By-the-book marketers will call this sacrilege!

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Nobody wants to merely blend in with all the marketing noise. That’s how businesses die. 

But if you’ve ever read even one marketing book, you might fall for a crippling misconception.

You see, practically everyone knows rule #1: Emphasize benefits, not features. This is an important rule, but if you leave out its counterpart, you will be crushed.

 

When benefits work against you

If you’ve got a completely different set of benefits that nobody else is promising, then rule #1 might be enough. But what happens when all your competitors are touting the same benefits? Chances are you’ve been caught in this swamp before

Almost any real estate agent you ask will offer to sell your house fast, for the best possible price. Most IT services will reduce downtime, streamline your workflow, and protect your data. And every single copywriter in the world is going to promise you more clients, more sales, and bigger profits 

If your benefits are the same as everybody else, a prospect doesn’t really have a reason to choose you. Instead, they’ll fall back on the cheapest, loudest, or most familiar option. 

Luckily, there’s an easy way around this “me too” syndrome: Start focusing again on the features.

  • How will you sell that house faster for a better price? Tell me the steps you’ll go through. Even if every realtor goes through the exact same steps, nobody has ever talked about them.
  • If you’re a personal trainer, explain that you spend half of each session doing resistance training at the weakest point in your client’s range of motion. List the 27 different muscle groups that you test and work with. Describe the weights and equipment you use.
  • Do you offer IT services that reduce downtime? Show how your software refreshes the data and scans for bugs 37 times per minute. That you analyze 29 data points on an hourly basis. That most problems are discovered and corrected within 11 minutes. Mention the names, model numbers, and versions of all your software and equipment. This information will be meaningless to most of your clients, but it will be a billion times more refreshing than the overused term, “state of the art.”

I always start every project by collecting as many facts as I can about a client or their products. I try to get at least 100, or even 1,000 if I’m not in a hurry. One of my early mentors refused to write a single sentence until he had compiled 15 pages of facts about a product. Fifteen pages.

When everyone in your industry is boasting the same benefits, there’s only one way to stand out. Show your market, in a very concrete and tangible way, exactly how you deliver those benefits.

The old rule still applies. Benefits before features. But never leave out the features.

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Crush Social Media Without Crushing Your Soul (792 words)

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It seems like you only have two choices:

A. Make a two-minute video every day, even if you have to churn out bathtubs of canned moments that glitter like the latest craft beer bought out by Anheuser-Busch.

B. Become invisible.

What if there’s another alternative?  What if you don’t have to turn the double-hopped chocolate oatmeal stout of your soul into a watery Coors lite?

What if you built something slow and exceptional, something that took a long time and nobody would see it every day? What if?

Those who found your content on their own, without having it rammed into their eyeballs, would be blown away. They would feel like they had stumbled upon a carefully-guarded secret. You are the treasure they seek.

Stepping off the content treadmill

If you’re just randomly shooting out Instagram posts and tweets without a plan or a goal, then you’re wasting your best chance to do something new that will make a real difference.

You can’t compete on cost, range, or convenience. The digital portals have already beaten you there, and AI will soon make it impossible to even try to keep up.

So if you’ve lost the battle of digital marketing, what do you have left? Everything. You’ve got a big advantage that can never be taken away by an algorithm.

You have substance. You are a real live human being with stories, experiences, and values to share. Are you sharing them?

Substance doesn’t happen in a dozen daily instagram posts. At least not right away. Build your house first.

Then build a trail of breadcrumbs leading to it, and you will become the hero of your own legend.

Build a high-value, automatic campaign in 7 steps

Here’s my quick formula to get you started:

  1. Decide what you stand for. In your business, in your personal life, and in the way the two come together.
  2. Come up with 5-10 pithy statements about your values, your goals, and how your values and goals translate into the service you deliver. This is your core. Express at least one of these statements in every ad, video, tweet, or post you put out in the world
  3. Search your history, your products, and your business for specific facts and stories that illustrate your core. Talk to your people, your clients, your vendors, and your friends and family. Make a LONG list of anecdotes, facts, and stories. (The late Gary Halbert would typically create 15 typewritten pages of this stuff for his clients)
  4. Look at what you came up with for 2 and 3 above, and repeatedly ask, “What’s in it for my clients. How does this bring value to them?” When you’ve answered that question, you’re ready for action.
  5. Start with the core. Make a short video for each of your core statements. Illustrate it with your facts and stories from step 2. Make it clear what a client is getting by watching it.
  6. Once you’ve got your core in place, you just have to reiterate it in expanding circles. Start with the useful: How-to videos, listicles, blog posts that offer the solution to a problem in the title. Do you have a high-impact secret to staging a home before open house? Do you know about a local law that affects landlords or homeowners? Each one of these useful items should also express something about your core, and link back to it.
  7. Now you have a treasure trove of high-quality content. If you’ve done it right (that’s another whole article), then prospective clients will find a lot of your content on their own. At this point, you can start linking to it with social media. Brainstorm dozens of compelling sentences (you can use headline templates for most of these, and then add your own), have your graphics person make memes out of them, and plug them into software that will post automatically. Each one should link to something in your treasure trove.

Getting real

After you complete step 7, you’ll have valuable, evergreen content showing up in the world automatically. Now you’re ready to add a personal touch.

Create spontaneous, original content when and where you see fit, and add it to your treasure trove. Whenever you talk to a potential client, you can text them a link to something useful you made. Reply to comments with statements like, “Glad to help. Here’s a link to a video I made about that.” Go live on Facebook to talk about a problem you solve, and offer your content as a bonus for watching.

Getting started

This is an oversimplified outline. I could easily spend an hour talking about any one of these steps. But if you just start thinking about your content as coming from your core values, you’ll be far ahead of most of your competitors. Not to mention you’re doing a good deed by replacing the noise with something real.

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

 

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Use These 3 Strategies When AI Disrupts Your Industry (661 words)

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As I write this, Rex Homes is making a bold claim on their website: 90% of buyers search online for their homes, and 68% of these buyers find their home without help from an agent.

The subtext is clear, if not completely accurate: You don’t need to pay high commissions to an agent when you buy or sell your home.

Real estate is safer from disruptive technology than many other industries. In mid-2019 the British company Purple Bricks abandoned their campaign in the United States and stopped trying to lure homeowners with the promise of low commissions. It just didn’t work.

There are still many things a REALTOR ® does that can’t be replaced by technology. But apps, web portals, and artificial intelligence (AI) aren’t going away. Over the next several years, you are going to see many changes in how you acquire clients, the nature of the work you do, and how you get compensated for it.

Here are three ways to survive, and even thrive, in the face of disruptive technology.

Become a specialist

At the time of writing this, I Googled “Silver Lake Realtor.” All that came up were the usual generic ads for agencies that happen to do business in Silver Lake, a popular neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Imagine if you planted your flag as the “official” Silver Lake agent (or any neighborhood near you). Anyone in Los Angeles could easily own this piece of the market by staking their claim first.

Now think about all the different niches you could fill. In addition to the dozens of neighborhoods in your city, you could specialize in a specific type of architecture, or decide to serve a specific group or community: Hollywood REALTOR ® , REALTOR ® for retirees, Millennials REALTOR ®, GLBTQ REALTOR ®, Victorian REALTOR ®, and a virtually infinite list of others.

This change takes little more than a few tweaks to your website, and maybe a trip to the printer’s.

Use AI instead of fighting it

Some people value the human touch, and will always prefer to work with an agent. Some will immediately flock to the convenience and speed of AI.

The winners will be agents who can provide a personal, human experience and are also adept with AI tools.

You could build a reputation on using AI to find ideal matches faster than anyone else. You could sell homes after just a single open house, because your AI targeted the ideal buyers.

