Now that I have your attention, here's the deal: I just finished reading All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin (Portfolio, 2005). This is my first Seth Godin book. Why this one? For exactly the reason Godin says that the title of this book would sell: It's outrageous, and I had to see what the heck he meant by it....
As it turns out, the title is a metaphor for telling a great story and getting people to notice.
When I started out as a reporter for a relatively large daily in Florida, the copy desk was the most important "hole in a wall." (If you've ever been in a newsroom, you know what I mean.) That is where the headlines were written for the most important stories, in the day when headlines had nouns and verbs and labels were not allowed.
Most of us dreaded the assignment for two reasons: 1) Sitting at a desk with several editors isn't the highlight of anyone's day, and 2) Writing headlines is damn hard, if they are any good. Not only do they need to tell the reader what the story is about, most important they must make the reader feel that he/she must read the story. That is exactly what All Marketers Are Liars did to me.
Good stories need good titles. Because without a compelling title, the words that follow won't get read. And I want my work read by others, and so do my clients.
Of course, after Godin's title, the reader gets a great story that is both entertaining and informative. Every chapter begins with a good lead that draws me in and there are valuable nuggets of truth throughout. So Godin doesn't disappoint. And as with any product or service, if we don't meet our customers wants, needs and desires, they likely won't come back. Writers such as Godin get that.
Marketers are famous for saying marketing is about good story telling, but so often our titles (headlines) suck. They just sit there and don't do anything. They are boring. And far too often they are labels. Headlines need nouns and verbs that get readers emotional juices flowing. For example...
A full-page, back cover, 4-color ad (Expensive) reads: Award Winning Products and Services--who cares? No ROI here.
Inside, b&W, 1/4 page (cheap) reads: Get Your Message Past the Gate Keeper and Into the Corner Office--got my interest. See the difference? I bet the two clients did.
Take the first step (it's free).
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