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The 20 Best Video Editing Apps for 2022

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The 20 Best Video Editing Apps for 2022

Using a video editing app is critical for creating a winning video marketing strategy. And if you’re reading this blog post, chances are you already know you should incorporate more video content into your marketing, especially after the rise of remote work.But like most new strategies, you’ll need to prove its ROI before you get a budget. And that can be tricky because to make a great video, you need a few things — like a camera and editing software. You might already have a high-quality camera built into your smartphone, but editing your raw footage and preparing it for publication requires a third-party mobile app. You might even need to hop on the computer for the more extensive post-production projects.

The good news: There are several free and inexpensive video editing apps you can download that run the gamut from super simple to Hollywood-level powerful. In this post we will delve into the best video apps for every device and click one of the links below to jump to a specific type of app, or keep reading to learn about them all.

Editing Apps for Videos: Standard Features

Every editing app will be different, but there are a few features you’ll want to look for. Because most apps will have a free and paid version, it’s important to know what’s essential and what might be worth an upgrade.

For every video app whether paid or free, it will include:

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  • Scrubbing through video as you edit.
  • Choosing an aspect ratio that fits with your target platform (Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, etc.).
  • Adding text and shapes along with professional transitions throughout the shots.
  • Exporting video with at least 480p quality with high definition exports up to 4k.
  • Adding music to the video via stock music or your library.

The following solutions can help you make video magic — whether your video is meant for Instagram, YouTube, or a similar channel where your audience is hungry for content.

Instagram Video Editing Apps

The following apps allow you to edit and quickly upload beautiful videos to Instagram. None of these apps are limited to Instagram but are known for their support of this social network.

1. Magisto

Price: Starts at free | Platforms: iOS, Android, Online

Best Video Editing Apps for Instagram: Magisto

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Video automation is here — in the form of the Magisto video editor.

Owned by Vimeo, Magisto allows you to make incredible videos without ever leaving your smartphone in three easy steps: First, you’ll choose your video editing style (the type of story you’re telling), then you’ll choose the photos and video clips you’d like included, and lastly, you’ll pick your music from Magisto’s built-in music library.

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Using artificial intelligence (AI), this intuitive app helps organize your footage in a video that best delivers the message you have in mind. Why not stop at the free version? Upgrade to Premium or Professional for a small monthly fee and make longer movies with more of your own content.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use templates for hassle-free creation
  • Intuitive, beginner-friendly interface
  • Online version available for creating both on Windows and macOS laptops
  • Professional and Business plans come with a free Vimeo Pro subscription

Cons

  • The “Created with Magisto” watermark will be visible unless you upgrade to premium
  • No multi-track editing or 4K exporting
  • Ideal for very short social media videos (< 3 minutes long)
  • Stock videos are only accessible with a Professional plan

2. Hyperlapse

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS

Hyperlapse is an app created by Instagram itself that condenses videos into brief, hyper-speed videos that you can upload to Instagram or Facebook.

You can choose among a few different speeds, and the app will show you how long the hyperlapse video will be for every speed in comparison to the length of the video in real-time. (So a 40-second video in real-time will become roughly a 7-second video in Hyperlapse at 6X speed.) It’s a cool way to capture something that usually lasts a while — like a sunset or an event setup.

See what happened when I used Hyperlapse to film daybreak at 12X in the video above.

Pros

  • It’s an easy way to speed up process videos.
  • Use a minimal layout that’s nearly identical to the iPhone camera.
  • You can capture videos straight from the app.
  • No sign-in is required to get started.

Cons

  • It only has one capability: speeding up videos
  • You can’t import already-filmed videos into the app
  • The video saves to your camera roll, taking up storage space
  • No multi-track editing, 4K exporting, or other features typically associated with apps for video editing

3. Wondershare Filmora

Price: Starts at free on mobile | Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows

Best Video Editing Apps for Instagram: Wondershare FilmoraImage Source

Wondershare Filmora (formerly Wondershare Video Editor) is the perfect option if you want to start with basic video editing functionality with the opportunity to get more advanced as you go. The app is perfect for Instagram but can create audience-ready videos for numerous platforms.

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Filmora is available for Windows and Mac computers, whereas the company’s FilmoraGo mobile app is free to download for both iOS and Android devices.

Filmora’s “Easy Mode” strips away the complexity so you can drag and drop video clips, add some music, and produce a finished video in a matter of minutes. The FilmoraGo app has many of these features, plus an Effect Store where you can incorporate preset intros, themes, and transitions into your video creation.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, you’re right: The free version of Wondershare Filmora adds a watermark to your videos that you can only remove through upgrading to their paid service.

Pros

  • This app is a powerful option for both beginner and advanced video editors.
  • The desktop version offers multi-track editing and more traditional video editing capabilities.
  • The mobile version includes easy-to-use effects, stickers, and filters.
  • You can layer music and different sounds in the mobile app.
  • Relatively affordable (starting at less than $50 per year for Filmora X, and free for the mobile app) compared to competitors such as Adobe.

Cons

  • The desktop apps are not free, but a trial is available.
  • Videos are watermarked with the Wondershare branding unless you upgrade to a premium plan.

