I believe that these sum up copywriting in 8 simple sentences but even further than that they are rules for good marketing as well.
1. Be the best listener you ever met.
2. Work extremely intensely, in spurts
3. Never “create”- know the product to the core and combine the details in new ways.
4. Write to the chimpanzee brain – simply and directly.
5. Channel demand – never sell.
6. Think about what your product “does”, not “is”- and demonstrate this.
7. Make gratification instantaneous.
8. Failing often, and testing big differences, shows you are trying hard enough.
The Brilliance Breakthrough - How To Talk And Write So That People Will Never Forget You
It is an amazing book and the exercises that are provided in Part One are something that everyone should read and then work through at least once, if they want to be a better writer.
But I am going to focus on Part Two - Brilliance Tools
Chapter 11 - If You're Going to Say It ... Say It Well!
This chapter focuses on how you say what you say not what you say … confusing right?
Let me quote the master himself from the book, “As YOU'VE SEEN, this book is not about what you think, but how you say what you think.
Because sometimes, how you say something is as important as what you say.”
As an example he provides these 2 statements, you be the judge which is best:
"I think that this country is running downhill, and things are getting worse every day."
'There has been a lot of progress during my lifetime, but I'm afraid it's headed in the wrong direction."
So there is a difference between the 2, right?
They both express the same thought, but the 1st one is flat and predictable.
The 2nd informs you and makes the thought stick with you as a matter of fact it is quotable and other people will pick up on it and remember it and most likely tell their friends about it.
Chapter 12 - Let's Start With a Single Sentence. And Use It to See the Basic Rule Underlying All Punchy Statements
“LET'S START WITH a fundamental definition: An epigram is a single sentence, which, by the way it's stated, makes its content twice as strong as it would otherwise be.”
An epigram is a punchy sentence a “one-liner” as it is called in stand-up comedy. Therefor it is quick, fast, easily remembered and retold.
“He who praises everybody praises nobody.” – Samuel Johnson
Which if done without the contrast of the everybody-nobody, it will be deliver the exact same thought but do it weakly as seen here;
“He who praises everybody reduces the value of that praise to almost nothing.”
It lost its punch right?
So as you can tell from the 1st sentence Samuel Johnson picked two perfectly ordinary words out of the dictionary and put them together in a new way and made a statement that people have repeated down through the centuries…
Do you think you could use that in Marketing?
Chapter 13 - A Brief Interlude -to Stress Again How You Can Go from Copying Epigrams to Creating Them Yourself
In Chapter 12 Gene lays out the main rule and then follows up in this chapter and the rest of the book the simply ways to vary and apply the techniques.
He goes on to say that there is no “Dictionary of Ready-Made Epigrams” for use in infinite situations.
And that you have to create your own and you do this thru creativity.
And he believes that creativity can be taught you just have to be given directions to the places to look for the combinations.
Chapter 16 - Other Sentence Strengtheners
I know I skipped Chapters 14 and 15 but this blog post is getting to long as it is and my time of course is running down to ZERO so I want to highlight some of the tools that are provide in the book, vs the other chapters that work thru examples.
“THESE TOOLS DON'T help you build implication into your sentences, but they do give any sentence more power -whether it's Information or Impact.”
1. Scan for boredom.
2. Echo words.
3. Parallel Phrases. Here's an example: "I kissed her. She slapped me."
4. Split-apart synonyms. Solution is usually thought to mean the right answer to a problem.
5. Metaphor-the use of one universe of action to see m OT", deeply into another.
6. Vocabulary shift.
7. Once a metaphor shift has been established, follow it as long as it adds power.
8. Pump power into a word by putting it next to another that doesn't "belong" next to it.
9. First get the idea down. Then sharpen it.
10. Help your reader remember.
11. Borrow Truth.
12. The sentence-expanding clause, to express more complex ideas.
13. Hooks. That keep your reader reading.
14. Picture yourself debating.
15. The beginning and the end.
16. Your words should be transparent.
And to wrap up the concept behind Gene’s ideas and the book he states this,
Practice these techniques whenever you have the chance, either in your writing or in your speech.
With each minor success, they become easier and easier, stronger and stronger, more and more memorable.
If you hear compliments on your style, and not on your ideas, change the style.
Brilliance is neither showing off nor pretension.
It is getting the communication job done.
Thoughts endure, and change the future.”
When you set forth to learn copywriting and to master the art of marketing this book is well worth 30 minutes of your time to read and goes well with the 30MinuteMarketing.net strategy.