When you represent a buyer, you could give them virtual tours of local homes from a coffee shop, show them what each room would look like with different paint or furnishings, and save hours of time by visiting just two homes instead of five. The tools to do these things are already available, and they’re getting better.

Let the technology take over some of the tedious work, and use it to do things you couldn’t do a few years ago without hiring a programmer. Combine this skill with your smile, your natural charm and your commitment to serving people. You’ll soon become unbeatable and unstoppable.

Decide to be a top performer

No matter what is happening in the industry or in the economy, people in the top 10% always have the referrals, the connections, and other resources to weather the storm.

There will always be clients who prefer to deal with a real live human being for 100% of the buying/selling process. Soon, these clients will be in a position to insist on working with the best.

Make a commitment right now that you’re going to be among the best in your profession, whatever it takes. Keep reading. Go to workshops and seminars. Listen carefully to what your clients want. This alone will make disruptive technologies irrelevant.

The cure for an invasion

If you feel like you’re being pushed out of the market, there are many creative ways to fight back. All you really need to do is think differently about your profession. The cure for an invasion is a vision.

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

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Dan Kennedy was way more than just a marketing guru

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As I write this, a world-class copywriter is in the final days of his life.

Dan Kennedy wrote scores of books on marketing, but he was way more than just a marketing guru. He taught me critical principles that enriched my whole life.

Things like making sure my behavior is congruent with my goals and values. Being punctual. Constantly reading and learning. Devoting my time to what really matters.

His words and advice put a lot of money in my pocket, but that was practically just a side effect. His wisdom has helped me to enjoy a happy marriage. To travel the world and take long bike rides. I’ve had laughter and wisdom and countless insights thanks to Dan Kennedy. 

The increase in my wealth is the extra olive oil drizzled on top of a delicious pizza.

There are many tributes to Dan Kennedy, from bigger souls and closer friends, people who knew him better, followed his advice more consistently, reached greater heights than I. But I am grateful to stand humbly in their company.

Dan Kennedy drove the chariot of his life hard and fast, and as he crosses the finish line in his final race, we all have many reasons to cheer for him.

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Quick and Easy Tips to Unique Copywriting for Real Estate (604 Words)

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You don’t have to be an expert copywriter to stand out from 90% of your competitors.

Most REALTORS® are still using standard copy and templates to promote themselves. Here are three copywriting tips to stand out from your peers.

 

The most essential copywriting tip

Whether you’re writing an email or sending a postcard, you want people to read it. The secret is the headline (or subject line if you’re sending an email).

Your reader scans this in a few seconds, and then decides whether s/he wants to read more. They’ll read on if your headline contains two magic ingredients: Curiosity and self-interest. A few examples:

  • You won’t believe what your neighbors did to their kitchen! Come to the open house this Saturday!
  • Here’s a way to reduce your capital gains taxes that your accountant didn’t tell you
  • Take 5 minutes to protect your property from floods

 A good headline can also make a good Tweet, a good subject line, and a good title for a video. The same rules apply. Promise something that they want and make them wonder how you’re going to deliver.

Almost everyone finds this combination of self-interest and curiosity irresistible.

Strong copy comes from your core

Chances are, you’re giving the same free advice as all your peers. But there’s an easy way to stand out.

The secret is to constantly express what really makes you different from all the other REALTORS ® in your area. This is probably tied in with why you’re in this business, what makes you get out of bed and work long hours (besides the money!)

You have a set of core values, even if you’ve never articulated them. Don’t hide these away. Every time you post something, tie it to your core values.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by summing it up at the end. Finish your videos, blog posts, and emails with a consistent statement. For example:

“I’ll never forget how I felt when I bought my first investment property. It’s a true life-changing experience, and I want to make sure you get the best possible deal when you take this important step.”

or

“I grew up in this neighborhood. These homes are my own flesh and bone, and I’m committed to seeing them bought and sold for true value.”

 

Make it helpful

I’m constantly getting postcards from your fellow REALTORS ® that brag about the homes they recently sold or offering point blank to sell my home even though I’ve never met the sender and have no idea who they are.

