The Donnie Bryant Method for Research

daily profit podcast on copywriting research

I recently had the good fortune to appear on Jason Wellington Strachan’s new show, the Daily Profit Podcast.

Jason, also known as the Copywriting Prince, reached out to me to talk about “the Donnie Bryant Method” for creating/discovering big ideas for your copy projects. According to me (and pretty much any other big name copywriter you can think of), the Big Idea is the most important part of any marketing message.

For example, here’s what David Ogilvy has to say on the subject:

“You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

More than “power words,” magic persuasive templates or fancy graphics, your marketing needs to be built on the foundation of a compelling big idea.

I hate to spoil the interview — which you can listen to on the Daily Profit Podcast website or iTunes (it’s Episode 5) — but there’s no real “method” to big idea hunt. I

  • read a lot, every day
  • research like I’m working on a Ph.D. dissertation
  • and try to form unique connections that will hit home for a particular audience.

By my most recent calculations, I spend about 6 hours a day reading. (Most days, I spend about 2-3 hours writing.)

Books, competitive intelligence, product knowledge stuff, news, copywriting and marketing stuff, etc.

Why? Because I very rarely come up with good ideas – I find them.

Reading and researching is how I make sure my brain has the raw material to make those big idea connections. To quote Ogilvy again:

“Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science, and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process.”

Even though I’ve let the cat out of the proverbial bag regarding the podcast, I think there’s still some valuable content in there. Give it a listen (Episode 5 here). And while you’re at it, check out Jason’s other interviews. There are a lot of very great insights from some of the sharpest copywriters and marketers on the planet.

Enjoy!

 

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Chat with Conversation Coach Amber Wright [Video]

I wanted to share a fun Google Hangouts interview I did with the Conversation Coach, Amber Wright.

We talked about:

  • my favorite pattern interrupt for unexpected face-to-face encounters
  • writing tips for entrepreneurs who aren’t able or ready to hire copywriter yet
  • how to get unfrozen when you’re trying something new (specifically writing)
  • how (and why) I learned to craft (i.e. fake) extroversion
  • the only 2 steps you can take to become a better writer
  • why feedback is critical for effective communication in any medium
  • the importance of confidence — and how to start building some
  • how being a copywriter has impacted the way I communicate with my wonderful wife
  • and plenty more!

Here’s the 47-minute conversation:

You’ll also get a chance to see my comical side. I think I’m pretty darn funny.

I didn’t realize how badly I need a decent camera for interviews like this, but hopefully you’ll get some value from the chat.

And when you get a chance, check out all the great content and resources Amber shares on her website.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Start Your Freelancing Thing

Direct Response Copywriter

“No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.” ~ Booker T. Washington

These wise words have served as a guiding principle for the way I operate as an entrepreneur over the past 6 or 7 years. I’ve said it a number of times; it’s my goal to be the most generous guy you’ve ever met.

One of the main ways I’ve added value to the “place in which I live” is by creating piles of instructional content. After working tirelessly to develop my craft and become something of an expert in copywriting and direct marketing, I always tried to help other succeed along the way.

Sometimes I got paid, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I should have been paid, but wasn’t. But I always had my sights fixed on making valuable contributions to the business community I came in contact with.

I had the opportunity to talk about this process on Monique Welch’s awesome new Start Your Thing podcast. It was quite a privilege. If you’d like to hear more about my journey, check out Episode 1 here. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

I hope there’s something help you and inspire you to build your expertise and go start your own thing!

P.S. Along the lines of creating value, I came up with a variation on that clever “2 secrets of success” quote you’ve likely seen floating around the internet. Naturally, this advice won’t work for everyone, but I can tell you, it has worked for me.

If you’re willing to work harder than anyone else, or do a “common thing in an uncommon way” to quote Booker T. Washington once again, you probably won’t have to worry about too many people stealing your ideas and your customers.

secrets to success content marketingI’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you more of an info-hoarder or an uber-sharer?

 

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Escape from Retail Jail: A Copywriter’s Tale

expert Copywriter

People sometimes ask me how I became an expert at copywriting. My answer is always the same; I smirk a little and say “I decided to become one.” Naturally, the story is more involved than that, but that decision — followed by commitment — is the crux of the it.

I had the opportunity to explore this decision and how it impacted my life on Episode 7 of Jason Leister’s Incomparable Expert Podcast. This was a special treat for me because of the massive respect and admiration I have for Jason. (If there’s was an incomparable individual on the call, Jason was him.)

The conversation was very raw. Jason didn’t tell me what he was going to ask, and I’m not sure he stuck to any kind of prearranged series of questions or topics, either.

