something magical and (not to sound crass but) profit from.

It was the early days of MelcabsAI (parent organization of MarketingSherpa). I was on a call with Flint McGlaughlin, and he showed me something he was working on for a company in the MeclabsAI pilot program. He quickly built an AI Expert based on a company’s founder in MeclabsAI. Just took some of the founder’s writing and pasted it into the Engineering Console of MeclabsAI. And now his team was using that AI Expert to help write emails.

I’d heard and seen yadda, yadda, yadda about AI up until this point. Everybody’s ‘mind was blown’ every other day on YouTube by something AI could supposedly do. Eye roll. Yeah whatever. I’m a skeptic.

But this. This was something different to me.

Because it wasn’t about what AI could do. It’s about what you could do.

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

Top HARO (Help A Reporter Out) Alternatives: How to find primary sources for business journalism and content marketing

June 11th, 2024
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Action Box: Optimize your marketing with MeclabsAI – affordable, instant, expert help

At Meclabs Institute (MarketingSherpa’s parent organization), we offered (expensive) conversion marketing services.

Thanks to AI advances, we put our patented methodology derived from 10,000 marketing experiments into MeclabsAI. It’s inexpensive (free to start), offers instant help, and will even train you (using the Marketing Professor expert).

There are 6 days left until the official launch of the full-featured MeclabsAI.

Start optimizing with MeclabsAI for free (until June 17)


At MarketingSherpa, I craft in-depth marketing case studies and data-driven articles. And I host the How I Made It In Marketing podcast.

I would fail miserably at these endeavors without sources.

Our focus is primary sources, the actual people and companies doing the work, who researched the data, or who lived that career journey.

For a long time, I used a service called Help A Reporter Out, also known by its acronym – HARO.

But HARO was shut down/rebranded/replatformed earlier this year. And while there are many older posts on the best HARO alternatives that were written while HARO existed, ironically, I’ve seen very little press about what to do now that HARO no longer exists.

Also, most posts about HARO are from the perspective of pitching to get into an article, often for SEO reasons and link building.

I’ve found a lot less info out there for journalists, reporters, and content marketers to help them find primary sources now that HARO no longer exists.

So here are some places to find primary sources for articles, blog posts, podcast interview, and the like, along with my personal experience with them. If you know of any good places to find sources that I have overlooked, or simply have different opinions or experiences on any of the below, just email me at Daniel.Burstein@Meclabs.com. I intend this to be an on-going resource for all reporters and content marketers. Also, these are only my opinions and others likely have different ideas or experiences. Read more…

Andrei Iunisov

Safely Leveraging AI in SEO: Best practices and Google compliance tips

May 23rd, 2024
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This blog post was distributed through the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

Although the straightforward use of AI-generated content is not awarded by Google, significant performance benefits can be gained by digital marketers leveraging AI in a responsible and professional manner.

Here are some effective strategies for applying generative AI expertise to escalate one’s performance in SEO and other domains of digital content creation.

I have tried ranking more than 100 template landing pages and blogs with pure AI content, and my experience shows that trying to rank purely AI-based content does not work. The text gets indexed and then deindexed by Google the next day; we did not receive any traffic gains.

But artificial intelligence can assist with content creation. What is received from AI needs to be developed, reviewed and improved to be unique and valuable. Using this approach, I’ve ranked at least 10 blog posts and landing pages for keywords ranked from 20 to 45 competitiveness by the Mangools SERPChecker.

In this article, I’ll show you my process. For this example, I use MeclabsAI (from MarketingSherpa’s parent organization).

But first, let’s review what Google has publicly said about artificial intelligence and content.

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

Top-of-the-funnel Lead Generation: A visual look at 58 marketing ideas for your customers’ journey

May 8th, 2024
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“I’ve put my kids through college with just my ideas.”

A friend of mine who owns an agency told me this over a beer one night. And I think it’s an apt description of a career in marketing.

But here’s the rub – it’s hard to come up with ideas. Day after day. Month after month. Especially if you’ve worked at the same brand for any length of time.

So I’m always looking for ways to get unstuck. And I stumbled across one recently while leading MEC300: Develop Your Creative, an education offering within the AI Guild.

I hesitate to call it a ‘course’ or ‘training’ per se, because I focus the time we have together on interactivity. There’s plenty of content people can dive into between sessions, but during the sessions we review their work building their marketing funnels and – back to that word – help them get unstuck.