All you have to do is produce a few lines of useful advice. You will instantly stand out as a breath of fresh air, someone who genuinely cares. You just need to write a few sentences each month, and put them in your postcards, on your blog, and on social media.

These are always handy tips:

  • Seasonal reminders about weather, gutters, planting a garden, storm windows, etc.
  • Advice and reminders related to tax and insurance
  • Warnings about common dangers or threats to property
  • Announcements about local, public events

Many of these tips come up annually. You can save time by having one tip for each month, which you can re-use every year.

Attack of the (digital) clones

As more of the buying and selling process is being done electronically, it’s harder for homeowners to understand how one REALTOR ® is different from any other. On top of the myriad challenges of real estate, you now have to prove you’re not a clone.

Copywriting is one of the simplest ways to show that you bring unique value to the table. And since most of your colleagues won’t take this extra step, it’s a sure-fire tool to boost your prestige and your income.

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

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How to Impress Potential Clients with Instant Expertise (690 Words)

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Imagine you’re talking to someone at an open house. You find out they’re looking for a home and they don’t have an agent yet.

This is where a lot of REALTORS (TM) feel torn in half. You try to get their contact information, or better yet, a commitment. At the same, you suppress your own enthusiasm, so you won’t seem too aggressive.

Stop Fighting Yourself

There’s an alternative way to act. It takes some preparation, but you’ll be way more successful.

Imagine the same scenario, but instead of jumping into sales mode, you listen to the prospect a little bit more. You just need to find out about their top concern, question, or interest. Then you make their day:

“Oh, you have two daughters! You know, I recently wrote up a Family Report about this area. It’s a list of all the playgrounds, family restaurants, kid-friendly activities and schools. If you give me your phone number, I’ll text you the link.”

This accomplishes a lot:

  • You’ve been genuinely helpful
  • You show a level of expertise that most Realtors have, but rarely get the chance to demonstrate
  • You’ve got their contact information for follow-up.

The prerequisite, of course, is that you create the report. And the prerequisite for the report is that you’ve chosen a specialization.

An Infinite Sea of Clients

There are literally infinite types of buyers and sellers. You could be the family expert, as in the example above. Or you could be:

  • The expert in local pubs, mountain bike trails, or entertainment
  • “The Victorian Homes Gal,”
  • The GLBT Realtor
  • An advocate for first-time home buyers

Pick a niche, create your resource, and soon you’ll have a unique reason for clients to do business with you. Not only that, but since you’re such an informed and helpful person, you’ll soon get lots of referrals.

Three Easy Ways to Pick a Niche

Look at where you’re already an expert. If you’re not sure, follow the trends in your neighborhood, and pick a niche that’s likely to bring you a lot of clients. Or, best of all, follow your own passion.  What do you love about your neighborhood?

There are an unlimited number of empty slots you could fill.

Tap Into OPE

What if you don’t have time to write a report? You can use Other People’s Energy (OPE) to create your resource.

Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are filled with freelance researchers, writers, and graphic designers who will put together a professional-looking PDF or video for you—often at a surprisingly low cost.

Getting the Most out of Your Special Report

If all you do is casually offer a neighborhood report to a few home buyers, it will still bear some fruit for you.

But you can get a lot more from it—and you should. If you’re going through all the effort to put this together, here are few essential tactics to adopt:

  1. Build a list and follow up. Put all your new contacts into some kind of CRM program—or at least a spreadsheet. Keep in touch with them.
  2. Continuously offer value. When you follow up, start with a greeting such as, “I thought about you the other day. You see, I just found out about _____________(tidbit of information related to the report your gave them). I thought you would like this.”
  3. Actively promote your report. Go to clubs, meetings, and other places where you’ll find people who are interested in the same thing.
  4. Create a form on your website where visitors can download your report

The Power of Focus

At first, this is going to feel like you’re cutting off a lot of potential clients. But you’re not.

You will always work with people outside your chosen niche. Yet you will appear more experienced and credible just by having chosen a specialty.

Many REALTORS (TM) try to be everything to everyone. As a result, they have nothing to offer but a brochure or a web page with their basic information.

All you need is a little bit of thoughtful preparation, and you can overcome both of these roadblocks. You will stand out, and gain more clients with less effort.

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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The Unbeatable Sales Tactic that Nobody Wants to Use (537 words)

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The man had a frightening reputation.

They said he liked programming code more than he liked most people. He was hard to reach, and unpleasant when you reached him.

When I got this antisocial recluse on the phone, the first thing he said was, “The only reason I agreed to take your call is because you’ve been relentless.”

Within fifteen minutes he did everything I wanted.

The surprising secret about being “relentless”

The Big Guy said I was “relentless,” but all I did was leave a total of three—yes, three—messages with his assistant. Hardly a Herculean effort, but it was enough to stand out.

I stood out because most people give up after the first call—if they ever even bother to call.

I’m a lazy man, but it seems that most people are lazier than I am. And this means you’ve got yet another reason to call your prospects every day.

The Bear in the Woods

You’ve probably heard some version of this story. We’re hiking in the woods, and suddenly an angry bear bursts through the brush and chases us. You don’t have to run faster than the bear in order to survive. You just have to run faster than me.

If making three phone calls is the definition of “relentless,” then you don’t have to spend every waking hour on the phone. Just make more calls than the other real estate agents in your area—and it looks like they’re not making many.

You can easily place yourself above your rivals, even if they have more experience, more resources, and better connections. Just keep going. Be persistent. This works because most people don’t do it.

What’s right with this picture?

Now here’s the thing. Your potential clients probably have some time allocated for answering email, phone messages, and social media.

Their social media time will always be crowded, with more posts fighting for the same bit of attention.

Email is the same, and possibly worse. People just want to get through it.

But how many legitimate phone calls do you get during business hours? Not the annoying robocalls, but calls from a real live person?

Each call is bound to get more attention. You deal with hundreds of emails every day, but probably fewer than a dozen calls.

What if you called five potential clients a day? How much time would that even take you? Script a good, 10-second voicemail message, and you’re done.

Five calls per day will put you on the radar with 25 potential clients each week. That’s a hundred per month. Do this for a year, and 1,200 new prospects will know your name. How many of those 1200 people would have to become your clients to make a significant change in your income?

And making five calls is nothing. You can easily double this number, once you get into a rhythm.

Relentlessness is Persistence that Talks

Be relentless. You know that making these calls will pay off. Even if it’s not yet tattooed on the inside of your medulla oblongata, you’ve heard people say it enough. Get the tattoo.

Persistence doesn’t always take as much effort as you’d think. Just make a few calls, and you’ll soon be labelled “relentless.”

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

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How to change when your demographic changes (281 words)

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Item: 66% of first-time home buyers are Millennials (1).

That percentage is going to grow. Are you?

The Nintendo Coup

Years ago, I read a cute story. Nintendo was donating game consoles to senior centers. This wasn’t merely charity, it was a big bet.

The marketers and Nintendo recognized that a demographic can redefine itself. Seniors were healthier, more active, and more adventurous than ever before. Nintendo took a gamble that many of them would enjoy activities that are usually associated with teenagers.

They gave away free Wii to senior centers. Soon everyone there wanted to play, and the senior centers had to buy more. (2)

Today, nearly a fourth of all gamers are over the age of 50. (3) And if you think they’re just buying games as presents for their grandkids, guess again. Most of them play the games themselves.

Meet Your Newest Clients

The point of this story is to challenge you. How are today’s first-time home buyers different than they were 10 years ago? What new or different tactics will you use to reach them?

You’ve got niche markets you already work with. Ask yourself how these markets are changing, and be the first to change with them.

Better yet, think of the niches and demographics who, according to conventional wisdom, would never have a reason to do business with you. Then think of how today’s dynamic world can help you defy conventional wisdom.