So we were all over the map, talking about

  • the fact that your ideal customers probably have characteristics similar to the average serial killer – and what it’s going to take to attract and keep them
  • what “providing value” really means
  • Jason’s patent-pending “village model of evolution” and why doing business in the vast expanse of the internet is reverting, in some ways, to the old neighborhood structure
  • when content creation is just plain stupid
  • just how elastic price is — and how to start banishing the notion that you have to work harder to be worthy of making more money from your mind

One of the big takeaways is the magical power of “showing up.” I realize that one of the main reasons I reached any level of success is because I decided to keep going. Even if you’re not very talented, there’s a good chance you’ll find your status elevated simply because you consistently came to work.

Jason said it well: “Anybody with a heartbeat COULD be consistent. But it’s rare, it’s as rare as gold.”

I’ll testify to that.

Steve Lahey said it was my best interview yet…

Steve Lahey tweets Copywriter

…and I’d love you to have check it out on the Incomparable Expert site.

 

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Need Your Content to Sizzle and Sell? Here Are Some Tips

Write Content that Sells

Just in case you missed it…

A couple weeks ago, Jeff Zelaya and I did a Google Hangout on Air to talk about “How to Write Content that Sizzles and Sells.” There’s a ton of mediocre content out there, both online and in print. We talked about getting ideas, honing your craft and writing stuff that doesn’t suck.

Because you’ll never bore anyone into buying, subscribing, or even reading your next paragraph.

Check out the replay:

Jeff also wrote a terrific recap of the Hangout at 13 Tips to Make Your Content Sizzle and Sell on Triblio’s blog, distilling the interview down into 13 actionable (and tweetable!) steps. Smart writing on his part, without a doubt.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Get Attention With These Not-So-Average Marketing Ideas

Attention Marketing

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” ~ Steuart Henderson Britt

Marketing your business using the same methods everyone else is using isn’t much better.

One of the biggest problems any business has these days is getting and keeping the attention of their should-be clients and customers. Another problem that many of entrepreneurs and solo professionals have is that they have no idea what to do to stand out from everyone else who’s trying to get attention (not just the competition).

Many also fear doing something they’ve never done before or something that seems risky.

During times like these, being bold enough to take risks and step outside of your normal comfort zone may be what it takes to make your marketing work. A lack of courage may leave you unnoticed and under-appreciated as the expert you are.

In his constant quest to share practical marketing insights, tactics and strategies, Steve Lahey invited me to share a few “outside-the-box” marketing ideas with his audience. Check out the 30-minute interview, Creative Marketing Ideas for Solo Professionals.

In the half hour, Steve and I spoke about 3 proven tactics that are rare enough to be ridiculously effective:

  1. direct mail
  2. “best buyer”/influencer outreach and
  3. a unique kind of live, in-person event.

If an injection of fresh thinking might rekindle the spark in your promotional efforts, I think this is a pretty good investment of your time. Even if you don’t use the techniques mentioned, the thinking behind them and the reasons they’re effective are sure to be thought-provoking and inspiring.

My personal philosophy of business and marketing comes out pretty strongly here, too.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the interview. I’d also love to hear about your favorite outside-the-box marketing ideas in the comments below.

 

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Steve Lahey Picks My Brain About Stealth Selling and Copywriting

Small Business Talent Podcast with Stephen Lahey

Over the years, it seems like I’ve sold almost everything: Swiss watches, cell phones, warranties, coffee grinders and even plain old advice. You’ll never hear me say I’m a natural salesman. I wasn’t even always good at sales.

In 2012, I wrote Stealth Selling: Non-Pushy Persuasion for Professionals, an ebook revealing my personal selling philosophy along with insights and advice I’ve picked up along the way.

This week, I had the privilege of appearing on Steve Lahey’s Small Business Talent podcast. He asked me about stealth selling, ethical persuasion and life as an entrepreneur.

I even performed a live dissection (guess that would make it a vivisection) on his new service page sales copy.

It was fun and I’ve received a lot of great feedback. If you have about half an hour, I’d be thrilled if you listened to the interview here.

By the way, the Steve’s podcast is always excellent. If I were you, I’d check it out every week.

I’m also working on making a second edition of Stealth Selling. Up until the time I release it (hopefully by the beginning the end of April), you can pick up the original for $5, which the lowest price I’ve ever offered (a large percentage of buyers paid $19 for it). I’ll also send you the updated version as soon as it’s ready, free of cost.

If you’re interested, click here.

One more thing: if you listen to my interview with Steve Lahey, leave a comment and send a screenshot of the comment to db at donnie-bryant dot com, I’ll give you the book for free. Why? Because maybe what Steve on Twitter is true:

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail