Frager Factor

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

==>Easy Reading Is Damned Hard Writing

Good Morning Folks,

One of the smartest marketing strategies is to find an audience with a bad problem and sell them a product that actually fixes it.

If your communication (aka. "content marketing") moves them to behavior that you want, it is good communication.

But if it’s not, our friend Sonia suggests how to elevate your messages to a more professional, marketable, and persuasive level:

1. Sentences can only do one thing at a time

Have you ever heard a four-year-old run out of breath before she can finish her thought? I encounter a lot of sentences that work the same way. You need a noun, you need a verb, you might need an object. Give some serious thought to stopping right there.

2. Paragraphs can only do one thing at a time

A paragraph supports a single idea. Construct complex arguments by combining simple ideas that follow logically. Every time you address a new idea, add a line break. Short paragraphs are the most readable; few should be more than three or four sentences long.This is more important if you're writing for the Web.

3. Look closely at -ing

Nouns ending in -ing are fine. (Strong writing, IT consulting, great fishing.) But constructions like "I am running," "a forum for building consensus," or "The new team will be managing" are inherently weak. Rewrite them to "I run," "a forum to build consensus," and "the team will manage." You're on the right track when the rewrite has fewer words.

4. Omit unnecessary words

Here's your damned good reason: extra words drain life from your work. The fewer words used to express an idea, the more punch it has.

You can nearly always improve sentences by rewriting them in fewer words.

5. Reframe 90% of the passive voice

We do things is inherently more interesting than Things are done by us. Passive voice muddies your writing; when the actor is hidden, the action makes less sense.

6. Apply pain-based marketing to your advantage

Smart salespeople know that you can convert a suspect to a customer by asking questions to increase their level of perceived pain. Probing questions. Even, if handled deftly, uncomfortable questions.

As the salesperson (or sales letter, or Web site) keeps asking and asking, the prospect gets more and more miserable with the discomfort of his current situation. The reassuring salesperson nods empathetically and sizes up how much the sucker's got in the bank to solve this mess. Before you know it, our prospect is the proud owner of a timeshare/investment-grade gold coin/junk bond.

So Find a source of unresolved pain and remove it." 
Present pain first and relief second. There are two absolute necessities:

==>The prospect can hold the two pictures, pain and relief, side by side in his mind.
==>The path to move from pain to relief is clear and believable.

7. Never forget the people who matter mostAt the end of the day, no one matters except your customers. (However you define that term.)

And actually, the only customers who matter are the ones who buy from you. Your paying clients or your foundation's donors or the folks who come to your church services. They're the ones you have to convince, and the ones you have to please.

Start noticing when you're being sold pain. 98% of television, publishing, and of course our friend Internet marketing, exists to pick off the scabs and show off your pain in a fresh new light.

Keep asking questions. Keep testing. Find out what that white space is doing for you.

And remember what Nathaniel Hawthorne said: “Easy reading is damned hard writing.”
Have a GREAT day.


" A word to the wise isn't necessary,
it's the stupid ones who need the advice.”


Declassified from Frager Factor VIP June 2008

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About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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