Recently I've been studying the methods of efficiency expert, David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
(Although the purpose of this article is not about productivity or efficiency, I really do recommend David Allen's methods because they are so dramatically different and more naturally intuitive from any other "time management" or efficiency system I've ever read. If you'd like to read more about Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, click this link).
Anyway, Allen really focuses on intuitive methods for getting things done, and he begins by insisting that we start with a clear understanding of the desired outcome before taking on a project.
Some of the ways he recommends forming a clear picture of a desired outcome is to:
· Imagine a wildly successful result. Often we simply set a goal and that is the end of the matter. Allen urges picturing a Spectacular outcome. Imagine beyond what you expect, imagine breaking through any limits, imagine getting beyond-anything-you-could-ever-have-imagined results.
· Ask, "Wouldn't it be great if _______? This simple question is an excellent focusing device for clarifying a desired outcome, because it too pushes the brain to think beyond "reasonable" expectations.
By now of course, you are thinking, "What does this have to do with marketing and copywriting?" The answer is asking these questions is a great way to distinquish between features and benefits.
Why not flip Allen's thinking around and ask these questions from the point of view of your ideal desired customer? This is another way to force yourself to look at what you do and what you offer from inside the mind of the client you are trying to attract.
How often do customers expect to get "wildly successful results." Heck, most of the time they would be satisfied with just meeting what you promised. And how often do they ask, "Wouldn't it be great if ___?" with any thought that someone could actually deliver what they truly want.
Customers, like the rest of us, tend to diminish their own expectations over time. They tend to settle for what they can get because life has taught them that shooting for the stars lands you flat on your face.
But if you can deliver the goods, begin your marketing project by putting yourself inside the mind of your ideal customer and ask, as if you were that customer, what would be a wildly successful result.
Not only will you astonish yourself with what you come up with, you will also astonish your customer.
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COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity