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.
- 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.