Imagine you woke up one morning and wrote an article.
Just another article like all the articles you've been writing.
And then suddenly you had tons of folks clicking on this article. Reading it. Then signing up to your newsletter.
These tons of folks go into the hundreds, then into the thousands, then into the tens of thousands.
So what was that single article that created such a surge of traffic?
In our case, it was an article on headlines. We wrote about three specific steps to create pretty awesome headlines. So if you were a reader, you'd get attracted to the article. You'd read the steps, and then ten minutes later, you'd be able to write a pretty good headline. Better still, you'd know when you got the headline wrong, and when you got it right.
The power of the article wasn't in the wonderful prose
The power was in the three psychological principles at play in the article.
1) The empowerment. (Shucks, I can do this)
2) The steps. (What to do)
3) The minefield (What to avoid).
Most of us want to keep our secrets to ourselves. We don't want people to know how things work (or how we make them work). Well, we've found otherwise. We found that when we tell our clients almost everything we know (we call it the Bikini principle) it actually gets the client to come back for more. This article was specifically empowering. You read it and ten minutes later you had a skill you didn't have ten minutes ago. That's like freakin' magic potion. Why wouldn't you get excited and sign up? Why wouldn't you share it with your friends?
You've read how-to articles before. Most of them are like foam on your cappuccino—just fluff. They seemingly draw you in to tell you ‘five ways to do something' but do they leave you with a skill? No they don't. Because those articles seem to have steps, but each step is a bit like a wild horse pulling in a different direction.
This article had a sequence. Start here, do this. Then do this. Then this. Step by step. Definite sequence with examples. Ooh magic potion again.
If you tell your client what to do, then they'll work it out, right? No they won't. You also have to show them the minefield. Where they're likely to get it wrong. Where others have got it wrong before. This learning becomes paramount, because it continues to empower the client to become an auditor. Now not only can they do something, but they know what to avoid. They can tell others what to avoid. This is like having x-ray vision. You're creating something amazingly powerful.
So what do you do next?
You don't sign up immediately. You may still troll through the blog or website, but you do sign up before you leave. You tell your friends. You tell your clients. You tweet the heck out of the article. And you know why you do it? Because you can't go wrong. You know that everyone you send the article to, will get a benefit, and of course thank you for sending valuable stuff their way.
It should end there, but it doesn't. Clients have told us how they've bought products/services, and even pricey workshops. And that their purchases were based on the fact that the article helped them not only get a hold on the skill, but also got them clients in turn.
But surely all articles don't have to have these three factors in place…
That's correct. All don't need it. And it may well be impossible to have every article step through these three factors. However from time to time, you need to have articles that make the reader into an auditor.
When your article steps through the empowerment (Shucks, I can do this), the steps (What to do), the minefield (What to avoid), you get an article that draws readers by the thousands. Even tens of thousands.
But will those tens of thousands of readers show up tomorrow?
And will they show up at your website? No they won't, unless you leverage the article. We not only published it on our own website and blog, but we also repackaged it as a PDF (which is given away free). Over time clients, bloggers, readers have read it and passed it on to their clients and their list of readers. So yeah, I know you were hoping for a magic trick, but no there's no such trick available here.
What you really need is to create your own “magic trick”
You may indeed get up one day and write a great article by fluke. But flukes are not a strategy. Use the three steps outlined above and use it as often as you can.
And then watch as the trickle turns to a flood.
And the flood into an unending deluge.
Next Step: “My first meeting with a client used to be nothing more than a presentation of my portfolio.”
The Brain Audit has given me a system that I can illustrate to the client, and I can tell I sound much more professional and competent. Also, the system makes my job easier and faster. I don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.
Yes, The Brain Audit is a system that makes communication more effective and makes me appear more professional. It also opened my mind to a new way of seeing my profession.
Not just a designer, but a valuable designer that thinks and can help clients grow.”
Cesare Ferrari,mfwebmarketing,Du Bois, Pennsylvania, USA
Judge for yourself The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why They Don't
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“I'm one of those people who has a lot of trouble spending money on training and education, so paying a fee to join a membership was a big step for me.”
What I've found, is that people are serious and they contribute. That makes a big difference. The forum is completely worth the price of admission, though of course I wish I'd joined several years ago when it was cheaper. (Ironically, it seemed too expensive to me then, but I'm sure if I'd joined then I'd be further in my
The biggest piece of value for me so far is the “critiques” section of the forum. After seeing the quality of feedback people were getting, I took the plunge and wrote a sales letter I've been meaning to write for almost two years. In the days after I posted I got a lot of helpful feedback that's helping me make it stronger.
But the most important thing is that I actually got it written. Without a friendly and intelligent audience to evaluate the draft, I might never have sat down to do it.
I'm also enjoying the general discussions. As a solo entrepreneur, most of my days are spent in isolation. And because of where I live, I'm not around other similarly-minded folks. The forum is inspiring; it's great to be in contact with other people who are working hard on their businesses and facing so many of the same challenges I am.
I just wanted to say that I'm finding the content and community in 5000bc so valuable, and I'm very glad I joined.
Joe Thoron, Eastsound, WA, USA
Judge for yourself https://www.5000bc.com
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Daniel Walter Scott says
Great article. Can I ask a question? I’m starting my own adventure into blog writing with the help of your website. You mention:
“We not only published it on our own website and blog, but we also repackaged it as a PDF (which is given away free).”
Where specifically do you distribute it to get it out?
Dan (fellow kiwi)