4. InShot

Price: Starts at free | Platforms: iOS, Android

There are times when you just want to edit a video — no fancy collages and no splicing. For that, there’s InShot, a handy app that lets you trim, speed up, or add music and filters to video. It’s pretty fundamental, but with that comes a high ease of use. You can also add a background if you like, though we think it’s pretty cool to have an overlap of images — like we did with the video above.

I took a simple video of a tranquil beach scene, but enhanced it with InShot’s “warm filter” and added a fitting musical track to it — a song called “Pikake Stream,” by Kalani. (I recommend viewing the video in its entirety with headphones, especially if you’re having a stressful day.)

Pros

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  • It’s a great app for beginners and marketers who don’t have a lot of time for intensive video editing.
  • Built-in music library with royalty-free options.
  • You can add voice-overs and your music.
  • The app has a 4.8-star rating on the Apple Store and over 1M ratings.

Cons

  • There’s no desktop app available.
  • Filters and stickers are only available with a paid subscription.
  • Your video will be watermarked unless you upgrade to the paid version.

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Top Free Video Editing Software

The following tools are the most versatile mobile apps of all the free software listed in this article.

1. WeVideo

Price: Starts at free | Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome OS

Top Free Video Editing Software: WeVideo

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Cloud-based video editing software (i.e., software that you access via a browser instead of downloading directly to your hard drive) is growing more and more popular. One of the programs leading the charge is WeVideo.

WeVideo offers some advanced features and functionality, including audio editing capabilities, a library of commercially licensed music, and the ability to share videos in 4K resolution. However, the free version of WeVideo isn’t without its limitations.

One major downside is that you’re only given 10GB of cloud storage. If you’re making a one-off video, this is fine. But if you’re planning to edit multiple videos, you’ll need more space. The free version also puts a WeVideo watermark on your videos, which isn’t ideal.

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WeVideo is also available as a desktop computer product and comes with free and paid plans. For a complete breakdown of the differences between these plans, check out WeVideo’s pricing page.

Pros

  • You can access your videos from any device
  • Paid versions are relatively cheap (starting at $4.99 for the Power version)
  • 4K exporting available

Cons

  • Only 10GB of storage and 5 minutes of published video are available on the free version
  • The maximum resolution is 480p on the free subscription
  • Your video will be watermarked with WeVideo’s branding unless you upgrade

2. Splice

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS

Splice allows you — as the name suggests — to splice together different video clips on your phone to create a moving collage.

We had a lot of fun playing with this one, especially since Splice even contains a library of musical tracks that can be used as a background for your finished product. You can also use the app to trim and edit the different pieces of video and customize transition lengths from one scene to the next.

My colleague, Amanda Zantal-Wiener, experimented with Splice by compiling the above 15-second video of her dog — using only an iPhone 6.

Pros

  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Familiar user-friendly interface
  • Multi-track and timeline editing with layers and masks
  • No sign-in required
  • No watermark, even for free subscribers

Cons

  • Subscription starts at $2.99/week, or $12.97/month, which is pricier than other alternatives
  • Effects and music are only available for paid subscribers

3. Adobe Premiere Rush

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS, Android

Top Free Video Editing Software: Adobe Premiere Rush

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Adobe’s popular video editor, Premiere, isn’t just available on your mobile device — it’s free.

Melissa Stoneburner of Examiner.com calls this app a “gateway” into the full Adobe Premiere Pro video editor for desktop, and we can see this for ourselves. Similar to Magisto (the first video editor on our list), Adobe Rush automatically sets your video to the music of your choice (using Premiere Rush’s library or your own), and offers a Freeform editor that allows you to customize your edits further after this initial audio sync.

Premiere Rush’s equally robust video editing features help you trim, drag, and drop multiple video and image clips — right from your mobile device’s photo and video album — in the order you’d like.

Then, just add proper lighting, manipulate the speed of the video, and share your final product directly on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Pros

  • It’s a natural choice for current Adobe users.
  • Premiere rush offers a familiar video editing interface for those with experience and an easier learning curve for beginners.
  • The paid version supports 4K exports.

Cons

  • Some users report exporting and crashing issues on the Android version.
  • Limited storage capabilities (<100GB) for free users

4. PicPlayPost

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS, Android

We’ve already covered the coolness of photo collages. But what if you could make a video collage? PicPlayPost is a simple app that lets you do exactly that. Just remember that the sound from both videos will play at the same time, so be sure they won’t clash with one another.

There are many uses for a video collage app, but my colleague, Lindsay Kolowich, particularly likes the way fitness professional Melissa Made uses it on her Instagram account. She posts video collages with her performing a workout on one side, while she explains the workout out loud on the other.

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Pros

  • You can create alternative formats such as gifs and live photos
  • 4K exporting available

Cons

  • Most valuable features are available on the paid version only
  • You can’t paste text from another app
  • Video will be watermarked with the PicPlayPost branding unless you upgrade

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube

Although the video editing services below do not offer mobile versions, they do offer easy-to-learn functionality at minimal cost. These apps are the best for sitting down at your computer and editing amazing video content for your YouTube channel.

1. Blender

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: Blender

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The open-source program Blender is more than just a video editor: It’s a full-blown 3D animation suite, which allows for modeling, rendering, motion tracking, and more.

On the video editing side, there are a ton of features, including transitions, speed control, filters, adjustment layers, and more. There are also 32 slots available for adding video clips, audio clips, images, and effects, which means you can produce some incredibly complex video.

For the amateur video editor, all the options can be a bit overwhelming. But if you’re looking to produce truly professional-quality video — without having to deal with watermarks — Blender is a solid option. The best part: “You are free to use Blender for any purpose, including commercially or for education,” according to its website. For the fine print, check out its licensing info.

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Pros

  • Blender has a long history of use across multiple platforms.
  • You can render, model, sculpt, and animate using this app.

Cons

  • There’s a steep learning curve for beginners.

2. Lightworks

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: Lighthouse

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Like Blender, Lightworks is definitely on the more advanced (and powerful) end of the video editing software spectrum. In fact, it’s a program that’s been used to edit some well-known and award-winning films, including Pulp Fiction, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The King’s Speech.

There are two different licenses you can choose from with Lightworks: “Free” and “Pro.” (The latter of which, as you might have guessed, requires that you cough up some cash.) The main difference between the two licenses is that the Pro version offers more features, including stereoscopic output and advanced project sharing. But the free version is still quite powerful, providing 100+ effects and supporting multicam editing.

Pros

  • Like Blender, Lightworks has a long history of use across multiple platforms.
  • You can access royalty-free videos and audio from the desktop app.
  • You can export up to 4K.
  • Multi-track editing and timelines, even in the free version.
  • You can buy a lifetime license for $437.99 and never worry about renewing a subscription.

Cons

  • There’s an extremely steep learning curve for beginners.
  • Limited options for creating titles and subtitles.
  • Users have reported formatting issues when importing video clips.

3. Shotcut

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: Shotcut

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Shotcut is another open-source video software — and it’s completely free. It’s possible to use Shotcut to create professional-looking videos, but the interface is tricky to use. Perhaps that’s because it was originally developed for the Linux platform, which looks and feels a lot different from the typical Windows or Mac UX.

With dedication — and time spent in the Shotcut frequently asked questions and how-to guide sections — it’s possible to use this software to create and export high-quality videos, completely for free.

Pros

  • It’s completely free—you never have to upgrade, ever.
  • The diverse list of features rivals those of paid apps.

Cons

  • Shotcut could be difficult to get the hang of at first.
  • Some users find the UI difficult to navigate.
  • It’s less intuitive compared to other apps such as Premiere Pro and FinalCut, even for experienced editors.

4. VSDC Free Video Editor

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows Only

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: VSDC Free Video Editor

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In experienced hands, the VSDC Free Video Editor can produce professional-looking videos. In addition to supporting nearly every major video format, the program offers advanced video effects, including object transformation and color correction, as well as advanced audio effects like volume correction and sound normalization. And unlike WeVideo, the VSDC Free Video Editor is truly free. You can use the program’s full feature set without having to deal with pesky watermarks.

Unfortunately, there is one catch. If you want technical support, you need to pay. (And because there is a bit of a learning curve, there’s a good chance you’ll need assistance.) Support for the VSDC Free Video Editor costs $9.99 for one month and $14.99 for one year.

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Pros

  • The free version is packed with typically premium features such as masking, blending modes, and 4K exports.
  • You can share your video directly from the app to YouTube, Vimeo, and other platforms.

Cons

  • You have to pay for support if you’re using the free version.
  • Not as user-friendly as other alternatives.
  • Users have reported a steep learning curve.

5. Machete Video Editor Lite

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows Only

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: Machete Video Editor Lite

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At the simple end of the spectrum is Machete Video Editor Lite, a free program allowing you to cut, copy, and paste different sections of video. As the Machete website puts it, Video Editor Lite was “designed for quick and simple ‘slicing’ of your video files.”

The program’s intuitive interface means you won’t have to waste time shuffling through technical support documents. And because Video Editor Lite doesn’t re-encode your video files when you slice them, you don’t have to worry about losing video quality.

The main downsides to the program? It only supports the AVI and WMV video formats, and it doesn’t allow for audio editing. Still, if you have zero video editing experience and only need to make simple edits, it’s a great option.

Pros

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  • This app offers simple but powerful slicing and editing capabilities.
  • It’s an incredibly simple and user-friendly interface; simply download and go.

Cons

  • You can only export AVI and WMV files.
  • You can’t edit or replace the audio.
  • The website is outdated with limited support documents.

6. Avidemux

Price: Free | Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: Avidemux

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Like Machete Video Editor Lite, Avidemux allows you to do basic video editing (no audio editing) without having to worry about losing video quality. But Avidemux also has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

For starters, the program supports multiple video formats, including AVI, DVD, MPEG, QuickTime, and MP4. What’s more, Avidemux comes with several filters that allow you to perform a host of different functions, from flipping and rotating clips, to adding subtitles, to adjusting colors and brightness levels.

And while the learning curve for Avidemux is slightly steeper compared to Machete Video Editor Lite, the upside is that there’s an extensive Avidemux wiki that covers everything you need to know.

Pros

  • Supports multiple file formats such as AVI, MPEG, MP4, and Microsoft’s proprietary ASF
  • Simple interface that’s best for tasks such as cutting and splicing footage
  • Easy learning curve; simply download and start using

Cons

  • Limited capabilities compared to other apps (especially mobile apps)

7. HitFilm

Price: Starts at free | Platforms: Windows, macOS

Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube: HitFilm

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HitFilm Express is a free video editing and visual effects software — which means you can use it to add more than 180 special effects to your videos, including 3D editing.

Possibly the coolest HitFilm feature is its wealth of tutorial videos — users can practice applying special visual effects in movie tutorials based on Star Wars, Westworld, and more.

Of course, upgrading to HitFilm Pro grants access to more visual effects, better high resolution and 3D rendering, and better audio syncing between audio and video files. It costs $300, but if you’re not ready to fully invest, HitFilm Express users can purchase lower-cost expansions to use more tools in their software.

To see the complete list of differences between HitFilm Free and Pro, check out their “Compare Versions” page.

Pros

  • Powerful capabilities such as mask rendering, export queues, and unlimited tracks and transitions
  • Built-in voice recorder for easy voice-overs
  • Has been described as a mix between Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro

Cons

  • Beginners may experience a learning curve.
  • Some users have reported crashing issues.

Video Editing Apps for Android

These video editing apps are particularly appealing for Android mobile users, though some of them are compatible with more than just the Android operating system.

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1. VideoShow

Price: Free | Platforms: Android, iOS

Video Editing Apps for Android: VideoShow

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VideoShow allows you to edit video content in many creative ways beyond cutting and pasting scenes together. The award-winning app, which has more than 400 million users, allows you to include text overlays, stickers, music, filters, and sound effects in your footage. Because of these features, it lends itself to video producers who want to add a bit more creativity to a vlog series, where the video is primarily of one person speaking directly to the camera.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use yet powerful, with HD exports available for free users
  • Expansive music library

Cons

  • Your video will be watermarked with VideoShow branding if you’re not on the paid version
  • You can’t export the video without upgrading to the paid version

2. PowerDirector

Price: Free | Platforms: Android, Windows, macOS

Video Editing Apps for Android PowerDirector

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This robust video editor has a suite of creative design tools just for Android and desktop users. Developed by CyberLink, the app can help you create 4K-quality videos from footage taken with numerous devices. Special features include motion tracking, which helps you focus on specific subjects in each frame; video collages, which help you piece together numerous photos into a motion video; and video stabilization, allowing you to remove moments of “shaky camera” in your footage. PowerDirector can also help you add voiceovers and creative sound effects using chroma key.

Many of PowerDirector’s features are completely free in the Android app. For a more advanced suite of editing tools, you can invest in one of CyberLink’s paid products starting at $99.

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Pros

  • Powerful features such as green screen editing, motion graphics, and keyframe controls
  • Incredibly low price compared to competitors such as Adobe
  • Multi-track editing and timelines
  • The company constantly adds new graphics and templates for users to choose from

Cons

  • Some users have reported that it can be buggy

3. Quik

Price: Free | Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows

Video Editing Apps for Android: Quik

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Quik is a video editing tool developed by GoPro, making it the software of choice for people who are editing footage from their GoPro camera. But yes, it can edit content from any source.

The app can manage up to 75 photos and video clips in one project, and can even comb through this content to help you make smart editing decisions based on what the app detects in the footage. From time-lapses to panoramic pieces, Quik can manipulate your media in lots of creative ways. The app has more than 20 preset themes to choose from and supports eight common file types.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use and intuitive app
  • Automatically imports photos from your camera

Cons

  • This software no longer receives updates from its manufacturer
  • You only have access to the cloud when you upgrade to GoPro PLUS

4. KineMaster

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS, Android, ChromeOS

Video Editing Apps for Android: Kine Master

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KineMaster is a super-versatile video editing tool that allows you to edit videos on “multiple layers.” What does that mean? Content creators can add an unlimited amount of text overlays, images, audio, and even free handwriting onto their footage for the artistic detail they or their brand needs. You can also blend multiple pieces of footage and use double-exposures to customize the background in a load of creative ways.

For simpler editing tasks, of course, this app offers intuitive trimming and splitting features to make your video progress just the way you want it to.

Pros

  • Powerful features such as multi-track editing, layers, and blending modes
  • Over 3M reviews on Google Play and an average rating of 4.5 stars
  • You can share on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook straight from the app
  • 4K exports available

Cons

  • Your video will be watermarked with the KineMaster branding if you don’t upgrade to Premium
  • Limited access to assets on the free version

5. VivaVideo

Price: Free | Platforms: iOS, Android

Video Editing Apps for Android: VivaVideo

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VivaVideo makes professional-level edits easy for content creators. Free for all mobile devices, the app allows you to trim, merge, speed up, slow down, and reverse clips and images in a short amount of time. The app also comes with a simple collage- and slideshow-maker and offers a variety of camera lenses to capture new, edit-ready footage directly in the app.

Pros

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  • Fun on-trend filters, templates, and effects
  • Expansive music library with hundreds of clips to choose from
  • Multi-track editing allows you to layer voice clips and music

Cons

  • The five-minute time limit for videos

With most people working from home, the importance of video can’t be overstated. But unless you get the right app for video editing, you’ll run the risk of publishing videos that look unprofessional and unpolished.

With these apps, you’ll be sure to create a video that attracts, converts, and delights your audience. The sooner you download one, the sooner you can sharpen your audio/video creation skills and attract more people to your brand.

Create Better Videos for a Higher ROI

Online video content isn’t just watched more — it’s expected more. Luckily, you have the video editing tools to help you delight your audience and improve conversion rates across your social media accounts. Grab the guide below to make the video learning curve easier and to jumpstart your video marketing efforts.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 


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MARKETING

5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

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5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

I’ve tested 100s of psychological tactics on my email subscribers. In this blog, I reveal the five tactics that actually work.

