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“I was only four years old when I saw my mother load up a washing machine for the very first time in her life …” That is global health and data expert Hans Rosling’s opening line of a 2010 TED Talk, as he stands on stage with a bundle of laundry and a washing machine. Rosling does what the best presenters in the world excel at; in a matter of seconds, they get and keep your attention.
Your target audience isn’t interested in reading 5,000 articles from you. They’ll read one and decide whether or not to stick around. If the article’s message resonates with them, they might read a second, maybe a third. And then they’ll naturally subscribe to your email list or sign up for your membership site to stay connected with you.
Most of us ask for testimonials. And if we follow up and pester our customers enough, we receive testimonials. There’s only one problem. These testimonials have no power. Testimonials are stories. And stories potentially have power and grace, flow and rhythm. Look around you and you’ll see none of that in most testimonials.
On May 22, 1919, a New York hotel owner named Raymond Orteig announced a prize. The Orteig Prize, as it came to be known, was the whopping sum of $25,000 (about $340,000 in 2015). It was to be given to the first allied aviators who flew nonstop from New York to Paris or vice versa. Six aviators died in the pursuit of that prize.
If you look at the last 30 years of the men’s 100-meter finals at the Olympics, you’ll find a number of athletes who didn’t make it to retirement without getting saddled with a doping allegation. Carl Lewis: failed drug test, 1988 Ben Johnson: failed drug test, 1988 Linford Christie: tests positive for pseudoephedrine, 1988 Justin Gatlin: failed drug test, 2006 Mau ...
At a TED conference in 2008, music conductor Benjamin Zander talks about the story of Shakespeare’s well-known play, Hamlet. In Act One, scene three, Hamlet finds out that his uncle killed his father. Now Hamlet must have his revenge. As the play progresses, Hamlet almost kills his uncle, but pulls himself back.
Cartoonists don’t think straight. If you tell them about cars, they think of chewing gum. If you talk to them about dinner, they think of heel balm. In short, they force-fit thoughts that may have no connection to each other. But what’s a cartoonist got to do with the opening paragraphs of your article? When you think about it, most of us get stuck while writing introductions.
Selling a product is much easier when you have a pre-sell strategy in place. To understand the concept of the pre-sell, it might be a good idea to take a walk around a supermarket. In this store, you’re likely to see some folks doling out samples of their products. Some days, these folks look kind of forlorn as they passively stand there with their sausage, ice cream, or wi ...
It was the year 2003. I was in Australia speaking at my first marketing conference. Well, not quite. It was billed as a marketing conference, but it was really a pitch-fest. The speakers delivered their speeches, and then sold their products from the podium. And there was one speaker who literally got people pushing and shoving each other to get his product.
Let’s say you’re choosing between three photography courses covering similar topics. The prices are stacked like this: $200 $250 $2,000 What’s going through your mind right now? Curiosity floods your brain. Even if you’re not sure you can afford the $2,000 course, you want to know why it’s so expensive, compared to the other photography courses.
Most people think music is about the notes. But think about the silence between the notes for a second. Doesn’t the absence of sound complete the composition? Without the silence, you only hear dozens of notes jostling madly into each other, causing a cacophony. Copywriting is a bit like writing a concerto. You may believe that copywriting is only about words.
Let’s say you’re at Alfredo’s. Alfredo’s is your favorite Italian restaurant and you’ve been yearning all week for this lasagna. You sit down, chomp a mouthful, then another mouthful. The flavors explode in your mouth. Then Alfredo steps in and takes the plate away before you get the third bite in.