A rather crude analogy: Maybe 10 years ago, you couldn’t sell ice to Eskimos. But now, with global warming, an ice vendor has a way in.

You could do what Nintendo did! Get creative and find out how to do what none of your competitors would dare (or even think about…).

Sources:

    1. https://www.inc.com/john-white/how-millennials-are-changing-the-housing-market.html
    2. https://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1127/p01s05-ussc.html
    3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/189582/age-of-us-video-game-players-since-2010/

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

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Build an Instant Social Media Campaign in Six Steps (631 words)

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Ever feel overwhelmed by social media?

It’s time to take a big huge magnifying glass, gather every ray of light, and focus it all into a single white-hot point of irresistible clarity.

This clarity will inform all the social media marketing that you do.

Step One: Seven questions to get you crystal clear

The first step is to figure out exactly what you want prospects to know about you. This will make your marketing 1,000% more effective. I’ve got a detailed process for doing this, but you can start by asking these questions:

  1. What are the 5 most common positive things clients say about you?
  2. What is the biggest problem you solve for your clients?
  3. What are the 5 things you have to explain most frequently?
  4. What are the 5 most important things you wish prospects or clients knew about you?
  5. What makes you different than your competitors?
  6. What is the “Secret Origin” story of your business?
  7. What is one interesting personal fact about you which would surprise most people?

There are several more questions you could add. But this is a start.

Step Two: Turning questions into answers

Once you answer these questions, you’ll be staring at a big pile of issues, ideas, anecdotes and facts. You need to do some mind mapping.

Find the common thread or threads among all of these tidbits of information. Tie an interesting fact or story to something important you want your prospects or clients to know about you.

Boil everything down to just a few key talking points. You’ll go back to these points again and again.

Step Three: Now for the hard part

Next, try to make one or more videos and blog posts for each of your key talking points. If you can’t think of enough ways to do this, use all the other bits and pieces that came out through the questions above.

Each blog, article, or video will support one or more of your key talking points.

Step Four: Now for the fun part

Take all the leftover facts, anecdotes, and ideas from your questions. For each one, brainstorm at least 10 pithy quotes or statements. Come up with 10 benefits to your clients that are related to each one. Write 10 headlines, and 10 memes.

By the way, the definition of a headline is something that will make the person who sees it want to see more. There are three sure-fire elements that will make this happen: Curiosity, self-interest, and news. Write your 10 headlines.

Step Five: Putting it all together

Let’s look at what you’ve built so far:

  • A handful of key talking points
  • A set of articles, blogs, and videos that explain and reinforce your talking points
  • A collection of facts, ideas, and anecdotes about the amazing work you do
  • Around 30 benefits, pithy statements, and headlines for each of these facts and anecdotes.

Now you’re ready to talk about social media. It doesn’t matter which platform or platforms you’re on, you have just one goal for everything you post from now on: You want it to reinforce your talking points.

How do you do this? By front-loading your social media.

Each individual item from your pithy statements, headlines, benefits, facts, ideas, and anecdotes will become a tweet, a Facebook post, something you can copy and paste into a comment somewhere.

There is software that will do this for you, or you can just put everything into a spreadsheet and have an intern copy and paste as much as you want on a daily basis.

Step Six: Never run out of content again

If you’ve done your homework, you should easily have 100 or more little things you can post by now. If you go back and brainstorm once a month, you’ll never run out of content and most of your social media will run on autopilot.

 

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

 

 

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Six Clever Hacks to Think Creatively (826 words)

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Innovate or stagnate. That’s the brutal reality we live in.

Podcaster and bestselling author James Altucher suggests you make a habit of brainstorming 10 new ideas every day.

(He also once wrote a blog post titled, “Why I Would Rather Shoot Myself in the Head Than Own a Home,” proving that you don’t necessarily need good ideas!)

But is brainstorming enough?

Outrunning the Velociraptor

To paraphrase Altucher, someday you may have to sprint 100 yards to escape a velociraptor. If you’ve been running every day for the past year, you’ll be a lot faster when the time comes.

The goal of writing ideas is to give your creativity muscle a daily workout. Then, when you really need to be creative, you can deliver.

The trouble is that most of us have limited lives. Most of your ideas will be directly related to your home, your work, your family or your passions.

If you have a lot of leisure time to travel, take classes, or read for hours every day, you’ll probably come up with a broader range of ideas.

For the rest of us, here are some easy shortcuts to become more creative and banish stagnation forever.

A Whack to the Side of the Head

Years ago, Roger Von Oech designed the “Creative Whack Pack.” It’s a deck of cards, except that each of Von Oech’s cards has a quick tip or question, followed by a cartoon and a story.

These cards are designed to get you thinking. For example, there’s a card that says, “See the obvious,” and has a picture of a mouse hiding in a cat’s ear.

The story underneath almost doesn’t need telling. No cat would ever think to check its own ear for mice. If you’re a mouse, that’s the obvious place to hide, right?

The card asks, “What resources and solutions are right in front of you?”

If you ponder this question while you brainstorm ways to solve a problem, you might surprise yourself.

There’s nothing new about using cards for creativity. Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt created a movement with their Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards similar to the Creative Whack Pack. And you’ve probably heard of the Tarot deck, which has been around for centuries.

You can add another layer of creativity by coming up with your own ways to use any deck of cards.

Filling Up on Tweets

Set a timer for 10 minutes and open your favorite social media.

Carefully study the first 10 items in your newsfeed. Imagine each one is a secret encoded message for you. What is the purpose or meaning behind the playful kitten or the fancy lunch? What is the meme really saying?

How do each of these posts relate to your life or your career?

Tell a Joke

Watch any standup comedian. You’ll see them talk about something that everyone in the audience already knows and understands.

Then they’ll say one small thing that reframes the subject. They’ll describe it in a way that nobody has thought of before.

And everybody laughs.

Humor is the most creative thing human beings can do. It’s all about looking at the everyday, the obvious, in a new way.

Make up a joke about your life, your business, or a problem you’re trying to solve. You’ll start to see it from a different angle.

Be Trendy

Which news topics are trending today?

If there’s something in the news that’s related to your life, you’ll probably have something to say about it. This could become your next blog post or video.

Better still, if you have the solution to a problem that’s trending, you may have just figured out how to make your next million and save the world in the process. Good job!

Unfortunately, the trending hashtags are usually about the Kardashians, Trump, and Game of Thrones. That’s when you need to dig a little deeper.

Search your own hashtags. Hashtag keywords related to your industry, your passions, or news that’s relevant to you. If you spend just 10 minutes doing this, new thoughts and ideas will start to tickle you.

Do Something Else

Some neurologists believe that creativity comes from the Default Mode Network (DMN). This is the part of your brain that acts as your “autopilot.”

When you’re awake, but not actively focusing on anything too engaging, your DMN starts to play around with thoughts and impressions.

If you’ve ever had a good idea while taking a shower, washing the dishes, or going on a walk, you’ve experienced this part of the brain in action.

Build time into your schedule to relax your brain and let the creativity slowly bubble to the surface.

Don’t Forget the Velociraptor!

You’re here today because your ancestors were creative. They outsmarted their enemies, outran predators, and gave birth to generations of smart kids.

This brings us to the most important tool—the one that you already know about. Your very own brain.

You probably don’t realize how creative you are.

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About Jacob Bear In a digital world filled with endless distraction, the key to success is to become so excited about something that you attack every obstacle and light up the path for your followers. As a copywriter and marketing coach, Jacob has been guiding entrepreneurs to uncover their unique story since 2006. In his new talk, “Finding Your Fire,” he shows you how to cultivate a sense of adventure that brings energy and originality to everything you do. His free Social Media Cheat Sheet shows you how to create authentic, perpetual content in nine steps. You can find the Cheat Sheet and other tools at JacobBear.com/FreeStuff.

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