You’ll learn about the email tactic that got one marketer a job at the White House.

You’ll learn how I doubled my 5 star reviews with one email, and why one strange email from Barack Obama broke all records for donations.

→ Download Now: The Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing [Free Ebook]

5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Imagine writing an email that’s so effective it lands you a job at the White House.

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Well, that’s what happened to Maya Shankar, a PhD cognitive neuroscientist. In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs asked her to help increase signups in their veteran benefit scheme.

Maya had a plan. She was well aware of a cognitive bias that affects us all—the endowment effect. This bias suggests that people value items higher if they own them. So, she changed the subject line in the Veterans’ enrollment email.

Previously it read:

  • Veterans, you’re eligible for the benefit program. Sign up today.

She tweaked one word, changing it to:

  • Veterans, you’ve earned the benefits program. Sign up today.

This tiny tweak had a big impact. The amount of veterans enrolling in the program went up by 9%. And Maya landed a job working at the White House

Boost participation email graphic

Inspired by these psychological tweaks to emails, I started to run my own tests.

Alongside my podcast Nudge, I’ve run 100s of email tests on my 1,000s of newsletter subscribers.

Here are the five best tactics I’ve uncovered.

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1. Show readers what they’re missing.

Nobel prize winning behavioral scientists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky uncovered a principle called loss aversion.

Loss aversion means that losses feel more painful than equivalent gains. In real-world terms, losing $10 feels worse than how gaining $10 feels good. And I wondered if this simple nudge could help increase the number of my podcast listeners.

For my test, I tweaked the subject line of the email announcing an episode. The control read:

“Listen to this one”

In the loss aversion variant it read:

“Don’t miss this one”

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It is very subtle loss aversion. Rather than asking someone to listen, I’m saying they shouldn’t miss out. And it worked. It increased the open rate by 13.3% and the click rate by 12.5%. Plus, it was a small change that cost me nothing at all.

Growth mindset email analytics

2. People follow the crowd.

In general, humans like to follow the masses. When picking a dish, we’ll often opt for the most popular. When choosing a movie to watch, we tend to pick the box office hit. It’s a well-known psychological bias called social proof.

I’ve always wondered if it works for emails. So, I set up an A/B experiment with two subject lines. Both promoted my show, but one contained social proof.

The control read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws

The social proof variant read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws (100,000 Downloads)

I hoped that by highlighting the episode’s high number of downloads, I’d encourage more people to listen. Fortunately, it worked.

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The open rate went from 22% to 28% for the social proof version, and the click rate, (the number of people actually listening to the episode), doubled.

3. Praise loyal subscribers.

The consistency principle suggests that people are likely to stick to behaviours they’ve previously taken. A retired taxi driver won’t swap his car for a bike. A hairdresser won’t change to a cheap shampoo. We like to stay consistent with our past behaviors.

I decided to test this in an email.

For my test, I attempted to encourage my subscribers to leave a review for my podcast. I sent emails to 400 subscribers who had been following the show for a year.

The control read: “Could you leave a review for Nudge?”

The consistency variant read: “You’ve been following Nudge for 12 months, could you leave a review?”

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My hypothesis was simple. If I remind people that they’ve consistently supported the show they’ll be more likely to leave a review.

It worked.

The open rate on the consistency version of the email was 7% higher.

But more importantly, the click rate, (the number of people who actually left a review), was almost 2x higher for the consistency version. Merely telling people they’d been a fan for a while doubled my reviews.

4. Showcase scarcity.

We prefer scarce resources. Taylor Swift gigs sell out in seconds not just because she’s popular, but because her tickets are hard to come by.

Swifties aren’t the first to experience this. Back in 1975, three researchers proved how powerful scarcity is. For the study, the researchers occupied a cafe. On alternating weeks they’d make one small change in the cafe.

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On some weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar was full.

On other weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar only contained two cookies (never more or less).

In other words, sometimes the cookies looked abundantly available. Sometimes they looked like they were almost out.

This changed behaviour. Customers who saw the two cookie jar bought 43% more cookies than those who saw the full jar.

It sounds too good to be true, so I tested it for myself.

I sent an email to 260 subscribers offering free access to my Science of Marketing course for one day only.

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In the control, the subject line read: “Free access to the Science of Marketing course”

For the scarcity variant it read: “Only Today: Get free access to the Science of Marketing Course | Only one enrol per person.”

130 people received the first email, 130 received the second. And the result was almost as good as the cookie finding. The scarcity version had a 15.1% higher open rate.

Email A/B test results

5. Spark curiosity.

All of the email tips I’ve shared have only been tested on my relatively small audience. So, I thought I’d end with a tip that was tested on the masses.

Back in 2012, Barack Obama and his campaign team sent hundreds of emails to raise funds for his campaign.

Of the $690 million he raised, most came from direct email appeals. But there was one email, according to ABC news, that was far more effective than the rest. And it was an odd one.

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The email that drew in the most cash, had a strange subject line. It simply said “Hey.”

The actual email asked the reader to donate, sharing all the expected reasons, but the subject line was different.

It sparked curiosity, it got people wondering, is Obama saying Hey just to me?

