You can’t write a WIIFM without the M
If you wanted to keep teens from smoking weed, what message might you communicate?
One health organization, reports Guy Kawasaki in his book Enchantment, used the message that young people who smoked weed were five times more likely to engage in sex.
Have you ever met a 17-year-old football player? For that matter, have you ever met a 58-year-old writing coach?
Many humans — except perhaps for those who work for this one particular health organization — actually enjoy sex. I myself have met several people who feel their lives would be much less interesting without it.
Not to say that the five-times-less-sex message wouldn’t work on a different audience. If you were trying to convince parents, teachers or school board members to campaign against teen weed-smoking, then that data point might be compelling.
For most other audiences, though, the promise of five times more sex might just convince the most sober among us to wake and bake, nod off on the couch during all-day “I Love Lucy” marathons and come to surrounded by empty Cherries Garcia cartons.
And that’s the problem with this message: It has a WIIFM, or a “What’s in it for me?”
It just focuses on the wrong M…..
To move people to act, give them what they want
It’s counterintuitive, but true: The product is never the topic. The program is never the topic. The plan is never the topic. The topic is never the topic. The reader is always the topic.
Indeed, the secret to reaching readers is to position your messages in your audience’s best interests. (Most communicators position their messages in their organization’s best interests. Which is fine, as long as you’re talking to yourself.)
At Catch Your Readers — our two-day persuasive-writing master class on Nov. 16-17 in Kansas City — you’ll learn a four-step process for moving readers to act by giving them what they really want.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Take advantage of the formula readers use to determine which messages to pay attention to (and which to toss).
- Tap two rewards of reading you can use to boost audience interest in your message.
- Answer the No. 1 question your reader is asking, regardless of your topic, medium or channel.
- Make a two-minute perspective shift to focus your message on the value to readers — not on “us and our stuff.”
- Use a three-letter word that magically makes your message more relevant to your readers.
Don’t miss your last chance to learn to Catch Your Readers in 2017.
Lock in this year’s fees for next quarter’s programs
Because of increasing demand for my training, I’ll be increasing my fees for in-house workshops on Jan. 2. But now, for a limited time, you can lock in 2017 fees for first quarter 2018 programs.
To lock in this year’s fees for next year’s January, February and March workshops, you’ll need to complete booking (that is, get a signed contract and deposit to me) by Dec. 31. To book a program, contact me directly.
I look forward to working with you next year!
Learn to Catch Your Readers and more at these Master Classes
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