Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How to Be More Convincing Part 2 - Resources I've Found

It's been a couple weeks since I posted about learning to Be More Convincing. I've spent considerable time in the past few days going through additional resources. What I find continually amazes me. Not only in terms of how much knowledge there is out there on the subject of persuasion, but how simple and downright HONEST it is! (Which is very refreshing.)

Let me go over some of the articles and websites I've found, and give an idea of what I learned from each. That way, if you're joining me on this quest to Be More Convincing, you'll get the same value out of my efforts.

1. MarketingProfs - Creating Content Streams for Web Watering Holes
(Note: You may need to be a MarketingProfs.com member to view this. Sign up for free here.)
Jonathan Kranz wrote "Writing Copy for Dummies" last year. I've got it on my shelf. He's a great writer, who's not afraid to use humor and shoot-from-the-hip language to get his point across. This article talks about "content streams" - using planned-for, regularly-updated content channels to reach the big decision-makers in your market.

I learned two things from Kranz's article. One, I now know several key aspects of a powerful type of Web marketing campaign. Kranz talks about everything from audience awareness exercises (that don't involve heavy research) to how to refocus a single message through multiple online formats. Very handy for a quick reference when my brain's locked into one sales method and I need to break out.

Two, I learned that I enjoy the heck out of shoot-from-the-hip language when it's used in a business environment! I've written in a similar manner in the past, but always felt a little out of place offering such a tone to clients. Maybe it's the predominance of jargon and chatter out there that's got me intimidated. But hey, if Jonathan Kranz is firing straight-shot, no reason I can't either!

2a. Creating Passionate Users - Getting Someone to Decide
Proof of the nuances of psychology. I don't quite know if I'd call this a case study, but it has a similar effect - it gives the reader something specific to take away. In this case, in the form of two solid points about getting groups of people to take your recommended course of action. I already knew about "giving visitors something to take home" approach (what do you think all these links are for?), but I did learn something useful from the article's second point.

The students observed were asked to make a decision WHEN to attend, not IF. I recall a very old persuasion technique - the Choice Between Yes and Yes. The researchers' action here echoes of that technique. The choice between Yes and Yes can take many forms.

2b. Creating Passionate Users - You ARE a marketer. Deal with it.
Two from one! First, go to the page and click on the table. Then, hit the Print button. Go on, I'll wait. I did it already. The "Neo-Marketing Chart" is now stuck on my wall.

Why? Because it's a perfect reminder of where the power really lies on the Web. With the USERS.

What does that have to do with Being More Convincing? It reminds me that I must first get a clear image of what the customer wants to see and hear. The only thing I need to worry about for myself is, "Do I believe in what I'm talking about?" 9 times out of 10 the answer's yes (or I don't want to talk about it), so my side's already taken care of. I have to keep the customer firmly and clearly in mind if I want to do any Convincing.

I like the "Attractor" title, too. Goes well with "ferreting out" words.

3. ChangingMinds.org
I leaned into the monitor in awe when a Google search brought me to ChangingMinds. It's a website devoted to, as their heading says, "how we change what others think, believe, feel and do."

Over the past few years I've come to realize just how strongly what we believe and feel affect what we think and do. Entire countries have literally been made and broken based on one person's thoughts and actions. So a site devoted to this topic - not to mention one as gargantuan as ChangingMinds - is Shangri-La for anyone even close to marketing. (And remember, according to the last link, we're ALL marketers.)

I could get lost in ChangingMinds and love every minute of it. For instance, look at this: ChangingMinds: Closing Techniques. An entire section devoted to closing techniques! And to be fair, they also list Ways to Resist Persuasion too.

ChangingMinds is unique not only for being so comprehensive (I sometimes stop and wonder if I'm going to get charged for reading all this), but for including Manipulative and Non-Manipulative Language equally. Manipulative language - the kind of sales tactics that we associate with plaid-yellow blazers, dingy car lots and mounds of paperwork next to a biiiiiig grin - is easy to spot when set side-to-side with its counterpart.

That's the second value of ChangingMinds - you can learn to be persuasive without stepping on toes or trying to trick people. Great copywriters never even think about tricking people. I don't ever want to be associated with the "Trust me!" schmoozing vibe. I want to be more honestly, and genuinely, convincing.

It'll be a long time before I'm through (if ever) with ChangingMinds.org. Creating Passionate Users is a wonderful resource too. It's getting easier and easier to find nuts-and-bolts information on persuasion. I must be Convincing reality of my need for it!

Ignore the bad pun, and enjoy!

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2 Comments:

At 5:50 AM , Anonymous Dave S. said...

Good to hear you like changingminds.org and thanks for the kind words. It's a work in motion. There's more sites from syque.com, though changingminds is my current passion.

I've started to browse your blog and it's really good -- I'll be back!

Dave S.
Bottlewasher and author, changingminds.org

 
At 2:41 PM , Blogger Blue Ferret said...

The author of ChangingMinds! An honor to have you here, Dave! I'm glad you stopped by. You've done stellar work. For everyone who wants to be more convincing, thanks for the site.

(And hey, if you need help with the site, I'd be happy to assist.)

 

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