Readers were curious and couldn’t help but open the email. According to ABC it was “the most effective pitch of all.”

Because more people opened, it raised more money than any other email. The bias Obama used here is the curiosity gap. We’re more likely to act on something when our curiosity is piqued.

Email example

Loss aversion, social proof, consistency, scarcity and curiosity—all these nudges have helped me improve my emails. And I reckon they’ll work for you.

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It’s not guaranteed of course. Many might fail. But running some simple a/b tests for your emails is cost free, so why not try it out?

This blog is part of Phill Agnew’s Marketing Cheat Sheet series where he reveals the scientifically proven tips to help you improve your marketing. To learn more, listen to his podcast Nudge, a proud member of the Hubspot Podcast Network.

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The power of program management in martech

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The power of program management in martech

As a supporter of the program perspective for initiatives, I recognize the value of managing related projects, products and activities as a unified entity. 

While one-off projects have their place, they often involve numerous moving parts and in my experience, using a project-based approach can lead to crucial elements being overlooked. This is particularly true when building a martech stack or developing content, for example, where a program-based approach can ensure that all aspects are considered and properly integrated. 

For many CMOs and marketing organizations, programs are becoming powerful tools for aligning diverse initiatives and driving strategic objectives. Let’s explore the essential role of programs in product management, project management and marketing operations, bridging technical details with business priorities. 

Programs in product management

Product management is a fascinating domain where programs operate as a strategic framework, coordinating related products or product lines to meet specific business objectives.

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Product managers are responsible for defining a product or product line’s strategy, roadmap and features. They work closely with program managers, who ensure alignment with market demands, customer needs and the company’s overall vision by managing offerings at a program level. 

Program managers optimize the product portfolio, make strategic decisions about resource allocation and ensure that each product contributes to the program’s goals. One key aspect of program management in product management is identifying synergies between products. 

Program managers can drive innovation and efficiency across the portfolio by leveraging shared technologies, customer insights, or market trends. This approach enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions, seize emerging opportunities and maintain a competitive advantage. Product managers, in turn, use these insights to shape the direction of individual products.

Moreover, programs in product management facilitate cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Program managers foster a holistic understanding of customer needs and market dynamics by bringing together teams from various departments, such as engineering, marketing and sales.

Product managers also play a crucial role in this collaborative approach, ensuring that all stakeholders work towards common goals, ultimately leading to more successful product launches and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Dig deeper: Understanding different product roles in marketing technology acquisition

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Programs in project management

In project management, programs provide a structured approach for managing related projects as a unified entity, supporting broader strategic objectives. Project managers are responsible for planning, executing and closing individual projects within a program. They focus on specific deliverables, timelines and budgets. 

On the other hand, program managers oversee these projects’ coordination, dependencies and outcomes, ensuring they collectively deliver the desired benefits and align with the organization’s strategic goals.

A typical example of a program in project management is a martech stack optimization initiative. Such a program may involve integrating marketing technology tools and platforms, implementing customer data management systems and training employees on the updated technologies. Project managers would be responsible for the day-to-day management of each project. 

In contrast, the program manager ensures a cohesive approach, minimizes disruptions and realizes the full potential of the martech investments to improve marketing efficiency, personalization and ROI.

The benefits of program management in project management are numerous. Program managers help organizations prioritize initiatives that deliver the greatest value by aligning projects with strategic objectives. They also identify and mitigate risks that span multiple projects, ensuring that issues in one area don’t derail the entire program. Project managers, in turn, benefit from this oversight and guidance, as they can focus on successfully executing their projects.

Additionally, program management enables efficient resource allocation, as skills and expertise can be shared across projects, reducing duplication of effort and maximizing value. Project managers can leverage these resources and collaborate with other project teams to achieve their objectives more effectively.

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Dig deeper: Combining martech projects: 5 questions to ask

Programs in marketing operations

In marketing operations, programs play a vital role in integrating and managing various marketing activities to achieve overarching goals. Marketing programs encompass multiple initiatives, such as advertising, content marketing, social media and event planning. Organizations ensure consistent messaging, strategic alignment, and measurable results by managing these activities as a cohesive program.

In marketing operations, various roles, such as MOps managers, campaign managers, content managers, digital marketing managers and analytics managers, collaborate to develop and execute comprehensive marketing plans that support the organization’s business objectives. 

These professionals work closely with cross-functional teams, including creative, analytics and sales, to ensure that all marketing efforts are coordinated and optimized for maximum impact. This involves setting clear goals, defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies based on data-driven insights.

One of the primary benefits of a programmatic approach in marketing operations is maintaining a consistent brand voice and message across all channels. By establishing guidelines and standards for content creation, visual design and customer interactions, marketing teams ensure that the brand’s identity remains cohesive and recognizable. This consistency builds customer trust, reinforces brand loyalty and drives business growth.

Programs in marketing operations enable organizations to take a holistic approach to customer engagement. By analyzing customer data and feedback across various touchpoints, marketing professionals can identify opportunities for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience. This customer-centric approach leads to increased satisfaction, higher retention rates and more effective marketing investments.

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Dig deeper: Mastering the art of goal setting in marketing operations

Embracing the power of programs for long-term success

We’ve explored how programs enable marketing organizations to drive strategic success and create lasting impact by aligning diverse initiatives across product management, project management and marketing operations. 

