You know, every night I fall asleep to the same book. Each and every time.
… but I’m not sure if this is the best book to fall asleep to. Maybe you can tell me.
See, this book does two things at the same time:
1 – It inspires the heck out of me, so much so that my brain starts filling with ideas faster than gas prices could ever hope to rise…
2 – Because it’s so dense, I get sleepy…
But sometimes the thoughts keep me up. Like last night, even after I put the book down I had so much brimming in my brain. I just lay there, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the thoughts to think themselves out of my mind.
(Which, by the way, is an important lesson I learned long ago – when you have those late-night thoughts, resistance is futile, isn’t it?)
The book I’m talking about is Robert Collier’s The Robert Collier Letter Book.
… while it doesn’t have the most creative title ever (lol), man is this thing good.
It’s easily the most powerful book on copywriting and marketing I’ve ever read. It’s full of so many examples too that you could just swipe and send out.
Last night, I came across an interesting passage that inspired this here rant…
Robert was talking to me (yes, to me, and only me 😉 ) about cleverness in sales letters. He said that if you make a letter too clever, you’ll get lots of great comments on it…
… but few orders.
If you make people forget they’re even reading, that’s when the magic happens.
So what exactly does Mr. Collier mean by this, and how can we hope to accomplish this seemingly difficult task?
Two ways. Well, there’s a lot more than two, but for the sake of not turning a blog post into a 400 page book, we’ll stick with two for today.
1 – Don’t be clever. Be straight-forward. Concise. Practical. Sincere.
2 – Be yourself.
Now, #2, I think, is the more difficult of the two. Because when I say “be yourself,” I mean tap into your own unique voice.
You have a “person” inside of you who expresses just what you want to say, whenever you want to say it.
… you don’t always let’em out, but he’s there (I don’t want to exclude anyone reading this post – but for the sake of brevity I’m just going to say “he”. Pretend I’m saying he / she though, k? 🙂 )
It’s the voice that comes out when you sit down to write an e-mail to a friend about an important subject.
Or when someone close to you is hurt and you offer comfort.
Or when you’re so excited about something that just happened that you talk the ear off of the first person willing to listen.
A lot of us are very careful about what we say – and how we say it. But in these moments we let that drop, and just say what’s on our minds. And it always comes out perfectly.
No doubt. No hesitation.
That’s what I mean when I say “be yourself”.
… because when you write in that voice, you’re what I like to call “a real human being”.
You’re not a sales letter template. You’re not an e-mail template. You’re not a pitchy salesman who doesn’t give a damn about the person on the other end of your letter.
“A real-life, bonafide human being.”
People who have mastered sales have mastered authenticity.
So, now that we’ve covered part 1, now it only seems right to talk about how to get there.
I wish there was a concrete answer that worked for everyone, but part of the price of being unique is we’re all different.
So naturally, we all have different ways of getting in touch with ourselves.
I know for me what works best is reading something written by someone who is really “in their voice.”
Or hearing someone speak who is.
As soon as their sincerity hits my ears, or my eyes, I snap out of whatever state I’m in and feel that calmness come over me that comes with being in touch.
It also comes with meditation, deep thought, great conversation, writing.
But to be honest, I don’t even have a set plan for myself. Whenever I need to tap into that place, I just make it my intention. And then, one way or another, I get there.
The path seems to change every time though.
… which means I’m going to have to give you an answer that you might not like.
No one on this planet has the ability to connect you to yourself other than yourself.
Other people can help you get there – but you’re the one who ultimately makes the connection. So only you can find what works in the moment.
I wish I could tell you, “Do x, y, and z,” but this is one of those things that just doesn’t work that way.
What I can tell you is try to think of things that inspire you – that shake you out of the comatose of routine and day-to-day mundane-ness.
That’s a great place to start. Once you start feeling that tickle in your stomach, you’ll know you’re gettin’ there.