While coaching a participant, my co-leader for this track – Dhruv Patel, Chief Product Officer, MeclabsAI (Meclabs is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa) – shared an expansive visual. He took many different concepts he’s learned throughout his career and made one, overarching image that could spur even the most perplexed marketer or entrepreneur to get unstuck.

I’ll show you the visual and then we’ll dive into some of the concepts behind it.

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

AI-driven Test Ideation: How to get ideas for your marketing experiments (the easy way)

April 23rd, 2024
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I’ve been writing about A/B testing for 15 years at Meclabs (MarketingSherpa is part of Meclabs, as is MarketingExperiments). And one of the most common challenges I’ve heard is – ‘what do I test next?’

Because A/B testing isn’t all that hard to get the hang of. And once you catch the bug and see how it can move the needle and help you learn about and better serve customers – marketers and entrepreneurs want to keep testing.

But we’re only human. And eventually the well runs dry. ‘So what the heck should I test next?’

Enter the biggest marketing buzzword of 2024 (and 2023 as well) – artificial intelligence.

But unlike a buzzword that covers up for vaporware, AI is legit when it comes to test ideation. Because unlike me and you, it isn’t human (sorry bots reading this post, you are not part of my target audience).

So AI is a never-ending font of ideas. Are they all amazingly good? No.

But Paul McCartney originally sang “Scrambled Eggs” instead of “Yesterday,” “The Breakfast Club” was going to be called “The Lunch Bunch,” and Jane Austen came up with the title “First Impressions” before she settled on “Pride and Prejudice.”

Brilliance isn’t obvious at first. It takes a lot of ideas to get there.

Which, again, AI has. So the next time you’re struggling with a test idea, give it a shot.

Here’s an example. I’m co-teaching ‘MEC 300: Develop Your Creative’ in the AI Guild. This isn’t just meant to be training; it’s meant to guide you to build your own funnel. So between each class there is a ‘Build Your SuperFunnel’ activity (I didn’t want to call it ‘homework,’ after all, these are all adult professionals).

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

AI-Powered Content Analysis for Marketers: Get 60 minutes’ worth of ideas in 5 minutes with Video Transcript Analyst

April 5th, 2024
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I categorize effective content into Stephen Covey’s quadrants – specifically Quadrant I (urgent and important) and Quadrant II (not urgent but important).

For example, MarketingSherpa helps you with the urgent and important by publishing marketing case study articles. If you have an urgent and important need, you can quickly search the MarketingSherpa library and find specific marketing examples with results to give you ideas within a few minutes.

For those challenges and opportunities that are not urgent but are important – your long-term brand strategy, team management, career path, etc. – there’s the How I Made It In Marketing podcast. You can listen in your downtime – on the train, in the car, going for a run – and get ideas from these roughly hour-long discussions with marketing leaders.

Well, until now.

We have a new, free tool that transition these long-form in-depth interviews from into content that can help with your immediate, important challenges. It can analyze How I Made It In Marketing, or any other audio or video transcript, and help you with urgent and important problems in just a few minutes. This tool is the Video Transcript Analyst expert assistant in MECLABS AI (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).

MECLABS AI is totally free to use, for now. Here’s where you can find Video Transcript Analyst in MECLABS AI…

Video Transcript Analyst

For me personally, when I’m looking for a quick solution, I jump past video and audio results in a search engine. I don’t have the time to linearly watch and listen. I want text I can quickly scan. And that is exactly what Video Transcripts Analyst can give you.

Here’s an example. In one of the early episodes of how I Made It In Marketing, I interviewed Aron North, Chief Marketing Officer and Commercial Owner, Mint Mobile. So I figured I’d take a walk down memory lane and take a closer look at that episode. Plus, test out how well Video Transcript Analyst works on an audio-only format like a podcast.

I simply pasted the transcript into MECLABS AI, and it gave me the below result (in fairness to MECLABS AI, there are no timestamps in the transcript, so that part was just an AI hallucination, but if you use a transcript with time stamps, it can include that info in a table as seen below):

Summary Paragraph:

Aron North, the Chief Marketing Officer at Mint Mobile, shares invigorating insights into the potent mix of creativity, customer focus, and willingness to embrace failure that has driven explosive growth for Mint Mobile in a saturated market. Starting from ground zero, Mint learned to leverage creative prowess over hefty production budgets, transforming perceived customer skepticism of their low prices into a compelling narrative of value. The conversation with Daniel Burstein threads through Aron’s career trajectory, lessons in pushing the creative envelope, fostering a dynamic marketing culture of immediacy (epitomized through a rapid response to a tweet from Dave Foley), and building a brand that earnestly listens and adapts to its customers and employees alike. This journey underscores the agility, audacity, and human-centered approach fundamental to breaking through traditional marketing confines and resonating genuinely with both customers and team members.