  • Product management programs facilitate cross-functional collaboration and ensure alignment with market demands. 
  • In project management, they provide a structured approach for managing related projects and mitigating risks. 
  • In marketing operations, programs enable consistent messaging and a customer-centric approach to engagement.

Program managers play a vital role in maintaining strategic alignment, continuously assessing progress and adapting to changes in the business environment. Keeping programs aligned with long-term objectives maximizes ROI and drives sustainable growth.

Organizations that invest in developing strong program management capabilities will be better positioned to optimize resources, foster innovation and achieve their long-term goals.



As a CMO or marketing leader, it is important to recognize the strategic value of programs and champion their adoption across your organization. By aligning efforts across various domains, you can unlock the full potential of your initiatives and drive meaningful results. Try it, you’ll like it.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Before we dive into the second way to assume power in your business, let’s revisit Part 1. 

Who informs your marketing strategy? 

YOU, with your carefully curated strategy informed by data and deep knowledge of your brand and audience? Or any of the 3 Cs below? 

  • Competitors: Their advertising and digital presence and seemingly never-ending budgets consume the landscape.
  • Colleagues: Their tried-and-true proven tactics or lessons learned.
  • Customers: Their calls, requests, and ideas. 

Considering any of the above is not bad, in fact, it can be very wise! However, listening quickly becomes devastating if it lends to their running our business or marketing department. 

It’s time we move from defense to offense, sitting in the driver’s seat rather than allowing any of the 3 Cs to control. 

It is one thing to learn from and entirely another to be controlled by. 

In Part 1, we explored how knowing what we want is critical to regaining power.

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1) Knowing what you want protects the bottom line.

2) Knowing what you want protects you from the 3 Cs. 

3) Knowing what you want protects you from running on auto-pilot.

You can read Part 1 here; in the meantime, let’s dive in! 

How to Regain Control of Your Business: Knowing Who You Are

Vertical alignment is a favorite concept of mine, coined over the last two years throughout my personal journey of knowing self. 

Consider the diagram below.

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Vertical alignment is the state of internal being centered with who you are at your core. 

Horizontal alignment is the state of external doing engaged with the world around you.

In a state of vertical alignment, your business operates from its core center, predicated on its mission, values, and brand. It is authentic and confident and cuts through the noise because it is entirely unique from every competitor in the market. 

From this vertical alignment, your business is positioned for horizontal alignment to fulfill the integrity of its intended services, instituted processes, and promised results. 

A strong brand is not only differentiated in the market by its vertical alignment but delivers consistently and reliably in terms of its products, offerings, and services and also in terms of the customer experience by its horizontal alignment. 

Let’s examine what knowing who you are looks like in application, as well as some habits to implement with your team to strengthen vertical alignment. 

1) Knowing who You are Protects You from Horizontal Voices. 

The strength of “Who We Are” predicates the ability to maintain vertical alignment when something threatens your stability. When a colleague proposes a tactic that is not aligned with your values. When the customer comes calling with ideas that will knock you off course as bandwidth is limited or the budget is tight. 

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I was on a call with a gal from my Mastermind when I mentioned a retreat I am excited to launch in the coming months. 

I shared that I was considering its positioning, given its curriculum is rooted in emotional intelligence (EQ) to inform personal brand development. The retreat serves C-Suite, but as EQ is not a common conversation among this audience, I was considering the best positioning. 

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She advised, “Sell them solely on the business aspects, and then sneak attack with the EQ when they’re at the retreat!” 

At first blush, it sounds reasonable. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase, “Sell the people what they want, give them what they need,” is popular.

Horizontal advice and counsel can produce a wealth of knowledge. However, we must always approach the horizontal landscape – the external – powered by vertical alignment – centered internally with the core of who we are. 

Upon considering my values of who I am and the vision of what I want for this event, I realized the lack of transparency is not in alignment with my values nor setting the right expectations for the experience.

Sure, maybe I would get more sales; however, my bottom line — what I want — is not just sales. I want transformation on an emotional level. I want C-Suite execs to leave powered from a place of emotional intelligence to decrease decisions made out of alignment with who they are or executing tactics rooted in guilt, not vision. 

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Ultimately, one of my core values is authenticity, and I must make business decisions accordingly. 

2) Knowing who You are Protects You from Reactivity.

Operating from vertical alignment maintains focus on the bottom line and the strategy to achieve it. From this position, you are protected from reacting to the horizontal pressures of the 3 Cs: Competitors, Colleagues, and Customers. 

This does not mean you do not adjust tactics or learn. 

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However, your approach to adjustments is proactive direction, not reactive deviations. To do this, consider the following questions:

First: How does their (any one of the 3 Cs) tactic measure against my proven track record of success?

If your colleague promotes adding newsletters to your strategy, lean in and ask, “Why?” 

  • What are their outcomes? 
  • What metrics are they tracking for success? 
  • What is their bottom line against yours? 
  • How do newsletters fit into their strategy and stage(s) of the customer journey? 

Always consider your historical track record of success first and foremost. 

Have you tried newsletters in the past? Is their audience different from yours? Why are newsletters good for them when they did not prove profitable for you? 

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Operate with your head up and your eyes open. 

Maintain focus on your bottom line and ask questions. Revisit your data, and don’t just take their word for it. 

2. Am I allocating time in my schedule?

I had coffee with the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, who built the empire that it is today. 

He could not emphasize more how critical it is to allocate time for thinking. Just being — not doing — and thinking about your business or department. 

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Especially for senior leaders or business owners, but even still for junior staff. 

The time and space to be fosters creative thinking, new ideas, and energy. Some of my best campaigns are conjured on a walk or in the shower. 

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Kasim Aslam, founder of the world’s #1 Google Ads agency and a dear friend of mine, is a machine when it comes to hacks and habits. He encouraged me to take an audit of my calendar over the last 30 days to assess how I spend time. 

“Create three buckets,” he said. “Organize them by the following:

  • Tasks that Generate Revenue
  • Tasks that Cost Me Money
  • Tasks that Didn’t Earn Anything”

He and I chatted after I completed this exercise, and I added one to the list: Tasks that are Life-Giving. 

Friends — if we are running empty, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, our creative and strategic wherewithal will be significantly diminished. We are holistic creatures and, therefore, must nurture our mind, body, soul, and spirit to maintain optimum capacity for impact. 

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I shared this hack with a friend of mine. Not only did she identify meetings that were costing her money and thus needed to be eliminated, but she also identified that particular meetings could actually turn revenue-generating! She spent a good amount of time each month facilitating introductions; now, she is adding Strategic Partnerships to her suite of services. 


ACTION: Analyze your calendar’s last 30-60 days against the list above. 

Include what is life-giving! 

How are you spending your time? What is the data showing you? Are you on the path to achieving what you want and living in alignment with who you want to be?

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Share with your team or business partner for the purpose of accountability, and implement practical changes accordingly. 


Finally, remember: If you will not protect your time, no one else will. 

3) Knowing who You are Protects You from Lack. 

“What are you proud of?” someone asked me last year. 

“Nothing!” I reply too quickly. “I know I’m not living up to my potential or operating in the full capacity I could be.” 

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They looked at me in shock. “You need to read The Gap And The Gain.”

I silently rolled my eyes.

I already knew the premise of the book, or I thought I did. I mused: My vision is so big, and I have so much to accomplish. The thought of solely focusing on “my wins” sounded like an excuse to abdicate personal responsibility. 

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But I acquiesced. 

The premise of this book is to measure one’s self from where they started and the success from that place to where they are today — the gains — rather than from where they hope to get and the seemingly never-ending distance — the gap.

Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan encourage changing perspectives to assign success, considering the starting point rather than the destination.

The book opens with the following story:

Dan Jensen was an Olympic speed skater, notably the fastest in the world. But in each game spanning a decade, Jansen could not catch a break. “Flukes” — even tragedy with the death of his sister in the early morning of the 1988 Olympics — continued to disrupt the prediction of him being favored as the winner. 

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The 1994 Olympics were the last of his career. He had one more shot.

Preceding his last Olympics in 1994, Jansen adjusted his mindset. He focused on every single person who invested in him, leading to this moment. He considered just how very lucky he was to even participate in the first place. He thought about his love for the sport itself, all of which led to an overwhelming realization of just how much he had gained throughout his life.

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He raced the 1994 Olympic games differently, as his mindset powering every stride was one of confidence and gratitude — predicated on the gains rather than the gap in his life. 

This race secured him his first and only gold medal and broke a world record, simultaneously proving one of the most emotional wins in Olympic history. 

Friends, knowing who we are on the personal and professional level, can protect us from those voices of shame or guilt that creep in. 


PERSONAL ACTION: Create two columns. On one side, create a list of where you were when you started your business or your position at your company. Include skills and networks and even feelings about where you were in life. On the other side, outline where you are today. 

Look at how far you’ve come. 

COMPANY ACTION: Implement a quarterly meeting to review the past three months. Where did you start? Where are you now? 

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Celebrate the gain!

Only from this place of gain mindset, can you create goals for the next quarter predicated on where you are today.


Ultimately, my hope for you is that you deliver exceptional and memorable experiences laced with empathy toward the customer (horizontally aligned) yet powered by the authenticity of the brand (vertically aligned). 

Aligning vertically maintains our focus on the bottom line and powers horizontal fulfillment. 

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Granted, there will be strategic times and seasons for adjustment; however, these changes are to be made on the heels of consulting who we are as a brand — not in reaction to the horizontal landscape of what is the latest and greatest in the industry. 

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In Conclusion…

Taking back control of your business and marketing strategies requires a conscious effort to resist external pressures and realign with what you want and who you are.

Final thoughts as we wrap up: 

First, identify the root issue(s).

Consider which of the 3 Cs holds the most power: be it competition, colleagues, or customers.

Second, align vertically.

Vertical alignment facilitates individuality in the market and ensures you — and I — stand out and shine while serving our customers well. 

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Third, keep the bottom line in view.

Implement a routine that keeps you and your team focused on what matters most, and then create the cascading strategy necessary to accomplish it. 

Fourth, maintain your mindsets.

Who You Are includes values for the internal culture. Guide your team in acknowledging the progress made along the way and embracing the gains to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Fifth, maintain humility.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of humility and being open to what others are doing. However, horizontal alignment must come after vertical alignment. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the whims and fads of everyone around us. Humility allows us to be open to external inputs and vertically aligned at the same time.

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Buckle up, friends! It’s time to take back the wheel and drive our businesses forward. 

The power lies with you and me.


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