It’s time to remind myself again of one of my favorite characters of all time in cinematography, and that could be no one else except Mr Thomas Fookin’ Shelby!

If you have watched the TV show Peaki Blinders – you know that you won’t need any introduction for this gentleman below. If you haven’t watched the show, the entire ETNA Digital team can recommend it to you.

So, who is Tommy Shelby?

In fact, the better question is – Who was Tommy Shelby? – He was born in 1890 in Birmingham. He was a war hero, a successful entrepreneur, a member of parliament, and his ultimate role, as we all know, was the leader of the British gang Peaky Blinders!


You are probably wondering: “So what does he know about Copywriting … He lived 100 years ago, when nobody could be a professionalist in the marketing field!”


Maybe he really was the leader of an ordinary, street gang in Birmingham. But, when we look at his profile and the principles he used while coming towards success, we can conclude that Tommy would nowadays be a doctor of Marketing, Sales, Economics and many other things.


I know you’re excited… now here’s what you’ve been waiting for:

What principles did Thomas Shelby use?


We are aware that Tommy was not a seller of some things or anything. So where did the copywriting come from? What was Tommy actually doing?

He sold the story – Tommy, while he was in the success process, needed connections to expand his business. This means that he was forced to go to various meetings.

Here is an interesting part of the story:


Before each meeting – Tommy analyzed in detail and determined in advance the following: Communication flow (control over objections) Tonality of speech (definitely in most cases Tommy was not an authority), the needs of interlocutors (marketers know these problems)


The flow of communication – Tommy would plan absolutely every detail of his negotiations, my favorite quote from him is: “You don’t negotiate when you’re at a disadvantage.”


When he went to negotiate with the Inspector about the stolen weapon, he first burned all the king’s paintings in Birmingham, made sure the media wanted to publish the story, because that night Inspector Cambell was on duty.  After that he went to sell weapons to Cambell (who was leading the investigation), and in return he did not ask for money but for a favor.


Tonality of speech – Tommy knew that he had to respect his interlocutors, haha at least on their first meetings. You all remember the scene when Kimber suddenly came into their pub – Garrison, because he wanted to kill them for setting up a race.


And what did Tommy do? He easily sold his service to him, and here’s how:

Tommy knew that Kimber’s people were attacked and taken money from by Lee’s boys. Tommy deliberately went to war with the Lee family, in order to set up a race to get Kimber’s attention.


In a quiet tone and with full respect, he showed the bullet with his name to Kimber and suggested to take care of his people in the races.


He did all this to learn more about Kimber’s work from the inside and to expand his business, and not to go to war with the Lee’s. At the end of the meeting, he thanked Kimber and said that he was honored to work for him (to make Kimber feel safe from Shelby).


WOOOV .. What kind of sales funnel? I was thrilled!


Interlocutor’s Needs – Most of you reading this already know why this is important, but we will still look at Thomas’ genious tricks.


I found out that Tommy always kept the attention of his interlocutors.

He started talking with: “I have what you need.” To get to that point, he did a lot of research, he knew the exact value of what he was offering, and knowing the interlocutor – he also knew how much he would be willing to pay.


In that way, his interlocutors always tried to provide him with what he asked for in return.


What is another Tommy principle that has brought him great results?




When Tommy was selling – He wasn’t  focused just on what someone would gain if they agreed, but what they would lose if they didn’t agree.


Just a few copywriters use this, and it’s a good idea because we hit people’s weak and sore spots just like Tommy Shelby did.

He told Cambell that he could only get a weapon from him – that he would get a medal like a hero when that happened, but that he would get fired if he didn’t find a weapon by a certain time.


In this way, he leads Cambella to only one goal, and that is to help him.


Here’s one thing educators teach in courses, probably Tommy Shelby went to digital marketing courses?




Tommy sees the bigger picture – He doesn’t look at anything from his own angle.


He is the leader of his gang, that’s for sure, but it’s not because he’s the strongest, the biggest, the fastest … That’s because he can create an action plan to achieve goals in any situation.


Copywriters really need to look at the bigger picture and put themselves in the client’s shoes, without that, every copywriter sounds selfish and isn’t worth of attention!

You didn’t expect this now (or before, but it doesn’t matter):


Wasn’t Tommy a gangster? How does he know about copywriting?

Tommy Shelby was aware of the goals behind the goals of all his enemies and all his associates. Here is one example if you don’t believe me, and there are many ..

When they had to decide whether to transport opium in turn for big amount of money, Tommy voted in favor, while Polly and Arthur didn’t want to do it.

After that, Tommy took advantage of Polly’s goal behind the goal (to make her son successful) and told her that Michael would be the manager of that part of the business. So he got a voice from Polly.

He knew how to get to people’s emotions, to make them do what he wants, and where did he learn all that?


We are slowly coming to the end of the blog about the legendary Thomas Shelby from Birmingham. Who has not watched the show yet – it is a must  if you are planning to do marketing or entrepreneurship hehe.

Whoever made it to the end, tell me if you noticed any of this while watching the series, I honestly had to watch it several times.

I’m glad that we dedicated an entire blog to Tommy from Peaky Blinders, and there is really a lot to comment on, thank you for reading, regards from ETNA Digital.

Talking about Tommy Shelby’s net worth – today it would be the incredible $ 450M.