Segmented Overview with Timestamps:

Timestamp Section Key Points
0:00-2:00 Introduction Introduction to Aron North and the importance of creativity over production.
2:01-5:00 Aron’s Background Overview of Aron’s career path and his dual role at Mint Mobile.
5:01-7:30 Marketing Philosophy Discussion on balancing customer and company interests in marketing initiatives.
7:31-10:00 Embracing Failure Insights on the value of failure and experimenting with marketing strategies.
10:01-13:00 Creative Strategies Examples of successful marketing campaigns leveraging creativity and human insights.
13:01-15:00 Fastertizing Approach Rapid, responsive marketing tactics illustrated by engaging with actor Dave Foley.
15:01-18:00 Building Culture The “FBNA” principle (Free Beer, No Assholes) and fostering a supportive team environment.
18:01-20:00 Customer Centricity Utilizing platforms like Reddit for real-time customer engagement and insights.
20:01-22:00 Key Qualities of Marketers Emphasizing qualities like creativity, tenacity, and the ability to learn from failure.
22:01-24:00 Conclusion Reflections on the joy and challenges of marketing and the ongoing journey of learning.

FAQ for the Video:

  1. What is the key to Mint Mobile’s marketing success?
    • Creativity over production, leveraging insights, and willingness to take risks.
  2. How does Aron North view failure in marketing?
    • As an essential part of the learning process and a driver for innovation.
  3. What strategy did Mint use to address skepticism regarding its low pricing?
    • Enhancing perceived value by creatively presenting the offer and educating about the benefits.
  4. What is “fastertizing” and how did Mint Mobile utilize it?
    • Fast, responsive marketing, exampled by engaging with a tweet from Dave Foley and rapidly producing an ad.
  5. What cultural principle does Aron North emphasize within the team?
    • “Free Beer, No Asshole” to ensure a rewarding and inclusive work environment.
  6. How does Mint Mobile engage with customers for feedback?
    • Through active participation and monitoring on platforms like Reddit for real-time insights.

Flashcards for Key Concepts:

  1. Creative Over Production:
    • Focus on creativity and human insight to make impactful campaigns over spending on high production.
  2. Embracing Failure:
    • Viewing failure as a step towards innovation and learning.
  3. Fastertizing:
    • The practice of rapid, responsive advertising to stay relevant and engaging.
  4. FBNA Principle:
    • “Free Beer, No Assholes” principle that underlies the importance of reward and a positive team culture.
  5. Customer Engagement:
    • Actively listening and adapting based on customer feedback, utilizing platforms like Reddit.
  6. Human Insight in Marketing:
    • The foundational role of universal human truths in creating resonant marketing messages.
  7. Key Qualities of a Marketer:
    • Creativity, tenacity, good listening skills, and self-awareness.

Do you have any specific questions about video or marketing insights shared?

I then asked Video Transcript Messaging Analyst, “Any ideas from this episode that could help me with the launch of MECLABS AI?” and it responded…

The insights and strategies shared in the conversation with Aron North, particularly those pertaining to fostering creativity, embracing risk, and deeply understanding customer needs, can be instrumental in launching MECLABS AI successfully. Engaging with these principles through a critical lens rooted in MECLABS methodologies, let’s delineate actionable insights that can power your launch strategy:

  1. Leverage Creativity Over Production (“Creative is Greater Than Production”):
  • Application: For MECLABS AI, utilize creative storytelling and straightforward communication to connect with your target audience instead of focusing on high-cost productions. Emphasize the unique capabilities and benefits of MECLABS AI in addressing complex analytical needs through simple, compelling narratives.
  1. Embrace and Learn from Failure:
  • Application: Advance MECLABS AI through a culture of experimentation, embracing the potential growth that stems from risks and failures. Adopt a test-and-learn approach in your launch strategy, where each phase of the campaign is iterated upon based on real-world feedback and performance data.
  1. Fastertizing – Swift, Relevant Marketing:
  • Application: Utilize the concept of fastertizing to keep MECLABS AI’s communications timely and highly relevant to evolving market needs and conversations. This might involve creating content and campaigns that respond to current trends in data analysis, AI advancements, or industry-specific challenges, thereby positioning MECLABS AI as a timely and responsive solution.
  1. FBNA Principle (Free Beer, No Assholes) – Cultivating a Positive Culture:
  • Application: Build an internal culture for MECLABS AI that rewards creativity, innovation, and collaboration, ensuring that all team members feel valued and motivated. This positive internal culture will reflect externally, fostering trust and loyalty among your prospective users.
  1. Actively Engage with and Listen to Your Audience:
  • Application: Engage your potential and existing users in genuine conversations about their needs, challenges, and expectations from an AI-powered analytical tool like MECLABS AI. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Reddit, or industry forums can provide rich insights, helping to refine MECLABS AI’s offerings and messaging.
  1. Highlight Human Insight and Value Proposition:
  • Application: Ground your messaging in clear, human-centric value propositions that resonate with your target market’s core challenges and goals. Illustrate how MECLABS AI can transform their analytical processes, enabling more profound insights, saving time, and driving strategic decisions.
  1. Encourage Tenacity and Creativity in Marketing Efforts:
  • Application: Empower your marketing team to pursue innovative strategies and channels for promoting MECLABS AI, encouraging bold ideas and resilience in the face of challenges. This could involve innovative partnership models, community-building efforts, or novel content formats that captivate attention.

To gauge the effectiveness of these strategies and refine your approach, it’s essential to continually analyze feedback, performance metrics, and marketplace dynamics. By synthesizing these insights with the aforementioned principles, MECLABS AI can forge a compelling launch that resonates with your audience and distinguishes the product in the competitive landscape of AI and analytics solutions.

These responses don’t have the depth you get from listening to the entire episode, but the episode was 70 minutes long and the above interaction took about five minutes. So it’s a great way to take long-form audio and video content, and delve into it to brainstorm your ideas.

Or simply run the transcript of that content through this AI analyst, see if any of the responses pique your interest, and only then decide to dive in and listen to the full episode. In an era of endless content to choose from, it can help you narrow in on what deserves your deeper attention and is most helpful and relevant to you.

Related resources

MECLABS AI – Get free (for now) expert help from the only AI unit build from the discoveries of 10,000 conversion marketing experiments

Unlocking Your Inner Copywriter: A non-wizard’s guide to spellbinding headlines

AI-powered Problem-solving Strategies: An interview with MECLABS AI’s Problem Solver expert assistant

Daniel Burstein

AI-powered Problem-solving Strategies: An interview with MECLABS AI’s Problem Solver expert assistant

March 22nd, 2024
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Personification is the intimate companion of imagination.

Which is why so many great artists use it. For example, Jack London wrote, “But the plummet of his hearing brought nothing to him save the moaning of wind through invisible trees and the rustling of leaves on swaying branches.”

You may have seen this tactic used so often that you wouldn’t even notice the personification if I hadn’t specifically italicized it in the above sentence. I know I would overlook it. But moan literally means, ‘a long, low sound made by a person.’

London could have written, ‘the gusty wind’ but it wouldn’t have hit me in the chest the same way. I can feel that wind moaning.

Or in a much more obvious example: “The sea was angry that day, my friends – like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli” written by Larry David, Ron Hauge, and Jerry Seinfeld in the comedian’s eponymous hit TV series.

Personification isn’t just for literature and television. If you want to make effective use of AI for brainstorming, it helps to think of chatting with an artificial intelligence machine like you’re chatting with a real, live person. So in this MarketingSherpa blog post, here is an interview with the Problem Solver expert assistant from MECLABS AI as if it were a person.

First, here’s where you can find Problem Solver in MECLABS AI. It’s totally free to use (for now).

Problem Solver in MECLABS AI

And here’s a look at what Problem Solver had to say in our conversation…my attempt to converse with the future that’s already here today.

Overview of Problem Solver AI expert assistant

Can you give us a brief overview of what a Problem Solver AI Expert Assistant is and how it works?

The Problem Solver AI Expert Assistant is a digital tool designed to assist users in methodically approaching and solving problems. It utilizes a structured framework akin to the i4 Success Framework developed by Flint McGlaughlin. This framework encourages users to identify their true objectives, explore effective strategies, design and execute tests, and refine their approach based on insights.

Inspiration Behind the Problem Solver AI

What inspired the development of this technology, and what specific problems is it designed to address?

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

Leveraging AI for Social Media Success: Insights from MECLABS AI’s Facebook Copywriter expert assistant

March 15th, 2024
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When you’re concepting and brainstorming and trying to think of that next idea, wouldn’t it be great to bounce around your thoughts with a giant brain well versed in a specific topic?

Well with the magic of artificial intelligence, you can. For example, Facebook Copywriter in MECLABS AI. It’s totally free to use (for now). Here’s where you can find the Facebook Copywriter expert assistant in MECLABS AI:

Facebook Copywriter

To give you a sense for what it’s like to chat with Facebook Copywriter and ideas for AI-enhanced social media marketing strategies, here is an ‘interview’ with the expert assistant. The goal is to show you how MECABS AI’s Facebook Copywriter expert assistant can help you with social media copy.

Development and technologies powering MECLABS AI

Can you explain how you were developed and what specific technologies underpin your ability to generate copy?

I am the result of innovative artificial intelligence (AI) research and development, designed to assist and amplify the creative process of marketing professionals. At my core, I utilize large language models, natural language processing (NLP), machine learning algorithms, and cognitive computing to generate, analyze and optimize copy. These technologies provide me with the ability to process vast amounts of data and to emulate human-like writing capabilities.

Can you please explain natural language processing in simple language so our readers understand it?

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

AI Copywriting Expert Insights: An interview with the algorithm

March 8th, 2024
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I interview plenty of humans on How I Made It In Marketing, but in this MarketingSherpa blog post I’ll be interviewing an artificial intelligence.

Copywriter is an expert assistant in MECLABS AI. Its totally free to use (for now). Here’s where you can find the Copywriter expert assistant in MECLABS AI:

Copywriter in MECLABS AI

Why interview an AI you might task? Or as my mother might say, “You went to college for this? So you could interview a machine? Well, I bet my vacuum cleaner has some pretty interesting observations.”

Mockery is fair, but that mockery comes from an old paradigm – that the only experts are humans.

Now you can have a conversation with a digital ‘mind.’ Haven’t you ever felt like you wish you had an expert you could chat with to brainstorm? Well, this is the upside of the expert assistants.

And they can answer instantly, and at no cost (for now). Try finding that in a human marketing expert.

Please note that since this is an AI – and not a real human – when it talks about previous experiences and the like, I assume it is discussing the content it was trained on.

Foundational principles

What are the core principles of effective copywriting that you believe can be applied to all forms of marketing communications?

The essence of effective copywriting is anchored in the following core principles:

  1. Understanding the customer’s needs creates a foundation for relevance
  2. Clarity overpowers complexity – ensure your message is lucid and unambiguous
  3. Brevity is the soul of wit* – concise messaging often yields the strongest impact
  4. Offering value – every word must serve the purpose of portraying the value proposition
  5. Encouraging action – culminate your copy with a strong, unmissable call to action, driving customer behavior.

*Editor’s Note: This is a quote from William Shakespeare

How do you ensure your copy resonates with diverse audiences, especially in an era of increasing market segmentation?

Read more…

Daniel Burstein

AI-driven Marketing Insights: Interview with a ‘marketing professor’ who can help train your team

March 1st, 2024
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On my marketing podcast, I have in-depth conversations with marketing leaders. Given the recent release of expert assistants by MECLABS AI (MECLABS is the umbrella organization of MarketingSherpa) I thought it would be interesting to ‘chat’ with these ‘experts.’ You can read my conversation with Marketing Professor below.

A little gimmicky? Somewhat, yet. But, it’s worth noting that this aligns perfectly with the intended purpose of these expert assistants. Imagine having the ability to get personalized help from a marketing expert. That’s now a reality, with the added perks of instantaneous responses and no cost (at least for the time being).

MECLABS has long been known for it courses, and while you can still take our free digital marketing course, the Marketing Professor expert assistant can customize training for you and your team.

Here’s where to find the Marketing Professor expert assistant in MECLABS AI:

Creative Sample #1: Navigating to the expert assistant feature in MECLABS AI

Creative Sample #1: Navigating to the expert assistant feature in MECLABS AI

Now, let’s delve into what insights we can gather on marketing training and marketing in general. Typically, for a human interviewee, I’d note that responses have been refined for clarity and brevity, and in this case, I’ve barely touched the responses.

Read more…